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Serum Calcium Test

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Ionised Calcium Test Overview

Calcium is an important mineral found in the bones, teeth, and blood. While most of the calcium is found in the bones and teeth a small percent is also found in the blood which is important for the systems to function efficiently. Calcium in blood is found in two forms: bound calcium that is attached to the proteins in the blood and free calcium or ionised calcium that is not attached to the proteins in the blood. Calcium ionised serum test measures the free or ionised calcium in the blood.

Why is a Calcium Ionised Serum test done?
Your doctor may want to know about the levels of your free/ionised calcium if you have abnormal levels of albumin or immunoglobins in your blood. You may also need to know your ionised calcium levels if:

  • You need blood transfusions

  • You are critically ill and need intravenous (IV) fluids

  • You are having a major surgery

  • You are having abnormal blood protein levels

In these cases, your doctor may want to know the exact amount of free calcium available in your body.

Written by: Dr.Shibani R, Medical Writer, Medical Affairs

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Serum Calcium Test Price

Metropolis Healthcare is a leading diagnostics centre and pathology lab in India equipped with the latest state-of-the-art technologies that provides the Serum Calcium Test with a clear pricing structure.

The Serum Calcium Test Price in Mumbai is ₹ 675 .

We are committed to deliver accurate and quality results from the best labs in India with complete transparency regarding test cost and turnaround time. No matter where you are, we strive to offer patients high-quality service that is affordable and accessible.

Frequently Asked Questions

The ionised calcium test is usually done when the levels of total calcium are suspected to be abnormal. An abnormal total calcium level basically indicates an imbalance between the bound and free (ionised) calcium which are ideally present in equal amounts. This imbalance indicates a serious health concern which needs to be diagnosed. It is also done in critically ill patients, those requiring blood transfusions and in cases of abnormal protein levels.

Ionised calcium test measures the free or unbound calcium in the blood.

During a ionised calcium test, a health care professional will take a blood sample from a vein in your arm, using a small needle. After the needle is inserted, a small amount of blood will be collected into a test tube or vial. You may feel a little sting when the needle goes in or out. This usually takes less than five minutes.

Low ionised calcium levels may lead to muscle cramps, numbness in hands, feet and around the mouth, and cardiac irregularities. In severe cases it may even lead to coma. Low ionised calcium levels (hypocalcemia) may occur due to hypoparathyroidism, kidney conditions, malnutrition and pancreatitis, and viatmin D deficiency. 
High ionised calcium levels (hypercalcemia) may indicate hyperparathyroidism (overactive parathyroid gland), certain cancers, bone disorders like Paget's disease or high vitamin D levels. It may lead to frequent urination, thirst, fatigue, bone pains, headache, nausea, vomiting and loss of appetit

Higher than normal levels of calcium might indicate one or more of the following conditions:

  • Overactivity of the parathyroid glands (hyperparathyroidism) leads to the increased production of parathyroid hormone by the parathyroid glands
  • Certain types of cancer, including the ones spreading to the bone
  • Bone disorders
  • Consistent and prolonged intake of high levels of Vitamin D

Lower than normal levels of calcium might indicate one or more of the following conditions:

  • Lower levels of blood protein often caused due to liver disease
  • Underactivity of the parathyroid glands (hypoparathyroidism) leads to the decreased production of parathyroid hormone by the parathyroid glands
  • Calcium deficiency in your diet
  • Vitamin D or magnesium deficiency
  • Pancreatitis
  • Kidney disorder

There are some very rare risks involved in taking a blood sample. These include:

  • Lightheadedness or fainting
  • Hematoma. It occurs when blood accumulates under your skin
  • Infection
  • Excessive bleeding

Bleeding for a long period after the procedure may indicate a more serious bleeding condition.

If you have high levels of calcium the symptoms may include:

  • Increased thirst
  • Confusion
  • Loss of appetite
  • Frequent urination
  • Abdominal pain
  • Constipation
  • Nausea and vomiting

If you have low levels of calcium the symptoms may include:

  • Dry skin, coarse hair, and brittle nails
  • Muscle spasms, or stiffness
  • Tingling sensation in the lips, tongue, fingers, and feet
  • Irregular heartbeat

An ionised calcium serum blood test cannot predict the levels of calcium in your bones. If you need to measure your bone health, it can be done by a bone density scan or a DEXA scan. It is a type of X-ray. It can predict the mineral content in your bones.

  • Performing a test of ionized calcium is harder than a serum calcium test.
  • Special handling of the blood sample is very essential.
  • In most cases, your healthcare provider will ask you to fast for six to eight hours before your blood is drawn for an ionised calcium test. During this fasting time, you are required to abstain from eating or drinking anything except water.
  • It is essential to discuss your history and current medications with your doctor. There are certain medicines like calcium salts, hydralazine, lithium, thyroxine, thiazide and diuretics. These might interfere with the test results of ionized calcium levels.
  • Please do not stop taking your medications without consulting your doctor.
  • An ionized calcium serum test requires a small amount of your blood as a sample.
  • Your healthcare provider will obtain the blood sample by venipuncture.
  • They will identify an area on your arm for the venipuncture. Then clean/disinfect the area. They will insert a sterile needle into your vein. They will then draw a small amount of blood into a syringe.
  • This procedure hardly takes five minutes. You will most likely feel a mild pinching during the insertion of the needle. This often goes away quickly.
  • You will be instructed to apply pressure to the site where the needle entered your skin. Once the blood is drawn, your healthcare provider will put a bandage on the site of the injection. This is done to minimise any discomfort.

The normal levels of ionised calcium vary between adults and children. In general, a level of 4.64 to 5.28 mg/dL is considered normal in the case of adults. In children, a normal ionized calcium level varies between 4.8 and 5.52 mg/dL.

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