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High calcium count in blood. Do I have hyperparathyroid disease?
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High calcium count in blood. Do I have hyperparathyroid disease?

I am prone to anxiety issues and I worry about everything. I started a new position in my company and on that exact day I started to have problems sleeping and I kept feeling like I was amped up on 10 cans of redbull. I rarely drink caffine, I have a few beers a month, and I have never smoked. I am a very active and naturally high strung person. I am 6'1, 35 and weigh 180Lbs.
So, I went to the Dr. a few weeks ago and he of course gave me anxiety medicine. I do not like taking drugs. I tried it but it did not do anything but again, I only took them for a few days.
He also took my blood and the first time, the calcium count was pretty high. They drew blood again and it was high. They then took more blood to check my PTH level in my blood but it was normal. This really started to upset me because I was sure I knew that I simply had to have a bad parathyroid removed and I would be all better.
On 11/19/06, I started to have some pretty severe heart palpitations. I occassionally get a missed heart beat but tonight it happened twice for more than 5 minutes at a time. My wife listened to my heart beat and noticed the skipped beats.
I need to know what to do becuase I want to be active again and not feel terrible.
My syptoms (symptoms) include: sleeplessness, anxious, nervous feeling, heavy heartbeats (not fast), stomach problems.

My calcium counts are as follows:
Serum Calcium: Normal range is 8.5 to 10.4
Mine is 12.1

Ionized Calcium: noraml is 5.4
Mine is 5.9

Serum PTH: Noraml is 10 to 65
Mine is 44  <----Normal


Please point me in the right direction....
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16 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_n_tn
I'm sorry about posting another paragraph but I wanted to include a few more things. My Dr. now wants me to see an Endocrinologist and see what he things. My Dr. Wants to rule out cancers, a vitamin D problem, or something else.
I read on parathyroid.com that if you have high calcium blood counts but a normal PTH level that you still have parathyroid disease and NEED to have the bad one removed. NO ifs, ands or buts about it. But by Dr, is not sure. Hopefully the specialist can tell me something. I need to know why I feel so run down and anxiuos all the time. My worst problem is when I can sense my heavy heart beat in my chest. THis cannot be because of anxiety. I went to NYC last week and was by my self and having a great time. All of a sudden, I could sense my heart pounding in my chest. It's not fast but is heavy and it bothers me.
Hopefully the specialist can tell me. I certainly hope I do have to have a parathyroid problem. If not, I'm back to square one.

Maybe it is a heart problem, or a cancer of some type. I just don't know. But, the high calcium counts point towards parathyroid disease.
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158939_tn?1274918797
Hi there.

GravesLady is the expert on this one but did they run any thyroid labs on you?  You sound like you could be hyperthyroid.  
If they did run thyroid labs, please post the results. If not, could you ask your doctor?

GravesLady is the goddess of labs and their meaning so I'll let her take this one from here.  I'm sure she will post you soon. I'm curious - you mentioned stomach problems - are you taking a lot of calcium based antacids??

Stay tuned and TAKE A BREATH!  Many times stress (including taking a new position) can cause all sorts of havoc with our minds and with our labs - especially in those of us with thyroid problems.  

I'm only saying this because you said how "high strung" and anxious you are.  My daughter had this problem for years (in fact she was a fast-cycling manic-depressive) - a huge part of her problem was her thyroid.  I know it sounds trite but you need to just calm down and find something else to focus on for a while or you will cause some serious damage to your body.  Ask your doctor to check your thyroid labs.

Meanwhile, can you and your wife go for a walk or just get out of the house and focus on something other than your physical symptoms?  Rent a FUNNY movie . . . something???
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Avatar_n_tn
Another symptom I get are almost daily headaches and when I do get to sleep I wake up almost every 2 hours.

My blood pressure is normal and a recent EKG was fine and only showed a minor irregularity.

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Avatar_n_tn
utahmomma,

No thyroid work up yet. My first Dr. was just a family practitioner. He wants me to see an Endocrinologist. I would assume he would run these tests. I am calling him on 11/20/06 first thing to setup an appointment.

Again, from what I can see, all of this points to my parathyroid.

I try to calm down but even having a some fun will make my heart pount and weird times.

Can stress and being high strung cause increased calcium levels in my blood?
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158939_tn?1274918797
I'm no expert on labs (that's GravesLady's forte') but I do know that abnormalities on labs can certainly cause nervous/emotional changes.

Please do see an endocrinologist and when you do ask him/her to do a thyroid workup along with a parathyroid workup.  It may not hurt to get an ultrasound of your thyroid too.  If you have a nodule - even a benign one - pressing against a parathyroid it could cause problems.  What you've described (aside from your high calcium levels) could almost be a mild thyroid storm.

