What is the etiology of hypomagnesemia?

Updated: Aug 08, 2019
  • Author: Manish Suneja, MD, FASN, FACP; Chief Editor: Vecihi Batuman, MD, FASN  more...
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Severe hypomagnesemia can lead to hypocalcemia that is resistant to the administration of calcium and vitamin D. The usual cause of hypomagnesemia is loss via the kidneys (eg, osmotic diuresis, drugs) or the gastrointestinal tract (eg, chronic diarrhea, severe pancreatitis, bypass or resection of small bowel). These patients present with low or inappropriately normal PTH levels in the presence of hypocalcemia.

The mechanism of hypocalcemia includes resistance to PTH in the bone and kidneys, as well as a decrease in PTH secretion. Acute magnesium restoration rapidly corrects the PTH level, suggesting the hypomagnesemia affects the release of PTH, rather than its synthesis.

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