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is a condition that develops when the amount of magnesium in your body is too low. Magnesium is a mineral that helps your heart, muscles, and nerves work normally. It also helps strengthen your bones.

Signs and symptoms:

You may have no signs or symptoms when your levels are only slightly below normal. As your blood levels continue to decrease, you may develop any of the following:

  • Muscle weakness
  • Muscle tightness, tremors, or twitches
  • Irritability or insomnia
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Severe drowsiness, fatigue, and confusion
  • Fast or irregular heart rate
  • Seizures

Seek care immediately if:

  • You have numbness and tingling in your arms or legs.
  • You have painful muscle spasms and tremors in your arms or legs.
  • You are not able to move your muscles, and you have trouble thinking clearly.
  • Your heartbeat is faster than usual, or is irregular.
  • You have a seizure.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You have fatigue and muscle tremors or twitching.
  • You become irritable and have trouble sleeping.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.


Magnesium is given to you in the form of a pill if you have no symptoms and tests show you have mild hypomagnesemia. Magnesium will be given to you through an IV if you have moderate to life-threatening hypomagnesemia.

Prevent hypomagnesemia:

  • Manage health conditions by following your treatment plan. Health conditions such as congestive heart failure, diabetes, and chronic diarrhea can put you at risk for hypomagnesemia.
  • Eat foods that contain magnesium every day. Ask your dietitian or healthcare provider how much magnesium you need each day.
  • Limit or do not drink alcohol. Alcohol can prevent your body from absorbing magnesium. Alcohol also makes your body release large amounts of magnesium through your urine.
  • You may need to take a magnesium supplement. Ask your healthcare provider which supplement to take and how often to take it.

Foods that contain magnesium:

  • Almonds, cashews, peanuts, and peanut butter
  • Dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach
  • Raisins, bananas, apples, broccoli, and carrots
  • Soy milk and soy beans
  • Black beans and kidney beans
  • Whole-wheat bread and brown rice
  • Shredded-wheat cereal, oatmeal, and other breakfast cereals fortified with magnesium
  • Plain low-fat yogurt and milk
  • Cooked halibut

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

You may need more tests to monitor your condition. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

© 2016 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.