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What is it?
Along with calcium, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, and chloride, magnesium is one of the six essential minerals required by the human body in significant quantities. Involved in more than 300 enzyme reactions in the body, magnesium is necessary for bone formation, muscle activity, nerve transmission, energy production, and blood pressure regulation. It also plays an important role in blood sugar balance, as well as the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Low magnesium status is directly associated with increased risk of metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
Reference Ranges for Magnesium in mg/dL:
Adults: 1.8 to 2.6
Children (between the ages of 2 to 18): 1.7 to 2.1
Infants: 1.5 to 2.2
1.8 - 2.5 mg/dL
0.7398 - 1.0275 mmol/L
What are low values associated with?
Low magnesium levels (hypomagnesemia) may be caused by:
- Chronic stress, for example due to a physical injury or surgery.
- Diabetes or insulin resistance.
- A diet that is high in refined sugards and saturated fats.
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Excessive sweating or urination
- GI disorders, such as Crohn's, celiac and inflammatory bowel disease.
- High calcium levels
- High intake of coffee, tea or sodas
- Low dietary intake of magnesium
- Kidney disease
- Prolonged diarrhea
- The use of certain medications
- Weight gain
What are high values associated with?
Most of the times high magnesium levels (hypermagnesemia) may be caused by the following:
- Overuse of medications/supplements containing magnesium
- Adrenal disorders, such as Addison’s disease
- Kidney failure
- Electrolyte imbalance (caused by chemotherapy)