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Forum Name: Endocrinology Topics

Question: High normal to slightly elevated serum calcium for 35 years


 ericksonpl - Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:30 pm

When I was 20, way back in 1973, a doctor told me I had a slightly elevated blood calcium level and that in the future I should be checked for possible parathyroid disease. No other doctor mentioned the calcium level until I was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia in 2002. I had started experiencing very great fatigue and my hematologist/oncologist assured me that was not a normal symptom of CLL. My primary care doctor worked with me to rule out any of my medications as a cause. We discovered the hypothyroidism and started synthroid. My CLL specialist noticed the slightly elevated calcium but ruled that out as a cause of my fatigue because he said it would have to be moderately to greatly elevated before it would cause me fatigue. We treated the CLL because there were other bothersome symptoms. None of the things that I've tried with either doctor has alleviated my fatigue, and my blood calcium continues to test high normal to slightly high each time. Could I possibly have hyperparathyroidism indicated by the calcium levels and could I have had it for 35 years? If not, do some people just naturally have a higher normal blood calcium level? If so, would it suddenly start causing me fatigue for some reason? Thank you!
 John Kenyon, CNA - Mon Sep 29, 2008 10:27 pm

User avatar Hello -

It is entirely possible you could have been sufffering from some degree of hyperparathyroidism for all this time. While the serum calcium concentrations seem not to be sufficient to be causing the fatigue, the CLL certainly could account for that, but hyperparathyroidism should also be taken into consideration even though the calcium levels arent that high.

Hyperparathydoidism is often overlooked, and the symptoms are quite often so minimal to non-existent that there is no impetus to look further. Now that you know about it, it may be worth another look. I don't think the calcium elevation is the cause of your fatigue, however, while CLL seems a pretty likely culprit even though it is otherwise being managed well.

I hope this is helpful.

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