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Calcium (Ca) Testing

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How to check your Calcium levels with a home fingerprick blood test kit

Calcium Testing UK Statistics 2021

Icon For Calcium

10.9% of people tested have Calcium levels which are too high.

And 4.3% have levels that are too low.

The average Calcium result is 2.4 mmol/L
Note what is normal for you may differ for your age and gender.

Human male body

Men tend to report higher Calcium in their blood than women.

As many as one in nine men tested have high levels of Calcium

Normal range test results

84.8%

of people have Calcium blood levels in the normal range. Do you?

Are you in the 84.8% with normal results?

What If Calcium Test Levels Are High?

What If Calcium Test Levels Are High?

High calcium levels are known as hypercalcaemia, meaning you have too much calcium in your blood, As about half of the calcium in your blood is bound by the protein abumin you should also check if this is at normal levels or not.

There are a wide range of causes of high calcium and this warrants further investigation to address the cause.

What If Calcium Test Levels Are Low?

What If Calcium Test Levels Are Low?

Also called hypocalcaemia, this means that you do not have enough calcium in your blood. The most common cause of this is low protein levels, especially low albumin, so you should review this also. Other causes include deficiencies in dietary calcium, vitamin D and magnesium or conditions such as chronic kidney or bone disease.

Calcium is particularly important to maintain bone growth and in post-menopausal women who may develop low bone mass and be at risk of osteoporosis. A healthy diet should be sufficient but you may wish to consider a supplement. It's important to discuss with your doctor the risks and benefits of starting any supplementation.

How To Test Calcium?

Health testing for Calcium levels in your blood

Get a comprehensive analysis of your calcium levels with our at-home calcium blood test analysed by an accredited laboratory.

You can check your Calcium levels by buying a home fingerprick blood test kit below. Your sample is then professionally analysed in an accredited laboratory for total reassurance. The Vitall Vitamin & Minerals Home Test Kit includes a Calcium test and is available for just £69.

Please see the following test kits:

Other Biomarkers Often Tested With Calcium

Why Take The Calcium Test?

Our Full Vitamins & Minerals home blood test kit checks several biomarkers including Vitamin D so you can identify vitamin & mineral deficiencies and optimise your nutritional intake. 

Deficiencies can produce few or vague symptoms so it's often difficult to identify them without testing and monitoring your progress.

Take control of your health without any of the inconvenience of going to the doctors with one of Vitall’s at-home blood tests.

Who Should Take The Calcium Blood Test?

Fully identify & optimise nutritional deficiencies using a home fingerprick blood test kit.

You get the convenience of home testing with the reassurance of professional clinical analysis. Your results are delivered quickly & securely online.

This Vitamins & Minerals Complete Test is advised if you:

  • are aged over 45;
  • are at risk from osteoporosis;
  • are currently menopausal, which can lead to deficiencies;
  • are currently pregnant;
  • are on any restrictive diet (vegans & vegetarian especially);
  • have Chrohn's disease (which can lead to malnutrition);
  • have Coeliac disease (which can cause malnutrition);
  • suffer from chronic fatigue & tiredness;
  • want to understand & improve your general health;
  • wish to have a baby;
  • want the convenience of home testing without waiting for a GP appointment;
  • need a high quality, clinically accredited test done in a professional clinical laboratory.

Take a complete health check-up with Vitall.

£89

How Much Do Vitamins And Minerals Complete Tests Cost?

The Vitall vitamins and minerals complete test is available online for just £89. Your home test kit will be dispatched by free first class post for delivery to your door.

For the best value testing you can also upgrade this vitamins and minerals complete home test to tests which also measure other biomarkers, including:

When you checkout to buy your vitamins and minerals complete test online we also offer additional options, including:

  • Upgrade to next day delivery of your home test kit for an additional £7.99.
  • Visit the Patient Reception in central London for just £25. Your vitamins and minerals complete test sample can be collected by a qualified nurse for immediate analysis.
  • Have a nurse visit you to collect the sample for your vitamins and minerals complete test, this is available within the M25 area for just £149.

