Skip to main content


What is Hypercalcemia?

Hypercalcemia is a disorder of calcium homeostasis with an excessive amount of calcium in the blood/serum. It can have many causes including some as benign as eating or drinking excessive calcium or being on too high of a supplement of calcium to more in depth reasons like taking medications with hypercalcemia as a side effect or cancers that elevate calcium through numerous mechanisms.


Endocrinologists can evaluate and separate the many different causes of hypercalcemia and aid in treatment and resolution of these issues. One cause of hypercalcemia is of particular interest to Endocrinologists is hypderparathyroidism. Though the name may indicate multiple relationships, the thyroid gland and the parathyroid glands are only structurally related and have nothing to do with each other functionally. There are (usually) four parathyroid glands and they are immediately adjacent to the thyroid gland. Whereas the thyroid gland is involved in metabolism, the parathyroid glands are mainly involved in calcium homeostasis in the blood. The parathyroid glands mediate their activity through secretion of parathyroid hormone (PTH).

Excessive PTH results in increased calcium absorption from the gut as well as excessive calcium release from the bones. This can result in hypertension, osteoporosis, kidney stones, muscle pains and constipation. Excessive calcium can even result in cognitive effects such as confusion. Levels of PTH greater than 14 can even result in loss of consciousness.

Excessive parathyroid hormone is usually a result of excessive secretion by one (but sometimes more than one or rarely even all four) parathyroid gland (adenoma) which has become uncontrolled and secretes PTH independent of biochemical feedback. The recommended therapy is surgical removal of the adenoma. However, there are cases where medical therapy may be necessary, if the patient cannot tolerate surgery or localization of the abnormal gland is not possible.

Hypercalcemia is a complex topic that our Houston area endocrinologists see frequently to help our patients back to health and perhaps even off of some of their medications!

– Dr. Prashant Koshy

Dr. Prashant Koshy

You Might Also Enjoy...

Common Causes of Hypocalcemia

Are you getting enough calcium? Even if you drink lots of milk, you could have hypocalcemia. Here’s why you could be experiencing a calcium disorder and what we can do about it.

Just Diagnosed With Osteoporosis? You Have Options

Learning that you have osteoporosis might stop you in your tracks, but learning to live with it is an ongoing journey with promising twists and turns. Here’s what to do next so you can move forward confidently.
Why Is Semaglutide Suddenly So Popular?

Why Is Semaglutide Suddenly So Popular?

Semaglutide peppers your social media feed and pops up in TV and magazine ads these days, but why? What’s all the buzz about? Here’s an expert guide on semaglutide and why it’s caught everyone’s attention.

What's Causing My Excessive Hair Growth?

You’ve spent your life shaving, trimming, tweezing, and plucking unwanted hair — but suddenly, it’s popping up in new places and you can’t control it. What gives? Keep reading to learn why some women have excessive hair growth.

Help! My Man Has Low T

Low testosterone is most noticeable in the bedroom, but disinterest in sex isn’t the only sign. Here’s what you need to know about your man’s struggle with low T and how you can help.
Is Diabetes Preventable?

Is Diabetes Preventable?

Diabetes will change your life radically, from restricting what you can eat to constant blood-sugar checks to dealing with medications. Is it possible to avoid all of this? Keep reading to find out.