Hypercalcemia is the most common life-threatening metabolic disorder. Hypercalcemia is an excessive amount of calcium in the blood. Hypercalcemia can be life threatening and is the most common metabolic disorder associated with cancer, occurring in 10% to 20% of people with cancer. The main cause of hypercalcemia is overactivity in one or more of the four glands that regulate calcium in your body (parathyroid glands). Women older than 50 are most likely to develop hypercalcemia caused by overactive parathyroid glands. Other causes of hypercalcemia include cancer, certain other medical disorders.
Some medications and excessive use of calcium and vitamin D supplements. Hypercalcemia per se can result in fatigue, depression, confusion, anorexia, nausea, vomiting, constipation, pancreatitis or increased urination. In more severe cases, kidney failure and coma can be observed. Cardiac arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats) may also occur. Parathyroid hormone (PTH) and vitamin D regulate calcium balance in the body. PTH is produced by the parathyroid glands — four small glands located in the neck behind the thyroid gland. Vitamin D is obtained from exposure of skin to sunlight.
Successful management of hypercalcemia requires management of the underlying disease. Hormonal therapy (estrogens, antiestrogens, androgens, and progestins) may precipitate hypercalcemia. Thiazide diuretics extend renal calcium reabsorption and may precipitate or exacerbate hypercalcemia. Glucocorticoids increase urinary calcium excretion and decrease intestinal calcium absorption. Glucocorticoids to help counter the effects of too much vitamin D in your blood caused by hypercalcemia. Loop diuretic medications (such as furosemide) to help flush excess calcium from your system and keep your kidneys functioning.
Hypercalcemia Treatment and Prevention Tips
1. Calcium and vitamin D supplements can be avoided this condition.
2. Dialysis usually used in severe hypercalcemia complicated by renal failure.
3. Supplemental phosphate should be monitored and added if necessary
4. Calcitonin blocks bone resorption and also increases urinary calcium excretion.
5. Loop diuretic medications to help flush excess calcium from your system.
6. Glucocorticoids (corticosteroids), to help counter the effects of too much vitamin D in your blood.