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Metabolic Disorders
Calcium Imbalance
Chloride Imbalance
Gaucher's Disease
Glycogen Storage Diseases
Lactose Intolerance
Magnesium Imbalance
Metabolic Acidosis
Metabolic Alkalosis
Phosphorus Imbalance
Potassium Imbalance
Sodium Imbalance
Syndrome of Inappropriate Antidiuretic Hormone Secretion
Tay-Sachs Disease

Magnesium Imbalance

What is Magnesium Imbalance ?

Magnesium, the second most abundant intracellularcation, functions chiefly to enhance neuromuscular integration. Changes in magnesium level affect neuromuscular irritability and contractility. Magnesium also stimulates parathyroid hormone (PTH) secretion, us regulating intracellular fluid calcium levels.

Magnesium also regulates skeletal muscle contraction through its influence on calcium utilization by depressing acetylcholine release at synaptic junctions. In addition, it activates many enzymes for proper carbohydrate and protein metabolism, aids in cell metabolism and the transport of sodium and potassium, across cell membranes, and influences sodium,potassium, calcium, and protein levels.

Causes of Magnesium Imbalance

Hypomagnesemia most commonly results from chronic alcoholism. The deficiency may also result from malabsorption syndromes, chronic diarrhea, prolonged nasogastric suction, or postoperative complications after bowel resection. It may follow decreased intake or administration of parenteral fluids without magnesium salts, enteral or total parenteral nutrition without adequate magnesium content, increased renal excretion associated with prolonged diuretic therapy, ard cisplatin, amphotericin, tobramycin, or gentamicin therapy. It may also follow excessive loss of magnesium, as in severe dehydration and diabetic acidosis; hyperaldosteronism and hypoparathyroidism; hyperparathyroidism and hypercalcemia; and excessive release of adrenocortical hormones.

Hypermagnesemia usually results from the kidneys inability to excrete magnesium that was either absorbed from the intestines or infused. Common causes of hypermagnesemia include chronic renal insufficiency, severe dehydration, overdose with magnesium salts, and adrenal insufficiency overuse of magnesium-containing antacids, especially with renal insufficiency.

Signs & Symptoms of Magnesium Imbalance

you may experience one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Convulsions and epileptic fits
  • High or low blood pressure
  • Nervousness and anxiety
  • Sodium accumulation inside cells
  • Muscle weakness and tremors
  • Kidney stones
  • Late-onset diabetes
  • Insomnia
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Heart disease and cardiac arrhythmias.
  • Asthma; menstrual cramps

Diagnostic Tests

Serum magnesium levels are analyzed to determine imbalance. Values less than 1.5 mEq/L or 1.8 mg/dl confirm hypomagnesemia; values more than 2.5 mEq/L or 3 mg/dl indicate hypermagnesemia.

Serum magnesium levels should be evaluated in combination with serum albumin levels because low albumin levels decrease the total magnesium while leaving the amount of free ionized magnesium unchanged.

Low levels of other serum electrolytes (especially potassium and calcium) typically coexist with hypomagnesemia. In fact, unresponsiveness to correct treatment for hypokalemia strongly suggests hypomagnesemia. Similarly, elevated levels of other serum electrolytes are associated with hypermagnesemia.


The goal of therapy is to identify and correct the underlying cause. Therapy for patients with mild hypomagnesemia consists of dietary replacement and possibly daily oral magnesium supplements. For patients with severe hypomagnesemia, therapy includes I.V. administration of magnesium sulfate (10 to 40 mEq/L diluted in I.V. fluid). Magnesium intoxication is a possible adverse effect. Treatment requires calcium gluconate I.V.

Therapy for patients with hypermagnesemia includes increased fluid intake and loop diuretics such as furosemide with impaired renal function; calcium gluconate (10%) I.V., a magnesium antagonist, for temporary relief of serious symptoms in an emergency, along with ventilatory support; and peritoneal dialysis or hemodialysis if renal function fails or if excess magnesium can't be eliminated.
Prevention Tips

People consume adequate amounts of magnesium in the food they eat. Dietary supplements can be used safely, but should only be used under a doctor's supervision.

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