- Blood test
- Urine test
- Chest X-rays: reveals lung cancer
- Mammograms: reveals breast cancer
- CT scans
- MRI scans
- DEXA bone mineral density test.
- Calcitorium hormone: slows down bone loss.
- Intravenous fluids: hydrates and lower Ca. level in the blood
- Corticosteroids: for treatment of excess unit-D
- Loop dive diuretics: helps kidneys move fluid and get rid of extra Ca.
- Intravenous bisphosphonates: lower blood calcium
- Dialysis: gets rid of extra calcium and water
- Surgery: to remove the abnormal parathyroid gland
- Medication: cinacalcet (sensor)
- Kidney problem: kidney stones, kidney failure
- Irregular heartbeat
- Confusion or dementia
- A potentially life-threatening coma
Symptoms may not be noticeable in mild hypercalcemia but in serious cases signs and symptoms are prominent. They include:
- Headache and fatigue
- Always feeling thirsty
- Excessive urination
- Upper abdominal pain
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal heart rhythms
- Muscle twitches, cramps, and weakness
- Bone pain and fracture
- Memory loss, confusion, and coma
Hypercalcemia is caused by the interaction between Ca, and parathyroid hormone (PTH) regulates calcium in the blood. Normally as the PTH increased, the blood Ca. rises. When calcium is excess in the blood that the body cannot regulate the calcium level, hypercalcemia results.
Several possible causes of hypercalcemia are:
- Hyperparathyroidism: when one or more parathyroid glands (4 in number) becomes overactive and too much PTH is released, it creates calcium in balance that the body can not control on its own.
Lung disease and cancer:
- Lung cancer
- Breast cancer
- Blood cancer
Medication: Some medication has a side effect which leads to hypercalcemia.
Dietary supplement :
- Vitamin D
- Antacids e.g. Tuns, Rolaids
Dehydration: Causes the calcium level to rise due to the amount of liquid in your blood.
What precaution should intake if I think I may be at risk for hypercalcemia?
There are several pro-active steps you can take including:
- Take in much fluid, including water
- Consume the proper amount of salt in your diet. 200mg of sodium per day for adults.
- Talk to your doctor, to see whether medications might have a risk of developing hypercalcemia
What causes elevated calcium levels?
This disorder is called hypercalcemia, causes include:
- Overactive parathyroid gland
- Cancer-lungs, blood or breast cancer
- Some medical disorder e.g. hyperparathyroidism
- Taking much calcium and vitamin D supplements
What is a dangerous calcium level?
High blood calcium, if not controlled can lead to serious health problems and even early death if ignored. For adults, the blood calcium should not be higher than 10.0mg per day (2.5m mol/l)
What is the first-line treatment for hypercalcemia?
The first-line treatment for initial management of hypercalcemia is the intravenous bisphosphate followed by continued oral, or repeated intravenous bisphosphonate to prevent relapse.
What food to avoid if you have hypercalcemia?
Greatly reduce or stop your intake of milk, cheese, ice cream, yogurt cottage cheese. Always read food labels to ensure that purchased diary products with added calcium. Take much of fluid including water.