Calcium is a necessary nutrient for your body and helps control many essential body functions, but when there’s too much or too little calcium in your blood, conditions called hypercalcemia and hypocalcemia can occur. The team at Metro Renal Associates in Washington, DC, can help determine if your symptoms are related to issues with your calcium levels and provide a treatment plan that restores your levels. To learn more, call the office or schedule an appointment online today.
Your body relies on calcium to perform a range of important tasks, including bone growth, muscle health, and relaying information between your brain and body. When the calcium levels in your blood become abnormal, your body might experience harmful symptoms. Hypocalcemia denotes a lower than average amount of calcium, while hypercalcemia is an overabundance of calcium.
Both hypocalcemia and hypercalcemia are most commonly caused by conditions affecting your parathyroid gland. Your thyroid gland produces a hormone called parathyroid hormone (PTH) that is responsible for regulating calcium levels in your body. When your thyroid produces too much (hypercalcemia) or too little (hypocalcemia) of PTH, the result is one of these two conditions.
Other conditions that can lead to calcium abnormalities include:
Since there’s no single cause of calcium disorders, it's important to get a proper diagnosis if you’re experiencing unusual symptoms.
Hypocalcemia and hypercalcemia have unique effects on your body and their own particular symptoms you should watch out for:
Mild cases of hypocalcemia might not present any signs or symptoms. If you do experience symptoms, some of the most common include muscle stiffness and spasms, confusion and memory issues, weakness or cramping, and changes in mood. In more severe cases, you might experience heart issues or seizures.
Like hypocalcemia, mild cases of hypercalcemia might not necessarily present any symptoms. However, more severe cases can damage your kidneys and lead to kidney stones. Other symptoms might include confusion and fatigue, as well as musculoskeletal weakness and pain, and in rare circumstances, cardiac arrhythmia.
Since hypocalcemia is a lack of calcium in your blood, the team at Metro Renal Associates might recommend simple treatment options for increasing your calcium levels. Medications and dietary changes are often enough to restore your calcium levels to normal. In acute cases, they might deliver calcium to your body through an IV drip.
Hypercalcemia is also treatable through medications, which can help lower and control calcium levels or overactive parathyroid glands. In some cases, surgery might allow your provider to remove an overactive gland, returning your calcium levels to normal.
If your calcium abnormality is caused by an underlying medical condition, such as kidney disease or cancer, the team at Metro Renal Associates starts treatment for the condition, which can often resolve your calcium abnormality issues.
Let the team at Metro Renal Associates lend their expertise if you’re struggling with calcium issues. Call the office or schedule an appointment online today.