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Cases J. 2009 Sep 16;2:8198. doi: 10.1186/1757-1626-0002-0000008198.

Milk-alkali syndrome in a middle-aged woman after ingesting large doses of calcium carbonate: a case report.

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1
Department of Medicine, University of Tennessee, College of Medicine, 960 East Third Street, Suite 208, Chattanooga, TN 37403, USA. mlgrubb@gmail.com

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Most cases of hypercalcaemia are secondary to malignancy or primary hyperparathyroidism. Here we report a case of hypercalcaemia that we have attributed to milk-alkali syndrome.

CASE PRESENTATION:

A 51-year-old Caucasian woman with a past history of thyroidectomy and parathyroidectomy secondary to thyroid cancer developed an altered mental state and had an extremely high calcium concentration of 22.8 mg/dl (5.7 mmol/l). Investigations included work up for malignancy and hyperparathyroidism. However, the hypercalcaemia was attributed to ingestion of large doses of calcium carbonate, leading to milk-alkali syndrome. She was managed with intravenous fluids and withdrawal of calcium carbonate. The patient responded well to treatment, with normalization of the calcium concentration and clinical improvement.

CONCLUSION:

We present this case to remind clinicians of the importance of detailed history taking and of milk-alkali syndrome as a cause of hypercalcemia.

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