Hypomagnesemia means low levels of magnesium in the blood.
Low blood magnesium; Magnesium - low
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Several conditions can cause hypomagnesemia, including:
Common symptoms include:
- Abnormal eye movements (nystagmus)
- Muscle spasms or cramps
- Muscle weakness
Signs and tests
Your health care provider will do a complete physical examination to help determine the cause of your symptoms.
Blood and urine tests will be done. Other tests that can confirm hypomagnesemia include:
The cause of hypomagnesemia must be diagnosed and treated. Treatment depends on the type of hypomagnesemia, but may include:
- Fluids given through a vein (IV)
- Magnesium by mouth or through a vein
- Medication to relieve symptoms
The outcome depends on the condition that is causing the problem.
Calling your health care provider
Hypomagnesemia can be a life-threatening emergency. Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of this condition.
Treating the condition that is causing hypomagnesemia can help. If you play any demanding sports, drink fluids that contain electrolytes (sports drinks). Drinking only water while you take part in high-energy athletic events can lead to acute hypomagnesemia.
Pollak MR, Yu ASL, Taylor EN. Disorders of calcium, magnesium, and phosphorous balance. In: Brenner BM, ed. Brenner and Rector's The Kidney. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2008:chap 16.
Yu ASL. Disorders of magnesium and phosphorous. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 120.
Last reviewed 5/29/2011 by David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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