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Overview of Magnesium

What is Magnesium?

Magnesium (Mg2+) is both a mineral and an electrolyte which plays essential roles in metabolism, nerve and muscle functioning, and maintenance of healthy bones. The Magnesium Test is performed to measure the concentration of magnesium in blood and to indicate a deficiency of other electrolytes if any.

Sample Type

The sample type collected for Magnesium is: Blood

Preparation for Magnesium

  • Do not eat or drink anything other than water for 8-12 hours before the test.

Why Get Tested for Magnesium?

The Magnesium Test is performed:

·     As a part of regular health checkups to measure magnesium levels in the blood

·    Upon the appearance of symptoms indicating magnesium deficiency like muscular weakness, muscle twitch or cramps, irregular heartbeats or cardiac arrhythmia, seizures, etc.

·       To monitor treatment efficacy of magnesium supplements at regular intervals

·     As a part of checkups for evaluating kidney diseases, malnutrition, diarrhea, and alcoholism

Understand more about Magnesium

Magnesium is a mineral micronutrient which plays essential roles in body processes including enzyme functions, energy production by metabolism, contraction of muscles, and nerve functioning. It also helps in the metabolism of calcium and hence helps in the maintenance of healthy bones. Magnesium is supplied to the body from dietary sources and is absorbed in the small intestines and colon. It is subsequently absorbed into the bones and tissues. Only about 1% of the total amount of magnesium absorbed remains in the blood within a narrow normal range. The normal range of magnesium concentration is maintained mainly by regulation of the amount absorbed from food and excreted in urine.

Deviation from the normal range of magnesium concentration causes Hypomagnesia (shortage of magnesium), or Hypermagnesia (excess of magnesium). Both these conditions impact normal body processes in the short term and may give rise to other conditions in the long term.

What Results of Magnesium mean?


Normal range: 0.85 to 1.10 mmol/L (1.7 to 2.2 mg/dL approx.)

Hypomagnesia: Below 0.85 mmol/L (Less than 1.7 mg/dL approx.)

Hypermagnesia: Above 1.10 mmol/L (Above 2.2 mg/dL approx.)

Magnesium concentration in the body is maintained within a narrow normal range between 0.85 mmol/L and 1.10 mmol/L.

Hypomagnesia or low blood magnesium is indicated if magnesium concentration lies below the normal range.

Hypermagnesia or high blood magnesium is indicated if magnesium concentration lies above the normal range.

Patient Concerns about Magnesium

Frequently Asked Questions about Magnesium

Q. How is this test performed?
This test is performed on a blood sample. A syringe with a fine needle attached is used to withdraw blood sample from a blood vessel in your arm generally from the inner side of the elbow area. The doctor, nurse or the phlebotomist will tie an elastic band around your arm which will help the blood vessels to swell with blood and hence makes it easier to withdraw blood. You may be asked to tightly clench your fist. Once the veins are clearly visible, the area is cleaned with an antiseptic solution and then the needle is inserted into the blood vessel to collect the sample. You may feel a tiny pinprick during the procedure. Blood sample once collected is then sent to the laboratory.
Q. Is there any risk associated with this test?
There is no risk associated with the test. However, as this test involves a needle prick to withdraw the blood sample, rarely, a patient may experience increased bleeding, hematoma (blood collection under the skin) formation, bruising or infection at the site of needle prick.
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