By menhc January 24, 2024 0 Comments

Blood Test for Calcium Levels

The Calcium Blood Test: What Is It?

The level of calcium in your blood can be determined with a calcium blood test. Bone disease, thyroid disease, parathyroid disorders, kidney disease, and many more medical issues can manifest with abnormally high or low blood calcium levels.

Among the many minerals your body needs, calcium stands out. Your blood contains around one percent of your body’s calcium. Your teeth and bones hold the remaining amount. The proper functioning of your heart, muscles, and nerves depends on your blood calcium level. Hormones play a role in regulating a wide range of physiological processes, and they aid the cardiovascular system in pumping blood throughout the body.

What does it do?

One way to gauge your overall health is with a blood calcium test. Conditions affecting the bones, kidneys, digestive system, thyroid, and parathyroid glands are among the numerous medical conditions that it can aid in diagnosing or monitoring.


There are two distinct blood tests that measure calcium levels:


This test determines the total calcium level in the blood. There are two forms of calcium in your blood, and they’re usually balanced: “bound calcium” is bound to proteins in your blood.
“Free calcium” does not bind to proteins in any way. There’s another name for it: ionized calcium. Numerous bodily processes rely on this blood calcium form.

Since the ratio of bound to ionized calcium is normally well-regulated by the body, total calcium testing provides a reasonable approximation of this ratio.


For calcium levels in the blood, the most frequent test is a total calcium measurement. It is a common screening test that is included in both the basic metabolic panel (BMP) and the comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP).


The amount of “free calcium” in your blood that is not bound to proteins is the only one that an ionized calcium test can detect. Because it is more laborious to conduct an ionized calcium test, it is typically requested in cases where total calcium test results are abnormal. This test may also be ordered if you are very sick, going under the knife, or have a medical condition that prevents your body from maintaining a normal blood calcium balance (both ionized and bound).


A calcium blood test is necessary, but why?

As part of your routine examination, your doctor may have requested a calcium blood test as part of a basic or comprehensive metabolic panel. If you notice any symptoms of abnormal calcium levels or if you have a medical condition that could affect your blood calcium levels, this test may be ordered to diagnose or monitor the situation.


Possible signs of elevated calcium levels are:


  • Physical signs of the digestive system, including:
  • Discomfort in the colon
  • Motion sickness and vomiting
  • Difficulty with the belly
  • Decreased hunger
  • Decreased hydration levels
  • Going to the bathroom more frequently than normal
  • Kidney calculi
  • Symptoms involving the muscles, joints, and bones, including soreness, weakness, and discomfort
  • Feeling exhausted
  • A shift in mental state, like disorientation or sadness

When calcium levels are too low, it can cause:


  • After a lengthy period of low levels, you may notice dry skin, coarse hair, and easily broken nails.
  • Pain, spasms, or rigidity in the muscles
  • Pins and needles in the toes, fingers, and mouth
  • Problems with the heart’s rhythm
  • Possible seizures due to dangerously low calcium levels.


There are often no outward signs of high or low calcium levels in the general population. In light of this, if your doctor suspects that any of the following conditions could influence your calcium levels:

  • Illness of the kidneys
  • Parathyroid disease or thyroid health
  • Insufficient food intake
  • Issues with calcium absorption Some malignancies

In a calcium blood test, what exactly is measured?

An expert in your field will use a tiny needle to draw blood from a vein in your arm. A tiny volume of blood will be drawn into a vial or test tube after the needle has been inserted. The insertion and removal of the needle may cause a slight stinging sensation. It usually doesn’t take more than five minutes.


Is there anything I should do to get ready for the exam?

Blood tests for calcium and metabolic panels, whether basic or comprehensive, typically do not require any kind of preparation on the part of the patient. In order to ensure the accuracy of your test results, your provider may ask you to discontinue the use of specific medications or supplements, like vitamin D. A fasting period of several hours prior to a blood test may be required if your doctor has requested additional testing on your sample. If your provider has any specific instructions, they will inform you of them.


Does the test pose any dangers?

Getting your blood tested poses almost no danger. You might feel some localized soreness or bruising where the needle was inserted, but generally speaking, these side effects subside pretty fast.


Explain the findings.

Abnormally high total calcium levels can be a sign of many different medical conditions, including:

  • Hyperparathyroidism, a disorder characterized by an overproduction of parathyroid hormone by the parathyroid glands,
  • Cancers that have metastasized to the bone are among these
  • Conditions affecting the bones, such as Paget’s disease
  • The long-term effects of taking an excessive amount of vitamin D

When the total calcium level is lower than what is considered normal, it could indicate:


Protein deficiency in the blood, which can result from liver illness or starvation
Hypoparathyroidism, a disorder characterized by insufficient parathyroid hormone production, is an example of an underactive parathyroid gland.

  • Inadequate calcium intake
  • Deficient levels of magnesium and vitamin D
  • Diseases of the pancreas and kidneys

It is not always necessary to seek medical attention if your total calcium blood test results are outside of the normal range. Food and medications can affect the levels of calcium in your blood. See your healthcare professional if you need clarification regarding your test results.


Get a better grasp on lab work, reference ranges, and deciphering results.


Does a calcium blood test require any additional information?

You can’t tell your bone calcium content just by looking at your blood calcium levels. A bone density scan, also known as a dexa scan, is an x-ray that can measure bone health. A dexa scan evaluates your bone density, mineral composition, and more.


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