Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the human body with the bones and teeth housing 99% of all calcium in the body. Best known for its role in maintaining the strength and density of bones, calcium also plays a role in many physiological activities including: blood clotting, nerve conduction, muscle contraction, regulation of enzyme activity, and cell membrane function. Because these activities are essential to life, calcium is the most closely regulated element in our bodies. In fact, calcium is the only mineral that has its own regulatory system (the parathyroid glands). Parathyroid glands control how much calcium is in our bones, and how much calcium is in our blood.
A 6 hour fast is required for this blood test. However, drink plenty of water and take your medications as prescribed.
Ionized calcium is the form of calcium that is free or unbound to serum protein (mainly albumin). Measurement of ionized calcium provides insight if you have signs of kidney disease, parathyroid disease, and certain conditions that alter your levels of albumin. However, total calcium remains the first line test for evaluation of calcium abnormality.
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