What is Tetania: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment



It is characterized by increased excitability of the nerves , muscle spasms, tremors or alternating muscle contractions. Clinical signs of the disorder may include: hands and feet immobile in a certain position, facial spasms produced by a gentle blow to the facial nerve and spasm in the forearm muscles. (Sign of Chvostek).

This disorder usually precedes an abnormal sensation of tingling, numbness or numbness of the senses , derived from a pathology in any sector of the structures of the central or peripheral nervous system, caused by cold or excessive heat, hyperventilation, nervous shock or hypoxia. .

These abnormal impressions can occur in any part of the body, but are more frequent in the hands, feet, arms and legs. These circumstances are usually the result of low levels of calcium in the blood.

Causes of Tetany

  • Extirpation of the parathyroids.
  • Rickets and osteomalacia.
  • Insufficient intestinal absorption.
  • Renal insufficiency.
  • Acute pancreatitis
  • Hyperventilation.
  • Excessive vomiting due to pyloric syndrome.
  • Chronic alcoholism
  • Hepatic cirrhosis.


  • Contractions of minutes or hours, either of one or several muscles, frequently located at the level of the extremities.
  • Hand contractions characteristics.
  • Toes bent.
  • Cramps.


It is carried out by the description clinical signs or the verification of a crisis by the doctor. Similarly, blood tests are performed to measure the volume of calcium in the body and sometimes an electromyogram to study the spontaneous and stimulated activity of an affected muscle.

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The treatment will depend on the cause of Tetany. If it is due to a lack of calcium, the serum calcium should be adjusted . On the other hand, if it is one of the elements that are part of a spasmophilia, it is necessary to support the crisis by strengthening the individual’s own security, respiratory control and, in the longer term, psychotherapy or anxiolytic medications.