What are Calcium Disorders?

Dr. Tashko, a dedicated specialist in calcium disorders, offers personalized care in Montgomery County, Maryland. With expertise in hypercalcemia and hypocalcemia, he provides compassionate medical support to his patients.

Background – Calcium Specialist in Maryland

As an endocrinologist dedicated to serving my community, I specialize in diagnosing and managing calcium disorders. My primary objective is to deliver personalized and integrative care to my patients.

Conveniently located in Rockville, my practice provides both virtual and in-person services, extending support to individuals in nearby areas such as Chevy Chase, Bethesda, North Bethesda, Potomac, North Potomac, Gaithersburg, Germantown, Frederick, Silver Spring, Northern Virginia, Western MD, and the Eastern Shore of Maryland for comprehensive care.

Here I introduce a summary on calcium disorders in simple terms. For a more comprehensive review, you can refer to the article “Calcium Disorders Specialist“.

Calcium Disorders, Defined

Calcium disorders refer to disruptions in the normal balance of calcium levels in the body, leading to either excess or insufficient amounts of this essential mineral. Calcium plays a crucial role in various physiological processes, including bone health, muscle function, nerve transmission, and blood clotting. Maintaining a delicate balance of calcium is essential for overall health, and any disturbances in this equilibrium can have significant consequences.

Calcium Regulation

Calcium homeostasis is tightly controlled by the endocrine system, primarily involving the parathyroid hormone (PTH), calcitonin, and vitamin D. These regulators work in harmony to ensure that calcium levels in the blood remain within a narrow range. The parathyroid glands release PTH in response to low blood calcium levels, stimulating the release of calcium from bones, enhancing calcium absorption in the intestines, and promoting calcium retention by the kidneys. On the other hand, calcitonin, released by the thyroid gland, acts to lower blood calcium levels by preventing bone breakdown.

Two Types of Calcium Conditions

Hypercalcemia and hypocalcemia are the two primary categories of calcium disorders, each presenting its own set of symptoms and complications. 

Hypercalcemia

Hypercalcemia refers to elevated levels of calcium in the blood, often caused by conditions such as hyperparathyroidism, certain cancers, excessive vitamin D intake, or kidney disorders. The excess calcium can lead to symptoms like fatigue, nausea, constipation, muscle weakness, and confusion. Severe cases may result in kidney stones, heart rhythm abnormalities, or even coma.

Hypocalcemia

Conversely, hypocalcemia denotes insufficient calcium levels in the blood and can be caused by a range of factors, including hypoparathyroidism, vitamin D deficiency, malabsorption disorders, or chronic kidney disease. Symptoms of hypocalcemia can manifest as muscle spasms, tingling or numbness in the extremities, seizures, and in severe cases, it may lead to tetany—a condition characterized by prolonged muscle contractions.

Central Participants in Calcium Regulation and Dysfunction

Parathyroid Glands

One of the primary causes of calcium disorders is dysfunction in the parathyroid glands. Hyperparathyroidism, characterized by overactivity of these glands, leads to excessive PTH release, resulting in increased calcium levels. This condition is often caused by benign tumors on the parathyroid glands. Surgical intervention to remove these tumors is a common treatment approach. On the other hand, hypoparathyroidism, where the glands are underactive, leads to decreased PTH production, causing reduced calcium levels. This condition can be congenital or result from surgical procedures involving the thyroid or parathyroid glands.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D plays a crucial role in dietary calcium absorption by the intestines, and deficiencies can contribute to hypocalcemia. Inadequate sunlight exposure, dietary deficiencies, or malabsorption issues can lead to insufficient vitamin D levels. Rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults are conditions associated with severe vitamin D deficiency, characterized by weakened and deformed bones.

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)

Chronic kidney disease can also disrupt calcium balance. The kidneys play a vital role in excreting excess calcium from the body. In kidney disorders, this regulatory function may be compromised, leading to hypercalcemia. Conversely, impaired kidney function can result in decreased activation of vitamin D, contributing to hypocalcemia.

Management

Managing calcium disorders involves addressing the root cause and restoring the balance of calcium in the body. This may include medications, dietary adjustments, and, in some cases, surgical interventions. Monitoring and treating associated complications, such as kidney stones or bone abnormalities, are also crucial aspects of management.

Summary

In essence, calcium disorders pose significant challenges to overall health due to the fundamental role calcium plays in various physiological processes. Understanding the causes, symptoms, and potential complications of hypercalcemia and hypocalcemia is essential for timely diagnosis and effective management. Maintaining a delicate balance in calcium levels is vital for the proper functioning of the body and prevention of long-term complications associated with these disorders.

Dr. Tashko

Dr. Tashko serves as a board-certified specialist in endocrinology, diabetes, and metabolism, located in Rockville, Montgomery County, Maryland. With extensive training and expertise in these fields, Dr. Tashko plays a pivotal role in providing comprehensive medical care to patients grappling with endocrine disorders, diabetes, and metabolic conditions. Their dedication to staying up-to-date with the latest advancements in medical research and treatment options equips them to offer the highest standard of care. Patients who seek Dr. Tashko's expertise benefit from their in-depth understanding of the intricate hormonal systems regulating various bodily functions. Dr. Tashko works collaboratively with patients to diagnose, manage, and treat a diverse range of conditions, including thyroid disorders, hormonal imbalances, and diabetes complications. Their compassionate approach, coupled with their ability to explain complex medical concepts in simple terms, fosters a strong patient-doctor relationship. Dr. Tashko's practice goes beyond symptom management; they emphasize patient education and empowerment, enabling individuals to actively participate in their healthcare journey. By tailoring treatment plans to each patient's unique needs, lifestyle, and preferences, Dr. Tashko ensures a holistic and patient-centered approach to care. Their commitment to improving patients' quality of life and overall well-being is evident in their personalized and empathetic approach to medicine. In Rockville, Montgomery County, Maryland, Dr. Tashko stands out as a respected endocrinology, diabetes, and metabolism specialist who combines medical excellence with a patient-centric philosophy. Their unwavering dedication to advancing the field and delivering compassionate care cements their role as a trusted expert in the community.