Overview of Calcium
What is Calcium?
A blood calcium test is ordered as a part of routine metabolic panel; when you have symptoms of kidney, thyroid or parathyroid disorders; when you have symptoms of high calcium such as weakness, nausea, vomiting, constipation, abdominal pain or low calcium like abdominal cramps, muscle cramps, tingling fingers. Sometimes, calcium monitoring is also done when you have been diagnosed with certain cancers like breast, lung or kidney.
The sample type collected for Calcium is: Blood
Preparation for Calcium
- Do not eat or drink anything other than water for 8-12 hours before the test.
Why Get Tested for Calcium?
- As a part of routine health screening or metabolic panel
- If you have symptoms suggesting bone disease, kidney stones, neurologic disorder, thyroid or parathyroid disorder
- If you have symptoms of high calcium like fatigue, weakness, nausea, vomiting, constipation, abdominal pain
- If you have symptoms of low calcium like muscle cramps, abdominal cramps or tingling fingers
- Calcium monitoring is also necessary if you have certain types of cancer like breast, kidney, lung or moltiple myeloma
What Results of Calcium mean?
- High total calcium also called as hypercalcemia is seen commonly in hyperparathyroidism or certain cancers and rarely in hyperthyroidism, sarcoidosis, tuberculosis
- Low total calcium or hypocalcemia is seen in liver disease or malnutrition, alcoholism, hypoparathyroidism, decreased levels of vitamin D, renal failure etc.
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