What do elevated calcium levels in the blood indicate?
Primary hyperparathyroidism is the most likely cause.
The most likely cause of high calcium is primary hyperparathyroidism which is a benign tumor of the parathyroids that produces excess PTH.
PTH is a hormone that causes the calcium to rise.
Supplemental calcium and vitamin D is another potential cause of high calcium.
Finally various types of metastatic cancer may present with very high calcium.
There are other less common causes but the ones I've mentioned would cover more than 90% of cases.
Your best next step is to confirm the calcium levels and don't forget to also check the phosphorus, albumin, 25-hydroxy-vitamin D3 and PTH (parathyroid hormone).
Another helpful test would be an ultrasound scan of the parathyroids as it may detect an adenoma.
The rest of the investigation would depend on the results. Obviously if you do have a diagnosed disorder it may help to suggest other potential causes.
Please let me know if you do.
Hope I have answered your query.
Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis, Internal Medicine Specialist
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