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Hypocalcemia, what to do when calcium values ​​are too low?


hypocalcemia health problem

What is hypocalcemia? Let's find out about this rare metabolic disorder and see what the symptoms, causes and treatment are.

A rather rare metabolic problem , hypocalcemia can have several underlying causes. Only in very few cases, the consequences of the disease can lead to death. Early diagnosis is fundamental, which allows calcium values ​​to be brought back to normal levels. Let's see the symptoms and the cure.

Hypocalcemia: causes and symptoms

Hypocalcemia is a rare metabolic disorder involving low calcium in the bones. The opposite pathology is called hypercalcemia and corresponds to an excessively high amount of calcium in the body. The latter is much more widespread than the one we are dealing with. In the human body there are two levels of calcium: serum calcium, which is the one present in the blood, and ionized calcium, which is free and not bound to proteins. The values ​​considered in the standard are between 8.5 and 10.5 mg / dl for serum calcium and between 4.4 and 5.4 mg / dl for ionized calcium. When the ionized calcium is low and the serum is low, it is called hypocalcemia.

As for hypocalcemia and causes , it should be noted that the disorder is usually due to acquired factors. In some circumstances, however, even heredity can get a grip on it. Generally, calcium deficiency is due to a too low or excessively high level of parathyroid hormone (PTH). When the disease is not hormone dependent, it can be caused by:

  • post-surgical condition;
  • an autoimmune disease of the parathyroid glands;
  • deficiency or absolute lack of vitamin D;
  • kidney failure;
  • pseudohypoparathyroidism;
  • a decrease in the level of albumin;
  • acute pancreatitis; low or high levels of magnesium;
  • use of certain drugs;
  • septic shock;
  • transfusions.

Low Ionized Calcium: Symptoms and Treatment

Hypocalcemia has clear symptoms , but it can also be asymptomatic. The severity and frequency of the manifestations are also due to the level of calcium deficiency. The most common ailments are:

  • convulsions;
  • tetany;
  • encephalopathy;
  • heart failure and long QT syndrome;
  • paraesthesia;
  • laryngospasm;
  • anxiety or depression.

Obviously, the earlier the disease is diagnosed, the more effective the treatment will be. Calcium deficiency, in fact, can be easily corrected, even with nutrition . In severe cases of hypocalcemia, an ECG will be necessary, in order to avoid fatal arrhythmias.


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