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Discharge Instructions for Hypercalcemia

You have been diagnosed with hypercalcemia (too much calcium in your blood). Calcium is a mineral that helps develop bones and teeth, controls heart rhythm, and allows muscles to contract. Hypercalcemia is often the result of problems elsewhere in the body, including overactive glands, unhealthy bones, long-term bed rest, and certain tumors or cancers.

Home Care

  • Ask your doctor how much fluid you should drink. Most patients with hypercalcemia need to drink from 3 quarts to 1 gallon (3 to 4 liters) of fluid every day.

  • Keep track of how much fluid you drink.

    • Fill a rinsed gallon milk jug with water or buy a gallon of water and keep it in your refrigerator.

    • Try to drink the entire jug of water during the course of the day.

  • Cut back on dairy products. 

    • Greatly limit or stop your intake of milk, cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, and ice cream.

    • Read food labels. Don’t buy dairy products with added calcium.

  • Avoid antacid medications if they list calcium as an ingredient. Many antacid medications contain calcium. Some contain magnesium and no calcium.

  • Don’t limit your salt intake.

  • Exercise. If your hypercalcemia was caused by long-term bed rest, try to increase your activity if possible.

  • Resume your normal activities as directed by your doctor.

  • Take your medications exactly as directed.

  • Tell your doctor about any other medications you are taking, including over-the-counter or herbal medications.

  • Keep all appointments for laboratory work and follow-up. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition closely.

Follow-Up

Make a follow-up appointment as directed by our staff.

When to Call Your Doctor

Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following:

  • Extreme fatigue

  • Loss of appetite

  • Trouble urinating or pain when urinating

  • Blood in your urine

  • Vomiting or diarrhea

  • Increased thirst

  • Irregular heartbeat

  • Dizziness or lightheadedness

  • Depression

  • Confusion

 

 

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