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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 a 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 them 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, or as directed.

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


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: Brittany Poulson MDA RDN CD CDE
Online Medical Reviewer: Jessica Gotwals RN BSN MPH
Online Medical Reviewer: Robert Hurd MD
Date Last Reviewed: 12/1/2022
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