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Hypocalcemia treatment
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Questions in the Thyroid forum are answered by Mark Lupo, MD. Topics covered include Goiter, Graves Disease, Hyperthyroid, Parathyroid/Calcium Problems, Thyroid Cancer, Thyroid Nodules/Cysts, Thyroiditis, Thyroid & Pregnancy, Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH), Thyroid Tests, and Thyroid Surgery.

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Hypocalcemia treatment

I am post opp 7 months of a Complete Thyroidectomy and Partial Parathyroidectomy / Tumor.  My 3 remaining Parathyroid Glands remain dorment....   Could I be hindering them from functioning because they don't feel the need to funtion for they have been compensated for?  Is there still hope for them to function after being dorment 7 months? l

Although I take 2 Calcitriol 0.25 mcg per day so I can absorb the 3500 mg of OsCal calcium supplement, my calcium levels are still barely normal and I am systematic of Hypocalcemia.

What treatment is available to raise my calcium level, something other than Calcitriol?  What is the best absorbed calcium supplement?  Is there something else I need to take to help with calcium absorbtion?

I was told that one can not continue taking this high of calcium supplement for it can cause kidney problems.  Yet, I fear for my bone health and my symptoms become worse when lowering my calcium supplement.

I would appreciate any information you may have to share.    

Thank you;  Sonflower
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After seven months, it is not likely to see parathyroid recovery but technically many experts wait one year to see if there is recovery.  Calcitriol and Oscal is the usual treatment with close monitoring of calcium, kidney function and symptoms.  We keep the calcium level slightly low to minimize kidney damage from excess calcitriol and calcium intake.
9 Comments
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OsCal is "Calcium Carbonate" is "Calcium Carbonate" the best choice for absorbtion?  

Or is "Liquid Calcium" which offers 3 types of Calcium (Elemental as Citrate Gluconate, Aspartate, Malate, Micronized Hyproxyapathe) better for my needs regarding Hypocalcemia?


Thank you for your much needed help;  Sonflower
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What do the experts say....   Is there a specific method to help kick start the dormant Parathyroid Glands?

Thank you;  Sonflower
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Dear Sonflower, I had a TT in July '07.  One parathyroid was "bruised" and the other three were intact, but were not functioning. After a week in the hospital, my calcium level was finally high enough to leave.  I was on a regimen of calcitriol and calcium for 18 months, and my PTH level was low to non-functioning.  At that point I decided (with doctor approval and frequent monitoring with blood tests) to slowly wean from the calcitriol; lo and behold, my PTH level slowly rose to normal levels.  I still take 4 calcium pills a day, but no calcitriol. My calcium level is now averaging 8.8, and parathyroids are completely functioning.  All my doctors said it was unlikely that the parathyroids would return to normal funtion.  But they DID, after a year and a half! You can get more information about your condition at the website for hypoparathyroidism (hypoparathyroid-dot-com)--try a web search.  See the "forum" page. Good luck!
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Sorry--I posted the wrong web address. Try hypoparathyroid-dot-org.  It is a non-profit organization.
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Sonflower -

During my TT, one parathyroid was lost and the other three bruised, I had monster goiter and it took it's toll.  Ended up staying in the hospital for 6 days because my calcium levels would not come up.  They final stablized enough for me go home with a Rx for Calcitriol.  When I stopped at the pharmacy on the way home, the price for the Calcitriol was outrageously expensive and not covered by my insurance.  I opted to buy only 6 tablets, which would last until my post-op appt. 3 days later.  

At my appt. I asked my doctor if I could switch over to an over the counter Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol) 600 IU, since I just couldn't afford the Calcitriol.  He said yes and I took the Vit D3 600 IU, 2X per day along with 8000 mg. Calcium, divided into two 4000mg doses, 2X per day.  He said to try and wean myself down to a regular Calcium dose over the next 4 weeks and watch for any symptoms.  

As of last week, I'm down to 1500 mg. Calcium and 600 IU Vit. D3 and have not had any symptoms.  I went for labs last Thursday and my Calcium was at 9.1, my Vit D levels are still at the lab, but I should hear back this next week.

Dawn
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During my TT they had to remove 2 of my parathyroid glands and I had seriously low blood calcium levels and  i wasa taking 2 0.25 mcg calciteral tablets and taking around 6 1200mg of calcium tablets. I had to get re admitted back to the hospital for 3 days after my TT so that they could monitor my blood calcicum levels and also had to go to the ER soon after my surgery so that they could give me some fluids and stablise me..

I took calciterol for a month or 2 and then was just on calcium supplements with vitamin D in it...

My endocrinologist said that the parathyroid glands needs some time to come out of the shock.. and he also said calciterol kinda slows the process parathyroid glands becoming normal and now after 2 yrs of the surgery i hardly take any calcium tablets...

Whenever u feel ur nose, face and arms tingling pop a calcium tablet...

Hope this helps'
Thanks,
Karen
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Thank you ALL for your responce(s), WOW,  I finally feel like there is hope !!!

October of 2008, I had a complete TT, due to Hashimoto's and two suspicious large nogels.  Thank God I was cancer free!!  The ENT was very surprise when a marble sized Parathryoid Gland Tumor popped out at him so I lost 1 gland.  My calcium levels suddenly dropped to a dangerous level and my hospital stay was extended.  Then 2 days after I was released from the hospital I ended up in the ER.  This is when the Endo added the Calcitriol.  

My 3 remaining glands have been dormant since surgery.  In March my Endo told me that there is no hope for my remaining glands because it had been 5 months of dormancy.  At that time the ENDO told me to start taking 2 Calcitriol instead of 1, and to continue taking 3500mg of Calcium.

So, I am now currently taking 2 Calcitriol 0.25 per day and 3500mg of Calcium Supplement and eating a diet high in calcium.  My calcium level finally reached 8.7, normal being 8.5.  However, I still have tingling and/or numbness of my nose and lips between calcium doses.

Thank you all SO much for the link and information!!  

Take care;  Sonflower
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A related discussion, post operative hypocalcemia>>> give up on taking meds was started.
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