What happens when there is too much calcium in your body?

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What happens when there is too much calcium in your body?
Dairy foods are excellent sources of calcium, but you can have too much of something good for you. (cheeses image by AGITA LEIMANE from Fotolia.com)

The daily recommended dose of calcium for adults is approximately 700 mg, according to the National Health Service. In addition to dietary supplements, sources of calcium include green leafy vegetables, dairy products and tinned sardines. Despite the health benefits associated with calcium, adults who consume more than 1,500 mg of calcium daily may have too much calcium in the body -- a condition referred to as hypercalcaemia.

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Excessive thirst and urination

When there is too much calcium in your body, your kidneys attempt to rid your body of excess calcium by increasing your output of urine. Consequently, you may need to urinate more frequently than usual due to hypercalcaemia. The increased fluid lost through excessive urination also stimulates your thirst. Increased thirst encourages you to replenish lost fluid by drinking more during the day. Talk with your doctor if these symptoms arise, as excessive thirst and urination are also signs of high blood sugar.

Upset stomach and constipation

High levels of calcium in your blood may irritate your digestive tract, leading to symptoms of nausea, vomiting, appetite loss and decreased body weight. You may also develop constipation, a hypercalcaemia symptom characterised by irregular, difficult bowel movements, or diarrhoea. Constipation may also be accompanied by abdominal bloating, cramping or discomfort. Seek care from your doctor if such symptoms persist to ensure you receive appropriate care.

Weakness, body aches and fatigue

Too much calcium in your body may interfere with the normal contraction and relaxation of your muscles. Diminished voluntary muscle control may cause weakness, which may interfere with your ability to move about normally without assistance. Muscle weakness may also occur in conjunction with muscle twitching, body aches and severe fatigue. If such symptoms become severe or debilitating, contact your medical provider immediately.

Confusion

Hypercalcaemia may disrupt the normal transmission of nerve signals through your brain. Poor neuron function may cause cognitive symptoms, such as confusion, memory loss, irritability or depression. These symptoms may negatively affect your normal interactions with friends, family or colleagues. Consult your doctor if you experience any sudden or unusual shifts in your mental function or personality.

Severe symptoms

If left untreated or undetected, high levels of calcium may cause severe symptoms, such as kidney failure, kidney stones or calcification of your vital organs. Such complications may cause heart rate irregularities, urination changes, itchy skin, fatigue and severe back or abdominal pain. Without prompt medical intervention, such symptoms may be life-threatening.

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