calcitonin test

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what is calcitonin?

Calcitonin is a hormone. The parafollicular cells (commonly known as C-cells) of the thyroid gland produce this hormone in the human body. 

what is calcitonin used for?

Calcitonin uses and Calcitonin function

Calcitonin is primarily used to increase bone calcium content. The Calcitonin hormone is also instrumental in decreasing the blood calcium level when it rises above the Calcitonin normal range. 

It also plays a role in lowering the blood phosphorus level when it rises above normal. The effects of the parathyroid hormone are also opposed by the Calcitonin hormone. 

calcitonin test

The Calcitonin test is done to check the amount of calcitonin in the blood.

why should you get tested?

The Calcitonin test can help in diagnosis and monitor C-cell hyperplasia and medullary thyroid cancer. It is also used to screen those at risk for multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2 (MEN 2)

when to get tested?

If your healthcare practitioner suspects that you have medullary thyroid cancer or during the course of treatment, this test is recommended. If a family member has medullary thyroid cancer or MEN 2, this test is recommended as well. 

calcitonin blood test

The Calcitonin blood test is very simple and involves a blood sample being drawn from a vein in your arm.

how to prepare for the calcitonin blood test?

You may be required to fast overnight. Your doctor will give you any further instructions which should be followed. 

calcitonin normal range

A normal value is less than 10 pg/mL.

Women and men can have different normal values, with men having higher values of calcitonin levels.

Sometimes, calcitonin levels in the blood are checked several times after being given a shot of a medication that stimulates calcitonin production.

Different labs have different methods of testing, and hence the results and normal ranges may vary. 

what abnormal results mean

A higher-than-normal level may indicate:

  • Insulinoma
  • Lung cancer
  • Medullary cancer of thyroid (most common)
  • VIPoma

People who have kidney disease, are smokers and have higher body weight may have higher Calcitonin levels. 

what are the risks associated with the calcitonin test

Veins and arteries vary in size from one person to another and from one side of the body to the other. There might be some difficulty in obtaining a blood sample from some people. 

This is not a high-risk test, but some slight complication may arise such in rare cases:

  • Excessive bleeding
  • Fainting or feeling lightheaded
  • Hematoma 
  • Infection 

calcitonin medication and calcitonin side effects

The doctor might recommend some supplements to you. If you take an injection to boost your Calcitonin levels, you may experience the following side effects:

  • Some warmth, redness, itching, or a tingly feeling. 
  • Nausea,
  • loss of appetite, 
  • stomach pain;
  • vomiting;
  • skin rash or itching;
  • increased urination, especially at night;
  • eye pain;
  • swelling in your feet.

what is procalcitonin?

Procalcitonin (PCT) is a biomarker. This can help identify which patient has sepsis and is used in the diagnosis of bacterial infections.  

If there is a suspicion that a patient may have bacterial sepsis, the Procalcitonin blood test is performed several times. 

procalcitonin results

Procalcitonin normal range is 0-.05 µg/L. A Procalcitonin level less than .5 µg/L may be a reason to suspect that there is an infection. Procalcitonin level between .5 - 2 µg/L can indicate the possibility of a systemic infection. Procalcitonin levels of 2-10 µg/L indicate that sepsis is a likely cause and 10 µg/L or greater indicates a very high possibility of severe sepsis.  

how can we help?

Our team of medical experts at Portea can help you get tested for calcitonin and procalcitonin at home. Calcitonin treatment and Calcitonin supplement are also recommended to you after taking a look at the report which is also delivered at home. The procalcitonin level in the Procalcitonin test is also taken into account while prescribing treatment.