What are the symptoms of hypercalcemia?

Hypercalcemia is often mild and does not cause symptoms. When symptoms become noticeable, they can vary depending on the severity, type and stage of the underlying disease, and individual factors, such as your age.

General symptoms of hypercalcemia

High blood calcium can involve the following symptoms:

  • Abdominal pain or discomfort
  • Bone pain and fractures
  • Decreased appetite
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Excessive thirst
  • Excessive urination
  • Fatigue
  • Kidney stones
  • Low back pain
  • Malaise or lethargy
  • Muscle twitching or weakness
  • Nausea and vomiting

Psychological or neurological symptoms that may occur with hypercalcemia

High blood calcium may accompany symptoms related to the nervous system or psychiatric conditions including:

  • Anxiety
  • Cognitive decline
  • Dementia
  • Depression
  • Irritability and mood changes
  • Loss of memory

Symptoms that might indicate a serious or life-threatening condition

Hypercalcemia may occur with symptoms that might indicate a serious or life-threatening condition, such as kidney stones, kidney failure, or serious depression, which should be immediately evaluated in an emergency setting. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you, or someone you are with, have any of these symptoms including:

  • Bloody urine
  • Chest pain or palpitations
  • Confusion, disorientation, decreased alertness, lethargy, or loss of consciousness
  • Inability to urinate or severely reduced urination
  • Inability to walk normally after a fall or other injury
  • Severe flank or abdominal pain
  • Talking about or having thoughts of harming oneself or committing suicide

What is hypercalcemia?

Calcium is an essential mineral that plays a vital role in many different bodily functions. For example, strong bones require constant metabolism of calcium to generate bone matrix. The healthy parathyroid glands regulate the amount of calcium that circulates in the blood. Hypercalcemia is a condition in which the blood has too much calcium. Calcium is a mineral that is essential for many aspec... Read more about hypercalcemiaintroduction


What causes hypercalcemia?

The most common cause of hypercalcemia is primary hyperparathyroidism. This condition occurs when the parathyroid glands overproduce parathyroid hormone (PTH), which causes the body to retain calcium.

Common causes of hypercalcemia

Hypercalcemia, or high blood calcium, may be caused by a wide variety of conditions and diseases including:


How is hypercalcemia treated?

Prompt diagnosis and treatment of hypercalcemia reduces the risk of developing serious complications, such as osteoporosis and kidney failure. Treatment involves rebalancing the body’s calcium levels, as well as treating the underlying cause and any associated complications. Treatments may include:

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Annual Review Date: Aug 23, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 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