Hypocalcemia is a disease in which an abnormally low level of serum calcium is observed. Pathology is usually accompanied by violations of electrophysiological processes. It can occur in acute or chronic form.
Hypocalcemia. What it is?
Hypocalcemia is a pathology in which the level of calcium in the blood is below 2.2 mmol / l. This substance in the body is localized mainly in the bones( about 99%) and blood plasma( about 1%).With a deficiency of calcium in the plasma, it starts from the bones. Thus, the necessary balance is maintained.
It is very important to timely determine the cause of the pathology and begin a full-fledged treatment. Otherwise, a lack of calcium can negatively affect the work of the whole body, on the human condition. This syndrome requires special attention in young patients.
Hypocalcemia: causes of
- Hypoparathyroidism. In the case of prolonged ischemia of the parathyroid glands or their direct hypoplasia, a sharp decrease in the parathyroid hormone occurs in the bl
- Diseases of the intestine, in which the absorption of calcium by the mucosa of the small intestine is impaired.
- Acholia is the cessation of bile flow into the small intestine, which is required for cavitary digestion.
- Hypovitaminosis D or resistance to its action.
- Toxic shock syndrome is one more reason.
- Calcium in the blood may not be enough because of the defeat of the pancreas. Inflammation promotes the gradual deposition of salts of this substance in the areas of fat necrosis.
- Metastasis of large tumors.
- Admission of certain groups of drugs( diuretics, anticonvulsants, antibiotics).
- In children, the pathology develops as a result of feeding with cow's milk or mixtures with high phosphorus content.
Clinical picture of
Low calcium in the blood for a very long time may not show characteristic features. After a certain period of time, pathology leads to impaired brain functions and causes neurological symptoms: depression, memory loss, hallucinations, confusion. If you can quickly normalize the condition, these signs are reversible.
Excessively low concentration of calcium in the blood can cause muscle pain, tingling in the lips and tongue. In particularly serious cases, patients have convulsions, spasms of the larynx muscles, tetany.
How is hypocalcemia manifested? Symptoms may be as follows:
- Hemorrhagic / hypocoagulant syndrome. This condition is accompanied by excessive bleeding gums due to a clotting disorder. Calcium deficiency increases the permeability of the walls of the vessels.
- Dystrophic transformation of tissues. They are manifested in the form of increased fragility of nails and hair, various defects in teeth, development of cataracts.
- Heart rate disturbance.
The main types of pathology
There are two forms of the disease: chronic and acute hypocalcemia. Symptoms of the latter are characterized by the appearance of a syndrome of massive cytolysis. In this case, ionized calcium is quickly removed from the blood. Pathology is characterized by rapid progression, if cytolysis is accompanied by kidney failure.
There is another classification of the disease. Hypocalcemia happens:
- Functional( it develops due to disruption of the internal organs).
- Toxigenic( formed by the use of certain groups of drugs, the effects of toxic substances).
- Violation of the habitual regulation of calcium-phosphorus-magnesium exchange.
Features of hypocalcemia in children
This pathology can be diagnosed in children of any age. The lack of calcium and phosphorus in the diet, vitamin D is the most common reason that explains the appearance of such a disease as hypocalcemia. Symptoms of this ailment are most pronounced in the event that the child has increased physical and mental load. It is characterized by the following clinical signs:
- Atypical tetany, which manifests itself in awkward movements.
- Spasms of the calf muscles.
- Persistent diarrhea.
- Increased intracranial pressure.
Hypocalcemia in children is a very serious pathology requiring immediate treatment. Inattention to the health of the child can lead to the development of the most unexpected complications.
Hypocalcemia after childbirth
After the birth of the baby, this disease in women is diagnosed very rarely. It takes place in an acute form and is accompanied by paralysis of the pharynx, tongue, and stomach. In especially difficult cases, a woman falls into a coma. Postpartum hypocalcemia, the causes of which have not been studied to the end, refers to diseases of the endocrine nature.
Usually, this disease is learned accidentally during a preventive examination. Low calcium in the blood is detected after the blood test. That is why the pathology is first diagnosed, and the characteristic symptoms appear later. To determine the cause, which served its development, the doctor can additionally assign a number of diagnostic measures( biochemical analysis of blood, MRI of internal organs, radiograph of bones, electrocardiography).
What kind of treatment is needed?
With this disease, it is extremely important not only to fill the calcium deficiency, but also to eliminate its possible causes.
In patients with hypoparathyroidism, hormone replacement therapy is prescribed for patients. In this case, it is important to eliminate the underlying disease as early as possible and prevent hypercalcemia( a condition in which elevated calcium in the blood is noted).If the patient has no problems with absorption of drugs in the small intestine, such a therapy for a short period of time can lead to positive results, including in severe form of the disease.
When tetanye attacks are intravenously administered solutions of calcium chloride. It should be borne in mind that such drugs irritate the veins. Therefore, it is better to do injections through the central catheter or into a large vein.
To treat the disease in a chronic stage, patients are prescribed vitamin D( for example, "Calcitriol", "Ergocalciferol"), as well as calcium preparations in tableted form. The dosage of medicines is selected individually, depending on the particular course of the disease called "hypocalcemia."
Treatment also includes adherence to a special diet. The diet should be enriched with foods high in magnesium and vitamin D( milk, dried fruits, vegetables, various cereals).For the entire period of therapy it is recommended to abandon excessively fatty foods, smoked products, baked goods and pickles. The food should be a fraction. This means that you can eat often, but in small portions. This diet has a positive effect on the digestive tract, significantly improves metabolic processes.
Possible complications of
Reduced or elevated calcium in the blood has an equally negative effect on the work of the whole organism. When symptoms of hypocalcemia appear, you should immediately seek help from a doctor and take the recommended course of treatment. Otherwise, the likelihood of developing quite serious health complications increases. These include cataracts, neuritis, edema of the optic nerve. In addition, there are cases of the occurrence of heart failure and severe deformation of the skeleton.
How can a disease such as hypocalcemia be prevented? Symptoms of this pathology so greatly impair the quality of life that many patients involuntarily ask this question.
First of all, experts strongly recommend that you revise your daily diet. It is better to remove from it all harmful foods, add more healthy and proper food. As a prophylaxis of the development of the disease, doctors are advised to adhere to the principles of proper nutrition: cook steamed or baked in the oven, eat often and in small portions. It is very important to diversify the diet with foods high in magnesium and vitamin D.
It is recommended to limit the use of laxatives. If there are problems with intestinal peristalsis, consult a specialist. It will help to understand not only the main cause of constipation, but also will select the most effective therapy.
How else can the disease be prevented? The causes of this pathology are often concealed in the improper operation of the digestive tract. However, timely treatment of kidney and gastrointestinal tract diseases helps to avoid problems with calcium deficiency in the blood.
We hope that all the information presented in this article about such a widespread disease today will be really useful for you. Be healthy!