Calcium Disorders Q & A
What are calcium disorders?
Calcium disorders are classified as hypocalcemia or hypercalcemia, depending on whether you have too little or too much calcium in your body.
Hypocalcemia is often due to hypoparathyroidism. It can also be caused by:
- Insufficient dietary calcium or vitamin D
- Certain medications
- Stress and anxiety
- Intense exercise
- Kidney disease
On the other hand, hypercalcemia is caused by hyperparathyroidism, lung diseases, cancer, and diuretic medications.
What are the signs of a calcium disorder?
Calcium is a mineral that your body needs to maintain strong, healthy bones and maintain many essential body functions. For example, your body uses calcium to carry nerve signals, move your muscles, circulate blood, and produce other hormones.
As a result, calcium disorders can cause a wide range of disruptive symptoms, including:
- Muscle stiffness and spasm
- Tingling, pins-and-needles sensations in your extremities
- Speaking and swallowing problems
- Kidney stones
- Dry skin
- Brittle nails
- Reduced memory and cognitive function
In severe cases, calcium disorders can cause heart arrhythmia, seizures, and voicebox seizures.
How are calcium disorders diagnosed?
Ally Endocrinology doctors provide thorough exams and diagnostic testing to identify calcium disorders. They test your nerve function and use blood and urine tests to evaluate your calcium and hormone levels. Your doctor might also order a bone density scan, X-rays, and other imaging tests.
How are calcium disorders treated?
Your treatment plan depends on whether you have hypo or hypercalcemia and the root cause of your condition. For example, if your calcium disorder is due to a parathyroid disease, your physician provides treatments to regulate your parathyroid function.
You might also need to take other medications like calcitonin to slow bone loss, anti-inflammatory medicine to reduce excess vitamin D, or bisphosphonates to regulate bone calcium.
Your doctor might recommend calcium or vitamin D supplements and dietary changes. Weight-bearing exercises are also an excellent way to maintain bone strength.
In severe cases, or if your condition causes kidney damage, you might need dialysis treatments to filter excess calcium out of your blood.
Call your nearest office of Ally Endocrinology today or make an appointment online if you have any signs of a calcium disorder.