Whichever option you choose at checkout, buying the best vitamins and minerals complete test online in the UK with Vitall ensures high quality results from an accredited laboratory.

Take control of your health today with one of Vitall’s home blood tests.

£89

What Is Calcium And What Does It Do?

Calcium is an essential mineral that is the main component of your teeth and your bones. Almost all (99%) of the calcium in your body is stored in your bones. When your blood calcium levels are low, which can be measured using a home calcium blood test, your body acts in such a way as to draw calcium out of your bones in order to increase blood calcium levels. Likewise, when your blood calcium levels are high, your body tries to eliminate them through your urine and stool, or they are stored in your bones.

Calcium plays a key role in the contraction of your muscles: when your muscles are stimulated by a nerve, calcium triggers the contraction process. Calcium also plays a very important role in the blood clotting process, which directly affects your heart and blood vessels. Your calcium levels also affect your blood pressure, cholesterol levels and digestive health [1,2]. 

Your body cannot produce its own calcium, so you need to have a calcium-rich diet. Your calcium levels also depend on your hormone levels (parathyroid, oestrogen, calcitonin), your phosphate levels and your vitamin D levels. Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium, and these two nutrients go hand in hand in maintaining good bone health and growth during childhood.

Therefore, no matter how much calcium you get through your diet, you need to be having a sufficient amount of vitamin D as well, either from nutrient rich foods, or from sunlight exposure. Good examples of food with a lot of calcium are dairy products such as milk, yoghurt, and cheese, as well as leafy vegetables such as kale, broccoli, and spinach, soybeans, and sardine [3]. 

Your body tends to get rid of calcium quite easily, so it is important to check your calcium levels every once in a while with a calcium blood test. If your calcium levels fall below a certain threshold, your body will start to take the calcium it needs from your bones, which can cause serious problems on the long term such as osteoporosis where your bones become more fragile and are more easily prone to fractures.

If you are a post-menopausal woman, you are at a greater risk of having a calcium deficiency due to your decreased oestrogen levels, therefore you are also at a greater risk of developing other conditions such as osteoporosis.

Calcium supplements can also help you maintain healthy calcium levels and can be prescribed by your doctor based on your calcium blood test results, particularly if you are a post-menopausal woman, or if you don’t eat dairy products [1,4]. 

What Is The Normal Calcium Level?

Calcium levels change over time and a normal calcium level at 60 years old will not be normal at 25 years old. Between the age of 0 and 10 years old, your calcium levels are between 8.7 to 10 mg/dl and are slowly increasing during this period.

Calcium levels start to increase more quickly between the age of 10 and 15 years old, an important period for growth, reaching a peak between 15 and 25 years of age to around 10.7 mg/dl.

From this moment on calcium levels will decrease slowly and are in the range of 9 to 10.4 mg/dl by the age of 30 years old.

Above the age of 40 years old, your calcium levels will start to decrease very slowly, remaining between 9 to 10 mg/dl during adult age. For example, if you happen to have calcium levels at 10.5 mg/dl but you are more than 40 years old, although this might be in the normal range for an adolescent, these levels could indicate an underlying health condition.

The Vitall home calcium blood tests always include the appropriate ranges for someone of your age and sex, to ensure abnormal calcium blood levels can be detected [5,6].
 

What Are The Symptoms Of Lack Of Calcium?

If you have low calcium levels, this is also known as hypocalcaemia. Having hypocalcaemia for long periods of time can lead to dry skin, weak nails, and damaged hair.

You can also experience muscle cramps and over time hypocalcaemia can affect brain function, leading to confusion, depression, delirium, and hallucinations. In more severe cases, hypocalcaemia can lead to muscle spasms which can lead to difficulty breathing, irregular heartbeat and seizures.

Given these potentially serious outcomes, measuring your calcium levels on a regular basis with a calcium blood test is recommended  [7–9]. 

£89

Should I Worry If My Calcium Is Low?

Low calcium levels (hypocalcaemia) mean you have low levels of calcium in your blood, and can be detected using a  home calcium blood test. Usually, a calcium deficiency is more common than having too much calcium in your blood, and this can be treated by taking calcium supplements and also attending to any underlying medical conditions that might be causing it. You should ensure to discuss this with your GP first.

