DefinitionHypomagnesemiais a condition in whichthe amount of magnesium in the blood is lower than normal.Alternative NamesLow blood magnesium; Magnesium – lowCauses, incidence, and risk factorsHypomagnesemia can be caused by:AlcoholismBurns that affect a large area ofthe bodyChronic diarrheaExcessive urination (polyuria), such as in uncontrolled diabetes and during recovery from acute kidney failureHigh blood calcium levels (hypercalcemia)HyperaldosteronismMalabsorption syndromes, such as celiac disease and inflammatory bowel diseaseMalnutritionMedications including amphotericin, cisplatin, cyclosporine, diuretics, proton pump inhibitors, and aminoglycoside antibioticsSweatingSymptomsCommon symptoms include:Abnormal eye movements (nystagmus)ConvulsionsFatigueMuscle spasms or crampsMuscle weaknessNumbnessSigns and testsYour health care provider will do a physical exam to help determine the cause of your symptoms.Tests that may be ordered include anElectrocardiogram (ECG)Blood and urine teststhat may be done include:Calcium blood testComprehensive metabolic panelMagnesium blood testPotassium blood testUrine magnesium testTreatmentTreatment depends on the type of hypomagnesemia and may include:Fluids given through a vein (IV)Magnesium by mouth or through a veinMedication to relieve symptomsExpectations (prognosis)The outcome depends on the condition that is causing the problem.ComplicationsCardiac arrestRespiratory arrestDeathWhen to Contact a Medical ProfessionalHypomagnesemia can be a life-threatening emergency. Call your health care provider right awayif you have symptoms of this condition.PreventionTreating the condition that is causing hypomagnesemia can help. If you play sports, drink fluids such as sports drinks,which contain electrolytes. Drinking only water while youare activecan lead to hypomagnesemia.ReferencesYu ASL. Disorders of magnesium and phosphorous. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman’s Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 121.advertisementReview Date:4/14/2013Reviewed 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 A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.