Hypercalcemia is too much calcium in the blood.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Calcium is important to many body functions, including:
- Bone formation
- Hormone release
- Muscle contraction
- Nerve and brain function
Parathyroid hormone (PTH) and
- Egg yolks
- Fortified cereals
- Fortified dairy products
Other medical conditions can also cause hypercalcemia:
- Being bedbound (or not being able to move) for a long period of time
- Calcium excess in the diet (called milk-alkali syndrome, usually due to at least 2,000 milligrams of calcium per day)
- An inherited condition that affects the body's ability to regulate calcium (familial hypocalciuric hypercalcemia)
Hyperthyroidism Kidney failure
- Medications such as lithium and thiazide diuretics (water pills)
- Some cancerous tumors (for example, lung cancers, breast cancer)
- Vitamin D excess (
hypervitaminosis D) from diet or inflammatory diseases
Hypercalcemia affects less than 1 percent of the population. The widespread ability to measure blood calcium since the 1960s has improved detection of the condition, and today most patients with hypercalcemia have no symptoms.
Women over age 50 are most likely to have hypercalcemia, usually due to primary hyperparathyroidism.