Too much calcium in your blood can weaken youar bones, create kidney stones, and interfere with the way your heart and brain works. This condition is referred to as hypercalcemia, in which calcium in your blood is above normal (8.6-10.2 mg/dl, normal range). Overactive parathyroid glands, glands that are located on or near thyroid glands, often result in hypercalcemia. Genes regulate the function of the parathyroid glands and thus play a role in maintaining calcium balance in our body. Other causes include cancer, medical disorders, some medications and excessive use of calcium and vitamin D supplements.
The CASR gene produces the calcium sensing receptor (CASR), responsible for regulating the calcium in the blood. This receptor is found abundantly in the parathyroid glands and also found in kidney cells and plays a key role in calcium homeostasis. Individuals carrying one type of this CASR gene are likely to have high levels of calcium in the blood, which indicates an underlying condition of hyperparathyroidism or kidney damage.
More severe cases produce these symptoms, whereas a person with mild hypercalcemia might not experience these symptoms. Women in their 50’s are at highest risk of overactive parathyroid glands.
If your genetic test reveals that you are predisposed to increased calcium levels, consult your physician. It is recommended that you have your calcium, preferably serum calcium, ionized calcium and parathyroid hormone (PTH) measured via a blood test. Measuring urine calcium can help determine whether the kidneys are excreting the proper amount of calcium.
In Indian scenario, presentation of hyperparathyroidism occurs at a young age and is symptomatic, whereas it has become an asymptomatic disease in the Western world with the introduction of routine calcium screening. In Indian scenario, females were commonly affected and the female : male ratio is 1.7:1 and occurs at an early age when compared to women of the western world.
If you develop hypercalcemia, it may be possible to prevent bone and kidney damage by doing the following, in addition to the medications/ treatment plans suggested by your physician.
Want to know what type of CASR gene you have, Xcode’s nutrigenetics test can tell you what versions of the CASR gene you have in your DNA. You can also learn about how your genes may influence other traits, including your risk for certain diseases. You can write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.