Calcium is a mineral found in the human body – it is an essential nutrient and most people associate it with good bone health. You know how essential this mineral is for bone health, but it is also important for many other bodily functions, including muscle function, nerve function, and blood clotting.
How do you know you have the right amount of calcium in your blood? You visit a ‘diagnostic lab near me’ and ask them to do a calcium blood test. The lab will use the calcium test to measure the amount of calcium in your blood. By using this information, a general physician or specialist can diagnose as well as monitor a variety of medical conditions.
Why is it Important to have your Calcium Levels Tested?
We have already mentioned how important calcium is for your overall health. It goes without saying that there are several reasons why it is important to have your calcium levels tested regularly. Calcium blood tests can help to:
- Screen for Bone Diseases: When the bone density and bone mass in the human body decrease it can lead to osteoporosis. In this condition, the weakened bones are more likely to break. One of the leading causes of osteoporosis is low calcium levels can be a sign of osteoporosis. Opting for a calcium test can help identify people who are at risk for osteoporosis and to monitor the effectiveness of treatment.
- Diagnose and Monitor Parathyroid Disorders: The parathyroid glands are located in the neck. These small glands take on the responsibility of regulating calcium levels in the blood of the human body. Individuals with parathyroid disorders will have too low or too high calcium levels. Results shared by a ‘diagnostics near me’ centre for calcium tests are used by doctors to help with diagnosing as well as management of these disorders.
- Screen for Hypercalcemia: Many people do not know that excess calcium in the human body can lead to a condition known as hypercalcemia. When the body accumulates calcium, it means that there is an underlying medical condition. For example, if the result from a ‘diagnostic lab near me’ indicates that there is calcium is at higher levels it can point the doctors to check for hyperparathyroidism, certain cancers and even some kidney disorders.
- Diagnose and Monitor Kidney Disease: Since the kidney is unable to flush out waste materials, it can affect the body’s ability to regulate calcium levels. Doctors then suggest calcium blood tests to help identify people who are at risk for kidney disease. Individuals who are suffering from kidney disease are advised by doctors to visit a ‘diagnostics near me’ to get their calcium levels tested regularly. These tests are then used to test the effectiveness of the medicines and the progression of the disease.
Calcium blood tests are used to diagnose and monitor many medical conditions. It is important to get the calcium levels tested regularly to help diagnose disorders and diseases at the earliest.
What are the Different types of Calcium Blood Tests?
While getting the calcium test done from a diagnostic centre, it is important to understand that it is not a single type of test. Indeed, there are two main types of calcium blood tests: total calcium tests and ionized calcium tests.
- The total calcium tests are used to measure all of the calcium in the blood. This will include testing for calcium that is bound to proteins along with the calcium that is free in the blood.
- The ionized calcium tests will measure only the free calcium in the blood. Free calcium is the active form of calcium – this mineral is responsible for many important bodily functions.
What risk factors indicate a calcium level imbalance?
We have already told you why getting calcium levels tested is important at the nearest diagnostic centre. However, let us look at the risk factors your doctor will take into consideration while recommending these tests:
- A family history of bone diseases, parathyroid disorders, or kidney disease
- Certain medical conditions, such as thyroid disease, cancer, or liver disease
- Certain medications, such as steroids or diuretics
- Certain dietary supplements, such as calcium and vitamin D supplements
- Age (older adults are more likely to have calcium imbalances)
Do remember there is no special preparation needed for a calcium blood test. Whenever your doctor or physician recommends the test, search for a ‘diagnostic lab near me’ and get the test done. A phlebotomist will draw a small amount of blood from your arm using a needle. The blood sample will then be sent to a laboratory for analysis.
Make sure you inform the doctor about any medications or supplements consumed before the test is done. Share the results of a calcium blood test with the doctor – do not self-medicate. Let the doctor analyse the tests, they may suggest further test based on their interpretation or recommend medication or supplements to manage the disorder.
The Importance of Calcium Tests
Calcium tests are essential for several reasons, and their results can have far-reaching implications for your health:
- Early Detection of Health Issues: Calcium tests can help identify underlying medical conditions that may otherwise go unnoticed. For instance, elevated calcium levels may indicate hyperparathyroidism, a condition that affects the parathyroid glands and can lead to bone loss and kidney stones.
- Bone Health Assessment: As mentioned earlier, calcium plays a critical role in bone health. Low calcium levels can be indicative of osteoporosis, a condition characterized by weak and brittle bones. Early detection through a calcium test can prompt proactive measures to prevent fractures and maintain bone density.
- Monitoring Chronic Conditions: Individuals with chronic diseases like kidney disease or certain cancers may experience fluctuations in calcium levels. Regular calcium tests can help healthcare providers monitor these levels and adjust treatment plans as needed.
- Preventing Heart Problems: Imbalances in calcium levels can impact heart health. High calcium levels in the blood (hypercalcemia) can lead to heart rhythm disturbances and other cardiac issues. Detecting and addressing such imbalances can reduce the risk of heart problems.
Incorporating calcium tests into your regular healthcare routine is a proactive step toward understanding and safeguarding your overall health. These tests can provide vital insights into your bone health, alert you to underlying medical conditions, and guide appropriate treatment plans. By working closely with your healthcare provider and staying informed about your calcium levels, you can take proactive steps to maintain your well-being and lead a healthier, happier life. Don’t wait until health issues surface – unlock the vital insights that calcium tests can provide and take charge of your health today.