High calcium in blood, in medical terminology is known as hypercalcemia. It is a condition where the concentration of calcium level in blood is above its normal value.
Calcium plays an important role in formation of strong bones, in muscles contractions, in release of hormones and healthy brain and nerve function. However, high calcium concentration in blood can interfere in this process.
Causes Of High Calcium Levels In Blood
- An overactive parathyroid gland is the most common cause of high calcium in blood. Parathyroid glands secrete parathyroid hormone (PTH), it is responsible for calcium balance in the body. When there is excess of PTH release from the parathyroid gland, it causes rise of calcium level in the blood. It may be due to enlargement of the gland or growth of one of the four parathyroid glands. The condition is called primary hyperparathyroidism.
- Excess of vitamin D.
- Cancer of lungs.
- Adrenal gland failure.
- Renal failure.
- Medications such as thiazide diuretics and lithium.
High Calcium Symptoms
Symptoms of high calcium levels in blood (hypercalcemia)
In mild cases there are no signs or symptoms, in more severe cases the symptoms are
- Decreased appetite.
- Abdominal cramps.
- Excessive thirst.
- Frequent urination.
- Pain in both the flanks due to renal stone.
Symptoms Of Hypercalcemia
- Bone pain.
- Shoulder bowing.
- Deformity in spine curvature.
- Memory loss.
- Dementia and depression.
Treatment For High Calcium Levels
In severe cases of high calcium in blood, the patient has to be hospitalized to reduce calcium level and protect the kidney and bones. Patient is treated with;
- Intravenous fluid.
- Calcitonin supplementation.
- Gluccocorticoids to counter vitamin D excess.
- Diuretics such as furosemide.
Home remedy includes drinking plenty of water and physical activity to strengthen the bones. This can be started after the acute symptoms are better and with consultation of your treating doctor.