Hypercalcemia – Treatment and Prevention of Hypercalcemia
Hypercalcemia is characterized by high levels of calcium in the blood than normal. Calcium plays an important in body functioning. It helps in the formation of bones and teeth. Calcium levels in the blood are regulated by parathyroid and calcitonin hormones of the body. The over activity of these hormones result in producing high levels of calcium in the body. It is caused as a result of many factors such as cancers, dehydration, infection, etc. The treatment and prevention of hypercalcemia are discussed below.
If you have severe hypercalcemia, doctors first suggest you some treatments to bring down the calcium levels in your blood to normal. The treatments include:
- Hemodialysis – This method removes the excess calcium and wastes from the blood if your kidneys are impaired.
- Glucocorticoids – They help in reducing the effects caused by too much vitamin D in the blood.
- Calcitonin – This hormone is produced by the thyroid gland and helps in slowing down the release of calcium from the bones.
- Intravenous bisphosphonates – These drugs inhibit the bone breakage.
- Diuretic medications – They help in flushing out the excess calcium from the system and proper functioning of kidneys.
- Intravenous fluids – Fluids that rehydrate the body are intravenously injected into the body.
By the above treatments the calcium levels come to normal. The further treatments include medications and surgery.
Medications – Doctor prescribe medications that lower the calcium levels in the body by reducing the parathyroid hormone production. They proved to be very effective for some people suffering from hyperparathyroidism as this results in excess regulation of calcium in the blood.
Surgery – In this treatment, doctors use radio-isotopic scan that helps in detecting the abnormal parathyroid gland. A radioactive material is used that is absorbed only by the abnormal parathyroid gland. Hence the abnormal gland is easily detected and the surgeon operates it. It is very effective treatment but do involves risks i.e nerves that control the vocal cords are damaged.
How to prevent Hypercalcemia
Most causes of hypercalcemia cannot be prevented but early detection of this condition may allow to get back the normal levels of calcium in the blood. Women who are at post-menopausal state should go for medical check-up regularly so that the calcium levels are monitored. If there is a family history of hypercalcemia, you should go for genetic counseling and thus take necessary steps immediately.