Hypocalcaemia

What is hypocalcaemia?

Hypocalcaemia refers to low calcium levels in the blood. The normal range is defined as between 2.1 and 2.6mmol/L, and anything lower than 2.1mmol/L is referred to as hypocalcaemia. If the disorder is prolonged, it can lead to a malformation of the bones as they can become brittle, i.e break or fracture more easily.

What are the symptoms of hypocalcaemia?

The most common symptoms of hypocalcaemia are paresthesias (numbness and tingling of the fingers), muscle spasms, seizures, and confusion. Hypocalcaemia can also cause cardiac arrest.

If calcium levels are only mildly low, symptoms may not present at all.

What are the causes of hypocalcaemia?

There are many pathologies that can lead to hypocalcaemia, among which are:

Hypocalcaemia can also be caused by an excess of zinc in the diet, an exposure to mercury, and through osteoporosis treatment (e.g certain medications).

 

Can hypocalcaemia be prevented?

It is advisable to follow a diet rich in dairy products (milk, yogurt, cheese), green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, some fish, such as sardines or salmon and cereals rich in vitamin D. Calcium supplements may also help prevent hypocalcaemia but these should only be taken on the recommendation of a doctor.

 

What is the treatment for hypocalcaemia?

If the symptoms presenting are severe, hypocalcaemia requires urgent treatment. Calcium will be supplied intravenously which will provide the patient with calcium in the short term. However, the hypocalcaemia will still need to be treated in the long term.

 

Hypocalcaemia may be treated through medication, and once symptoms are under control, calcium supplements and vitamin D replacements may be advised. Follow the doctor’s advice regarding supplements and always speak to a healthcare professional before commencing oral supplement treatment.

 

If the hypocalcaemia is related to an underlying medical condition, then this condition will also require treatment. Your doctor will adjust treatment depending on the cause of the hypocalcaemia.

This website uses our own and third-party Cookies to compile information with the aim of improving our services, to show you advertising related to your preferences as well analysing your browsing habits. You can change your settings HERE.