What happens when calcium intake is high?

Emobileclinic Trending Topic: Hypercalcemia

The importance of calcium in the body cannot be underestimated. The calcium aids the development of the bones and also helps in making the bones healthy. A condition where there is high concentration of calcium in the blood is known as Hypercalcemia. When it is excessive in the blood, it makes it hard for calcium to carry out its normal functions.

Symptoms 

Kidneys related symptoms are: excessive thirst, excessive urination and pain between the back and upper abdomen on one side

Abdominal related symptoms are: nausea, abdominal pain, reduced appetite, constipation, vomiting

Muscles related symptoms include twitches and weakness of the muscle.

Skeletal system related symptom: bone pain, height loss, bowed shoulders, curvature of the spine, fractures from disease. 

Psychological related symptoms include depression, memory loss, and irritability. 

Hypercalcemia is also a medical emergency in people who have cancer. 

Causes

Hyperparathyroidism: it is when one or more of your parathyroid glands become overly active. This is the leading cause of hypercalcemia, especially in women over 50 years old. It occurs when the glands release too much PTH.

Lung Diseases and Cancers: granulomatous diseases, such as tuberculosis, are lung diseases that can cause your vitamin D levels to rise. This causes more calcium absorption, which increases the calcium level in your blood. Some cancers, especially lung cancer, breast cancer, and blood cancers, can raise your risk for hypercalcemia.

Side Effects of Medication: some medications, particularly diuretics, can produce hypercalcemia. They do this by causing severe fluid diuresis, which is a loss of body water, and an under excretion of calcium. This then leads to an excess concentration of calcium in the blood. Other drugs, such as lithium, cause more PTH to be released.

Dietary Supplements: taking too much vitamin D or calcium in the form of supplements can raise your calcium level.

Dehydration: it makes calcium level to rise due to the low amount of fluid inthe blood. 

Diagnosis

Blood test known as serum calcium test will be conducted to check the calcium level in the blood. Blood tests can help the doctor diagnose hyperparathyroidism. Tests that can allow your doctor to check for evidence of cancer or other diseases that can cause hypercalcemia include: 

Chest X-rays, which can reveal lung cancer

Mammograms, which help diagnose breast cancer

CT scans, which form a more detailed image of your body

MRI scans, which produce detailed images of your body’s organs and other structures

Treatment 

In mild cases, the doctor will simply suggest to you to keep track of your condition and waiting to see if it improves or gets worse on its own.

In severe cases however, treatment options include the following:

Calcitonin is a hormone produced in the thyroid gland. It slows down bone loss.

Intravenous fluids keep you hydrated.

Corticosteroids are anti-inflammatory medications. They help your body handle having too much vitamin D.

Loop diuretic medications can help your kidneys function and get rid of extra calcium.

Intravenous bisphosphonates can keep your bones from breaking down.

Dialysis can be given to rid your blood of extra calcium and waste when you have damaged kidneys. 

Surgery to remove the abnormal parathyroid glands

If you have cancer, the doctor will discuss treatment options with you to help you determine if you want to treat hypercalcemia. 

Complications 

Kidney problems: kidney stones and kidney failure

Irregular heartbeats and osteoporosis 

Confusion or dementia

Coma

Prevention

Talk to your doctor regularly to stay informed and ask questions. Protect your kidneys and bones from damage due to hypercalcemia by adopting a healthier lifestyle. Make sure you drink plenty of water. This can keep kidney stones from developing. Since smoking can speed up bone loss, it is important to quit as soon as possible. Smoking also causes many other health issues. Quitting smoking can only help your health. 

 



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