Calcium is essential for the functioning of your bones, muscles, and nerves. It also helps with blood circulation, hormone regulation, and the prevention of calcium-related disorders.
Calcium disorders are caused by bone metabolism anomalies, such as having low calcium levels in the blood (hypocalcemia) or high calcium levels in the blood (hypercalcemia). Calcium levels are linked to various hormones such as parathyroid hormone (PTH) and other nutrients such as Vitamin D.
What are the most common types of calcium disorders?
Osteoporosis is a condition that makes your bones weak and more vulnerable to sudden fractures due to bone calcium loss. The most commonly affected areas are the hip, wrist, and spine. This condition develops slowly and is usually discovered when a bone is fractured.
Symptoms of osteoporosis may include lower back pain, loss of height, and shortness of breath.
Osteoporosis is more likely to affect people who smoke, have not consumed enough calcium or vitamin D, or have a family history of the condition.
This condition is diagnosed by measuring the density of your bones through a bone density test that shows a T-score. The T-score indicates how strong your bones are and your risk of fracture; – 1 or higher indicates good bone density, -1 to -2.5 indicates low bone density, and -2.5 or less indicates osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is treated with calcium and vitamin D supplements, as well as healthy lifestyle choices such as healthy food and regular exercise. Treatment may also include bone-building medications to enhance bone density.
Paget’s disease of bone
Paget’s disease of bone is a condition that disrupts the natural recycle of new bone tissue replacing old bone tissue, resulting in weaker and deformed bones. Commonly affected areas are the pelvis, skull, spine, and legs.
Symptoms include bone pain, tingling and numbness in an arm or leg, and headaches.
Causes of this condition are unknown, but risk factors include being older than 50, male, and having a family history of the disorder.
To diagnose Paget’s disease of bone, doctors use blood tests, X-rays, and bone scans.
Certain medications (such as bisphosphonates) may be used to treat the condition. Surgery may be required to repair fractures, realign deformed bones, replace damaged joints, or reduce nerve pressure.
Hyperparathyroidism is a condition in which one or more of your parathyroid glands produce high PTH levels, which causes increased calcium levels in your blood.
High calcium levels might induce abdominal pain, nausea, poor focus, depression, and bone pain.
The most common cause of hyperparathyroidism is a benign growth on a gland or the enlargement of one or more of the parathyroid glands. This condition can also happen as the result of another condition, such as calcium or vitamin D deficiency or kidney failure.
A blood test is used to identify hyperparathyroidism by showing if you have high levels of calcium and PTH in your bloodstream.
Treatment includes monitoring of calcium levels, bone density, and kidney function. It may also include medication, such as calcimimetics, which mimics calcium in your blood and causes the parathyroid glands to produce less PTH. Surgery may be required in some cases where the glands are enlarged or have a tumor.
Hypercalcemia is a condition that produces an excess of calcium in the blood, resulting in weak bones and disrupting the functioning of organs, such as the heart and brain.
Symptoms of hypercalcemia include confusion, fatigue, depression, nausea, bone pain, and muscle weakness.
Hypercalcemia is caused by various factors, including a benign tumor or enlargement of one or more of the parathyroid glands. It can also be caused by cancer or hereditary factors (such as the genetic disorder known as familial hypocalciuric hypercalcemia).
To diagnose hypercalcemia, the doctor will go over your family history and request blood tests to check your calcium and PTH levels. They may also order imaging tests of your bones and lungs if they suspect cancer.
Treatment for hypercalcemia includes medication that help control calcium levels or overactive parathyroid glands. In some cases, surgery may be required to remove the tissue that is causing the condition by injecting a small quantity of radioactive material.
Hypocalcemia is when your blood calcium level is too low, causing health problems.
Symptoms of hypocalcemia include cramps, depression, muscle twitching, numbness in the fingers and toes, and memory loss.
Hypocalcemia occurs when you develop calcium deficiency due to other conditions, including: hypoparathyroidism, kidney problems, vitamin D deficiency, or hypomagnesemia (having a low magnesium level).
Blood tests are used to diagnose hypocalcemia by showing if you have low calcium levels and if it is caused by your kidneys or parathyroid.
Vitamin C or vitamin D supplementation and regular testing are required to treat hypocalcemia and alleviate any symptoms.
Schedule your appointment at Novomed today!
If you have symptoms of calcium disorders, make an appointment with one of our expert endocrinologists in Dubai today by calling toll-free 8006686 or clicking the live chat icon at the bottom of the screen.