Preparing for your appointment

In most cases, elevated calcium is detected by blood tests your doctor has ordered as part of a routine screening, a diagnostic work-up for an unrelated condition or a diagnostic work-up to identify the cause of very general symptoms.

Talk to your doctor about test results if they show you have high levels of calcium. Questions you might ask your doctor include:

  • Do I have hyperparathyroidism?
  • What test do I need to confirm the diagnosis or determine the cause?
  • Should I see a specialist in hormone disorders (endocrinologist)?
  • If I have hyperparathyroidism, do you recommend surgery?
  • What alternatives do I have to surgery?
  • I have these other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
  • Do you have printed material about hyperparathyroidism that I can take home?

To understand the effect of hyperparathyroidism on your overall health, your doctor may ask you questions about possible mild signs or symptoms, including:

  • Have you been feeling depressed?
  • Do you often feel tired, easily fatigued or generally unwell?
  • Are you feeling any inexplicable aches and pains?
  • Are you often forgetful, absent-minded or unable to concentrate?
  • Have you experienced increased thirst and excessive urination?

Your doctor may ask you additional questions about what medications you're taking and what your diet is like to help determine if you get adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D.

May 19, 2017
References
  1. Primary hyperparathyroidism. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/endocrine-diseases/primary-hyperparathyroidism. Accessed Feb. 28, 2017.
  2. El-Hajj Fuleihan G. Pathogenesis and etiology of primary hyperthyroidism. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 28, 2017.
  3. About the parathyroid glands. American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. http://www.empoweryourhealth.org/endocrine-conditions/parathyroid. Accessed Feb. 28, 2017.
  4. Ferri FF. Pericarditis. In: Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2017. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2017. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Feb. 28, 2017.
  5. Abrams SA. Neonatal hypocalcemia. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Mar. 1, 2017.
  6. Jameson JL. Surgical management of hyperparathyroidism. In: Endocrinology: Adult and Pediatric. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.; Saunders Elsevier. 2016. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Feb. 28, 2017.
  7. Wilhelm SM, et al. The American Association of Endocrine Surgeons guidelines for definitive management of primary hyperparathyroidism. JAMA Surgery. 2016;151:959.
  8. Hypoparathyroidism and hyperparathyroidism. National Health Service. http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/hypoparathyroidism-hyperparathyroidism/Pages/Introduction.aspx. Accessed Feb. 28, 2017.
  9. Hormone replacement therapy. Micromedex 2.0 Healthcare Series. http://www.micromedexsolutions.com. Accessed March 1, 2017.
  10. Smoking and bone health. NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases — National Resource Center. https://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Bone/Osteoporosis/Conditions_Behaviors/bone_smoking.asp. Accessed March 1, 2017.
  11. Calcium: Fact sheet for consumers. Office of Dietary Supplements. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Calcium-Consumer/. Accessed March 1, 2017.
  12. Cinacalcet. Micromedex 2.0 Healthcare Series. http://www.micromedexsolutions.com. Accessed March 1, 2017.
  13. Nippoldt TB (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 4, 2017.