Hypermagnesemia: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment
Magnesium is an important component that is used by the body that is important for heart health and functioning of the nervous system. Hypermagnesemia is a rare electrolyte disorder in which there is a high level of magnesium in the bloodstream. The body uses magnesium as an electrolyte, which means that when it dissolves in the blood, it generates and transports an electrical charge throughout the body.
Magnesium is stored inside cells or bones which helps to maintain normal nerve and muscle functions. It also contributes to the structural development of bone, helps regulate blood glucose levels, keeps the heartbeat steady and is required for the synthesis of DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid) and RNA (Ribonucleic acid).
The body maintains a normal level of 1.4 to 2.6 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) of magnesium at all times in healthy people. A magnesium level greater than 2.6 mg/dL is considered high. It is severe if the level is greater than 7 mg/dL.
Causes of Hypermagnesemia
Usually, hypermagnesemia is caused by problems in the organs that regulate and control magnesium in the body, mostly intestine and kidney. When these organs do not work, they are unable to get rid of excess magnesium in the body, resulting in a buildup of the mineral in the blood. Other conditions which causes Hypermagnesemia include.
- Kidney failure.
- Diabetic ketoacidosis.
- Lithium intoxication.
- Addison’s disease.
- Milk-alkali syndrome.
- Prolonged ischemia.
- Tumor lysis syndrome.
- Adrenal insufficiency.
Symptoms of Hypermagnesemia
You may not have any signs and symptoms if your levels are slightly above normal. If your blood magnesium levels increases, you may experience these symptoms.
- Impaired breathing.
- Low blood pressure.
- Abnormal heart rhythm.
- Neurological impairment.
Diagnosis for Hypermagnesemia
To make a diagnosis, the doctor will carry out a blood test and measure the magnesium level in the blood. The severity of the condition is determined by the magnesium level found in the blood.
Treatment for Hypermagnesemia
Treatment for hypermagnesemia focuses on identifying the cause and preventing the patient from taking magnesium from any source. The next step is to start intravenous calcium supplements to reduce some serious symptoms such as breathing problems and other cardiovascular complications such as severe hypotension.
Diuretics and water pills are also very effective in getting rid of excess magnesium in the body through urine. People with end stage kidney disease may need dialysis to remove excess magnesium from the body. It is also necessary for those who do not respond to other forms of treatment.
It is clear that people with kidney problems are at maximum risk of hypermagnesemia. For this reason, such people are very careful with diet and medication. You should avoid anything that contains magnesium, including some over-the-counter laxatives. It is important for doctors to screen for hypermagnesemia in people who have impaired renal function and develop the above symptoms.
How can Hypermagnesemia be Prevented?
Avoiding medicines that contain magnesium can help prevent complications. These include some over-the-counter antacids and laxatives.
When to see a doctor?
You should seek medical care immediately if you experience severe symptoms of hypermagnesemia.