Causes of High Blood Calcium: Parathyroid Disease (Hyperparathyroidism)

If your doctor discovers high levels of calcium in your blood do not panic. Most of the time it is due to parathyroid disease or known as hyperparathyroidism. However, high levels of calcium in the blood are not normal. If a doctor detects abnormality in your calcium levels, you can be diagnosed with hypercalcemia. Cancer is not involved in people who have this problem. Benign tumors do develop, but they are not cancerous.


A person with hyperparathyroidism will develop an uncontrollable hormone, produced by the parathyroid glands, which releases excess hormones into the bloodstream. The glands that secrete the hormone are located near your throat. There are four glands that help regulate levels of calcium in the blood and tissue. Hyperparathyroidism falls into two categories — primary or secondary:

Primary hyperparathyroidism occurs when one or more glands produce too much hormone causing an increase of calcium to enter the bloodstream. If a person has high-calcium levels then its called hypercalcemia. Its unknown why this condition develops, but it can be inherited from a gene.

Secondary hyperparathyroidism occurs when another disease affects the parathyroid glands which will lower levels of calcium produced. This causes the body to be deficient in calcium and vitamin D. In addition, it can cause chronic kidney failure. Surgery is commonly used to treat the condition.


Symptoms of hyperparathyroidism range from mild to severe. However, symptoms of this condition can indicate other damages to the body due to an increase or decrease of calcium in the blood. They include osteoporosis, abdominal pain, kidney stones, excessive urination, fatigue, depression or forgetfulness, joint pain, nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite.


Sometimes treatments are not recommended if your body is functioning properly. This means that people with slightly high calcium levels, kidneys are working properly and bone density is normal — the doctor will closely monitor the condition to see if it subsides. According to Mayo Clinic, people who choose to get surgery to treat primary hyperparathyroidism will have a 90 percent chance of being cured. Medications are an option for people with this condition, and they include calcimimetic, hormone replace therapy and bisphosphonates. Calcimimetic works by imitating calcium in the blood in hopes of tricking the parathyroid glands to release fewer hormones. Hormone replacement therapy has its risk, talk to your doctor about other solutions. Bisphophonates may prevent osteoporosis that was caused by hyperparathyroidism.