Causes

The primary sources of magnesium deficit are reduced intestinal absorption and increased renal excretion. Sources of reduced GI absorption include losses from intestinal or biliary fistulae, prolonged nasogastric suction, diarrhea, malabsorption syndrome, and laxative abuse. Decreased oral intake of magnesium also decreases absorption and is caused by malnutrition, chronic alcoholism, starvation, and prolonged administration of magnesium-free parenteral fluids. Increased renal excretion of magnesium occurs because of prolonged diuretic use; the diuretic phase of acute renal failure; acute alcohol intoxication; hyperaldosteronism; syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone (SIADH); or medications such as cisplatin, digoxin, tobramycin, gentamicin, cyclosporine, and amphotericin. Other conditions that are associated with low magnesium include malignancies, diabetic ketoacidosis, hypocalcemia, hypoparathy-roidism, acute and chronic pancreatitis, burns, multiple transfusions of stored blood, and toxemia of pregnancy.

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