Low levels of calcium

My husband just received blood test results showing low levels of calcium. A 6.6 out of an expected range of 8.6-10.2 mg/dL. What can this mean? He's an otherwise healthy guy. Can you shed some light?

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by: Kerri Knox, RN- The Immune Queen!

Hmmm. I'm curious. You say that your husband is healthy, but can you tell me more about what is going on with him? A Blood Calcium Level is not a 'standard everyday' test that doctors do at a normal yearly physical for healthy people.

Usually they either:

1) Found an abnormal test that made them suspect something


2) They are looking for the source of his health problems and did a calcium level to try to find it.

So, maybe I'm wrong and your husband just has a super thorough doctor that checked his calcium level for his yearly physical, but I'm wondering if there is more to his health story besides 'healthy'? Let me know and I'll try to help you further from there...

Kerri Knox RN Immune Health Queen

Kerri Knox, RN- The Immune System Queen
Functional Medicine Practitioner
Immune System

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by: Anonymous

Hi, Kerri -

Thank you for the quick response. This was just a routine physical, plain & simple. There was nothing specific the Dr was trying to get to the bottom of.

We had no clue exactly which blood tests he'd be running so we presumed just the norm. Except for some slightly elevated cholesterol readings & a negligible amount of protein in the urine, everything, I mean everything is within normal range.

He did pass a kidney stone awhile back for the first time & has stopped guzzling low fat chocolate milk after years & years of abuse, which has allowed him to lose 15+ lbs. He looks & feels pretty great. I must admit, he does have a high stress, demanding job & doesn't have the best sleeping habits.

He's nervous & anxious now as to why this could be when he thought this physical would be a slam-dunk. Thank you for the interest & help.

by: Kerri Knox, RN- The Immune Queen!

Well, that is interesting.

OK. So first of all, be sure to read my page on Blood Calcium Levels because, as you know from his milk habit, it's NOT a problem of not getting enough calcium. That is just simply NOT why you get low calcium levels- although your doctor MAY want him to take calcium for a while, that's fine. That can help fix the problem, but it's NOT the cause.

So, there are a few possibilities here and I would say the first two are almost certain, the third you may want to look into (even though your doctor won't think it's important, but you probably should anyway.):

1) Magnesium Deficiency: Be sure to read my page on Magnesium Levels because he could still be magnesium deficient if he JUST had a normal magnesium level. It absolutely requires magnesium in order to absorb calcium and low calcium levels have been increased doing NOTHING else but giving magnesium.

Magnesium deficiency is ALSO the cause of Kidney Stones, so he has 3 reasons (a high stress job too) to believe that he's magnesium deficient.

2) Vitamin D Deficiency: it also takes vitamin D in order to absorb calcium, and EVERYBODY is Vitamin D Deficient. INSIST that his doctor check his level and make sure that it is within the 'OPTIMAL' (NOT normal) Vitamin D Levels

3) Celiac Disease: less likely than the previous two, but researchers are VERY CLEAR that osteoporosis with NO OTHER SYMPTOMS is a good reason to check for Celiac Disease. I know he doesn't have osteoporosis, but a low blood calcium level would lead to it eventually and it's certainly a possibility that a digestive absorption problem is the cause of the low calcium level.

HOWEVER, your doctor will ask if he's got digestive problems and then say it's 'not indicated' to check him for Celiac Disease, so if you are interested in pursuing this (I recommend that he at least get a blood test for it), then you might have to push for it.

Here are a couple of resources that you can print out and show your doctor to see why silent Celiac Disease is a problem and why he should be tested:

Hypocalcemia and Skeletal Disease as Presenting Features of Celiac Disease

Celiac disease as a cause of transient hypocalcemia and hypovitaminosis D in a 13 year-old girl

Celiac disease manifesting as isolated hypocalcemia

So, that's a start anyway. Let me know if you have any questions...

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