Why Assess Calcium Levels?
Calcium plays a critical role in the body as it is tightly regulated and necessary for nerve function. Additionally, it is a structural element in bones and teeth, with 99% of the body’s calcium being stored in the bones. A drop of about 30% in plasma calcium levels can result in tetany, a potentially fatal condition that causes overstimulation of the nerves in both the central and peripheral nervous systems, leading to skeletal muscle contractions.
Plasma calcium concentration is a constant laboratory value, with a normal range of 9-11 mg per dL, regardless of the diet. An average adult takes in about 750 mg of calcium per day and secretes about 625 mg of calcium in the intestinal juices. If all the ingested calcium is absorbed, there would be a net absorption of 125 mg per day. On average, an individual excretes about 125 mg of calcium per day in their urine, resulting in a zero net calcium balance except when bone is being deposited. When bone is being deposited, the regulation of urinary calcium excretion is a crucial factor in allowing for bone growth. Urine calcium is the best indicator of adequate dietary calcium since it is under tight hormonal control.
The most common causes of low urine calcium levels are an insufficient dietary intake of calcium and/or a high oxalate diet. Calcium deficiency can also occur due to hypoparathyroidism, pseudohypoparathyroidism, vitamin D deficiency, nephrosis, nephritis, bone cancer, hypothyroidism, celiac disease, and malabsorption disorders.
Why Assess Magnesium Levels?
Like calcium, magnesium is an essential element, with 66% of the body’s magnesium stored in the bones. It is a cofactor in many enzymatic reactions, especially those requiring vitamin B6. When magnesium levels are extremely low, it can cause muscle tetany, similar to what happens with severely low calcium levels. A low magnesium diet may also increase the incidence of oxalate crystal formation in the tissues and kidney stones. Early signs of magnesium deficiency include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, migraine headaches, fatigue, and weakness.
High urine magnesium levels are most commonly caused by a high magnesium diet. Other less common causes include insulin resistance, alcoholism, diuretic use, primary aldosteronism, hyperthyroidism, vitamin D excess, gentamicin toxicity, and cis-platinum toxicity. Marked magnesium excess can cause symptoms such as diarrhea, hypotension, nausea, vomiting, facial flushing, retention of urine, ileus, depression, and lethargy.
Learn More About the Calcium + Magnesium Profile: Explore FAQs
An appropriate ratio of both these critical minerals is required in order for them to be effective.
The Calcium and Magnesium Test report can help to determine if levels are adequate for optimal health.
Test Prep and Instructions
MosaicDX offers patient-friendly sample collection kits that simplify testing. Our kits include visual, step-by-step instructions for test preparation and sample collection, personalized shipping cards, and pediatric collection bags if needed. With MosaicDX, patients can easily collect samples for testing with confidence and accuracy.