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Friday, 2 December 2016

Why Magnesium Depletion Should Be Suspected In This Clinical Situation?

Hypokalemia is a common electrolyte disturbance usually encountered in hospitalized patients. The underlying etiologies are quite diverse. 

When evaluating a patient with hpokalemia you should always have an eye on serum magnesium (Mg ++), as  magnesium depletion can be a potential cause.

Magnesium depletion is a frequent cause of kaliuresis. Hypomagnesemia occurs in many conditions, such as digestive disorders: malabsorption syndrome, and diarrhea.

Alcoholism also favors loss of magnesium. In those cases, hypokalemia and the persistent kaliuresis that follows the administration of K + may disappear with the Mg ++ supplement.

The Mg ion is essential for the activity of the Na + - K + ATPase, responsible for the active transport of potassium in the renal tubules. 
Its deficit favors intracellular depletion and urinary leakage of potassium. 
Depletion of Mg ++ also stimulates the secretion of renin and aldosterone, an additional source of potassium losses; and conversely, aldosterone antagonist spirolactone decreases potassium losses in Mg ++ depleted patients.

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