Here's some web sites that are very insightful.  DON'T read too much into them.  Sometimes information is a great tool - sometimes it gives us a million other worries:

http://www.cumc.columbia.edu/dept/thyroid/
http://www.endocrineweb.com/

I've always been too high-strung for meditation but one thing I have found that helps me relax and sleep is a CD of nature sounds (I prefer ocean waves).  Massage is good too.  It may be a while before you can see an endocrinologist (although mention to the scheduler you are experiencing heart problems) so try some of the non-medical relaxation techniques.  Oh, and stay away from caffeine for a while.

I'm sorry you are going through all of this but know that you aren't alone!  I'm not sure where in the world you are but I'm betting now would be a good time to log off the computer, shut down the television, put on some quiet music, and just slowly breath in and out for a while.  We will all be here for you tomorrow.  For tonight, try to relax.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks a lot!!!!

I am in California.

I also rarely drink caffine. I only made a reference to redbull because it feels like I drank 20 of them sometime. Like when I can't seem to calm down.

I really appreciate your help...
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158939_tn?1274918797
No problem.  :-)
Get some rest.
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Avatar_n_tn
I HAVE HAD HYPOTHYROID FOR YEARS.  ALL OF A SUDDEN THE DOCTOR STARTED LOWING MY DOSAGE OF SYNTHYROID UNTIL 3 MONTHS AGO THEY TOOK ME OFF ALL TOGETHER.  MY THYROID COUNT WAS 69.  NOW THEY TELL ME MY CALCIUM COUNT IS TOO HIGH AT 11.  TODAY THEY PUT ME BACK ON SYNTHROID.  FOR 3 MONTHS MY FACE HAS BEEN SWOLLEN AND OTHER PARTS OF MY BODY SWOLLEN.  MY ARMS FEEL LIKE THEY WEIGH 100 LBS. EACH.  MY LEGS FEEL SO HEAVY I CAN'T EVEN WALK TO MY MAIL BOX.  I HAVE GERD AND GASTITIST AND TAKE TUMS LIKE THEY'RE CANDY.  I HAVE FREQUENTS HEADACHES, EVERY TIME I EAT I GET SICK TO MY STOMACH.  THE MUSCLES AND JOINTS IN MY BODY ACHE AND I GET CHARLIE HORSES IN DIFFERENT PARTS OF MY BODY.  I GET REALLY LIGHT HEADED, LOOSE MY BALANCE AND HAVE FALLEN 3 TIMES.  I HAVE PROBLEMS HOLDING ON TO THINGS.  SINCE I LIVE IN THE COUNTRY BY MYSELF THIS IS A BIG CONCERN.  SOME DAYS I CAN'T GET OUT OF BED AND SLEEP ALMOST ROUND THE CLOCK.  I CAN'T EVEN GET UP TO FIX SOME SOUP IN THE MICRO WAVE.  I CAN'T DRIVE.  WHEN I ASKED FOR HELP I'M TOLD SINCE I'M NOT BEDRIDDEN OR HOMEBOUND ALL THE TIME I CAN'T GET HELP OR MEALS ON WHEELS.   HAVE SEEN 6 DOCTORS ABOUT THIS AND THEY WANT TO ADDRESS ONLY THEIR SPECIALITIES AND NOT MY REAL PROBLEMS.  I'M A 66, SINGLE, RETIRED, FEMALE WITH NO FAMILY NEAR AND ALL MY FRIENDS ARE IN AS BAD A SHAPE AS I AM.  I'M AT MY WITS END AND DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO OR WHO TO TURN TO.  I NEED SOME HELP.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you for writing.  It's great that you've stepped out to get support.  Don't feel alone.  

Is your primary doctor the one who treats your hypothyroidism?  Have any of the other six drs been endocrinologists?  Have you ever been seen by an endo?  If not, you need to get to one because of your high calcium reading.  Plus you're describing classic symptoms of problems with that.

If the dr you're talking about above is an endo and he/she is not taking action on your calcium level.  You need to change drs.

Perhaps calling your nearest medical center, especially one that's a teaching/research facility, can help you get a proper referral.  Since you mention your age, perhaps getting in touch with a senior citizens' center near you can help you find a dr.  They're are great resources (even at any age; they once inadvertently helped me with a tax situation).

I recommend, as you did above, that you make sure you stress the symptoms you're experiencing each time you describe what your going through.  Get as detailed as you possibly can too.