Hypocalcaemia can occur as a result of either not enough calcium being drawn from your bones into your bloodstream, or when excessive amounts of calcium are lost in your urine. This can be due to medications such as certain diuretics, corticosteroids, bisphosphonates (used to treat osteoporosis) and others. It is important to monitor your calcium levels on a frequent basis when taking drugs that can cause hypocalcaemia as a side effect.

Other reasons for having hypocalcaemia could be vitamin D deficiency, low magnesium levels, not having a diet rich in calcium, inflammation of the pancreas, or a kidney dysfunction. If you have low levels of parathyroid hormone (hypoparathyroidism), this will lead to your blood calcium levels to fall as well, and your blood phosphorous levels to rise, which can cause muscle cramps and spasms.

You should contact your doctor if you are experiencing any of the symptoms related to low calcium levels, or a calcium blood test shows it is low, in order to determine the underlying cause [7,8,10,11]. 
 

What Are The Symptoms Of Too Much Calcium?

Having high calcium levels in your blood is also known as hypercalcaemia, which can be detected with a calcium blood test. Hypercalcaemia can affect your kidneys which can lead to thirst and the need to urinate more often. Checking your kidney function with a home kidney function test can also be useful.

You can also experience nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, constipation, belly pain, muscle aches and bone pain, confusion, tiredness, depression, and in the most severe cases heart problems such as palpitations, irregular heartbeat, fainting, and very rarely seizures or a heart attack [12–14]. 

£89

Should I Worry If My Calcium Is High?

Having high calcium levels in your blood (hypercalcaemia) can result from consuming too much calcium through your diet, or consuming too much vitamin D. The most common cause of hypercalcaemia is if your parathyroid glands are secreting too much parathyroid hormones (hyperparathyroidism), which will lead to higher levels of calcium in the blood.

Other causes of hypercalcaemia come from medications such as thiazide diuretics, as well as kidney failure, thyroid disease, and immobility. In more serious cases, cancer can lead to hypercalcaemia, typically lung cancer, kidney cancer, breast cancer, gastrointestinal cancer, leukaemia, and head or neck cancers.

If your calcium levels are too high, your doctor might carry out more blood tests to check your parathyroid gland activity in order to find the root of the problem [15–18]. 

What Is A Calcium Blood Test Used For?

Calcium blood tests are very useful because they provide important information that can allow you and your physician to detect and monitor conditions related to your bones, teeth, heart, blood vessels, blood cells, kidneys, nerves, digestive system, parathyroid glands, thyroid gland, and muscles.

A home calcium blood test can also be used to monitor the impact of drugs that can either increase or lower your calcium levels. Abnormally high or low calcium levels can potentially indicate the presence of an underlying medical condition, which can make your doctor ask you to take more tests to further investigate it.

Blood tests that can help your doctor better understand what is happening in your body are Vitamin D, magnesium, phosphorus, and parathyroid hormone levels tests. Your vitamin D and parathyroid hormone levels directly impact the levels of calcium in your bloodstream and can thus be the reason you have abnormal calcium levels [19,20].

£89

When Should I Take A Calcium Test?

You should routinely check your calcium levels – at least once every year using a calcium blood test. Your doctor may also ask you to take the test if you are showing symptoms of hypercalcaemia (too much calcium) or hypocalcaemia (not enough calcium).

A home calcium blood test can also help your doctor detect certain conditions like cancer, kidney disease, osteoporosis, parathyroid disease, or malnutrition. Some medications can impact your calcium levels, so it is important to know if you need to stop taking them before the test in order to obtain accurate results.

Drugs that can lower your calcium levels are bisphosphonates like zoledronic acid and alendronate, antiacids containing calcium, denosumab, cinacalcet, phenytoin and cisplatin. On the other hand, drugs that can increase your calcium levels are lithium, diuretics like hydrochlorothiazide, and Vitamin D supplements.

Another important point is to avoid having food or drinks that contain a lot of calcium before taking the test as it may affect the results [21,22].
 

