Hypocalcaemia basically consists of having calcium values in the body below normal. Discover its most common symptoms, causes and what medical treatment helps in its regulation.
Calcium is a fundamental mineral for our body. It becomes, in fact, the most abundant mineral that we find in the human body, although those that contain it in greater quantity are both the bones and the teeth. However, did you know that blood, neurons, body tissues and other liquids present in our body also contain calcium?
Among other very important functions, it is essential for the development of strong bones and teeth, for proper blood coagulation, for muscle relaxation and contraction, for sending and receiving different nerve signals, for the secretion of certain chemicals and hormones, as well as for a normal heart rhythm.
We find calcium mainly in dairy products (such as milk, yogurt, cheese and buttermilk), which become the best source. But there are also other sources of calcium, such as green leafy vegetables (broccoli, kale, collard greens, Chinese cabbage, and turnip greens), certain fish (canned salmon and sardines), dried beans, and nuts (sunflower seeds and walnuts). From Brazil).
What is hypocalcaemia? What does it consist of?
We could define hypocalcaemia as a disease in which calcium levels in the blood are decreased, below normal values. That is, we are faced with an electrolyte imbalance, consisting of the presence of low levels of calcium in the blood.
Normal calcium values in adults are between 4.5 to 5.5 me/L, or 8.5 to 10.2 mg/LD.
In case of decreased calcium values in the blood, it is possible that the doctor evaluates the possibility of analyzing the albumin values, so that if it is also low it is very important that the calcium level must be corrected (which will be higher if the albumin is low).
What symptoms does it produce?
Since calcium is directly related to the function of nerves and muscles, one of the most common symptoms of hypocalcaemia is the appearance of neuromuscular irritability, causing fasciculation’s or spasms. Hence, it usually produces symptoms at the bone, nervous and muscular level mainly.
But the symptoms depend on the speed at which the decrease in calcium levels in the blood occurs. Thus, for example, when hypocalcaemia has existed for a long time, there may be no symptoms, with only mild signs such as itching or numbness in the fingers (the same thing happens when calcium values are slightly low).
Muscle aches are common, as is tingling in the hands, feet, and mouth.
In addition, signs such as difficulty breathing and palpitations accompanied by irregular contractions are also common, and may even cause disorientation, delusions and hallucinations, especially when blood calcium values are very low.
What are your causes?
There are many causes that can directly and indirectly influence the decrease in calcium levels in the blood. The most common are the existence of certain nutritional deficiencies, such as vitamin D or magnesium. Or by unhealthy habits such as consuming alcoholic beverages.
It can be due to other more serious and serious causes, such as chronic kidney failure, certain types of blood disorders or leukemia, and tumor lists syndrome (when chemotherapy treatment rapidly breaks down tumor cells).
It can also be produced by other causes, such as the consumption of certain medications (diuretics, estrogens, glucose, insulin, laxatives) or by treatments such as bisphosphonates.
How is it treated?
Medical treatment depends on both the cause of the hypocalcaemia and the degree. For example, it depends on whether it is an acute hypocalcaemia that appears quickly, if it is chronic or if it is accompanied by low levels of magnesium in the blood:
- Acute hypocalcaemia: consists of the administration of calcium intravenously.
- Chronic hypocalcaemia: oral administration of calcium and vitamin D supplements.
- Hypomagnesaemia: consists of the presence of low levels of magnesium in the blood. It is treated by administering magnesium intravenously.