Hypomagnesemia can occur when a person does not absorb enough magnesium from their diet. Or, they may release too much magnesium from the kidneys or through the gastrointestinal tract.
Malnutrition, possibly caused by anorexia, bulimia, or frequent vomiting can result in a magnesium deficiency. However, malnutrition is unlikely to be responsible for low levels of the mineral in otherwise healthy people.
Other causes of a magnesium deficiency include:
- Alcoholism. Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to imbalances of electrolytes or nutrients, and it may cause the body to release more magnesium than usual.
- Breast-feeding and pregnancy. These factors increase the need for magnesium.
- Diarrhea. Chronic diarrhea can lead to an imbalance of electrolytes. People with related conditions such as Crohn’s disease are more vulnerable to hypomagnesemia.
- Age. As a person ages, it becomes more difficult to absorb magnesium.
- Diabetes. High levels of glucose in the kidneys can cause the body to release more magnesium. People with type 2 diabetes or insulin resistance may develop magnesium deficiencies. Diabetic ketoacidosis is a life-threatening complication of diabetes, and it can reduce magnesium levels.
- Organ failure. Organ failure, particularly of the kidneys, may cause the body to excrete too much magnesium.
People on certain medications may also lose large amounts of magnesium. These medicines include:
- some antifungal drugs
- proton pump inhibitors
- the chemotherapy drug cisplatin
Individuals receiving the hormone vasopressin or certain thyroid hormones may be similarly affected.
When a magnesium deficiency causes symptoms, a doctor will usually prescribe supplements.
The following foods are also rich in this electrolyte:
- almonds, peanuts, and cashews
- other legumes and nuts
- brown rice
When deficiencies are severe, or the methods above are ruled out, a doctor may recommend oral magnesium salts. Magnesium can also be injected into a muscle or vein. Ongoing monitoring can determine whether the treatment is working.
A magnesium deficiency is linked to other mineral deficiencies, and a doctor may treat them at the same time. For example, it is common to receive calcium and magnesium together.
It is important also to treat any underlying condition, such as diabetes, that could be responsible for low magnesium. A magnesium deficiency can indicate that the current treatment is not working. An improved treatment plan may include lifestyle changes or new medication.
Dr. Birken recommends taking a potent multivitamin called Core Multi. “Core Multi contains an extensive amount of vitamins and minerals that are often inadequately supplied in our diet,” Dr. Birken said.
For more information about Core Multi, call 281-419-3231 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org