What is Hypercalcemia?

Hypercalcemia is a condition in which abnormally high levels of calcium are present in the blood. This can occur as a result of an underlying medical condition, certain medications, or prolonged exposure to abnormally high levels of vitamin D or calcium in the diet.

Symptoms of Hypercalcemia

Symptoms of hypercalcemia vary depending on the severity of the condition. Common symptoms can include:

  • Lethargy
  • Feeling weak or tired
  • Upset stomach, abdominal pain, nausea, or vomiting
  • Frequent urination
  • Excessive thirst
  • Excessive urination
  • Muscle cramps or spasms
  • Kidney stones

Causes of Hypercalcemia

Hypercalcemia can be caused by a number of underlying medical conditions, including:

  • Excess production of parathyroid hormone (which acts to increase calcium levels)
  • Kidney or liver dysfunction
  • Certain medications, such as anticonvulsants, lithium, or thiazide diuretics
  • Excessive intake of vitamin D or calcium
  • Cancer of the lung, breast, prostate, or bone
  • Sarcoidosis or other chronic inflammatory disorders
  • Hyperthyroidism

Treatment for Hypercalcemia

Treatment for hypercalcemia depends on the underlying cause. Treatment may include medications to reduce calcium levels in the blood, or lifestyle and dietary changes. In some cases, surgical procedures may be necessary to correct the underlying problem.

It is important to see a doctor if you experience any of the symptoms of hypercalcemia, or if you have an underlying condition that makes you at risk of developing the condition.