What is Calcium?
Calcium is a mineral consumed in food and supplements. The mineral is stored bones where it is used to promote strength and support changes and growth throughout life. There is also free calcium in blood used by cells during normal cellular function.
Blood tests measure calcium levels to ensure there is not too much or too little calcium present in blood. Low calcium levels can be a sign of renal failure, though other conditions and medications can affect calcium levels. If calcium levels remain low for long periods, bone strength can be affected leading to osteopenia and osteoporosis. Calcium deficiency can lead to death if severe.
High calcium levels, known as hypercalcemia, can be just as dangerous as low calcium levels. Hypercalcemia can be a sign of cancer, dehydration or overactive thyroid.
Normal Value Range
- Negative Pregnancy Adult: 8.7 to 10.2 mg/dL to 2.18 to 2.55 µmol/L
- Pregnancy Trimester One: 8.8 to 10.6 mg/dL to 2.2 to 2.65 µmol/L
- Pregnancy Trimester Two: 8.2 to 9 mg/dL to 2.05 to 2.25 µmol/L
- Pregnancy Trimester Three: 8.2 to 9.7 mg/dL to 2.05 to 2.43 µmol/L
If serum total calcium levels are elevated there are several conditions that can be responsible, including vitamin D intoxication, sarcoidosis, hyperthyroidism, malignancy or hyperparathyroidism.