Calcium is a mineral that is essential for the proper functioning of the body. It is required for the formation and maintenance of healthy bones and teeth, and it also plays a role in muscle function, nerve transmission, and blood clotting.
A calcium test is typically ordered by a healthcare provider to evaluate the level of calcium in the blood. This test can be used to diagnose and monitor conditions such as hyperparathyroidism, hypoparathyroidism, and malabsorption syndromes.
Pre-test preparation for a calcium test typically includes fasting for 8-12 hours before the test. Certain medications, such as diuretics, can affect the results of the test, so it’s important to tell your healthcare provider about any medications you are taking before the test.
The testing method for a calcium test is typically a blood test. A small sample of blood is taken from a vein in the arm and sent to a laboratory for analysis.
Common symptoms that may prompt a healthcare provider to order a calcium test include muscle weakness, bone pain, and frequent fractures. However, many conditions that affect calcium levels may not cause any symptoms.
Diagnosis of conditions related to calcium levels is typically based on the results of the calcium test in combination with other tests, such as a parathyroid hormone test.
Reference ranges for a calcium test vary depending on the laboratory, but generally, normal values are around 8.6-10.2 mg/dL (2.15-2.55 mmol/L).
It’s important to note that a single test result is not diagnostic by itself, and a patient’s clinical presentation, including symptoms and other laboratory test results, should be taken into account in determining a diagnosis. It’s also important to note that the information provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.