Calcium tests typically check plasma calcium level in humans. Before getting into the details of calcium tests, one has to understand a little more about the importance of calcium. One has to remember that with 99 percent of this vital mineral found in one's bones, calcium truly is amongst the key minerals to be found in our bodies. The remaining one per cent of calcium can be found circulating in our blood stream. Calcium is also typically classified into two broad categories as bound or free calcium.
While the former is typically inactive, the latter kind of calcium is active in the human body. The term given to the first category, which makes up about as much as fifty per cent the calcium found, would be ionized. The inactive portion is typically attached to certain compounds as well as to protein.
Calcium is thus a very necessary part of us, and our diets have to reflect the same. Calcium is particularly important when it comes to growing children. This is why doctors recommend higher dietary calcium requirements for those ages. Calcium is particularly vital in case of women since women are susceptible to conditions like osteoporosis. In fact, calcium may be needed in supplemental form in such cases. Another factor to consider when dealing with calcium is that absorption is also a factor.
Most common is the test termed as total calcium which effectively, as the name suggests, looks at the aggregate amount plasma calcium level. This helps in screening certain conditions as well as monitoring and diagnosing specific ones. Such disorders related to different body parts such as heart and teeth. For instance, this calcium test could help your doctor determine whether you are suffering from bone disease. Such conditions could also be associated with kidney, bones and one's nerves. Basic Metabolic Panel (BMP) is one of the set of tests which would also include this total calcium test.
When attempting to measure one's calcium plasma levels, no special preparation is needed.
Blood is required for measurement of total calcium, as obtained via a normal blood sample. By this method of calcium testing, ionized as well as inactive categories may be examined. However, in case of ionized or active variety of calcium, there may be need for special sample handling. Normal plasma calcium levels are usually considered good.