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What Is the Treatment for Hypocalcemia?

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  • Written By: C.B. Fox
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 17 September 2014
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The treatment for hypocalcemia depends a great deal on the severity of the condition and the underlying cause for it. Patients with mild to moderate hypocalcemia may be treated with supplements and the addition of calcium rich foods to the diet. Patients with severe cases of this disorder may require medical attention in order to recover. If the hypocalcemia is caused by a disease, such as alcoholism or kidney disease, a patient's recovery from this condition will involve the treatment and management of the disease.

In mild cases, the treatment for hypocalcemia may be as simple as a change in diet. Patients who do not show any symptoms of the disorder may have time to correct the lack of calcium by eating more foods that are rich in this mineral. Mild, over-the-counter calcium supplements may also be added to the patient's diet for mild hypocalcemia. The condition can also go unnoticed and be corrected without any change in diet.

Patients that have a more severe but not life threatening case of hypocalcemia may also be placed on a diet rich in calcium and given calcium supplements. Readily available and well-tolerated, calcium supplements can quickly and easily be used as a treatment for hypocalcemia. The patient may also be given dietary supplements that include vitamin D, magnesium, or albumin, which help the body break down and use calcium.

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In severe cases, the treatment for hypocalcemia may include the intravenous administration of calcium. This is done in a hospital setting and usually only after a patient arrives in a state of severe distress, such as unconsciousness or seizure. In a hospital, the amount of calcium in a patient's body can be easily determined through a blood test. This information helps medical professionals determine a proper course of treatment.

Though most cases of hypocalcemia are caused by a diet low in calcium, there are a number of medical conditions that can cause this disorder. The treatment for hypocalcemia when it is caused by one of these disorders will usually involve the administration of extra calcium to the patient and the treatment of the disease. Alcoholism is a common cause of hypocalcemia, which, in this instance must be treated by providing extra calcium to the patient and removing alcohol from his or her diet. Diseases of the kidneys, pancreas, or thyroid can also cause hypocalcemia and must themselves be treated if the patient is to make a complete recovery.

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