Tetany

Dr Sujit Bhattacharya M.B.B.S, MD (General Medicine) FNA, FNASc, FAMS.

Tetany is a symptom complex caused by low blood calcium due to a Variety of conditions. Low blood calcium stimulates the muscles. This results in muscle spasm, hyperflexibilitty and tremor. Tetany generally affects the fingers of the hands, but can involve any muscle. It may produce carpopedal spasms, bronchospasm, laryngospasm and muscle cramps. Besides low calcium, Tetany can be caused by low magnesium and low potassium. Acute dehydrating diarrhoea, kidney disease, pregnancy and vitamin D deficiency can precipitate Tetany. Parathormone has an important role in regulation of blood calcium. Hence, in hypoparathyroidism where hypocalcaemia occurs Tetany may be precipitated. Oral repletion may be indicated for outpatient treatment; however, those patients requiring intravenous (IV) repletion should be admitted and treated in-hospital. The recommended dose of elemental calcium in healthy adults is 1-3 g/d. Vitamin D deficiency requires Vitamin D replacement.

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