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Magnesium Deficiency Diseases

author image Martin Hughes
Martin Hughes is a chiropractic physician, health writer and the co-owner of a website devoted to natural footgear. He writes about health, fitness, diet and lifestyle. Hughes earned his Bachelor of Science in kinesiology at the University of Waterloo and his doctoral degree from Western States Chiropractic College in Portland, Ore.
Magnesium Deficiency Diseases
Doctor writing on a clipboard Photo Credit Comstock Images/Stockbyte/Getty Images


Many conditions can cause magnesium deficiency disease. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, magnesium is one of the most important minerals for human health and well-being. Magnesium is used by the heart, muscles and kidneys, and it contributes to the makeup of teeth and bones. Magnesium activates enzymes, assists with energy production and helps control the level of calcium, copper, zinc, potassium and vitamin D in a person's body.

Diabetic Acidosis

Diabetic acidosis is a common cause of magnesium deficiency among people with diabetes. According to MedlinePlus, diabetic acidosis, also known as diabetic ketoacidosis, is a complication of diabetes that manifests when a person's body is unable to use sugar, or glucose, as an energy source because his body manufactures insufficient insulin or no insulin at all. Instead of using glucose to generate energy, the body begins breaking down fat. Fat breakdown byproducts are called ketones. The buildup of ketones in the body can reach poisonous levels in diabetics. Common signs and symptoms associated with diabetic acidosis include decreased magnesium levels, rapid breathing, dry mouth and skin, fruity-smelling breath, nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, fatigue, frequent urination, muscle stiffness, shortness of breath, headache and decreased consciousness.


Hypoparathyroidism can cause a person's body to lose significant amounts of magnesium. MayoClinic.com states that hypoparathyroidism is a condition in which the body produces abnormally low levels of the hormone parathyroid, also known as parathormone. Parathormone is important for regulating and maintaining a balance of calcium, phosphorus and other minerals in the body, including magnesium. Common signs and symptoms associated with hypoparathyroidism include decreased magnesium levels, tingling or burning sensations in the lips and extremities, muscle aches or cramps throughout the body, muscle spasms, fatigue, weakness, dry skin, brittle nails, anxiety or nervousness, headaches, depression and memory problems. Certain risk factors increase the likelihood of developing hypoparathyroidism, including recent thyroid surgery, a family history of the condition and having Addison's disease -- an autoimmune condition associated with the adrenal glands.


Hyperthyroidism can cause magnesium deficiency. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, hyperthyroidism, also known as thyrotoxicosis, is a condition in which the thyroid gland produces more thyroid hormone than the body needs. Approximately 1 percent of Americans have hyperthyroidism, states the NIDDK. Hyperthyroidism is more common in women than men. Many factors can cause hyperthyroidism, such as Graves' disease, thyroid nodules, inflammation of the thyroid gland, consuming too much iodine and taking certain medications. Common signs and symptoms associated with hyperthyroidism include decreased magnesium levels, nervousness or irritability, fatigue, muscle weakness, sleeping problems, heat intolerance, hand tremors, irregular heartbeat, diarrhea, weight loss, mood swings and goiter, or enlarged thyroid.

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