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High calcium in blood: symptoms, causes and treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Calcium is a mineral found in the human body, mainly concentrated in bones and teeth, although it can also be found in tissues, neurons, body fluids, and Blood. It fulfills many functions such as maintaining healthy bones and teeth, helping with blood clotting, transmitting nerve signals during muscle contraction and relaxation, maintaining an average heart rate, and secreting hormones. Certain situations can cause an increase in the concentration of calcium in the Blood, which can bring about changes in our bodies that attract attention. This FastlyHealarticle will explain everything you need to know about high blood calcium: symptoms, causes, and treatment.

Causes of high blood calcium

High calcium in the Blood, also known as hypercalcemia, is a situation outside what can be considered normal and has different causes. The most common type of hypercalcemia is the presence of primary hyperparathyroidism, a condition characterized by excess production of parathyroid hormone by the thyroid, which plays a vital role in regulating blood calcium levels and what is deposited and released from bones and other organs.

Other conditions that can cause increased calcium in the Blood are:

  • Some types of cancer, such as lung or breast cancer.
  • Excess of vitamin D.
  • Being at rest for a long time.
  • Excess calcium in the diet.
  • Renal failure .
  • Infectious diseases such as tuberculosis.
  • Genetic conditions, such as familial hypocalciuric hypercalcemia.
  • Autoimmune diseases, such as sarcoidosis.
  • Severe dehydration

Excess calcium in the Blood: symptoms

The symptoms of hypercalcemia depend on the severity. In milder cases, you may have no signs or have nausea, vomiting, constipation, and poor appetite.

In moderate cases, the person suffers from fatigue or excessive tiredness. In addition, there are alterations in the heart rhythm, increased urinary frequency, the need to drink a lot of water a day, weight loss, and changes in the kidneys, such as the presence of kidney stones.

Already when these levels begin to increase progressively, new symptoms appear, such as:

  • Muscle spasms.
  • Depression.
  • Bone-ache.
  • Anxiety.
  • Muscular weakness.
  • Personality changes and, in some cases, confusion.

If the person has very high calcium levels in the Blood, it can cause excessive drowsiness and coma, and subsequent death even in very advanced cases. All this will depend not only on the amount of calcium present in the body but also on the speed with which it is increasing.

How to lower blood calcium

The treatment for high calcium depends on the cause that originated it since there can be many that cause this increase in calcium in the Blood.

The first thing to do is stay well hydrated, drink plenty of water a day, or apply intravenous fluids unless your doctor tells you otherwise. If mild symptoms occur, drugs for nausea, vomiting, or constipation should be taken as directed by the doctor. Exercising every day is also recommended, as rest aggravates hypercalcemia.

The most severe cases of hypercalcemia are almost always associated with hyperthyroidism . In these cases, patients must be kept in more rigorous care by the doctor, which includes:

  • Keep the patient under observation.
  • Keep it properly hydrated.
  • Prescribe drugs according to their indication to control the disease, as with Cinacalcet.
  • Medicines to control bone loss, such as bisphosphonates.
  • Antineoplastic agents that reduce bone turnover.
  • Antihypercalcemic agents: act by inhibiting bone loss and helping the kidney adequately eliminate calcium.
  • Hospitalization when the case has become severe.
  • In advanced cases, removal of the thyroid gland is usually partial.
  • Antidiuretic drugs help to eliminate excess calcium through the urine.
  • Glucocorticoids help counteract excess vitamin D in the Blood.
  • Dialysis to remove excess calcium and waste deposited in the kidneys.
  • In the case of cancer, a decision must be made by the doctor whether or not to treat hypercalcemia; however, treating the symptoms may be considered, including the administration of intravenous fluids and bisphosphonates to prevent bone deterioration. Treating hypercalcemia in a patient with cancer will improve the quality of life of the patient, in addition to allowing the person to be active and to undergo any cancer treatment.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to High calcium in the Blood: symptoms, causes and treatment , we recommend that you enter our category of Blood, heart and circulation .

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