Parathyroid Q&A is a community of experts and patients dedicated to understanding and treating Parathyroid Disease.


Does a high level of calcium cause you to become crazy?

Deva Boone
Answer authored by Deva Boone
Deva Boone, MD is the founder of the Southwest Parathyroid Center. As one of the most experienced parathyroid surgeons in the U.S., she has treated thousands of patients with parathyroid conditions.

It depends on what you mean by “crazy.” Your brain works best when calcium levels are normal. When the calcium is too high, things don’t work quite as well. High calcium can cause psychiatric symptoms such as depression and anxiety. And it causes brain fog and memory loss, which can make patients feel like they are going crazy. Sometimes, especially in older patients, high calcium can mimic dementia.

Many patients report that with high calcium, they just don’t feel like themselves anymore. Combine that with mood changes, memory loss, and non-specific symptoms like exhaustion and insomnia, and some people might feel like they were becoming crazy.

High calcium is almost always caused by parathyroid disease. All of the symptoms mentioned above are reversible when the parathyroid disease is treated and the calcium goes back to normal.

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