Hypercalcemia - Describe Your Experience

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Hypercalcemia Introduction

Calcium is a mineral that is important in the regulation and processes of many body functions including bone formation, hormone release, muscle contraction, and nerve and brain function. Hypercalcemia is the term that refers to elevated levels of calcium in the bloodstream.

Regulation of Calcium

Calcium levels are tightly regulated in the body. Calcium regulation is primarily controlled by parathyroid hormone (PTH), vitamin D, and calcitonin.

  • Parathyroid hormone is a hormone produced by the parathyroid glands, which are four small glands that surround the thyroid and are found in the anterior part of the lower neck.
  • Vitamin D is obtained through a process that begins with sun exposure to the skin, the process then continues in the liver and kidneys. Vitamin D can also be found in foods such as eggs and dairy products.
  • Calcitonin is produced in specialized cells in the thyroid gland.

Together, these three hormones act on the bones, the kidneys, and the GI tract to regulate calcium levels in the bloodstream.

Picture of the Parathyroid Glands
Picture of the Parathyroid Glands
Return to Hypercalcemia (Elevated Calcium Levels)

See what others are saying

Comment from: Nadine, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: June 16

I encountered my first kidney stone on our family trip to San Francisco and didn't have a clue what I was experiencing. The pain finally subsided and I passed the stone without evening know what I had. That was the start of a two year journey to figure out what was causing my kidney stones. I started having them once a month and as time progressed I was visiting the emergency room 2 or 3 times a month to have the stones removed; ouch! I saw every urologist there was in my city and none of them ever thought of a diagnosis for me. It wasn't until my regular doctor went on leave I saw her stand-in, at my wits' end saying I can't live this way with numerous trips to the emergency to have stones surgically removed; I was exhausted, depressed, and had sore joints! She immediately said I think I may know what's wrong with you and sent me for a blood test; a box on the form that could have been marked off so easily. It came back with hyperparathyroidism; finally a diagnosis. But it took an emergency ride to the hospital 6 months later to have them finally remove the tumor on my gland. With hypercalcemia the calcium was at toxic levels in my system and was starting to shut down my kidneys. Once they removed the tumor I finally felt a bit better but it really took close to a year to feel normal again. Get second or third opinions if needed! Good luck to all.

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Comment from: linnie, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: July 01

I am at my wit's end with calcium levels almost always elevated, from 10.6 to 11.0, and an occasional 12.0. This hypercalcemia has been going on for about 10 years! I have seen 2 endocrinologists who simply say it must be my normal. My general physician (GP) is still telling me my levels are making me sick. I am so tired of feeling sick; upset stomach and nausea always, headaches now, aches, depression, fatigue, loss of appetite and loss of interest. I just never feel right. My level last week was 12.0. I have had breast cancer. Last year I had a 24 hour calcium urine test. It was normal. My GP thinks he has covered everything. I just can't stand to live like this. I have tried antidepressants, no luck. Also, in answer to another post taking lithium, it definitely elevates calcium levels.

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