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Lab Test

Calcium- Ionized

Calcium is a crucial mineral found in the body, necessary for various functions such as nerve signal transmission, muscle contraction, and for maintaining the strength of bones and teeth. Ionized calcium, also known as free calcium, is the active form of calcium in the body and is unattached to proteins, mainly albumin. The test for ionized calcium is used to measure the amount of this free calcium in the blood.

  • Profile Name: Calcium- Ionized
  • Sample Type: Blood
  • Preparations Required: No specific instructions are required for this test.
  • Report Time: 4 hours

This test is particularly useful for individuals who have diseases that alter their protein levels, as this could affect the total calcium level in the body. The ionized calcium test gives a more accurate picture of the body's available calcium for biological functions. Abnormal levels of ionized calcium may indicate a range of conditions, such as kidney disease, parathyroid gland disorders, bone diseases, pancreatitis, or certain types of cancers.

Home Sample Collection Process

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Reporting of the sample at lab
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Frequently Asked Questions

The ionized calcium test is performed to measure the level of ionized or "free" calcium in the blood, which is the biologically active part of total calcium. It is often done when a person has signs and symptoms of a condition that can affect calcium metabolism.

No, fasting is not typically required for an ionized calcium test. However, it's always wise to follow any specific instructions provided by your doctor or the testing laboratory.

Your doctor may order an ionized calcium test if your total calcium result was abnormal, or if you have symptoms like fatigue, muscle weakness, abdominal pain, or depression. It might also be ordered if you have certain conditions such as kidney disease, malnutrition, or a parathyroid gland disorder.

An ionized calcium test provides information about the amount of free calcium in the blood, which is the calcium that is not bound to proteins. This is important because it is the free calcium that the body can readily use for various functions.

The frequency of the ionized calcium test depends on your health status, the nature of your symptoms, or if you're monitoring an existing condition. Your doctor will provide guidance on how often you should get tested.

Normal levels of ionized calcium typically range from 4.4 to 5.4 mg/dL, but this can vary slightly depending on the lab that analyzes the test.

There are no specific precautions necessary for an ionized calcium test. However, you should always inform your doctor of any medications or supplements you are taking as they may influence your results.

Several factors can affect your ionized calcium levels, including your diet, certain medications, level of physical activity, and the presence of diseases such as kidney disease or bone diseases.

If your test results are abnormal, you should first consult your primary care doctor, who may then refer you to a specialist such as an endocrinologist for further evaluation.

Non-modifiable factors that can affect calcium levels include age, gender, and certain genetic disorders that can affect calcium metabolism.

Modifiable factors that can affect calcium levels include diet, certain medications, physical activity, and lifestyle habits such as smoking and alcohol consumption.

The ionized calcium test is a standard blood test and the risks associated with it are minimal. These might include slight pain or bruising at the site of needle insertion, or feeling lightheaded or fainting.

Getting the ionized calcium test done is important to identify how much unbound calcium is in your blood. This can help diagnose or monitor conditions that affect calcium metabolism, like kidney disease, parathyroid disorders, or certain types of cancer.

Symptoms that might indicate you need this test include frequent bone fractures, numbness or tingling in the hands, feet, or face, unexplained fatigue, or muscle cramps.

Regular monitoring and check-ups can help in early detection of any abnormalities and prevention of potential complications. Always remember to discuss your concerns and queries with your doctor for proper guidance and care.

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