Hypercalcemia: Too Much Calcium in the Blood

According to MedlinePlus, hypercalcemia, affects less than one percent of the United States population. Hypercalcemia is caused by above average calcium serum levels. When your calcium level is too high, it can cause disruptions in muscle contraction, hormone levels and brain functioning. Post-menopausal women are prone to this condition because of their hyperactive parathyroid glands.

Identification

Hypercalcemia is irregular levels of calcium in the blood. This condition causes little to no symptoms. Hypercalcemia develops when the body fails to balance the intake of calcium. This occurs when your parathyroid gland becomes overactive, which then releases calcium into the bloodstream. Another hormone that will help regulate your high levels of calcium is calcitonin, but if there’s too much calcium produced in your bloodstream, it will not function normally.

Causes

Hypercalcemia can develop in people who suffer from breast or lung cancer and other diseases such as tuberculosis or sarcoidosis. These diseases cause your lungs to become inflamed from tissue injury and will elevate your levels of vitamin D. A genetic disorder known as familial hypocalciuric hypercalcemia can cause this condition. This is due to the effects of receptors not regulating the intake of calcium in your blood, but this is a rare condition. Hypercalcemia can also be caused by taking excessive amounts of calcium supplements and the side effects of certain medications, such as Lithium. Not drinking enough water can cause dehydration, which can bring about mild cases of hypercalcemia. Flush out excess calcium in your urine by drinking water.

Symptoms

People who have hypercalcemia show little to no symptoms. The symptoms can range from mild to severe, and they include the following: loss of appetite, increased thirst, abdominal pain, confusion, nausea, frequent urination, and muscle weakness. Consult your doctor if you show signs or symptoms of this condition.

Complications

Complications of hypercalcemia are kidney stones, osteoporosis, kidney failure and heart disturbances. People who suffer from severe complications may need to be hospitalized to regulate the levels of calcium in the blood. This is done by intravenous fluids to rehydrate the body. A diuretic medication is used to flush out excessive amounts of calcium in your system. This will help your kidneys to function normally. Glucocorticoids will help those who show severe symptoms of hypercalcemia. Hemodialysis is used when your kidneys are not functioning properly.

References

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hypercalcemia/DS00976/DSECTION=preparing-for-your-appointment

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hypercalcemia/DS00976/DSECTION=treatments-and-drugs