A calcium test is a common blood test used to measure calcium levels in your blood. It can diagnose conditions such as hypercalcemia and hypocalcemia. Although, there has been some controversy over the years about what a normal calcium level should be. Some doctors believe the optimal calcium level is between 8.5 and 10 mg/dL.
If you have a calcium level below 8.5 mg/dL, you may be diagnosed with hypocalcemia. On the other hand, if your calcium level is above 10 mg/dL, you may be diagnosed with hypercalcemia. This article will discuss the purpose of a calcium test, what the results mean, and how to improve your calcium levels if necessary.
What are the Types of Calcium Tests?
There are two main calcium tests: serum calcium and ionized calcium. Serum calcium is the total amount of calcium in your blood, while ionized calcium is the amount that is not bound to proteins in your blood.
Serum calcium is the most common type of calcium test. It is used to screen for and diagnose hypercalcemia (high levels of calcium in the blood) and hypocalcaemia (low levels of calcium in the blood). Serum calcium levels can be affected by factors such as kidney function, vitamin D status, and parathyroid hormone levels.
Ionized calcium is a more accurate measure of free or unbound calcium in the blood. It helps diagnose and monitor conditions that can cause changes in calcium levels, such as kidney disease, bone disorders, and certain cancers.
Other calcium tests include urine calcium, used to screen for kidney stones, and serum phosphorus often suggested with calcium tests to help interpret the results.
Why It’s Important to Get a Calcium Blood Test?
The major reasons why it’s important to get a calcium blood test are:
1) To screen and diagnose hyperparathyroidism – This is a condition where the parathyroid glands produce too much hormone that regulates calcium levels in the blood. This can lead to high levels of calcium in the blood, which can be dangerous.
2) To monitor calcium levels in people with kidney disease – kidney disease can cause calcium levels in the blood to become too high or too low. A calcium blood test can help monitor these levels and adjust treatment as needed.
3) To check for bone problems – Calcium is essential for healthy bones. A calcium blood test can help detect problems such as osteoporosis (a condition where bones become weak) or Paget’s disease (a condition that destroys bone tissue).
4) To check for certain types of cancers – Some cancers, such as multiple myeloma, can cause calcium levels in the blood to become abnormally high. A calcium blood test can sometimes be used to help diagnose these types of cancers.
5) To monitor calcium levels in pregnant women – Pregnant women are at risk for developing a condition called gestational hypercalcemia, which is characterized by high calcium levels in the blood. A calcium blood test can help monitor this condition.
How Much Does a Calcium Blood Test Cost?
When it comes to calcium test price, they can differ from city to city in India. You can speak with the healthcare professional before opting for the test. Cities like Kolkata charge INR 300 for each calcium blood test, but cities like Agra have an average price of INR 132, the minimum starting price of the test is INR 70, and the maximum goes up to INR 700.
Note: The costs are indicative and may vary from actual costs.
Are there any risks of the Calcium Test on your Health?
No, there are no side effects of the calcium test. It is a simple blood test that measures the calcium level in your blood. If you have any concerns, speak to your doctor or healthcare provider. They will provide you with all the information you need.
Calcium blood tests are conducted to check whether the calcium level in your body is low or high. But just because you have a high or low calcium level in your body, it doesn’t mean you have any severe condition.
Experts say around one out of 20 individuals will get results out of their standard range. The healthcare expert will inform you whether you need to undergo other tests.