Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hypercalcemia Decreased with Use of Supplements and Fiber

Great news today!  We found out today that Cooper's hypercalcemia has gone away or at least his calcium level is within normal range after two months of fiber and supplements and a slight diet change, and a medication change.  Why does this matter? Because high calcium levels can lead to renal failure and can be caused by renal failure, or can be due to hyperthyroid (which causes or indicates many other health risks), or can be due to any number of cancers.  It can also be idiopathic or by unknown origin. 

To reiterate, we noticed in June that he wasn't sitting to use the litterbox. We took him for a urine test and had a CBC/chem panel done. It came back high in calcium. The thyroid was normal. Further thyroid tests also were normal. Unless it was thyroid or idiopathic, then the other cause could be cancer. The doctor recommended fiber and retesting of blood after a couple of months and further tests for cancer after three months if the level was not decreasing.  He's a young boy, only four years old. Cancer at his age would be rare. But not impossible.

While researching the topic, I came across a website regarding idiopathic hypercalcemia.  I also researched other information (human studies) that suggested giving magnesium and potassium.

For two months we have been using a sugar free/orange flavor free powdered fiber. We give him about 1/16 of a tsp in food three times a day. We found he couldn't tolerate more than 1/16 or he would have loose stools. We have also been giving 1/2 of a magnesium 250 mg pill and 1/2 of a 595 mg potassium pill (of which it says it only has 99 mg of actual potassium) a day (divided over two meals.) I had read that potassium needs magnesium to do its job well; and that magnesium tells the body what to do with the calcium (and those are the simple explanations of course.)  Both of these somehow help the body digest or get rid of the extra calcium in the body.  The potassium creates an alkali level in the body that gets rid of the calcium (too scientific for me to explain here.) Because he was still having trouble sitting to go in the box, we wanted to give him a pain med. But he couldn't be on one while on Amitriptyline.  So, we took him off of Amitriptyline last month. We have been giving more water in his food and water by mouth. We were giving him cooked chicken and such added to his cat food but he wouldn't always eat it. Because of the supplements and the risk of overdoing them, leading to other issues such as renal failure, we did give him some dry CD with each meal to sort of counter balance the alkali effects of the potassium. Of course, we don't know if it worked but it hasn't done any harm. We continued to feed him Fancy Feast as that was the only brand he would eat.

After a month, his calcium decreased but not yet in normal range. Because he wasn't sitting while using the box and we wanted to give him a pain med, we took him off of Amitriptyline, a psychatrophic because he couldn't have both. We then put him on Buprenex pain med which has helped him sit in the litterbox.

After another month, his blood was retested and today we found out that his calcium is in the middle of the normal range, his potassium is normal and his magnesium is normal. BUN and Creatine and other renal values are also normal. The exact numbers I do not know because I do not have the report yet.

We don't know if the Amitriptyline was the culprit as there are no known effects on calcium levels. We will not know for sure until we wean him off of the other supplements and retest the blood, then wean off the fiber and retest the blood, all of which will be months.

But so far, so good!!!!! 

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