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Calcium Blood Test

Overview

The entire calcium blood take a look at is used to measure the whole quantity of calcium in your blood. Calcium is among the most necessary minerals in your physique. Most of your physique’s calcium is saved in your bones.

Your physique requires calcium to take care of wholesome bones and tooth. It’s additionally important for maintaining your nerves, coronary heart, and muscle tissue functioning correctly. Since calcium is so necessary for a lot of of your physique’s capabilities, its ranges should be inside a decent vary.

A second calcium blood take a look at, referred to as the ionized calcium blood take a look at, measures the quantity of “free” calcium current in your blood. “Free calcium” refers to calcium that’s not certain to any proteins and never along with an anion in your blood.

Along with these two calcium blood checks, the extent of calcium in your urine could be measured as nicely.

PURPOSE

Check makes use of and function

Your physician will usually order a complete calcium blood take a look at as a part of a routine metabolic panel throughout a normal bodily examination.

If in case you have signs of excessive or low calcium ranges, your physician might order a calcium blood take a look at.

Your physician might also order a calcium blood take a look at if they think that you’ve got kidney illness, parathyroid illness, most cancers, or malnutrition.

PREPARATION

Check preparation

Your physician might request that you just quick or cease taking sure drugs or dietary supplements earlier than the take a look at. These drugs can embody:

  • lithium
  • thiazide diuretics
  • antacids containing calcium
  • vitamin D dietary supplements
  • calcium dietary supplements

Make certain your physician is conscious of the drugs and dietary supplements that you just’re taking in order that they may give you applicable pointers earlier than your take a look at.

Moreover, consuming great amount of meals or drinks that comprise calcium can improve the degrees of calcium in your blood and have an effect on take a look at outcomes.

Check process

To carry out the take a look at, your physician will draw a blood pattern out of your arm.

A needle will probably be inserted right into a vein in your arm, and a small quantity of blood will probably be collected right into a tube. The blood draw ought to take lower than 5 minutes. You could really feel a slight pinch when the needle enters your arm.

RESULTS

Check outcomes

Typically talking, a traditional reference vary for the blood whole calcium take a look at in adults is between eight.6 and 10.2 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). This vary can range from lab to lab.

With the intention to interpret your particular person take a look at outcomes, it’s best to at all times use the reference ranges supplied together with the report of your take a look at outcomes.

What may a excessive stage imply?

Check end result values that fall above the reference vary are thought of excessive. Having a higher-than-normal blood calcium stage is named hypercalcemia.

Signs of excessive calcium ranges can embody:

  • tiredness or weak spot
  • nausea or vomiting
  • low urge for food
  • stomach pains
  • having to urinate extra continuously
  • being constipated
  • extreme thirst
  • bone ache

Ailments or situations that may trigger hypercalcemia can embody:

  • main hyperparathyroidism (an overactive set of parathyroid glands) or sure sorts of most cancers (collectively, these account for 80 to 90 p.c of hypercalcemic circumstances)
  • hyperthyroidism (an overactive thyroid gland)
  • kidney or adrenal gland failure
  • sarcoidosis, an inflammatory illness that causes growths referred to as granulomas to develop all through your physique
  • being bedridden or immobilized for a chronic time frame
  • drugs corresponding to lithium and thiazide diuretics
  • taking an excessive amount of calcium or vitamin D by means of supplementation

If in case you have hypercalcemia, your physician will purpose to determine and deal with the situation that’s inflicting excessive calcium ranges.

What may a low stage imply?

When your take a look at end result values fall under the reference vary, they’re thought of low. Having a low blood calcium stage is named hypocalcemia.

Usually, hypocalcemia happens when both an excessive amount of calcium is misplaced by means of your urine or when not sufficient calcium is moved out of your bones into your blood.

Signs of low calcium ranges embody:

  • cramps in your stomach or muscle tissue
  • a tingling sensation in your fingers
  • irregular heartbeat

A number of the potential causes of hypocalcemia embody:

  • hypoparathyroidism (an underactive parathyroid gland)
  • kidney failure
  • pancreatitis (irritation of the pancreas)
  • issues with absorption of calcium
  • sure drugs, together with corticosteroids, anticonvulsants, and rifampin (an antibiotic)
  • deficiency of calcium or vitamin D in your weight loss program
  • low ranges of albumin within the blood, presumably because of malnutrition or liver illness, by which the whole calcium stage might or might not mirror a very hypocalcemic state

Your physician might deal with hypocalcemia by means of the usage of calcium dietary supplements and typically vitamin D dietary supplements. If there’s an underlying illness or situation that’s inflicting your hypocalcemia, they’ll work to determine and deal with that as nicely.

TAKEAWAY

The takeaway

The entire calcium blood take a look at measures the whole quantity of calcium in your blood.

Your physician will order this take a look at as a part of a routine metabolic panel or should you’re experiencing sure signs. You’ll want to see your physician should you’re having signs of low or excessive calcium.

In lots of circumstances, excessive or low outcomes have causes which are simply handled. In different circumstances, chances are you’ll want a extra advanced remedy plan to deal with the underlying situation. Discuss to your physician about your choices. They’ll work to determine and deal with the illness or situation that’s affecting your calcium ranges.

Updated: February 27, 2018 — 11:01 am

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