Total calcium

It is performed on people suffering from kidney, bone, heart, nervous system and dental diseases.

Why do I need a – total calcium – test?

Calcium testing is one of the main tests used to assess health. It is performed on people suffering from kidney, bone, heart, nervous system and dental diseases.
The parathyroid hormone (PTH) test, which is carried out in conjunction with the calcium test, allows you to assess parathyroid function. An additional urine calcium test provides an estimate of the amount of calcium excreted by the kidneys. Tests for vitamin D, phosphorus and/or magnesium additionally help to identify abnormalities in these components.

When should I be tested?

It is recommended to have your blood calcium levels checked:
1. people with kidney disease, including after transplantation;
2. people with symptoms of hypercalcaemia (high calcium levels) such as general weakness, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, constipation, abdominal pain, frequent urination and increased thirst;
3. people with symptoms of hypocalcaemia (low calcium), such as painful intestinal and muscle cramps or trembling fingers;
4. people who have other diseases that alter blood calcium levels (thyroid disease, bowel disease, cancer);
5. inadequate nutrition;
6. on vitamin D treatment;

What sample is needed for the test?

Blood is drawn from a vein in the arm.

How to prepare – total calcium – for the test?

No need.

What do my results mean?

Blood calcium concentrations do not provide a direct indication of the availability of calcium in the bones, but only an indication of the amount of calcium (total and free) in the blood.
Normal blood calcium levels, together with normal results of other laboratory tests, indicate normal calcium metabolism and the proper functioning of calcium regulation mechanisms.
Elevated calcium levels can reveal the presence of a tumour in the parathyroid gland (primary hyperparathyroidism). Calcium can increase due to an overactive thyroid gland, tuberculosis, fractures due to prolonged immobility, vitamin D overdose and, less commonly, sarcoidosis.
Low blood calcium levels are often due to low protein levels, especially albumin. Low calcium levels are caused by long-term dietary calcium deficiency, low vitamin D levels, magnesium deficiency, excess phosphorus and alcoholism. Diseases associated with low calcium levels: hypoparathyroidism, acute inflammation of the pancreas, chronic kidney failure.

Related studies

Ionised calcium, urinary calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin D, PTH

Related conditions/diseases.

Primary hyperparathyroidism, sarcoidosis, hypoparathyroidism, pancreatitis, kidney failure.

You can consult our family doctors.


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