Your body needs calcium so that you can use your muscles. Calcium also keeps your bones and teeth strong and your heart healthy. Hypercalcemia means you have too much calcium in your blood. Certain kinds of cancers, problems with some glands, too much vitamin D, and being on bed rest for a long time can cause your blood calcium level to get too high.
When you were in the hospital, you were given fluids through an IV and drugs to help lower the calcium level in your blood. If you have cancer, you may have had treatment for that also. If your hypercalcemia is caused by a gland problem, you may have had surgery to remove the gland.
You may need to drink a lot of liquids. Ask your doctor how much. To be sure you get enough to drink:
Do not cut back on how much salt you eat.
Your doctor may ask you to limit foods with a lot of calcium, or to not eat them at all for a while.
Do not use antacids that have a lot of calcium in them. Look for antacids that have magnesium. Ask your doctor or nurse which ones are okay. Ask your doctor what medicines and herbs are safe to take.
Your doctor will want you to come in for a follow-up appointment. You will probably also need to get blood tests after you go home.
Try to stay active when you get home. Your doctor will tell you how much activity and exercise are okay.
You may need to take medicines to help keep your calcium level from getting too high again. Take these the way your doctor tells you to. Call your doctor if you have any side effects.
Call your doctor if you have any of these symptoms:
National Cancer Institute. Hypercalcemia (PDQ). December 8, 2008. Accessed May 22, 2010.
Wysolmerski JJ, Insogna KL. The parathyroid glands, hypercalcemia, and hypocalcemia. In Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007: chap 266.
Updated by: Yi-Bin Chen, MD, Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.
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