Hypocalcemia

Hypocalcemia is an abnormally low level of calcium in the blood. It may be caused by low levels of parathyroid hormone (hypoparathyroidism). Other causes of hypocalcemia include vitamin D deficiency, kidney failure, acute pancreatitis, or insufficient magnesium and protein in the blood.

Symptoms often do not occur with mild hypocalcemia. As hypocalcemia becomes more severe, the following symptoms may develop:

  • Abnormal heart rhythms
  • Muscle cramps, muscle twitching, or seizures
  • Inability to detect touch accompanied by burning, pricking, tickling, or tingling sensation (paresthesia) of the hands, feet, lips, and tongue

Hypocalcemia is treated by determining and treating the cause of the low blood calcium. Oral or intravenous calcium is given to restore the blood level to normal.

Last Updated: September 29, 2008

Author: Monica Rhodes

Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Tushar J. Vachharajani, MD, FASN, FACP - Nephrology

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