What is high blood calcium?

High blood calcium (hypercalcemia) is a condition of too much calcium in your blood. You may become aware of high blood calcium through a laboratory test or you may experience one or more nonspecific symptoms, including abdominal pain, flank pain, frequent urination, muscle weakness, or mood changes.

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The most common cause of hypercalcemia is primary hyperparathyroidism (overproduction of parathyroid hormone by the parathyroid glands). Other common causes of high blood calcium include adrenal failure, an overabundance of calcium in your diet, genetic conditions that affect how your body processes calcium, kidney disease, sensitivity to certain medications, some types of tumors, and an excess of vitamin D.

Treatment of high blood calcium usually targets the underlying cause and may include measures such as diuretic medications, dialysis, intravenous fluids, parathyroid surgery, and steroids. Hypercalcemia affects less than 1% of the population in the United States (Source: PubMedHealth).

If your high blood calcium is mild and due to a readily treatable condition, such as primary hyperparathyroidism, complications are unlikely provided you seek prompt treatment. However, if associated with a cancer, for example, high blood calcium can prove more difficult to reverse and complications tend to be more likely.

If you have symptoms related to high blood calcium that are persistent or cause you concern, seek prompt medical care.

SYMPTOMS

What other symptoms might occur with high blood calcium?

You may experience other symptoms with high blood calcium, and they vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition.... Read more about high blood calciumsymptoms

CAUSES

What causes high blood calcium?

The most common cause of high blood calcium is primary hyperparathyroidism, which results in overproduction of parathyroid hormone by the parathyroid glands. The parathyroid glands play a role in the body’s regulation of calcium levels in the blood. In most cases, the causes associated with primary hyperparathyroidism disease are not known.... Read more about high blood calciumcauses

Medical Reviewer: All content has been reviewed by board-certified physicians under the direction of Rich Klasco, M.D., FACEP. Last Annual Review Date: May 2, 2011 Copyright: © Copyright 2011 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Heart, Blood and Circulation