What are the other names for this test?Total calcium, Serum Calcium
What is a calcium test?This test measures the quantity of calcium in the blood. A serum calcium test shows the condition of the kidney, bones, teeth, muscles, nerves, and heart. If you have high or low calcium values, it may be a sign of various diseases, which include kidney disease, digestive system disease, bone disease, parathyroid disorder, and other diseases.
Calcium is an important mineral that maintains the development and density of bones and teeth. It helps regulate the clotting of blood, bone metabolism, enzyme activity, and the neuromuscular system. It plays a vital role in the flow of blood throughout the body. Furthermore, it releases a hormone that affects the body's functions. The quantity of calcium is only 1 % in blood. The remaining 99 % calcium is present in bones and teeth. Having a normal range of calcium in the blood is essential for nerves, the heart, and muscles.
What is the use of a calcium blood test?This test has the primary aim of determining the general health of a person. Your doctor diagnoses and analyzes the different medical conditions that can affect many systems. It includes the digestive system, thyroid, parathyroid glands, kidneys, bones, and muscles.
Total calcium is the most common test that gives complete information about all calcium in the blood. There are two types of blood calcium present in the blood. The first is bound calcium that links with a protein. The second type is free calcium, which does not bind to the protein.
Why do I need a calcium blood test?Your healthcare provider recommends you take this test to see the level of calcium in your blood. In general, people of all ages may require this test to diagnose problems with their bones, teeth, nerves, kidneys, muscles, and heart. You can understand the high or low value of calcium in the blood by noticing its symptoms.
What are the symptoms of calcium deficiency?Hypocalcemia is a disease due to a deficiency of calcium in the blood. When compared to young people, older people are more likely to have low calcium levels. Its symptoms include:
- Dryness in skin
- Brittle nails
- Muscles cramp or stiffness
- Numbness or Tingling in lips, tongue, fingers, and feet
- Damaged or rough hair
- Arrhythmia (A disturbance in the progress of the heartbeat)
Symptoms of high calcium in the bloodThe deposition of calcium in the blood in excess amounts is a condition of hypercalcemia. Here are the symptoms of this disease, such as
- Abdominal pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Increase urge for urination
- Frequent thirst
- Bone and muscles pain
- Confusion and fatigue
- Loss of memory
If you do not see any of the high or low symptoms of calcium in your blood, your doctor may suggest this test to examine:
- Thyroid or parathyroid disease
- Digestive system
- Occurrence of any type of cancer like breast, lung, kidney, neck, and multiple myeloma
- Kidney disease
- Lack of ability to absorb calcium in the blood (Intestine problems)
What happens when the blood calcium level is too low?When the blood calcium level is too low, it may lead to kidney disease, malnutrition, and other diseases. Here are reasons for too low calcium levels in the blood
- Having a low protein level in the blood that occurs due to liver disease or malnutrition
- Hypoparathyroidism (It is a disease, in which parathyroid glands reduce the production of parathyroid hormone)
- Not getting enough calcium in your diet
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease
- Absence of vitamin D
- Deficiency of magnesium in the body
What are the causes of the high level of calcium in the blood?The high level of calcium may occur due to these conditions include
- Hyperparathyroidism (It is a disease, in which parathyroid glands increase the production of parathyroid hormone)
- Specific types of cancer disease
- Bone disorder
- Bone tumor
- Taking foods that enrich with a large amount of calcium
- Intake of high quantity of vitamin D in the form of supplements
What are the normal results of calcium tests?The normal range of this test little depends on the different laboratories. As they have different techniques of measurement. The normal level lies between 8.5 to 10.2 mg/dl or 2.15-2.55 mmol/L.
How to increase the calcium level?You may consent to see the doctor after completing this test. Your doctor recommends some medicines and foods that have a specific range of calcium according to your requirements. Some foods that help you to overcome the deficiency of calcium, include
- Milk, butter, and dairy products
- Green leafy vegetables
- Whole grains
How to prepare for this test?Your healthcare provider tells you to avoid taking drugs. It includes calcium salts, supplements of vitamin D, and thyroxine before the test to get accurate results. You may keep fast if you have received specific instructions.
What is the procedure for this test?This is a general blood test. You may need to provide the blood sample to your doctor. This test takes at least 5-10 minutes.
What else should I know about calcium blood tests?This test does not provide you with information about the calcium in your bones. Your doctor may recommend X-rays to check the bone density and other minerals in your bones.
It is better to take early action if you experience pain in your bones and muscles. You may need to perform this test to see the abnormality in calcium level. Your doctor asks you whether you have a high or low value based on your symptoms. This results due to kidney, liver, parathyroid, malnutrition and other diseases.