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Discharge Instructions for Hypocalcemia

You have been diagnosed with hypocalcemia (not enough calcium in your blood). Calcium is a mineral that helps develop bones and teeth, controls heart rhythm, and allows muscles to contract. Causes of hypocalcemia include lack of calcium or vitamin D in your diet, digestive system problems, gland problems, kidney or pancreas disease, and low magnesium levels.

Home care

  • Eat more dairy products. Increase your intake (in moderation) of milk, cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, and ice cream.

  • Read food labels. Buy dairy products, juices, and breads that contain added calcium.

  • Take a calcium supplement.

  • Take a vitamin D supplement. Most multivitamin tablets contain vitamin D.

  • Try to get out in the sun for at least 20 minutes every day. Exposure to the sun helps your body make vitamin D, which in turn helps you absorb calcium.

  • Avoid soft drinks (soda pop). These drinks contain phosphates, which can interfere with your ability to absorb calcium.

  • Avoid salty foods. Salt makes you lose calcium.

  • Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription and over-the-counter medicines you are taking. This includes herbal preparations. Some common medicines can cause your body to lose calcium.

  • Resume your normal activities as directed by your healthcare provider.

Follow-up

Make a follow-up appointment, or as advised by your healthcare provider.

 

When to call your healthcare provider

Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of the following:

  • Extreme fatigue

  • Depression

  • Hallucinations

  • Muscle cramps, spasms, or twitching

  • Numbness and tingling in the arms, legs, hands, or feet

  • Seizures

  • Irregular heartbeat

© 2000-2017 The StayWell Company, LLC. 800 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.