You're likely to start by seeing your family doctor or a general practitioner. However, you'll probably then be referred to a doctor who specializes in treating hormonal disorders (endocrinologist).
Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment, and to know what to expect from your doctor.
What you can do
- Write down any symptoms you're experiencing, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment.
- Write down key personal information, including any major stresses or recent life changes.
- Make a list of all medications, vitamins and supplements you're taking.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor.
Preparing a list of questions ahead of time may help you make the most of your time with your doctor. For hypercalcemia, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- What's the most likely cause of my symptoms?
- What kinds of tests do I need? Do these tests require any special preparation?
- What treatments are available and which do you recommend?
- What types of side effects can I expect from treatment?
- Are there any alternatives to the primary approach that you're suggesting?
- I have other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
- Are there any dietary restrictions that I need to follow?
- Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can take home with me? What websites do you recommend?
Don't hesitate to ask any other questions you have.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, including:
- When did you begin having symptoms?
- Does anything seem to improve your symptoms?
- What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?
- Have you had kidney stones, bone fractures or osteoporosis?
- Do you have bone pain?
- Do you have unexplained weight loss?
- Have family members had hypercalcemia or kidney stones?
What you can do in the meantime
While you're waiting to see your doctor, drinking plenty of fluids may help prevent kidney stones and dehydration. If you have to undergo a medical test that requires you to fast for a set time, follow your doctor's instructions closely. To lessen your risk of dehydration, ask if it's okay to drink water during the fast, and don't fast longer than necessary.
May. 26, 2011
- Shane E. Etiology of hypercalcemia. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Jan. 25, 2011.
- Shane E. Clinical manifestations of hypercalcemia. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Jan. 25, 2011.
- Shane E, et al. Treatment of hypercalcemia. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Jan. 25, 2011.
- Disorders of calcium concentration. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merck.com/mmpe/print/sec12/ch156/ch156g.html. Accessed Feb. 15, 2011.
- Parathyroid surgery. American Association of Endocrine Surgeons. http://www.endocrinesurgery.org/patient_education/index.shtml. Accessed Feb. 15, 2011.
- Hypercalcemia (PDQ) health professional version. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/supportivecare/hypercalcemia/HealthProfessional. Accessed Feb. 15, 2011.
- Dietary supplement fact sheet: Calcium. Office of Dietary Supplements. http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/calcium.asp. Accessed Feb. 15, 2011.
- Hyperparathyroidism. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://endocrine.niddk.nih.gov/pubs/hyper/hyper.htm. Accessed Feb. 15, 2011.