As one of the many electrolytes present in the body, magnesium is a vital mineral which is considered to be extremely important for the optimum functioning of the human body. Magnesium is crucial for regulating the blood pressure in the body. It’s also considered to be an important electrolyte required for strengthening of the bones. In addition, it’s responsible for over-regulating over 300 metabolic reactions in the body. As per studies, it has been reported that nearly 2 percent of the general population suffer from hypomagnesemia. Further, this percentage is said to increase in case of hospitalized individuals.
Hypomagnesemia is described as an electrolyte imbalance which occurs when the magnesium levels dip lower than usual. In adults, the normal magnesium values are in the range 1.5-2.5 mg/dL. Needless to say, maintaining ideal magnesium levels is extremely important for maintaining the functioning of the body’s heart and nervous system. When this disorder is left untreated, it could lead to serious health implications while also decreasing the levels of calcium and potassium in the body. When an individual’s magnesium levels are registered to be under 1.25 mg/dL, then the condition is considered as a case of severe hypomagnesemia.
One of the issues associated with hypomagnesemia is that its asymptomatic meaning it might not show any symptoms. The only way of really finding out if the levels of magnesium are low is by undergoing a blood test. However, in the case of people suffering from a mild bout of hypomagnesemia, they might display the following symptoms:
In the case of people with severely low blood magnesium levels, the following symptoms may be present:
Hypomagnesemia usually occurs when there is a lack of magnesium in the diet. Alternatively, magnesium can be excreted by the kidneys or through the gastrointestinal tract and if there’s an excessive release of magnesium, hypomagnesemia may occur. There are several other causes of hypomagnesemia which include:
Before a treatment plan can be suggested, the doctor will check the individual’s medical history following which a detailed physical examination will be conducted. Diagnostic tests such as EKG & blood tests will be recommended to analyze calcium levels and to gauge levels of magnesium & potassium in the blood.
The healthcare professional will then suggest an appropriate treatment plan to increase the blood magnesium levels. A diet rich in magnesium foods such as spinach, black beans, whole grain cereal, dry fruits such as almonds, cashews, peanuts etc., soya beans and soymilk, whole wheat bread, avocado, banana, salmon, baked potato with the skin will be suggested to increase magnesium levels in the blood.
In cases where the deficiencies are severe, the consulting doctor may recommend medications to increase the levels to a safe range. Oral magnesium salts may be prescribed or medication may also be given intravenously in order to increase the blood magnesium levels to a safe range. Ongoing monitoring will be carried out to help determine whether the treatment is effective.
It is important to keep hydrated by drinking at least 2 to 3 liters of fluid on a daily basis. Individuals are also advised to drink energy fluids as it may help pump up levels of magnesium. Chances are that an individual suffering from severely low blood magnesium levels might also have calcium (hypocalcemia) and potassium deficiency (hypokalemia). Accordingly, the healthcare professionals may suggest oral supplements to ensure levels are normalized.
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