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Excess of Calcium Can Be Harmful: Here’s All You Should Know About Hypercalcemia

Other Diseases By Vani Malik , Onlymyhealth editorial team / Jun 18, 2019
Excess of Calcium Can Be Harmful: Here’s All You Should Know About Hypercalcemia

You may have always heard of calcium deficiencies, but many suffer because of elevated levels of calcium in the blood, triggering serious ailments

Calcium is one of the most important elements for healthy bones, muscles, teeth but anything in excess can be harmful. It’s a misconception that people mostly face the problem of calcium deficiency. Nowadays, it familiar for doctors to witness around 15 to 20 cases of hypercalcemia, a result of excess calcium in the body. Senior consultant, Nephrology, Dr Rajesh Aggarwal from Sri Balaji Action Medical Institute said, “Normal level of calcium is 8.8 – 10.4 mg %. But the patient suffers from hypercalcemia when the calcium level increases from 10.4 mg %. It is important that we do not blindly load our diet with excess calcium to avoid the chances of hypercalcemia, which is a growing health concern.”

Causes of Hypercalcemia

Eating excess calcium supplements is one of the most prominent causes of hypercalcemia. Also, drugs that produce more parathyroid hyperplasia (PTH) makes the body retain a more substantial amount of calcium, leading to this health concern. One should not take any supplements without consulting a doctor. Internal Medicine, Dr Anurag Mahajan from PSRI said, “Hypercalcemia happens when all the four parathyroid glands produce excess PTH or the gland produces hormones in excess amount. Also, excess of calcium can lead to several health problems.”

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Hypercalcemia can be life-threatening. One of the common causes of elevated blood calcium can be a malignancy. Consultant physician, Dr Atul Gogia from Sir Gangaram Hospital, said, “Eating of excess vitamin D pills can also lead to this health issue. Dehydration can also lead to minor hypercalcemia as the calcium level rises due to the low amount of fluid in the blood.”

Following are the symptoms of Hypercalcemia that one should be aware of: 

  • Constipation 
  • Frequent urination 
  • Excessive thirst 
  • Fatigue and anorexia 
  • Pain in the abdomen 
  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • Abnormal behaviour 

Complications of Hypercalcemia 

Hypercalcemia has severe complications and can even lead to coma. Calcium in the body helps the brain and nervous system function. Excess of this component can cause serious damage to the nervous system of the body, leading to life-threatening ailments. The other complications of hypercalcemia include: 

  • Excessive urination 
  • Calcium deposition in kidney 
  • Kidney stones 
  • Urinary tract infection 
  • Altered sensorium, convulsions 
  • Hypertension 

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Preventive Measures

Hypercalcemia can very well be prevented. First and foremost, keep a check on the calcium intake in the body. A healthy body is a balance of all components. Following are some of the preventive measures to prevent hypercalcemia, especially for adults:  

  • Drink plenty of water 
  • Protect your kidney and bones from any loss or injury
  • Quit smoking as it leads to a quick loss of bones 
  • Do a combination of weight-bearing exercises and strength training to keep your bones strong and healthy in a longer run

Beware

Those who have cancer or have a cancer history should regularly get their calcium levels checked. They should have proper fluid intake (up to four quarts of liquid a day, control nausea and vomiting, pay attention to fever and remain physically active. Dr Atul added, “People in the age group of 30’s to 60’s are prone to hypercalcemia.”

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