Hypercalcemia is an abnormally high level of calcium in the blood. It can be caused by high levels of parathyroid hormone (PTH) and may occur in hyperparathyroidism.
Hypercalcemia can also develop without high levels of PTH. This occurs in vitamin D overdose, prolonged periods of bed rest or immobilization, and some types of cancer.
In some cases, calcium in the urine may be high for other reasons. One example of this is idiopathic familial hypocalciuric hypercalcemia.
Symptoms of hypercalcemia include weakness, lack of energy, not wanting to eat, nausea and vomiting, constipation, urinating a lot, belly pain, or bone pain.
Hypercalcemia is treated by determining and treating the cause of the high blood calcium. Saline and diuretics are given to help the body get rid of extra calcium. Calcitonin is given to help move extra calcium out of the blood. Bisphosphonates are also used.
Last Revised: September 20, 2010
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Philip Belitsky, MD, FRCSC - Urology
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