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: JFaulk, 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: March 27

My sister has had a recurrence of her ovarian cancer and it has metastasized. One of the effects is malignant hypercalcemia which has a poor prognosis (months, if not weeks). She is extremely disoriented much of the time, has fallen several times (we are now arranging for palliative care after finding her on the floor of her apartment) and frequent episodes of tremors and mild seizures. She is not in pain, but her waking and dreaming state are so confused that they are almost simultaneous. She drinks six liters of water a day, but her skin is like sandpaper. And she sleeps almost 75% of the time - we are hoping that she will die in her sleep without pain - the only treatment she is able to receive is saline IVs which help control the tremors and some of the disorientation.

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Comment from: Debptmom, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 21

My problems of hypercalcemia began with 3 parathyroid glands being removed and the 4th damaged in surgery. PTH is 2. Calcium level is 11 now. But after 2 days basically unconscious at home, I was taken to hospital. After fluids, calcium was still 11.5. I was in ICU 5 days, didn"t know my family"s names, had difficulty talking, a lot of confusion. I'm going back to a major hospital to see a better endocrinologist.

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