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Magnesium Blood Test: Why Should You Get One?

By    |   Wednesday, 20 Jul 2016 08:57 PM

A magnesium blood test can help you and your doctor determine whether or not your magnesium levels are too low or too high.

Magnesium, according to the National Institutes of Health, is a mineral required by the body to regulate more than 300 biochemical reactions, including heartbeat and blood pressure. Normal serum magnesium levels range between 1.7 to 2.3 milligrams per deciliter and can be measured through a magnesium blood test.

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A magnesium blood test may be ordered by your doctor if symptoms of deficiency or overdose of this crucial mineral are present.

According to Healthline, symptoms of magnesium deficiency include loss of appetite, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, weakness, numbness, tingling, seizures, muscle cramps, personality changes, and/or abnormal heart rhythms.

A magnesium blood test may also be used to monitor diabetes or kidney problems and to check for malabsorption or malnutrition problems.

High levels of magnesium may cause confusion, diarrhea, nausea, slow heartbeat, stomach pain, vomiting, and/or low blood pressure. Rarely, magnesium overdose can cause cardiac arrest or death.

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Normal magnesium blood test results may vary from person to person depending on age, health status, body type, and gender.

According to MedlinePlus, an abnormal magnesium blood test may indicate low or high levels of magnesium. High levels may be caused by Addison's disease, renal failure, dehydration, diabetic ketoacidosis, or low urine production. Low magnesium levels may be caused by alcoholism, chronic diarrhea, hemodialysis, cirrhosis, pancreatitis, too much insulin, preeclampsia, or ulcerative colitis.

You also may need to have a magnesium blood test, says WebMD, to find the cause for muscle twitches, muscle weakness, low blood pressure, dizziness, slurred speech, heart problems, breathing problems, or low calcium or potassium levels not improving with treatment. Three days before the magnesium blood test, it is recommended that you stop taking magnesium-containing medications (i.e., antacids, laxatives, magnesium supplements, and certain diuretics).

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A magnesium blood test can help you and your doctor determine whether or not your magnesium levels are too low or too high.
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