Calcium, which is stored in the bones, is regulated by the thyroid, parathyroid, and kidneys. In some cases, children may have too little calcium in the blood, which is a condition called hypocalcemia. Conversely, when a child has too much calcium in their blood, it is referred to as hypercalcemia.
Parathyroid hormone and calcitonin are the two hormones that regulate the release of calcium from the bones into the bloodstream. While calcium is most commonly known for its role in bone health and development, it has other key purposes within the body. For example, our bodies also use calcium for proper muscle contraction, including the heart, nerve conduction, and other bodily functions.
When there is too much or too little calcium in the blood, symptoms become evident. The following chart outlines the difference between the two disorders.
Hypocalcemia is a condition that occurs when there is too little calcium in a child’s blood.
Hypercalcemia is a condition that occurs when there is too much calcium in a child’s blood.
Diagnosis and Treatment
The diagnosis of either hypocalcemia or hypercalcemia is typically made with a blood test and an overview of the child’s health history.
The treatments of the two conditions are vastly different. While the treatment of hypocalcemia may be as simple as prescribing calcium or Vitamin D supplements, the treatment of hypercalcemia is far more complex.
An appointment with Dr. Joshua Smith, our pediatric endocrinologist, will help identify the origin of the calcium disorder and establish a treatment plan. Pediatric Endocrinology Specialist
Dr. Smith is the region’s only pediatric endocrinology and is specifically trained to properly diagnose and treat calcium disorders.
If your child is experiencing calcium disorder symptoms, call Dr. Joshua Smith for an appointment, or fill out the form below.