Ruchi Mathur, MD, FRCP(C)
Ruchi Mathur, MD, FRCP(C) is an Attending Physician with the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism and Associate Director of Clinical Research, Recruitment and Phenotyping with the Center for Androgen Related Disorders, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
In this Article
- Hypercalcemia facts
- Hypercalcemia Introduction
- What are the causes of hypercalcemia?
- What are the signs and symptoms of hypercalcemia?
- How is hypercalcemia diagnosed?
- How is hypercalcemia treated?
- What is the prognosis for hypercalcemia?
- Can hypercalcemia be prevented?
What are the causes of hypercalcemia?
One of the most common causes of high calcium levels (hypercalcemia), is an overproduction of parathyroid hormone, or hyperparathyroidism.
- Hyperparathyroidism tends to be more common in women over 50.
- It can be the result of all four parathyroid glands producing too much PTH (parathyroid hyperplasia), or one gland specifically producing an excessive amount of hormone (usually the result of a parathyroid adenoma, or benign tumor).
Hypercalcemia can occur due to other medical conditions. These conditions can vary in severity and chronicity, and may be life-threatening. Malignancy is a common cause of elevated blood calcium. Up to 20% of individuals with cancer will develop hypercalcemia at some point in their disease.
Other conditions associated with hypercalcemia include:
- Cancers, especially lung cancer and breast cancer
- Immobilization over a long period of time
- Kidney failure
- Overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) or excessive thyroid hormone intake
- Use of certain medications such as the thiazide diuretics
- Inherited kidney or metabolic conditions
- Excessive vitamin D levels from vitamins, excessive dietary calcium, or from diseases that may result in excess vitamin D production
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