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Discharge Instructions for Hypercalcemia

You have been diagnosed with hypercalcemia. That means you have too much calcium in your blood. Calcium is a mineral that helps develop bones and teeth, controls heart rhythm, and allows muscles to contract. Hypercalcemia is often the result of problems elsewhere in the body, including overactive glands, unhealthy bones, long-term bed rest, and certain tumors or cancers.

Home care

  • Ask your healthcare provider how much fluid you should drink. Most people with hypercalcemia need to drink from 3 quarts to 1 gallon (3 to 4 liters) of fluid every day, or as directed by your healthcare provider.

  • Keep track of how much fluid you drink.

    • Fill a washed and rinsed gallon milk jug with water or buy a gallon of water and keep it in your refrigerator.

    • Try to drink the entire jug of water during the course of the day, or as directed by your healthcare provider.

  • Cut back on foods high in calcium. 

    • Greatly limit or stop your intake of milk, cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, pudding, and ice cream.

    • Read food labels. Don’t buy dairy products with added calcium.

    • Calcium-fortified orange juice

    • Calcium-fortified ready-to-eat cereals

    • Canned salmon or sardines with soft bones

  • Don't take antacid medicines if they list calcium as an ingredient. Many antacids contain calcium. Some contain magnesium and no calcium.

  • Don’t limit your salt intake.

  • Exercise. If your hypercalcemia was caused by long-term bed rest, try to increase your activity if possible.

  • Resume your normal activities as directed by your healthcare provider.

  • Take your medicines exactly as directed.

  • Tell your healthcare provider about any other medicines you are taking, including over-the-counter or herbal medicines and supplements.

  • Keep all appointments for lab work and follow-up. Your healthcare provider needs to monitor your condition closely.

Follow-up

Follow up with your healthcare provider, or as advised. 

When to call your healthcare provider

Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of the following:

  • Extreme fatigue

  • Loss of appetite

  • Trouble urinating or pain when urinating

  • Blood in your urine

  • Vomiting or diarrhea

  • Increased thirst

  • Irregular heartbeat

  • Dizziness or lightheadedness

  • Depression

  • Confusion

© 2000-2017 The StayWell Company, LLC. 800 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.