Skip to content
Home » BLOG » How to correct magnesium deficiency?

How to correct magnesium deficiency?

Magnesium is an important electrolyte in different biological functions. Your cells use magnesium for metabolism, DNA, RNA synthesis, cell growth, and reproduction. So, magnesium deficiency is a critical issue that could seriously affect your normal health state. Now, how to correct magnesium deficiency in case you have low magnesium blood levels or are at risk to develop low magnesium blood levels? In this article, we provide you with accurate and simplified information about how to correct your magnesium deficiency.

Overview  | Causes | Signs, and symptoms |Treatments | Summary


Magnesium is an essential element for numerous physiological functions.

  • It acts as a cofactor for more than 300 enzymes. 
  • It is important for muscle contraction and nervous system functions.
  • Magnesium plays a role in your bone development.

Magnesium deficiency (Hypomagnesemia) is defined as a serum magnesium level of less than 1.8 mg/dL (< 0.74 mmol/L) (Ref).

What are the main causes of magnesium deficiency?

Magnesium deficiency may result from:

  • Insufficient magnesium intake.
  • Abnormal gastrointestinal absorption of magnesium such as those who had irritable bowel syndrome
  • Increased gastrointestinal magnesium loss ( patients using laxatives and enemies)
  • Increased renal magnesium loss may result from using diuretics 
  • Magnesium redistribution from extracellular to intracellular space
  • Medications caused magnesium deficiency such as diuretics, proton pump inhibitors
  • Magnesium deficiency may develop secondary to other diseases such as Diabetes mellitus and Crohn’s syndrome.

What are the early signs of low magnesium levels?

Symptoms of magnesium deficiency

  1. Nausea 
  2. Vomiting
  3. Loss of appetite
  4. Muscle weakness and fatigue

(however, these symptoms are not specific to magnesium deficiency. The same symptoms are associated with a large variety of health problems)

How to treat and correct magnesium deficiency?

Treatments of asymptomatic magnesium deficiency 

  • In the case of asymptomatic hypomagnesemia (low magnesium level with no symptoms), patients not hospitalized, 
  • Low magnesium levels can be tolerated with oral medications such as sustained-release oral replacement therapy.

Treatment of symptomatic magnesium deficiency

  • In general, the treatment of hypomagnesemia are based on your kidney function and the severity of symptoms.
  • For hemodynamically unstable patients in an acute hospital setting, 1 to 2 grams of magnesium sulfate can be given in about 15 minutes
  • For symptomatic stable patients with severe hypomagnesemia, 1 to 2 grams of magnesium sulfate can be given over one hour
  • For pediatric patients, the magnesium sulfate dose is 25 to 50 mg/kg (with a maximum of 2 grams) (Ref).
  • Injectable magnesium sulfate preparations are 10%, 20%, or 50% solutions
  • The available formulations of magnesium supplements include
    • Magnesium chloride
    • Magnesium citrate
    • Magnesium oxide

You have to take care, 

  • Magnesium in oral administration is poorly absorbed. So a large dose of magnesium supplements, when you exceed the recommended dose, can lead to diarrhea, nausea, cramping, and other intestinal problems.
  • Therefore, patients with symptomatic magnesium deficiency should receive intravenous magnesium therapy, and oral supplements should be reserved for asymptomatic patients.
  • Mild magnesium deficiency may be replenished by a diet rich in magnesium, but dietary supplements may not be sufficient to normalize magnesium levels in patients with malnutrition or heavy alcohol consumption.

Increase Magnesium intake to help correct magnesium deficiency.

Magnesium-rich foods

 The richest dietary sources of magnesium are:

  • Whole grain cereals
  • Green vegetables such as spinach
  • Beans, 
  • Peas
  • Nuts (Almonds, cashew nuts, pistachios, peanuts, and walnuts) 
  • Seafood.

Intermediate magnesium content:

  • Meats,
  • Fish,
  • Vegetables
  • Vegetable seeds (Pumpkin and squash seeds are good sources of magnesium)
  • Fruits (Bananas, mangoes, and oranges)
  • Chocolates have. 
  • Magnesium in drinking water is thought to account for only about 10% of the daily magnesium intake.
  • Refining, processing, or cooking food can significantly deplete magnesium content


  • Magnesium deficiency is a critical health condition that could seriously affect your health state.
  • Asymptomatic magnesium deficiency does not need hospitalization and can be treated with oral supplements of magnesium.
  • Severe magnesium deficiency needs hospitalization and intravenous administration of magnesium supplements.
  • Food rich in magnesium could help you to avoid the development of magnesium deficiency and may help in the treatment of asymptomatic magnesium deficiency.

Read more about: