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)
- 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
- Passing large amounts of urine
- Feeling very thirsty
- 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.
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