Too much Calcium? Hypercalcemia
Hypercalcemia is a condition in which patients have too much calcium concentration in their blood. We need calcium for strong bones and healthy teeth. Hypercalcemia can affect the kidneys, abdomen, muscles, skeletal system and patients’ psychology. It is very essential for patients with kidney disease to maintain the recommended level of calcium.
Studies show increased risk of heart attack and stroke in patients taking 1,000 to 1,200 mg of Calcium per day. Without adequate vitamin D to absorb the calcium, it settles in the arteries instead of the bones.
The calcium deposit helps form plaques that threaten the brain and heart. Too much calcium can also cause kidney stones, mood disorder and muscle pain among others.
Are Calcium Supplements safer?
Studies have shown that the body absorbs and utilizes calcium better from actual food than from supplements. Taking too much calcium and vitamin D supplements can increase calcium levels. When taking calcium supplements, it is important and essential for people suffering from chronic kidney disease (CKD) to make sure that their body absorbs enough vitamin D either from sunlight or as supplement.
Food that contains calcium
Naturally, most dairy products contain calcium, but these products are also very high in phosphorus. Milk products are not good food choices for CKD patients. Whether high or low calcium, your dietitian will advise you which food to add or remove from your diet. Talking to a renal dietitian can only be helpful and beneficial.
What can cause calcium level to rise
Too much vitamin D or calcium supplement can raise calcium level.
Low amount of fluids in the blood can cause calcium level to rise.
This occurs when one or more of the parathyroid glands become overly active
Cancers and lung diseases:
These can cause vitamin D levels to rise hence more calcium absorption.
Side effect from medications:
Some medications can cause the body to lose water and could lead to excess concentration of calcium in the blood.
Symptoms: Too much calcium
- Twitches and weakness of the muscles
- Abdominal pain
- Decreased appetite
- Excessive thirst
- Excessive urination
- Bone pain
- Height loss
- Bowed shoulders
- Curvature of the spine
- Fractures from disease
You might not have symptoms if hypercalcemia is mild.
CKD patients are advised to eat foods that are low in phosphorus to help keep calcium and phosphorus levels at a healthy range. They should also work with their doctors and renal dietitian to keep their levels in constant check.