Magnesium on WebMD – Dr. Carolyn Dean MD ND

Magnesium on WebMD

August 6, 2017

Check out WebMD to see what allopathic medicine has to say about magnesium and testing for magnesium deficiency symptoms. They call magnesium an important electrolyte needed for proper muscle, nerve, and enzyme function. Magnesium also helps the body use energy and is needed to move other electrolytes (potassium and sodium) into and out of cells. Most of the magnesium in the body is found in the bones and inside the cells. Only a tiny amount of magnesium is normally present in the blood.

According to WebMD a blood test for magnesium is done to:

  • Find a cause for nerve and muscle problems, such as muscle twitches, irritability, and muscle weakness
  • Find the cause of symptoms such as low blood pressure, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, muscle weakness, and slurred speech.
  • Monitor kidney function.
  • Find the cause of heart problems or trouble breathing especially in people who have kidney disease.
  • Find the cause of a low calcium or potassium level that is not improving with treatment.
  • Look for changes in magnesium levels caused by medicines, such as diuretics
  • See if people who have heart problems need extra magnesium. Low magnesium levels can increase the chances of life-threatening heart rhythm problems.
  • Measure levels when magnesium is being given for medical treatment.

With WebMD knowing so much about magnesium, it makes you wonder why your doctors never recommend getting a magnesium blood test. Unfortunately, even if they do a magnesium test, chances are it will be a serum magnesium test. A magnesium RBC test is more accurate but it’s not as accurate as the ionized magnesium test, which is only available in research labs. Since serum magnesium is not accurate, please don’t just let the numbers be the gauge of how you are doing; you must also keep track of your magnesium deficiency symptoms.

For a somewhat accurate magnesium test you can obtain a magnesium RBC test online at or However, be aware that lab values for magnesium don’t give you an optimum level or a therapeutic range. The lab just measures the magnesium level of people that walk through the door and charts them on a bell curve. The current magnesium range for most labs is 4.2–6.8 mg/dL, but recently I’ve seen some labs go even lower, to 3.5-6.5 mg/dL as the population gets more and more deficient! About 80 percent of the population is deficient in magnesium, so I tell people that for optimum health, maybe we want to be at the high end of the range.

I’m making this point about allopathic medicine acknowledging magnesium but I also want to remind you that the form of magnesium that they advise – magnesium oxide – is only 4% absorbed.

Carolyn Dean MD ND

The Doctor of the Future®

RESOURCES: Along the borders and in the links of my web site you can find my books, writings, and my call-in radio show. Email your questions to:

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