Calcium test

calcium test

Last Updated December 20th, 2021

What is Calcium?

Calcium is present in our body as a very important mineral that plays a very vital role in various ways in the body like:

– Strengthening of bones and teeth
– Functioning of the nerves and the muscles.

Calcium exists in various forms in the body. These forms are as follows:

Free ionized calcium
: Calcium as anions bind with other minerals in the body and help in various functionings in the body. Calcium that binds to the protein called albumin is another type of Calcium.
Free Calcium: The most active form of Calcium is Ionized Calcium. It is also known as Free Calcium. 99% of the calcium is present in the bones whereas the rest 1% circulates freely in the blood. Half of this 1% of Calcium circulates free in the blood and the rest is bound to the albumin protein. The free calcium is metabolically active whereas the ones bound with the albumin protein aren’t metabolically active.

What is the calcium test?

The Calcium Test is used for measuring and monitoring the levels of Calcium in an individual’s blood and urine. Calcium is flushed out every day from our body via excretion as the kidney filters the  Calcium in the blood. Hence the test can be conducted in both blood serum as well as urine.

Why did my doctor recommend me to undergo the Calcium test?

Your doctor might recommend the  Calcium test for various reasons. The calcium test is used for the evaluation of a range of medical conditions so an individual. Some of the most common conditions for the doctor to diagnose via the Calcium test are as follows:

Your doctor might ask you to undergo the Calcium test as a routine Metabolic panel

If you had been experiencing or if you are starting to experience the symptoms of various disorders especially related to kidneys, bones, thyroid, parathyroid, and nerves, your doctor might suggest you take the Calcium test in order to evaluate the reason for the disorders.

In the case of symptoms regarding the abnormal levels of the Calcium are noticed, the doctor recommends the Calcium test.

To monitor the levels of the ionized calcium, your doctor might suggest you undergo the Calcium test.

Your doctor might want to assess your calcium levels if you are suffering from cancer. This helps with further diagnosis and treatments. 

If you are already undergoing the treatment for the abnormal levels of the Calcium in the body, your doctor has suggested to you the Calcium test for evaluating the effectiveness of the test i.e. to check if the treatment is working or not.

When should I go for the Calcium test?

If you are experiencing the symptoms related to the abnormal levels of Calcium in the body, it is very significant to undergo the Calcium test. Some of the most common symptoms are listed below.

Abdominal pain and cramps
– More frequent feeling of urinating
– Dehydration and feeling of more thirst
– Muscle cramps
– Tingling fingers 
– Fatigue and weakness
– Sudden loss or shift of appetite
– Nauseatic and anxious feeling
– Frequent regurgitation and vomiting
– Constipation 
– Blood in the urine

What are the preparations required for the calcium test?

There are no specific preparations required for the calcium test.

– There is no need for fasting.
– No new medications are included.
– Consult your doctor and inform about all the medications that you had been taking already. Your doctor might suggest you stop a few medications which can affect the results for the Calcium test.
– To ensure accurate or more precise results medications such as lithium, antacids, diuretics, and vitamin D supplements, among others are recommended to be stopped generally.

What is the procedure of the blood test for the Calcium test?

The calcium test is conducted by the collection of the sample of the blood. The blood sample is collected by the procedure called venipuncture. Venipuncture is done by the following procedure as elaborated in the steps below:

– Your health practitioner will wrap a tourniquet or a tight elastic band on your upper arm. This helps in making the veins more prominent from where the blood will be withdrawn.

– The needle of the syringe is injected to collect the sample of the blood.

– The blood is drawn in the tube of the syringe.

– The tourniquet or the elastic band is removed after that.

– The area of the puncture is cleaned with an antiseptic. This is done to prevent any kind of infection.

– A cotton swab is used to dab the area of the puncture or a bandage is put on the area for preventing any further bleeding.

The collected sample of the blood is then sent for the calcium test.

What is the procedure of the urine test for the Calcium test?

