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Electrolyte: Calcium (Ca)
Calcium levels are controlled by calcitonin, which promotes bone growth and decreases calcium levels in the blood, and parathyroid hormone, which does the opposite. Calcium is bound to the proteins in the bloodstream, so the level of calcium is related to the patient's nutrition as well as the calcium intake in the diet. Calcium metabolism in the body is closely linked to magnesium levels. Often, the body's magnesium status needs to be optimized before the calcium levels can be treated.
Conditions of Calcium Imbalance
Hypercalcemia (hyper= too much + calc=calcium + emia= in the blood) is associated with "moans, stones, abdominal groans"; symptoms include kidney stones, abdominal pain, and depression. Also, too much calcium can be associated with heart rhythm disturbances. Causes of hypercalcemia include parathyroid tumors, other tumors including breast cancer, excess amounts of Vitamin A or D, Paget's disease, and kidney failure.
Hypocalcemia (hypo=too little) is usually associated with eating disorders or lack of parathyroid hormone. Symptoms include weakness, muscle spasms, and heart rhythm disturbance.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/25/2016
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