Courses for Kids
Free study material
Offline Centres

Tetany Causes and Symptoms

Last updated date: 23rd Feb 2024
Total views: 391.5k
Views today: 3.91k
hightlight icon
highlight icon
highlight icon
share icon
copy icon


An Overview on Tetany: Causes and Symptoms

Tetany is a medical symptom that happens due to muscle cramps, spasms, etc. It may occur in any muscle of your body, such as larynx, calves, arms or fingers, etc. The tetany causes and symptoms may be visible in an individual due to multiple reasons. 

There are specific medical problems that you can quickly understand how it occurs in a body. For instance, heartburn, after having a spicy meal or chills due to getting wet in the rain, has a definite cause. However, tetany disease is something that can leave people wondering and the doctors, as it occurs due to various conditions.

Causes of Tetany

The tetany causes and symptoms are visible in an individual when he/she faces muscle cramps or shaking of hands and feet, etc. The primary factor responsible for tetany to occur in a human body is a lower level of ionised calcium. However, there are various other causes associated with it as well.

Some of the common causes accountable for tetany to occur are:

  • Excess intake of alcohol or liquor regularly.

  • Alkalosis (a situation where the pH level of the blood becomes high).

  • Side effects of medications.

  • Hyperventilation or excess breathing (occurs when one breathes too fast or deeply). It is directly related to anxiety in a person. As an individual gets excited, the breathing rate increases.

  • Hypocalcemia is another primary cause of tetany. It occurs in an individual due to the lack of vitamin D or lower calcium levels. Mild hypocalcemia is responsible for causing muscle contraction or cramps, and it can be treated with calcium or vitamin D supplements.

  • Hypoparathyroidism is another potential cause for the occurrence of tetany in a human being. In such circumstances, there is too little release of secretions from the parathyroid hormone. It is a rare condition, and it occurs mostly because of damage or removal of the parathyroid glands post surgery.

  • Malnutrition or lack of a balanced diet is another factor responsible for tetany. It happens because diets lack sufficient nutrients causing loss of immunity and severe health issues.

  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding can also result in tetany in the human body. Pregnant mothers often lack nutrients or face deficiency of vitamins in their body resulting in tetany.

  • Pancreatitis or inflammation of the pancreas causes tetany in a person. The pancreas can get inflamed when enzymes attack the gland itself, causing tissue damage.

  • Vitamin D deficiency is a significant cause of tetany in the body. Lack of dietary supplements and dairy products can lower vitamin D in a human. It can reduce the strength of a person, and medical attention is essential.

Once you are aware of the tetany causes and symptoms, seek medical advice to cure the disease. Timely care and attention can remove the roots of this disease from a human body and offer a healthy life.

Signs and Symptoms of Tetany

Overstimulation of neuromuscular activity results in the contraction of involuntary muscles. The tetany causes and symptoms become evident in a person primarily if he/she has a low calcium level. However, it may occur in a human body due to various other symptoms, such as: 

  • Cramps in the stomach or sharp abdominal pain can be one of the tetany symptoms.

  • Vomiting and chronic diarrhoea in a person.

  • Severe pain in head for a considerable time.

  • Lethargy or if one is reluctant to do activities.

  • Muscle cramps.

  • Numbness along with lack of consciousness in a person.

  • Twitching of the hands or fingers.

  • A tingling sensation in the feet or hand of a person can be an indication of tetany, called Paresthesias.

  • Spasms of the larynx also called the voice box (laryngospasm), lead to difficulty in breathing which causes the production of high-pitched sounds while breathing. This is called laryngeal stridor.

  • Convulsions or seizures can be a symptom of this disease.

  • Shortness of breath.

In specific circumstances, tetany may happen in an individual along with other serious symptoms. It may call for emergency medical care if you find these symptoms along with tetany – 

  • Paralysis of a portion of the body.

  • Loss or change in vision in a person.

  • Losing clarity in thinking, comprehending.

  • Difficulty of regaining memory along with incompetency in reading and writing.

  • Sudden numbness of one portion of a human frame.

  • Fainting or feeling tired.


In some cases, tetany can create a threat to the life of an individual. Such cases should be dealt with utmost care and seriousness.

Moreover, seeking immediate medical attention becomes essential if you face the common symptoms. If you are someone suffering slurred speech or shaking in hands or fingers, find medical assistance on an urgent basis.

Early detection of the health problem increases the chances of getting cured. Also, it can save your health from facing fatal consequences.

Fun Fact: There is a difference between tetany and tetanus as tetany occurs due to involuntary muscle contraction, whereas tetanus is a human infection.

Best Tips to Ace Your Studies

From the above conversation, we hope you got an understanding of tetany causes and symptoms. 

For preparing NEET examinations, start your day with a positive approach. Also, it is necessary to take utmost care of your body and mind. Practise self-healing exercises and yoga which helps you to calm your mind and increase concentration. 

While learning more facts about tetany disease or any other chapter, do not panic unnecessarily. Go for a long walk or take small breaks to keep exam stress at bay.

FAQs on Tetany Causes and Symptoms

1. Write down the difference between tetanus and tetany.



Tetany is a symptom that shows muscle

twitches, spasms, and pain in the extremities.


Tetanus is an infectious disease but it is non-communicable from person to person.


It may be caused by various reasons such as hypocalcemia, hypoventilation, alkalosis, pancreatitis, etc.

Infectious agent- Clostridium tetani. 

Tetany is a symptom that can be associated with various diseases such as tetanus, hypoparathyroidism, etc. 

Tetanus shows various symptoms which includes lockjaw, fever, and increased heart rate out of which tetany is one of the symptoms. 

2. What is the Treatment of Tetany?

The tetany treatment becomes hassle-free once a doctor finds out its cause. Correcting the imbalance helps to reduce the adverse effect of the problem. For instance, calcium and magnesium supplements can be useful in the treatment of the disease.