Formal name: Serum Magnesium
What is S-Magnesium tested?
This serum magnesium test is the measurement of the level of magnesium in the blood. This test is most common for diagnosing the magnesium deficiency. As you imagined, it calculates the magnesium level in your blood serum. Magnesium is found in the bones. This is essential for a stronger body and healthier physique. Abnormality in the magnesium level can create lots of critical conditions that can affect the functionalities of the kidney or intestines.
When to use the test?
Magnesium is essential for stronger bone structure. The default range of magnesium in the blood is generally 17-22 mg/Dl (0.85-1.10 mmol/L). This test can also be a part of the recommendations for diagnosing the cause of symptoms like, anxiety, weakness, cardiac arrhythmia, irritability, nausea or diarrhea. Too much calcium/potassium or too low level of this mineral can cause the issues.
The test procedure
The test is performed using the blood sample collected from the patient. A needle is inserted in the vein in the arm that extracts a little amount of blood in the ampule. Sometimes, this test is also performed using a urine sample, such as a 24-hour collection.
What the test result means
After performing the test, it will become clear whether it was a lower magnesium level or higher. The lower magnesium level indicates that the person isn’t consuming enough magnesium. It can also be the cause of not absorbing or excreting too much magnesium.
The lower magnesium level is typically the symptom of the following issues –
- Lower magnesium intake (food habit)
- Disorder in the gastro intestine (Crohn’s disease etc.)
- Uncontrolled level of diabetics
- Chronic diarrhea
- Severe burns
If the result is higher than usual, there can be several symptoms of it. This is a rare case and usually the cause of excretion problem or excessive magnesium supplement intake.
- Kidney failure
- Addison disease
- Diabetic acidosis
Anything else to know?
Magnesium is generally in the electrolyte tests. The test includes counting of other electrolytes like chloride, sodium, potassium, bicarbonate etc. This evaluation is essential for identifying the person’s electrolyte balance. For example, if the magnesium level is low, then the potassium level is also low in most cases.
For pregnant women, the magnesium level in the blood tends to decrease during the 2nd and 3rd trimesters of pregnancy.
Generally, it doesn’t mean that higher magnesium level is the cause of some issues. Our body always tries to keep the level of magnesium in the blood at a stable rate. It will release magnesium from the bone to the blood if the level is low. That’s why early magnesium deficiency may show normal magnesium level.
There are several drugs that can increase the amount of magnesium in the blood like lithium, some antibiotics, thyroid medicines, aspirin and other products containing magnesium. Drugs that are responsible for decreasing the magnesium level includes diuretics, insulin, laxatives, digoxin etc.
The doctor doesn’t suggest this test so frequently unlike other mineral tests. Doctors suggest especially when a person’s blood contains abnormal calcium level and showing symptoms due to magnesium level imbalance.