What is the difference between hypomagnesemia and magnesium deficiency?
Hypomagnesemia is defined as serum magnesium level less than 1.7 mg/dL (1.4 mEq/L or 0.7 mmol/L). However, since serum magnesium represents on 0.3% of total body magnesium, serum magnesium may not correspond with total body magnesium. Some patients with normal serum magnesium may have signs or symptoms of low magnesium. This is referred to as normomagnesemic magnesium depletion and should be considered in patients with risk factors for hypomagnesemia (alcoholics, patients with poorly controlled diabetes, or diarrhea), and refractory hypokalemia or unexplained hypocalcemia.