Hypercalcemia (Excess Calcium): Symptoms, Causes, and How to Overcome It

Hypercalcemia (Excess Calcium): Symptoms, Causes, and How to Overcome It

Did you ever heard about the body can experience a condition of hypercalcemia or known as excess calciumExcess calcium levels in the body should not occur, you know.

This is because the condition can interfere with overall body activities and functions. So, what are the symptoms of hypercalcemia? Is this condition related to lifestyle, diet, or disease?

Come on, find out more about excess calcium levels in the body!

Read: The Role of Calcium for Children and Its Daily Dose

Symptoms of Hypercalcemia (Excess Calcium)

Calcium is an essential mineral that is in charge of bone growth, maintaining hormone levels, as well as the optimal functioning of nerves, muscles, and brain.

Launching the Cleveland Clinic, hypercalcemia occurs when excess calcium levels are found in the body.

The body usually controls this level of calcium.

However, certain medications and conditions can cause blood calcium levels to become high.

Then, how can this be seen? Of course, it is necessary to check the blood to detect calcium levels that exceed their normal limits.

Beyond that, there are several symptoms that can be felt by someone who has hypercalcemia, including:

  • Frequent urination and feeling thirsty
  • Fatigue, bone pain, headache
  • Nausea, vomiting, constipation
  • Decreased appetite
  • Frequent forgetting
  • Depression or irritability
  • Muscle pain, cramps, and twitches

Generally, this symptom is unconsciously felt and resembles other disease conditions.

A result of not being treated immediately can lead to bone loss, kidney stones, hypertension, as well as bradycardia (slowed heart rate).

For that, immediately check with a doctor if you experience any of the symptoms above for further diagnosis.

Read: 7 Best Vitamins to Alleviate the Condition of Osteoporosis

Causes of Hypercalcemia (Excess Calcium)

The body uses the help of calcium, vitamin D, and parathyroid hormone (PTH) to regulate calcium levels.

This PTH helps the body control how much calcium enters the bloodstream from the intestines, kidneys, and bones.

Usually, PTH will increase when calcium levels in the blood decrease and when calcium levels are rising.

When hypercalcemia occurs, the body will need hormones from the thyroid gland to balance it.

Well, below are some of the causes that trigger a person to have hypercalcemia:

1. Excess Thyroid Hormones

As we know before, thyroid hormones play quite a role when calcium in the blood increases.

The parathyroid glands are 4 small glands located behind the thyroid gland in the neck.

Its function is to control hormone production and regulate calcium in the blood.

Hyperparathyroidism can be one of the causes of calcium being produced too much in the body.

This is when the parathyroid glands (PTH) become overactive. This creates a calcium imbalance that the body cannot control.

Often, it affects women who are 50 years old and above.

2. Lung Problems

Health problems that attack the lungs can be the trigger for the next hypercalcemia.

This includes granulomatous diseases, such as tuberculosis and sarcoidosis.

The reason is, that this condition can cause vitamin D levels in the body to increase.

Too much vitamin D that the body produces, can result in the absorption of calcium in the blood.

So the way to prevent it is to meet the needs of vitamin D according to age. 

3. Cancer Cell Growth

Citing the Mayo Clinic, a number of types of cancer can cause excess calcium levels in the blood.

Cancers included in this condition include:

  • Lung cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Blood cancer

A person who has one of these cancers is at high risk of hypercalcemia.

The spread of cancer (metastases) to the bone region can also increase the risk of the same.

4. Side Effects of the Drug

Some medications, especially diuretics, can cause exposure to hypercalcemia conditions.

This includes a class of drugs used to treat depression or bipolar disorder.

Usually, side effects from this drug increase the release of parathyroid hormone.

In addition, this also makes the body lose fluid and calcium excretion is also reduced.

How to Overcome Excess Calcium

Choosing the treatment of this excess calcium needs to be seen from the underlying cause.

Generally, how to overcome hypercalcemia consists of several things such as the following:

1. Special Medicines

In some cases, the doctor may recommend medications for people with hypercalcemia.

It can be a sympathetic drug to help control overactive parathyroid glands.

As well as some other drugs to prevent the spread of cancer cells in the body.

Surely these medicines need diagnostics from the attending physician. Avoid buying drugs independently at the pharmacy without consulting a doctor.

2. Stop Calcium Supplement Intake

Hypercalcemia can be overcome by discontinuing calcium-containing health supplements.

Calcium supplements with high doses can aggravate normal calcium levels in the blood.

Then, how do we know if the calcium levels in the body have exceeded normal limits? Do a complete blood test in a clinic or hospital, yes.

3. Drink More Water

A simple way that can be done in overcoming excess calcium is to drink water.

A hydrated body will prevent the formation of calcium in large quantities.

For severe cases, an infusion fluid is needed to immediately lower calcium.

Of course, this requires hospitalization to be monitored regularly every day.

That's a glimpse of the facts about hypercalcemia (excess calcium). Try not to experience this condition, okay?

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