Definition of Hypocalcemia
Hypocalcemia: Lower-than-normal level of calcium in the blood, which makes the nervous system highly irritable, as evidenced by tetany (spasms of the hands and feet, muscle cramps, abdominal cramps, and overly active reflexes). Chronic hypocalcemia contributes to poor mineralization of bones, soft bones (osteomalacia), and osteoporosis. In children, hypocalcemia leads to rickets and impaired growth. Treatment involves increased dietary intake of calcium or calcium supplementation.
Last Editorial Review: 3/19/2012
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