High Calcium in blood

My father was admitted to hospital today due to  extremely high calcium levels in his blood. Luckily this was picked up in a blood test performed at the LOC last Tuesday.

I received an email from the LOC yesterday raising concern that my fathers calcium was at 3.57 which is very high. We managed to contact the nurse in the local hospital who was very kind and arranged everything for today.

I find it strange that in all of the blood tests performed, the Calcium levels were not checked. If these levels had carried on, my father would be in a lot of trouble.

On a positive note, my father has been given the IV medication and is back home now. He sounds a lot better and I’m hoping his appetite improves and he puts on some weight. Perhaps the high Calcium levels are to blame for his weight loss and ‘lack of taste’ problems.

Following is taken from : http://www.cancerhelp.org.uk/help/default.asp?page=12569

Symptoms of hypercalcaemia

It is not always easy for a doctor to spot that you have hypercalcaemia.  You may not have any specific symptoms.  It may be that you just feel unwell or a bit “off colour”.  And the severity of your symptoms doesn’t always match up to the calcium level in your blood.  People with a mildly high calcium level can have very severe symptoms, and people with a very high calcium level may only have mild symptoms.  Many of the symptoms are common in the advanced stages of cancer, even in people who do not have hypercalcaemia. 
All this can make it difficult for your doctor to pick hypercalcaemia up.  But generally speaking the first signs include

  • Extreme tiredness (fatigue) and lethargy   
  • Feeling weak   
  • Not wanting to eat much (anorexia)   
  • Constipation   
  • Loss of concentration and interest in doing things 
  • Mild confusion

If the hypercalcaemia is not treated then the symptoms become much worse and can include

  • Feeling and being sick   
  • Drowsiness   
  • Passing large amounts of urine   
  • Feeling very thirsty   
  • Dehydration   
  • Confusion   
  • Agitation 
  • Muscle spasms, tremors. 
  • Bone pain and weakness   
  • Irregular heart beat   
  • Difficulty thinking and speaking clearly   
  • Coma and finally death, if not treated

Because calcium plays a role in the normal working of the brain and spinal cord, patients with severe hypercalcaemia may also

  • Have fits   
  • Be unable to coordinate muscle movement which can affect walking, talking and eating   
  • Have changes in personality   
  • Have hallucinations

If you have hypercalcaemia, you will need treatment from your specialist.  It can be a life threatening condition if it is not treated.  You may have to spend a day or two in hospital to get your calcium levels down. 


7 Responses

  1. I just found this site while looking for the reasons behind high calcium in the blood results. My father was admitted today because his calcium levels were 14.8. They also found many lesions on both his lungs during an x-ray. He’s been sick on and off for the past year and lately I had been urging him to the dr. because he was having shortness of breath. He finally went and now is admitted and awaiting results from a ct scan. I don’t know what to expect and have a feeling my step mother will not inform my fathers adult children of his ongoing condition. Sorry I meant this as a thank you we don’t know what type of canceer he has yet…but at least a can read your blog and somewhat know what to expect…thank you. a.j massachusetts u.s.a.

  2. Does anyone know of natural alternatives to bring down high levels of calcium? My father-in-law has advanced bladder cancer and his calcium levels are through the roof. The doctors do not want to do anything else for they are saying that his cancer is terminal. They gave him hours to days to live. However, that was a week ago and he is still alive and fighting. He is home with us (home hospice). His kidneys had stopped functioning but have begun to resume working. I am curious to know if anyone has heard of natural ways to bring down high calcium levels in the blood. Thank you! 🙂

  3. I need some advice, any one who knows anything please reply.
    My dad got checked into the hospital yesterday with his calcium level very dangerously high. The doctors have tested his thyroid, they have done a bone scan, and a chest x-ray, and a catscan on his stomach. They all came back normal. If any one knows of any diseases or anything that can cause high calcium levels and is not linked to the tests previously mentioned, id really appreciate it. my dad means the world to me and i need your guys’s help.

  4. Jennie, my husband is also having problems with his calcium levels being high. He has had all the testing your father has had. They too came back normal. We are leaving on Monday to go to Minnesota to the Mayo Clinic. Hopefully, they can find out what the problem is. Have you looked at the following website: parathryoid.com? If you haven’t, please go there and check it out. They claim on that site that a lot of times, this is missed or misdiagnosed. Hopefully you can find some answers there. Despite what the test results have been on my husband, I am almost positive his problem is in his parathyroid glands because he has all the symptoms. However, I am sure we will get some answers after our visit to the Mayo Clinic.

  5. My father has been in the hospital since 12/31, with extremely high levels of calcium. He is not responding the the meds. They first thought it was due t parathyroid disease and told us he was cancer free. On 1/7 they told us he had a spot on his lung that was cancer, the pathologist results have not been completed, but the onocologist is saying a combo of sclc and nsclc (squamous). We just found out on 1/8 the when he was last in the hospital on 12/13 having heart stints put in, the radiologist noted a spot on the lung, but noone ever told us? The Dr. that is working with us know, had to go back and check his files. If they had told us 3weeks ago, maybe they could have gotten to him quicker instead of letting this calcium get out of control. I think the picture is bleek for my father, and right now I just do not want to see him suffering. But I am made as hell!!!

  6. My calcium is 12.2 and I have every system of parathyroid tumor’s my pain doctor and eye doctor has helped me determine I have had this since 04 from the twitch I have had on my face since then, they bought said this is another system, I have weakness, no sleep, I see lights zigzag shaped which is coming from the brain with no headaches, I do have pains in my head and have terrible spasms even had them in my head, high blood pressure, high cholestrol, had my heart stop one month ago during cath of the heart, confussion, loss of concentration, memory loss, change in moods, this is something I excused for years as just part of age I am only 55 my family doctor has tried to find answers for me for the last two months, heart doc, lung doc, eye doc, and pain speacilist, gastro doc too..I have hernia top of stomach part of parathyroid tumors also chest pains and shortness of breath….it has taken over a month to get into a endocrinologist, so hopefully all this will disappear soon with removal of the parathyroid tumors…if they remove all bad glands that have grown tumors it is a 100% cure rate, but, they para thyroid glands can be other places in the neck and chest instead of behind the thyroid where they are suppose to be….so make sure they keep looking…

  7. Our bodies would need calcium for muscle groups to safely move plus for nerves to move messages between your brain every single body part. And also, calcium could be used to support blood vessels move blood round the body as a way to help release hormones and enzymes which affect pretty much every function in your system.

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