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Discharge Instructions for Hypomagnesemia

You have been diagnosed with hypomagnesemia. This means you don't have enough magnesium in your blood. Magnesium is a mineral. It helps your body work normally. It helps you form bones. It helps muscles and nerves work. And it helps enzymes and hormones work. A very low magnesium level can be serious and lead to seizures and abnormal heart rhythms. And it can lead to heart attack. Other symptoms can include: 

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Sleepiness

  • Weakness

  • Personality changes

  • Muscle spasms or tremors

  • Loss of appetite

Diet changes

You will need to eat more foods that contain magnesium. These include:

  • Dark green, leafy vegetables, such as salad greens, spinach, kale, chard, and collards

  • All nuts and nut butters, including peanuts, almonds, pecans, cashews, brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, peanut butter, and almond butter

  • Sunflower seeds

  • Pumpkin seeds

  • Milk, chocolate milk (prepared from powder mix) and eggnog

  • Soy products, including tofu, soybeans, and soy milk

  • Beans

  • Halibut

  • Baked potatoes (with skin)

  • Millet, including puffed millet cereal

  • Brown rice, including brown rice cakes

  • Avocado, including guacamole

  • Dried apricots

  • Bananas

  • Oatmeal

  • Bran cereals

  • Chocolate and cocoa powder

  • Meal replacement bars and drinks 

Other home care

  • Take a magnesium supplement as advised.

  • Have your magnesium levels checked as often as advised. This is important if you are taking a diuretic. This medicine helps flush water from the body.

  • Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines and herbal supplements you take. This includes prescribed and over-the-counter medicines. Some of these can lower your magnesium levels.

  • Take all medicines as directed.

  • Take your pulse as often as advised. Call your healthcare provider if your pulse rate is higher than 100 beats per minute.

  • Ask if you need to take a calcium supplement. If your magnesium level is low, you may be low in calcium.

Follow-up

Follow up with your healthcare provider, or as advised. Your healthcare provider will need to watch your condition closely. You may need extra care if you have a health condition that causes your hypomagnesemia.

When to call your healthcare provider

Call your provider right away or go to the emergency room if you have any of the following:

  • Muscle twitching, spasms, or cramps

  • Fatigue

  • Confusion

  • Loss of consciousness or fainting

  • Dizziness

  • Irregular or fast heartbeat

  • Chest pain or shortness of breath

Online Medical Reviewer: Diane Horowitz MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Paula Goode RN BSN MSN
Online Medical Reviewer: Raymond Kent Turley BSN MSN RN
Date Last Reviewed: 5/1/2020
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