I would like to clarify that tetany is not a disease. Tetany is a symptom that could be linked to several diseases; therefore, tetany does not have a singular cause. Tetany is involuntary muscle contractions from overly stimulated nerves. More often than not, the spasms and cramps occur in the hands and feet, but they can occur throughout the body and have been known to even cause breathing problems. Severe episodes can cause vomiting, seizures, and severe pain.
Due to the fact that tetany is a symptom, it has multiple causes. One such cause in an electrolyte imbalance. Another possible cause is low calcium amounts in the body. Magnesium and potassium deficiencies have also been linked to tetany. These imbalances are not necessarily diet-related either, which makes finding a cause for tetany difficult. For example, kidney or liver problems can interfere with calcium levels; therefore, the root cause of tetany is not the calcium levels but kidney or liver failure. All of these various scenarios make tetany difficult to treat, because treating the symptom is not the same thing as treating the cause. In the best-case scenario, a doctor finds the root cause of tetany and treats that cause. This would result in the tetany being cured as well. Short-term treatments do involve dietary changes that try to correct the various imbalances.