By Kennedy Shelley
If this blood test is too high even by 1/10th of a point, you really need to get some additional blood tests.
It’s your calcium level.
Too many doctors will say “well your calcium level is only SLIGHTLY elevated.”
Don’t take that as an excuse especially if you have three or more of the following symptoms for no known reason:
- Chronic fatigue everyday
- Frequent urination
- Heart palpitations
- Heartburn all the time
- Brittle bones
- Brain fogginess
- Muscle pain
- Depressed mood all the time
- Kidney stone
- Slow reaction times
This isn’t always just getting older. Your elevated calcium may be a sign of problems with your parathyroid glands.
The job of the parathyroid glands is to regulate blood calcium by secreting a hormone called parathyroid hormone (PTH) in response to blood calcium levels.
We use calcium to run the electrical system of our bodies and many other functions.
The parathyroid glands are four small glands close to the thyroid, but they are not the same.
When something goes wrong with this gland it throws off many systems in your body.
If you are over 40 you need your calcium level checked every year.
If it is slightly high, you need more blood work. You need these tests to check for problems with your parathyroid.
- Vitamin D 25 test
- Intact PTH
- Ionized Calcium
- Fractionated Alkaline Phosphatase
If these tests are abnormal a specialist (usually an endocrinologist, or hormone specialist) will want to take a look at the glands with an ultrasound or CT image.
You should not take “no” for an answer. A slight elevation in calcium levels is NOT normal.
The additional tests are not terribly expensive but are really important to screen out this problem.
There are many things that can go wrong with this gland.
It is rare, but it can develop cancer. Sometimes non-cancerous tumors can grow on the glands and affect their function.
If you have high calcium and a high parathyroid hormone level, that is all most always a sign there is some problem with one of these four glands.
Hyperparathyroidism is not something to be ignored.
When your calcium levels are off, it affects your bone health and your heart. Calcium is a vital electrolyte that makes your body’s electrical system work.
This disease will not get better by itself. And it will start affecting other systems in your body.
The disease is pretty rare, as a result most doctors have not ever had a case of it, so they don’t think about it.
They are so used to seeing slight variations in blood levels, a 1/10 of a point elevation in calcium doesn’t necessarily get their attention, this is why you need to be aware of this.
If you have three or more of the symptoms above, get your blood tests from your doctor. (These are yours and be insistent if the staff doesn’t know the law). If you don’t have any calcium tests, politely insist on it, or get it done yourself. (Yes, you can order your own blood tests).
Our doctors are only human, and they don’t always think of fairly rare disorders. But this is one marker you should be aware of and be prepared to get insistent if your doctor doesn’t take an elevated calcium level seriously.