Please keep in touch.  Best wishes.
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Avatar_f_tn
That would be:  "They are great resources..."  Oh, I give up on fixing typos!
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Avatar_f_tn
Ok, so I can't help it (I once worked in typesetting).

That's:  "...describe what you're going through..."
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Avatar_n_tn
I HAVE NOT SEEN AN ENDO DOCTOR.  I'VE BEEN GOING TO THE VA CLINIC FOR MY THYROID PROBLEM.  WHEN THIS PROBLEM STARTED I NOTICED IT FIRST IN MY EYELIDS AND UNDER MY EYES.  I WENT TO AN EYE SPECIALIST WHO HAD NO CLUE.  MY PRIMARY DOCTOR, A CIVILIAN HAVE NO CLUE AND SENT ME TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM WHERE THE DOCTOR HAD NO CLUE.  I WENT TO A GASTROLIST KNOWING I HAD GERD BAD HE HAD NO CLUE.  MY DOCTOR AND THE ER DOCTOR RECOMMENDED I GO TO A HEART SPECIALIST WHICH I DID TUESDAY.  HE'S RUNNING TESTS AND OF COURSE EXPENSIVE TEST ON MY HEART, AT LEAST HE IS TRYING TO HELP ME.   I HAVE AN APPOINTMENT AT THE VA CLINIC TODAY.  WILL MAKE AN APPOINTMENT WITH AN ENDO DOCTOR TODAY.    
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Avatar_f_tn
"WILL MAKE AN APPOINTMENT WITH AN ENDO DOCTOR TODAY."  ~ Good, very good!!!

Make sure you get as detail as you can today at your VA appt.

Here's something for you to read that might help you:

http://www.aace.com/pub/pdf/guidelines/HyperparathyroidPS.pdf

Good luck.
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Avatar_n_tn
Bundy,
I have very similar symptoms to your post (being high strung, heart fluttering for a second a couple times / day, fidgiting, heavy heart beating - not rapid, unless I have an anxiety attack.).  My calcium was 10.8 and has been increasing over this past year a little.

I am a 26 y/o male which is a little underweight and has a history of anxiety and depression.  I have abused alcohol (on the weekends) since I was 18 or so and fear I may have totally wrecked myself.  I have been diagonosed with everything from GAD to panic attacks to general stress, etc.  I am probably a bit of a hypocondriac as I am constantly feeling my pulse (at my neck and on my chest) waiting for any type of irregularity.

After dealing with this for ~4+ years, my PCP recommended a blood screen.  We found the cliche' answer listed on www.parathyroid.com that says, "everything is normal, but your calcium is slightly elevated."  I immediately flipped out.  I see a counselor for anxiety and depression, etc and I think I have just been treating the symptoms of the PTH problem.  I actually called down to their office and spoke with a nurse, Kelly, and she said it was possible to have this issue even w/o the high PTH level.

DId you find anything out about your issue as I read your postings and thought to myself, "Oh my gosh, that's me!"
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Avatar_n_tn
I found out i had Graves Disease, which is a thyroid disease caused by an over active thyroid, when i was 29. Before i was diagnosed with this i had many  different physical problems including losing every hair on my head!  My calcium was off but my blood work for thyroid levels was always normal. I was seeing my gynecologist for this blood work.
Finally i went to my primary care physician and he knew by looking at my neck what it was! I had a goiter, which is one of the many signs of Graves Disease. He took blood work and i told him i have had my thyroid tested many times but always comes back within normal range.  He informed me that there is a specific test for Graves Disease and that it probably wouldnt show up in regular blood work...He was right!  I highly suggest that u demand this test! Tell ur doctor u want to be tested for Graves Disease and if he/she wont then go to a different doc.  This disease can cause serious health issues if it goes untreated!  one of the major issues is with ur heart! it causes high blood pressure and can cause heart disease...good luck!
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Avatar_f_tn
I have been ill for about the last two years and really even longer...went to the doctor and she found that I now have high blood pressure..mine has always been low..now high cholestrol, seeing flashing zigzag lines, muscle spasms, just a over all feeling so tried, can't sleep wake every two hours total exhausted sometimes..my calcium was high 12.2 the highest taken a week apart...the third blood test taken was 9.2 and pth levels were in the normal range..could this be parathyroid gland tumors...I have sore throats alot and hoarse alot, I have a hernia on the top of the stomach, had a cath and my heart stopped during the procedure for no reason other than a muscle spasm...no blockages, veins in legs are good, but, I have charlie horses all the time, short of breath and chest pains, anxitey which I have never had ever...feeling of depression but, no reason to be depressed.  
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