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- Patient Comments: Hypercalcemia - Describe Your Experience
- Patient Comments: Hypercalcemia - Symptoms
- Patient Comments: Hypercalcemia - Treatment
What are the causes of hypercalcemia?
One of the most common causes of high calcium levels (hypercalcemia), is an overproduction of parathyroid hormone, or hyperparathyroidism.
- Hyperparathyroidism tends to be more common in women over 50.
- It can be the result of all four parathyroid glands producing too much PTH (parathyroid hyperplasia), or one gland specifically producing an excessive amount of hormone (usually the result of a parathyroid adenoma, or benign tumor).
Hypercalcemia can occur due to other medical conditions. These conditions can vary in severity and chronicity, and may be life-threatening. Malignancy is a common cause of elevated blood calcium. Up to 20% of individuals with cancer will develop hypercalcemia at some point in their disease.
Other conditions associated with hypercalcemia include:
- Cancers, especially lung cancer and breast cancer
- Immobilization over a long period of time
- Kidney failure
- Overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) or excessive thyroid hormone intake
- Use of certain medications such as the thiazide diuretics
- Inherited kidney or metabolic conditions
- Excessive vitamin D levels from vitamins, excessive dietary calcium, or from diseases that may result in excess vitamin D production