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A ubiquitous cation (+)

Calcium is the major mineral found in teeth and bones. Calcium metabolism affects nearly every other system in the body including nerve and muscle. As a cation, it is found in approximately equal concentration in both ICF and ECF.

Calcium is also found in the cell membrane where it is involved in cell adhesion, and cell structural integrity. Within cells, calcium acts as an enzyme activator. Muscle cells require calcium to generate contraction. Calcium aids blood coagulation, and affects membrane permeability and nerve firing level.

Hypocalcemia is known to cause anxiety, irritability, twitching around mouth, spasms of the larynx, seizures, Chevostek's sign, Trousseau's sign, paresthesia of fingers, tetany or painful muscle spasms, facial spasms, muscle cramps, and spasmodic contractions, arrhythmias and hypotension.

View hypocalcemia at emedicine.medscape.com

Hypercalcemia is known to cause drowsiness, lethargy, headaches, depression or apathy, irritability, confusion, weakness and flaccidity, bone pain and fractures, hypertension, heart block, cardiac arrest, anorexia, and various intestinal disorders.

View hypercalcemia at emedicine.medscape.com

Section Last Modified:
11/15/2009 17:02 PT