Calcium is one of the most essential nutrients needed by the body for healthy functioning. Calcium is necessary for bone and teeth development. Calcium maintains bone strength and development, and prevents bone disorders like osteoporosis. While calcium's bone developmental properties are well documented, it also plays an essential role in maintaining muscle and nerve functions, it also maintains glandular function, keeps blood pressure in check, and keeps the arteries in the body free of blockages.
The body's calcium content is stored in the bones and plasma and other cellular fluids. The body maintains a tight control over calcium levels in the body and three essential hormones are brought into play for this system to work - the parathyroid hormone (PTH), vitamin D and calcitonin. Together they ensure that when the blood calcium levels dip, the body pulls out calcium reserves stored from the bones. Similarly when calcium content is too high, it is either stored away (in the bones) or passed out. The most dietary common source of calcium is milk, yogurt and leafy greens. An important non-dietary source of calcium is the sunlight (a source of Vitamin D). The importance of Vitamin D calcium levels is already stated above.
Doctors order a blood calcium level test, or a serum calcium level test, to diagnose a number of conditions that concern the bones, nerves, kidneys and heart. This procedure tests to check for calcium content that isn't stored in the bones. A blood calcium test is usually done along with a phosphate test as the combination allows doctors to study a number of conditions.
A blood calcium level test is used in order to learn more about the following conditions: