HealthSheets™


Discharge Instructions for Hypercalcemia

You have been diagnosed with hypercalcemia. That means you have too much calcium in your blood. Calcium is a mineral. It helps grow your bones and teeth. It also controls your heart rhythm and lets your muscles contract. Hypercalcemia is often the result of other problems. These overactive glands, unhealthy bones, long-term bed rest, and some kinds of tumors or cancers.

Home care

Ask your healthcare provider how much fluid you should drink. You may need to drink 3 quarts up to 1 gallon (3 to 4 liters) of fluid every day. Drink as much as directed by your healthcare provider. Keep track of how much fluid you drink. For example, put a full gallon of water in your refrigerator each morning. Make sure you drink it throughout the day. Check your progress.

You will need to cut back on foods that are high in calcium. Read food labels. Don’t buy dairy products with added calcium. Limit or stop your intake of:

  • Milk

  • Cheeses

  • Yogurt

  • Pudding

  • Ice cream

  • Calcium-fortified orange juice

  • Calcium-fortified ready-to-eat cereals

  • Canned salmon or sardines with soft bones

Also:

  • Don't take antacid medicines if they list calcium as an ingredient. Many antacids contain calcium. Some contain magnesium and no calcium.

  • Don’t limit your salt intake.

  • Get 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 healthcare provider.

  • Take your medicines exactly as directed.

  • Tell your healthcare provider about any other medicines you are taking. This includes over-the-counter or herbal medicines and supplements.

Follow-up

Keep all appointments for blood tests and follow-up care. Your healthcare provider needs to watch your condition closely.

When to call your healthcare provider

Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of these:

  • 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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