The study of urine for calcium (Ca) allows you to identify abnormalities in the metabolism. Therefore, such tests are often prescribed by pediatricians. If the calcium content in the child’s urine is increased or decreased, the diet is adjusted, and the intake of vitamins is prescribed.
The rate of calcium in the urine in babies of different ages is different. A growing body needs to maintain a sufficient amount of this macronutrient in order for the skeleton to form in accordance with age norms. Determination of its content in urine allows detecting latent diseases in time and taking measures to eliminate them.
About the role of calcium in the body
More than 90% of Ca is contained in bones and is involved in the formation of the human skeleton. It is also necessary for the work of the heart and blood vessels, muscle tissue. Macronutrient intake occurs with food, excretion – calcium excretion – with urine and feces.
With a properly balanced diet, normal functioning of internal organs, the level of the chemical element Ca does not change. Its deficiency leads to bone diseases, cardiac problems. Therefore, calcium is an essential element for humans.
A study of a urine sample in a baby allows you to determine the need for vitamin D, a lack of which leads to rickets.
When a urine test for calcium is prescribed
Ca is absorbed in the small intestine. With blood, it enters all organs. The parathyroid gland releases it from the bone tissue if the macronutrient is not supplied with food enough, and the body feels the need for it. The undigested macronutrient is excreted in urine or feces. An important indicator is the daily excretion of calcium in the urine.
As the child develops, his skeleton grows: the length and thickness of the bones increase. At this time, it is necessary to maintain a balance between excretion and intake of the macronutrient. Lack of Ca leads to fragility of bones, increasing the likelihood of fractures. Determination of calcium in urine allows you to maintain its content at the required level.
1% Ca is outside the bones. This element is involved:
- in pressure stabilization,
- in blood clotting processes,
- in the work of the brain,
- in the transmission of impulses from the brain to muscle tissue.
Analysis of urine for calcium content reveals how much of the element is excreted from the body through the kidneys. Research helps determine:
- how the macronutrient is absorbed through the intestines,
- Is it getting enough from food,
- how an element is absorbed by the body,
- whether it is the cause of the formation of kidney stones,
- why is it washed out of the bones,
- how the parathyroid gland works.
During the examination, the doctor decides whether to send the child for a urine test. Timely diagnosis of hypocalciuria allows you to prevent violations in the formation of the skeleton and other pathologies. A decrease in the amount of Ca in the urine of a child indicates a metabolic disorder, which leads to:
- to muscle spasms,
- tingling sensation in the fingers
- pain in the abdominal cavity.
Not only is the lack of an element dangerous, but also the excess. When the Ca level is exceeded, a person has:
- general weakness
- disturbances in the gastrointestinal tract (nausea, vomiting, constipation, pain in the abdomen),
- frequent urination to urinate.
The amount of Ca can be determined by blood and urine tests. To determine the exact level of calcium in the blood, material is taken from a vein. For the correct determination of its content in urine, it is preferable to take a daily biomaterial. Since all processes in the body occur with a certain cyclicity, and their activity changes, the data of one study may not reflect the real amount of Ca.
When giving a referral for research:
- The reason for the analysis may be thyroid disease, problems with the parathyroid gland.
- Observe the excretion of calcium in the urine during the period of taking vitamins or calcium-containing preparations. The study allows you to control the amount of macronutrient, the effectiveness of treatment.
- Determination of the amount of Ca is necessary for violations of the digestive processes.
- The analysis for the content of calcium in the urine is systematically taken by people suffering from renal failure, patients who have undergone a kidney transplant.
- Patients with pathologies of the musculoskeletal system and neuralgic diseases need control over the elimination of calcium from the body.
- Patients who experience pain in the back, in the side, complain that blood appears in the urine (hematuria). In such a situation, urine analysis helps in accurate diagnosis.
Minor deviations in the level of calcium from the norm do not appear externally in any way. With significant excess of the normal indicator in a person, general weakness, pressure drops are observed, and violations of the gastrointestinal tract can be detected. If you ignore the signs of the disease, it can turn into a more severe form, in which stones are formed in the kidneys.
Preparing and collecting urine for analysis
On the eve of collecting urine, you should stop eating dairy and other products containing Ca. Before collecting the biomaterial, the doctor may stop taking diuretics.
Before collecting urine, wash the child with warm water, dry with a towel. To collect urine for calcium from an infant, a special urine bag is required. They can be found at any pharmacy.
In older children, the biomaterial is taken into a plastic container, which, after filling, is tightly closed with a lid. For studies on calcium, a daily urine test is collected or a one-time one.
Containers with biomaterials are brought to the laboratory within 2-3 hours. If it is not possible to urgently deliver the liquid, the container with the contents is stored in the refrigerator on the lower shelf, after placing it in a plastic bag.