How Can I Take A Home Calcium Test?

If you want to find out your calcium levels, you can simply order a calcium home test kit online and have it delivered to your home. There are many test kits which can measure your calcium levels, for example a vitamin and mineral test kit, which gives you a summary of many vital vitamins and minerals that could be lacking.

If you are experiencing bone related problems or if you above the age of 50 or post-menopausal, you might want to take a bone health test, which can give you a summary of your calcium levels and other minerals, proteins and vitamins that play a role in bone health.

These calcium home test kits are carried simply by pricking your finger with a lancet to draw blood, then placing it in a prepaid envelope and sending it to the laboratory by post. Your results will be sent to you securely online, usually within the following 24 hours. 

Whatever calcium blood test you take, we recommend also measuring your vitamin D levels at the same time, since the levels of these two biomarkers are often closely linked.

£89

Further Reading On Calcium Tests At Home

  1. BDA. Calcium. https://www.bda.uk.com/resource/calcium.html.
  2. Vitamins and minerals - Calcium. nhs.uk https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vitamins-and-minerals/calcium/ (2017).
  3. Calcium and bone health. https://theros.org.uk/information-and-support/bone-health/nutrition-for-bones/calcium/.
  4. Theobald, H. E. Dietary calcium and health. Nutr Bulletin 30, 237–277 (2005).
  5. Blood Calcium Normal Ranges According to Age. https://www.parathyroid.com/Normal-Blood-Calcium-Levels.htm.
  6. Serum Calcium: Reference Range, Interpretation, Collection and Panels. (2021).
  7. Cooper, M. S. & Gittoes, N. J. L. Diagnosis and management of hypocalcaemia. BMJ 336, 1298–1302 (2008).
  8. Fong, J. & Khan, A. Hypocalcemia: updates in diagnosis and management for primary care. Can Fam Physician 58, 158–162 (2012).
  9. Pepe, J. et al. Diagnosis and management of hypocalcemia. Endocrine 69, 485–495 (2020).
  10. Garabédian, M. [Hypocalcemia]. Rev Prat 48, 1201–1206 (1998).
  11. Pittman, K., Antill, Y. C., Goldrick, A., Goh, J. & de Boer, R. H. Denosumab: Prevention and management of hypocalcemia, osteonecrosis of the jaw and atypical fractures. Asia Pac J Clin Oncol 13, 266–276 (2017).
  12. Bilezikian, J. P. Hypercalcemia. Dis Mon 34, 737–799 (1988).
  13. Goldner, W. Cancer-Related Hypercalcemia. J Oncol Pract 12, 426–432 (2016).
  14. Zagzag, J., Hu, M. I., Fisher, S. B. & Perrier, N. D. Hypercalcemia and cancer: Differential diagnosis and treatment. CA Cancer J Clin 68, 377–386 (2018).
  15. de Brito Galvão, J. F., Schenck, P. A. & Chew, D. J. A Quick Reference on Hypercalcemia. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract 47, 241–248 (2017).
  16. Žofková, I. Hypercalcemia. Pathophysiological aspects. Physiol Res 65, 1–10 (2016).
  17. Tebben, P. J., Singh, R. J. & Kumar, R. Vitamin D-Mediated Hypercalcemia: Mechanisms, Diagnosis, and Treatment. Endocr Rev 37, 521–547 (2016).
  18. Carroll, M. F. & Schade, D. S. A practical approach to hypercalcemia. Am Fam Physician 67, 1959–1966 (2003).
  19. Calcium | Lab Tests Online. https://labtestsonline.org/tests/calcium.
  20. Shrimanker, I. & Bhattarai, S. Electrolytes. in StatPearls (StatPearls Publishing, 2021).
  21. Calcium test (Lab Tests Online UK). https://www.heron.nhs.uk/pidd/publicationdetails.aspx?m=1&formatid=20923.
  22. Blaine, J., Chonchol, M. & Levi, M. Renal control of calcium, phosphate, and magnesium homeostasis. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol 10, 1257–1272 (2015).
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