Signs & Symptoms of Low Blood Calcium

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Hypocalcemia is a medical condition marked by low calcium levels in your bloodstream. The condition has a number of possible causes and produces a number of signs and symptoms.

Hypocalcemia is marked by low calcium lelevs in the blood.
Hypocalcemia is marked by low calcium lelevs in the blood. (Image: Jacob Wackerhausen/iStock/Getty Images)

Identification

Possible signs and symptoms of low blood calcium include anxiety, depression, tingling in your fingers and toes, shortness of breath, dryness or discoloration of your skin, eczema and muscle stiffness, pain or spasms.

Tingling in your fingers may be a sign of low blood calcium.
Tingling in your fingers may be a sign of low blood calcium. (Image: Iromaya Images/Iromaya/Getty Images)

Causes

According to the Cleveland Clinic, the most common causes of low blood calcium are hypoactivity of your parathyroid gland, or removal of the gland. Other possible causes include a breakdown of muscle tissue known as rhabdomyolysis; inflammation of the pancreas; septic skin infections; cancer chemotherapy; and certain medications like foscarnet, an antiviral drug used to treat HIV.

Certain medication may cause this condition.
Certain medication may cause this condition. (Image: Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images)

Diagnosis

Blood tests are used to confirm the presence of low blood calcium as well as to identify its possible causes.

Blood tests can detect the prescence of low calcium.
Blood tests can detect the prescence of low calcium. (Image: angellodeco/iStock/Getty Images)

Risks

Untreated, low blood calcium poses a number of risks, including seizures, dementia, symptoms similar to Parkinson's Disease and congestive heart failure.

Untreated low blood calcium may cause anxiety.
Untreated low blood calcium may cause anxiety. (Image: Ingram Publishing/Ingram Publishing/Getty Images)

Treatment

Doctors treat the immediate symptoms by administering calcium intravenously. Depending on the cause of low blood calcium, you may need to take calcium supplements for the rest of your life.

Your doctor will likely advise calcium suplementation.
Your doctor will likely advise calcium suplementation. (Image: Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images)

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