Hypomagnesemia is caused due to deficiency of magnesium. The hypomagnesemia side effects can be life-threatening, if they are not treated on time. Read further to know more…
Hypomagnesemia is deficiency of magnesium, where the levels of magnesium in blood drop below 1.5 milligrams per decaliter. It is actually an electrolyte imbalance. Magnesium is found in blood and bones. It is important for maintaining heart and nervous system functioning, along with neuromuscular functioning. One of the main causes of this condition is high levels of calcium in the body. The high levels of calcium cause magnesium to be eliminated from the body. Alcoholics are also known to suffer from this condition. If the condition is not treated well on time, side effects of hypomagnesemia can be life-threatening.
Causes of Hypomagnesemia
There is a mechanism adopted by the body with which levels of magnesium and potassium in the cells are regulated. If potassium is moved into the cells as opposed to magnesium, it often leads to low magnesium levels. It is the task of the kidneys to eliminate magnesium from the body. If the kidneys are not functioning properly, a lot of magnesium may be eliminated from the body, which in turn can result in hypomagnesemia. A diet low in magnesium is often one of the causes of low magnesium.
The levels of magnesium may be dropped, if magnesium from the diet is not well absorbed into the body. There are different reasons why magnesium may not be absorbed into the body. Some of the reasons include excessive use of alcohol, laxative, diarrhea, etc. Taking certain types of medicines may also have adverse effect on the levels of magnesium in the body. Low levels of magnesium may be seen during pregnancy as well.
Low magnesium causes irritability of nerves and muscles. Muscle tremors, hyperactive reflexes, involuntary contraction of muscles are among the low magnesium symptoms. Twitching of the eyes or other muscles in the body is hypomagnesemia symptoms. Some people suffer from loss of appetite due to low levels of magnesium in the body. There may be restlessness and disorientation observed as a result of low magnesium in the body. If magnesium in the body is very low, then it can show serious symptoms like hallucination, seizures and irregular heartbeats. High blood pressure may also be caused due to low magnesium levels.
Hypomagnesemia Side Effects
Hypomagnesemia is a serious condition, hence it is important to understand the hypomagnesemia risks. This will ensure measures are taken to treat the condition. When the magnesium levels in the body drop down considerably, it leads to problems with the muscular system. Muscles may cramp and may go into spasms for no apparent reasons. Conditions like deep tendon reflexes may be seen as well. In some cases, if certain muscles in the body go into spasms the person may find it difficult to even move around. If the muscles in the esophagus go into spasms as a result of low magnesium, the person may experience trouble while swallowing food and in some severe cases the person may not be able swallow at all.
Irregular heartbeats and high blood pressure are among the symptoms of hypomagnesemia. In other words, hypomagnesemia causes adverse effect on the heart. In some cases the patient may suffer from the sensation of skipping a heartbeat. On the other hand, there may be some cases, where the patient may feel that the heart is beating rather faster as compared to the normal rate. If this condition is not treated well on time, it can affect the functioning of the heart and cause heart attack.
Hypomagnesemia in infants should not be neglected. As a matter of fact, it may be very difficult to notice the symptoms of low magnesium in babies. If the baby takes long pauses between two breaths or is generally very weak and finds it difficult to even grasp a finger, then this condition needs immediate attention. In some cases the infants may be agitated for no apparent reason or may even experience seizures violent or otherwise.
If any of the symptoms of hypomagnesemia are observed, it is important to have them treated at the earliest. Hypomagnesemia can affect the functioning of any of the vital organs including the kidneys and the heart. Apart from the vital organs, functioning of the muscles and nerves may also be affected due to low levels of magnesium.