What is Magnesium?

Magnesium is an important nutrient for strong bones and muscles, energy, and nerve function. It helps regulate blood pressure and your heartbeat. In fact, 300 or more biochemical reactions depend on magnesium (1). A serum magnesium test measures the amount of magnesium in the bloodstream.

Why test magnesium?

Unless this is ordered as a retest or for a specific reason, we recommend ordering this as part of a health test.

Health check
Discover your risk factors for lifestyle diseases in time to do something about them.

Lifestyle factors
Your alcohol intake is high, or you eat a diet low in fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, and beans.

Health History
You have had magnesium deficiency or suffer from digestive complaints, especially diarrhea or constipation since diarrhea can reduce magnesium. Constipaton is associated with low intake.

Monitor changes to your blood values as you make lifestyle changes or take supplements.

Please note: if you are experiencing severe symptoms associated with magnesium deficiency or other health conditions, such as weakness, muscle cramps, confusion, seizures, or cardiac arrhythmias, we strongly recommend you consult your doctor as soon as possible.

What causes low magnesium?

A low blood level of magnesium may suggest that a person is either not consuming or absorbing enough magnesium or is losing magnesium. Causes include a diet low in plant foods or high in refined foods, uncontrolled diabetes, prolonged diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal problems, proton pump inhibitors and other antacids, ulcerative colitis, pancreatitis, any disorders that affect fat absorption, long-term diuretic use, chronic alcohol abuse, sweating, stress and burn injury. 

Lower magnesium levels can occur during pregnancy, particularly in the second and third trimesters. Both athletes and sauna users have increased magnesium need.

What causes high magnesium?

High levels are usually due to excessive supplementation or problems with excretion. Some people eliminate less than expected amounts of magnesium from the body. Blood magnesium levels can be affected by medications. Several health conditions can result in high magnesium, including hypothyroidism, hyperparathyroidism and dehydration.  

The body keeps magnesium levels stable. Cell levels can be low even if blood magnesium is normal.

More information

There is no advance preparation for this test.

On the day
Remember to take I.D. with you when going to take a test.

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