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What is Hypocalcemia?

Hypocalcemia is low calcium levels in the blood serum. The normal range is 8.8–10.7 mg with levels less than 2.1 mmol/l defined as hypocalcemia. Mildly low levels that develop slowly often have no symptoms. Otherwise, symptoms may include numbness, muscle spasms, seizures, confusion, or cardiac arrest.

Common causes include hypoparathyroidism and vitamin D deficiency. Other causes include kidney failure, pancreatitis, calcium channel blocker overdose, rhabdomyolysis, tumor lysis syndrome, and medications such as bisphosphonates. Diagnosis should generally be confirmed with corrected calcium or ionized calcium level. Specific changes may be seen on an electrocardiogram (ECG).

Signs of Hypocalcemia

  • Muscle spasms
  • Numbness and tingling in the hands, feet, and face
  • Depression and memory loss.
  • Hallucinations
  • Muscle cramps
  • Weak and brittle nails
  • Easy fracturing of the bones
  • Scaly skin
  • Abnormal heartbeats

Usually, hypocalcemia happens when large amounts of calcium are put out when you urinate, or too little calcium enters your blood from your bones. This could be caused by certain genetic factors, vitamin deficiencies, or other conditions. Calcium deficiencies can affect all parts of the body, resulting in weak nails, slower hair growth, and fragile, thin skin.

If you simply just have hypocalcemia, usually vitamin C or vitamin D supplementation is all you need to treat it and take away any symptoms. Usually, if symptoms of hypocalcemia spontaneously happen, your provider will give you intravenous (IV) supplementation.

After getting diagnosed with hypocalcemia, you will need to get regular testing after being treatment. This will ensure your safety and make sure that your blood calcium levels do not get too low ever again. This is especially true for children.