The Calcium, Ionized test may be used to measure the free or unbound amount of calcium in the blood. Calcium is a mineral which is important for healthy functioning of the heart, muscles and nervous system as well as proper bone formation. Calcium which is not bound to albumin is considered free and metabolically active.
In most cases, a total calcium blood test is an accurate way to measure calcium because there is a stable balance between free and bound calcium. However, in some cases the balance between free and bound calcium is disrupted which will make measuring free calcium more effective. This can include when a person has abnormally low albumin levels, is undergoing major surgery, is receiving blood transfusions or is critically ill.
This test is typically ordered when a person has a condition which may make a regular calcium blood test inaccurate. Some people with low ionized calcium levels may experience symptoms such as muscle spasms or numbness around the mouth or in the hands and feet.
Turnaround time for the Calcium, Ionized test is typically 1-2 business days.
Note: Result turn around times are an estimate and are not guaranteed. Our reference lab may need additional time due to weather, holidays, confirmation/repeat testing, or equipment maintenance.
The Calcium, Ionized test has no fasting requirements.
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