Hypermagnesemia Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, Remedies & Foods to Avoid

Hypermagnesemia is a pretty big word, and one I had never heard of until a week ago; it is not only a big word, hypermagnesemia can wreak significant havoc through a person’s body.
Hypermagnesemia is an electrolyte imbalance which causes abnormally high levels of magnesium in the blood and cells.

Magnesium is used in the body for over 300 metabolic reactions and plays a crucial role in the function of your internal organs and the nervous system. Magnesium also plays a role in the production of energy during the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats.

Most people in United States are magnesium deficient. On the other hand, hypermagnesemia occurs when there is an excessive amount magnesium in an individual; it is a rare occurrence, but it does happen.

In a recent article I wrote on How to Handle an Acute Gallbladder Attack or Flareup, I mentioned my gallbladder was no longer functioning properly.

When hypermagnesemia occurs, it eventually can slow down the stimulation of gastric motility. The slowing down of internal organs can cause problems with the intestines, kidneys, liver and gallbladder.


Hypermagnesemia occurs from non- food related sources such as magnesium salts and excessive intake of magnesium supplementation. One of the most common causes is renal failure. Other causes can include, but are not limited to:

  • Addison Disease
  • Autoimmune
  • Chelation Therapy for metal exposure
  • Decreased excretion of potassium from the body
  • Eating disorders
  • Excessive tissue breakdown
  • Exposure to mercury
  • Familial Hypocalciuric, Hypercalcemia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Insufficient Vitamin D levels
  • Intestinal malabsorption
  • Lithium Therapy
  • Milk Alkali Syndrome
  • Osteoporosis treatment or prevention agents, Bisphosphonates and Denosumab
  • Intestinal malabsorption
  • Pancreatitis
  • Tumor Lysis Syndrome


One of the earliest symptoms to appear in hypermagnesemia is the decreased ability to flex deep-tendons. Another early symptom is tingling sensations around the lips and mouth or the extremities, hands and feet. This is usually an early symptom of hypocalcaemia. Weakness of the muscles occurs as the symptoms progress.

Some symptoms include:

  • Low blood pressure
  • Confusion
  • Abnormal cardiac rhythm
  • Distressed breathing and a decrease in respiration
  • Complete heart block, or cardiac arrest
  • Hypermagnesemia can interfere with the clotting of blood
  • Nausea, vomiting or flushing
  • Muscle or facial spasms

*You may not experience any symptoms unless your blood magnesium levels are extremely elevated.


*Treatments will vary depending on the severity of the hypermagnesemia.

Medications can be given to lower the levels into a safe range. In severe cases, if the kidney function is normal in a patient, intravenous diuretics can help. If the kidneys are not functioning properly dialysis may be done. Another option is intravenous calcium gluconate.

These treatments will clear the magnesium from the blood stream.

Natural Remedies

Natural remedies are not a cure, but they can be beneficial if the magnesium levels in the blood are mild. You can try some of the protocols listed below until you are able to receive the appropriate treatment.

  • Avoid laxatives and antacids that contain magnesium
  • Eat fresh fruit
  • Eliminate magnesium supplementation immediately
  • Exercise and keep active this will keep the bowels functioning properly
  • Include fiber in your diet
  • Stay hydrated
  • Take stool softeners and laxatives that contain no magnesium

Foods To Avoid

Changing up your diet and avoiding foods that are high in magnesium can assist in taking the burden off an already overburdened body. These are some of the foods that should be avoided as they contain higher levels of magnesium

  • Almond butter, peanut butter and pumpkin butter
  • Artichokes
  • Avocado
  • Banana
  • Beans- black, kidney and soy
  • Blackstrap molasses
  •  Bread-whole wheat
  • Brown rice
  • Cereals-fortified with 10% of the Daily Value for magnesium
  • Dates
  • Edamame
  • Milk-plain, soy and vanilla
  • Nuts-almonds, Brazilian, cashews and peanuts
  • Oatmeal-instant
  • Potato
  • Salmon
  • Spinach
  • Yogurt, low fat and plain
  • Alcohol and caffeine – disrupt electrolyte imbalances

The treatment needed to remove the elevated magnesium levels will vary from person to person. But it is crucial you seek medical treatment immediately.

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