KUSA - Dr. John Torres from Premier Urgent Care answers your questions every week. If you have a medical question for Dr. John, send it to email@example.com and make sure to have Ask Dr. John in the subject line.
Dear Dr. John, I recently had a complete physical done and my blood work came back showing that I have too much calcium in my blood. Is this something that I need to worry about? I have done some research on this and most web sites seem to indicated that it might be due to thyroid problems. Thank you, Ilona
High-calcium levels are known as hypercalcemia which results when there is too much calcium in your blood stream. The problem is that high-calcium levels can cause a variety of symptoms including heart arrhythmia issues. More common symptoms include what are referred to as moans, groans, stones and bones. Moans are the abdominal pain and nausea that high-calcium levels can cause. Groans refers to the confusion and memory loss that can come along with this. Stones means kidney stones that calcium at elevated levels can cause. and bones includes the boney aches, fractures and spine curvature that high calcium can cause. There are a few things that can cause levels of calcium to go up. An overactive thyroid can do that but it's more often a result of an overactive gland known as the parathyroid. These are lentil shaped glands located just behind the thyroid. Medicines, certain cancers can also cause this problem. Treatment for this depends on the cause. Usually once the cause is treated calcium levels return to normal.
Dear Dr. John, Please talk about venous disease, and how to help legs in trouble. Thank you! Marika
I believe you are referring to a condition known as chronic venous insufficiency. Here's how it happens. Blood constantly flows through our body including our legs. But because our legs are fighting against gravity to get the blood back to our heart the veins in our legs have little one way valves that keep that blood from backing up. As we get older those valves in our leg veins get damaged and can't keep the blood from pooling in our legs. This causes the condition known as chronic venous insufficiency. Symptoms of this include leg pain and swelling, leg achiness or tiredness especially as you exercise, new varicose veins or even a brownish colored rash to the lower shin area. sitting or standing for long periods over years, smoking, being over 5o or overweight can all bring this on. Treatment includes just the opposite of what caused it including losing weight, exercising and cutting back on prolonged sitting or standing. Compression stockings can help as well.
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