In the case of a urine test, the samples are collected over a time period of 24 hours. You will be given containers by your laboratory technician or health practitioner for collecting your urine samples. The guidelines associated with the storage of the urine samples in the containers will be provided to you by the health practitioner. In a 24-hour urine sample test, the following are the steps which are followed:

– Right in the morning, you have to empty your urinary bladder by excretion and flush that urine away. Note the time.

– Collect all your urine passed in the next 24 hours in the container provided.

– The urine containers should be stored in a refrigerator.

– The urine sample collected, is then sent for the Calcium test.

Is the Calcium test procedure painful?

The calcium test is conducted by the collection of the blood sample or the urine sample. Both the collection procedures involve no pain at all. There can be a pinpricking sensation in the case of the venipuncture procedure. That feeling goes away in a few hours.

What are the risks associated with the Calcium test?

There are no risks associated at all with the calcium test but there can be a few common risks associated with the venipuncture procedure of the blood collection.

– Some individuals experience pain due to multiple punctures while finding the veins for the blood collection.

– Hematoma is the condition in which there are blood clots formation under the skin resulting in the formation of lumps.

– There can be mild to moderate bruising and bleeding due to the needle.

– There are chances of some infections related to the needle if it’s not sterilized properly.

– Some people might feel dizzy or lightheaded right after the blood sample is collected.

What is the price of the Calcium test in India?

The price of the Calcium test in India ranges from Rs 200 – 2000 in India. The prices vary according to the location,i.e, the state or the city, the diagnostic centre is located in.

When will I get my results for the Calcium test?

You will get your results for the calcium test within 24 hours to 36 hours after the test is conducted.

How to understand my result for the Calcium test?

The table illustrates the total calcium reference range in males and females as per the age group:

Age  Clinical reference (mg/dL)Males Clinical reference (mg/dL)Females
1-19 9.6-10.6  9.6-10.6
12-14 9.5-10.5 9.5-10.4
15-18 9.5-10.4 9.1-10.3
19+ 8.9-10.1  

What are the reference ranges for free (ionized) calcium?

Age  Clinical reference (mg/dL) Males Clinical reference (mg/dL)Females
Younger than 12 monthsNot established Not established
1-19 years 5.1-5.9 5.1-5.9
Age 20 years and older 4.8-5.7 4.8-5.7

What does it mean if I have higher levels of Calcium?

A higher level of Calcium in the blood is known as hypercalcemia. This condition might indicate the following conditions:

– Hyperparathyroidism is a condition which is signified by an increase in parathyroid gland functionings. Generally, a benign tumor in the parathyroid gland causes this condition. 

– Having a high level of calcium in the blood also indicates cancer.

– When cancer spreads to the bones, it increases the calcium release from the bones into the blood.

What does it mean if I have a lower concentration of Calcium?

Having lower levels of Calcium in the blood can indicate the following conditions:

– Low levels of blood protein.
– Low albumin levels resulting from malnutrition or various liver diseases.
– Hypoparathyroidism is the condition in which the parathyroid gland doesn’t function properly.
– The low levels of calcium can also be because of the resistance inherited to the effects of the parathyroid hormone.
Deficiency of Calcium in the regular diet.
– Lack of Vitamin D
– Magnesium deficiency
– Elevated levels of phosphorus.
Pancreatitis(inflammation of the pancreas)
– Renal or Kidney failure

Is the calcium test recommended for pregnant women?

The abnormal levels of the Calcium can result in various adverse health effects in the fetus. Hence it is highly recommended for pregnant women to undergo the Calcium test. It is completely safe for the fetus as well as the mother.

Can my newborn undergo the Calcium test?

Your newborn can easily undergo the Calcium test. It poses no risk at all. The sample of the blood is also collected by pinpricking the heels of the newborn. The pain due to the pinpricking might be there for a few hours before it wears off.

When should I take my kid for the Calcium test?

If your kid shows the symptoms related to the abnormal levels of the Calcium, it is highly recommended for your kid to undergo the Calcium test. Some of the most common symptoms in the case of hypocalcemia are:

– Loss of memory and concentration
– Muscle spasms and muscle cramps
– Numbness and tingling feeling in the hands, feet, and face
– Depression and anxiety
– Hallucinations 
– Soft bones leading to easy fractures.


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