Hypocalcaemia is a bone disorder caused by low blood calcium levels (under 8.5 mg/dL). Calcium is essential for the normal operation of a variety of body functions. Hence, it is very important to maintain it at normal levels.
What are the symptoms of hypocalcaemia?
Children born with hypocalcaemia exhibit weak muscles and delayed development, convulsions, diarrhoea, cramps and incomplete tooth formation. In pre-puberty, low calcium levels in girls can affect the development of their gender characteristics and delay the onset of puberty.
What is the cause of hypocalcaemia?
Hypocalcaemia is associated with Vitamin D deficiency, loss of calcium, magnesium deficiency and, many endocrine disorders (such as hypoparathyroidism).
How is hypocalcaemia diagnosed?
The endocrinologist will take a detailed medical history of the child and the rest of the family to rule out a genetic disorder related to hypocalcaemia, and will then order lab tests to measure the levels of:
- Calcium (total and ionised)
- Parathyroid hormone
- Vitamin D.
How is hypocalcaemia treated?
Treatment of the condition depends on the cause and severity of the symptoms. The doctor strives to cure the symptoms and eliminate potential complications. It usually requires the administration of calcium and Vitamin D. Monitoring of the child by an endocrinologist is essential.