A one-time urine is taken for the calcification test. On an empty stomach, the concentration of calcium in the urine is greatest. Biological material is collected in the morning after sleep. The study helps to determine the approximate level of saturation of urine with Ca salts. The test is prescribed by pediatricians to calculate the dosage of vitamin D. It helps in the prevention of rickets.
After the study of urine, parents are given a form in which the level of macronutrient content in the test material is marked “+”. 1 or 2 “+” means its normal amount. If the norm is significantly exceeded, “+++” is given. If the document has four “+”, the Ca content is critical. To clarify the amount, the doctor prescribes a daily analysis.
If the macroelement is not found in the biomaterial, “-” is put in the corresponding column.
To determine the exact amount of Ca, urine collected during the day is required. The doctor should tell you about how to correctly pass a daily urine test for calcium. This study will show the real amount of Ca. It is better to start collecting in the morning, on an empty stomach. The first portion of urine is drained, the last is collected for research. During the day, material is added to the dishes, and the vessel is tightly closed with a lid to exclude the ingress of foreign matter.
The collection is completed the next morning. After the collection of daily urine for calcium is completed, the contents of the container are mixed well. Select the required amount for research. During the collection period, the container with biomaterial is stored in a cool, dark place. The last fence should be at the same time as the initial one.
The form with the results indicates the quantitative equivalent of the macronutrient. Further actions are selected depending on the indicator.
Inaccurate analysis results are explained by:
- improper collection of daily urine,
- taking medications with a diuretic effect,
- increased physical activity,
- eating foods high in calcium or vitamin D.
Long exposure to the sun, a sedentary lifestyle distorts accurate data. To determine the exact amount of Ca, the doctor may suggest retesting.
The norm of calcium in the urine of a child
The normal content of the element in urine depends on the age of the child. Calcium in the urine of a baby at the age of 6 weeks is 0-1 mmol. The norm of calcium in urine in children from 1,5 months. up to 4 years – within 2,6 mmol. For the age group 4-14 years, the normal ratio of calcium excreted and supplied with food may be 10,5 mmol.
Deviations from the norm and their causes
The level of calcium in the urine of a child shows its content in the blood and the amount processed by the kidneys. Deviations from the normal indicator, both in the direction of excess and in the direction of decrease, can lead to problems in the body.
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If calcium is elevated in the urine, this may indicate the development of a tumor in the body. To find out exactly what this means, you need to undergo a complete examination. Often, excessive activity of the parathyroid gland leads to a violation. Also, increased calcium in the urine causes:
- kidney implantation,
- excessive intake of vitamin D,
- prolonged immobility,
- excess thyroid hormones,
- diuretic drugs from the thiazide group.
Often the reason for the increase in the amount of macronutrient is benign formations, insufficient excretion of calcium in daily urine.
Kidney stones are 75% Ca. This explains the fact that its increased content in urine leads to the formation of calculi in the kidneys.
A large amount of the element can also be caused by a malignant tumor. Neoplasms spread to the skeleton, while calcium is washed out into the blood. Cancer cells produce hormones whose activity is similar to that of the parathyroid gland. This causes hypercalcemia.
A lot of calcium in the body appears when you follow a milk diet, long-term use of certain medications.
With a high Ca level, foods containing a large amount of the element must be excluded from the menu.
The reduced amount of Ca in the material is considered to be less than 100 mg/day. A common cause of decreased macronutrient levels (hypocalcemia) is a decrease in protein levels in the blood.
Malnutrition, liver pathology, impaired calcium reabsorption (reabsorption of fluid) lead to a decrease in the amount of an element. The study reveals a reduced level of bound Ca, while free Ca may be normal.
A low calcium reading may indicate:
- poor performance of the parathyroid gland,
- his small intake with food,
- insufficient amount of vitamin D,
- renal pathology,
- lack of magnesium.
Hypocalcemia occurs in premature babies, children with low birth weight. Immediately after birth, the baby is monitored in order to timely identify the lack of a macronutrient in the baby’s body.
In analyzes, ionized calcium is determined. With a slight lack of an element, the deficit is made up with food additives, correction of the diet of a nursing mother. Children with severe hypocalcemia are treated with intravenous injections.
It is important not to self-medicate and not to introduce foods into the baby’s diet without consulting a doctor.
Children who rarely get out in the sun also have calcium deficiencies. Their production of vitamin D in the body decreases, in severe cases this leads to the development of rickets. In the 19th century, this pathology was called the “English disease”, as due to the small number of sunny days in England, children often developed bone problems.
An abnormal urinary calcium level is not a diagnosis. If you respond to information in time, you can avoid serious problems. This is especially true for children.