Phosphorus Imbalances

Hypophosphatemia

In this condition, the phosphorus level is less than 2.7 mg/dL. Causes of decreased phosphorus are lack of nutrition, increased calcium levels, thyroid disorders, alcoholism, and poor nutrition. Symptoms include muscle weakness, respiratory depression, irritability, and positive Chvostek's and Trousseau's signs. Treatment consists of oral phosphorus with vitamin D as the first line of treatment.

Hyperphosphatemia

Here, phosphorus levels are above 4.5 mg/dL. Causes of increased phosphorus are renal disorders, thyroid disorders, and a decrease in calcium levels that increases phosphorus. Treatment consists of administering a calcium-containing phosphate binder such as Renagel and Phoslo.

Calcium Imbalances

Hypocalcemia

In this condition, calcium levels are below 8.6 mg/dL. Hypocalcemia is caused by thyroid disorders, renal failure, vitamin D deficiency, increased phosphorus, and chemotherapy. Symptoms are muscle numbness and tingling, positive Chvostek's and Trousseau's signs, seizures, and muscle twitching. Treatment consists of administering calcium and vitamin D.

Hypercalcemia

Here, calcium levels are above 10.4 mg/dL. Hypercalcemia is caused by overactive thyroid, cancer, and diuretics. Symptoms are muscle weakness, weight loss, confusion, nausea, kidney stones, and abdominal pain. Treatment consists of calcitonin, loop diuretics, and bisphosphonates such as etidronate.

 
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