Coomon Causes Leading to Hypercalcemia

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Calcium is a fundamental necessity for the sustenance of human life. It is the most common mineral found in the human body and exists under physiological conditions as either hydroxyapatite (also known as calcium phosphate crystals), which is the main structural component found in the bones and teeth, or as calcium cations. Calcium cations play several roles in the body, such as in ion transport, the conduction of nerve impulses, contraction of muscle fibers, and in the secretion of hormones (Higdon). These cations are vital for cell signaling in the human body and their concentration in the blood and extracellular fluid are heavily regulated. When serum calcium levels are too low in the body (known as hypocalcemia), osteoclasts will work to demineralize some of the extra stored calcium in the bones in order to regain normal physiological serum levels (Higdon). When calcium levels in the body are too high (known as hypercalcemia), the elevated number of calcium cations can interfere with their normal physiological functions as well as cause other symptoms.

Hypercalcemia is a life-threatening condition where serum calcium levels are higher than normal. Normal calcium levels may range from approximately 2.25 to 2.5 mmol/L. Hypercalcemia varies in its chronicity and severity, but its severity is generally categorized as mild (where serum calcium levels may range from 2.5 to 3 mmol/L), moderate (ranging from 3 to 3.5 mmol/L), or as severe (with levels greater than 3.5 mmol/L) (Agraharkar). Calcium levels in the bloodstream are strictly regulated via the cooperation of the parathyroid hormone, calcitonin, and vitamin D acting together on the bones, GI tract, and kidneys (Mathur). In the healthy human body, these regulators...

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Works Cited:

Agraharkar, Mahendra, MD. "Hypercalcemia ." Medscape. Ed. Vecihi Batuman, MD. WebMD, 17 May 2012. Web. 21 Feb. 2014.

Grill, Vivian, and T. J. Martin. "Hypercalcemia of Malignancy." Reviews in Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders 1.4 (2000): 253-54. SpringerLink. Kluwer Academic Publishers. Web. 24 Feb. 2014.

Higdon, Jane, Ph.D. " Micronutrient Research for Optimum Health." Linus Pauling Institute. Oregon State University, Apr. 2003. Web. 21 Feb. 2014.

Knott, Laurence. "Hypercalcaemia." Patient Information Publications, 13 Jan. 2014. Web. 21 Feb. 2014.

Mathur, Ruchi, MD. "Hypercalcemia." MedicineNet. Ed. Melissa Stöppler, MD. WebMD, 9 Jan. 2014. Web. 21 Feb. 2014.

Skugor, Mario, MD. "Hypercalcemia." Cleveland Clinic Medical Education. Jan. 2009. Web. 21 Feb. 2014.
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