What is Hypercalcemia?

Calcium is an essential mineral in your body but too much of it in the blood is called hypercalcemia. Having too much calcium can cause issues with your heart and brain as well as kidney stones.

What can cause Hypercalcemia?

The most common cause is an overactive parathyroid gland. However, hypercalcemia can also be due to cancer, medications, like thiazide diuretics or lithium or supplements like taking too much vitamin D which causes the body to absorb more calcium. 

What are the symptoms of Hypercalcemia?

Usually having too much calcium in the body does not cause symptoms and it is only discovered through routine bloodwork. However, symptoms can include kidney stones, bone pain or fractures, abdominal pain and constipation, decreased reflexes, depression, and anxiety.

How is Hypercalcemia treated?

The treatment of hypercalcemia depends on the cause.

Generally, IV fluids are the initial management of choice for significant symptomatic hypercalcemia.

If hypercalcemia is due to an overactive parathyroid gland it may be removed or calcimimetics (like Sensipar) can be used.

Hypercalcemia due to cancer can be treated with bisphosphonates or denosumab.

If hypercalcemia is due to an increase in vitamin D prednisone can be useful.

Loop diuretics like furosemide can be used to promote calcium excretion. 

Posted in: Uncategorized