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How does the body absorb calcium?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2003
Answered : 1221 Questions
I am a 53 year old female. I don't smoke, weigh 124lbs, 5ft 6inches. I have a history of SVT and MVP and pvc's and pac's. I take tenormin and have since age 23. I have a yearly echo for my heart also. My question is about how my body absorbs calcium. I have been told in the past first at age 40 that I had bone islands in both hips and also I had osteosporisis. Sorry for my incorrect spelling of some medical words. I have also been told I have some places in my breast that are calcified and and a nodule in my lung that is calcified. To me it seems there is something wrong with the way my body absorbs calcium. Is there some kind of tests that can be done or a specialist I need to go to, to have this checked out? I am afraid to take calcium because now the heart dr's say it causes blocked arteries because it isn't absorbed right and I also have been told not to take calcium because I had a kidney stone blasted this past December. I don't know what to do because I do have osteosporisis.
Posted Thu, 20 Mar 2014 in Thyroid Problem and Hormonal Problems
Answered by Dr. Vaishalee Punj 28 minutes later
Brief Answer: Seems like hyperparathyroidism Detailed Answer: Hi Thanks for posting your query on HealthcareMagic. It seems like hyperparathyroidism. It seems to be mild. Though there can be other causes for osteoporosis. Also there can other causes of hypercalcemia (high calcium levels in blood that is getting precipitated). Hyperparathyroidism means high parathyroid hormone levels. Parathyroid hormone is produced by parathyroid gland. Hyperparathyroidism develops when there is hyperplasia of one or more of the four parathyroid glands. So we need tests like serum calcium levels and serum parathyroid hormone levels. In hyperparathyroidism both the levels will be increased while in all other causes of hypercalcemia, parathyroid hormone levels will be low. Advanced tests will be done after determining the cause. Mostly the symptoms are a combination of osteoporosis (or osteitis fibrosa cystica in bad cases), renal symptoms like polyuria, polydipsia and nephrocalcinosis (calcium deposition in kidneys), neurological symptoms, weakness, GI symptoms like constipation, anorexia, weight loss, etc and heart symptoms. Now you do not seem to have all these symptoms. So I rather ask you to get tested with above tests and if it comes back normal than you may not worry about it. Best treatment is surgical resection of the overactive parathyroid gland. Medical treatment includes taking bisphosphonates and limiting calcium intake to less than 400 mg a day. Adequate amount of daily fluid intake is very important. It will be managed by a team of doctors - family physician or internal medicine specialist to start with and then referral to endocrinologist and surgeon as needed. Hope it helps. Dr Vaishalee
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