Frequently Asked Questions

Weird symptoms from low calcium?


Sometimes a patient will call and say “my fingers and my face feel weird, but it doesn’t seem exactly like what I read about the symptoms of low calcium after parathyroid surgery. Is this low calcium?” Symptoms of low calcium can be tricky, and don’t always fit the textbook descriptions. While the most common sensation is described as numbness or tingling in the finger tips or lips, other sensations such as vibrating, trembling, and just an odd feeling of the skin can also occur. Sometimes people will say that they think their body is vibrating.

Low calcium symptoms on third day

Few people get symptoms of low calcium. If you are one of those few, it almost always happens on the third day following surgery. It never happens the day of surgery! If it happens, it usually involve the fingers and the face first with some tingling, like you hit your funny bone. If it is 3 days after your operation, and you have a new numbness-like sensation in your hands, you can assume it is due to low calcium, and that you need to take more. Start with 2 extra Citracal.

Only one in 20 of patients operated at the Norman Parathyroid Center get any symptoms of low calcium, and it only lasts a day or two in almost all cases. We are saying this again, that the symptoms of low calcium usually start three days after parathyroid surgery. It never occurs the day of surgery or the next day. It is very uncommon two days after surgery. It is extremely rare for these symptoms to start 2 weeks or more after surgery. So if you had surgery a few weeks or a month ago and now notice some new numbness in your fingers, it is probably NOT low calcium.

Read our page on “what you need to know”

Most people make too big a deal about this. Although low calcium symptoms happen to only a small percentage of our patients, for some reason (human nature?), everybody is freaked out and thinks they will be one of the 4-5%.  Read this page “What You Need To Know About Low Blood Calcium”.