IN THIS ARTICLE
Magnesium is an often forgotten electrolyte that is involved with a variety of metabolic activities in the body, including relaxation of the smooth muscles that surround the bronchial tubes in the lung, skeletal muscle contraction, and excitation of neurons in the brain. Magnesium acts as a cofactor in many of the body's enzyme activities.
Magnesium levels in the body are closely linked with sodium, potassium, and calcium metabolism; and are regulated by the kidney. Magnesium enters the body through the diet, and the amount of the chemical that is absorbed depends upon the concentration of magnesium in the body. Too little magnesium stimulates absorption from the intestine, while too much decreases the absorption.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/30/2014
Must Read Articles Related to Electrolytes
Patient Comments & Reviews
The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Electrolytes:
Electrolytes - Experience
What conditions have you experienced from having too many or too few electrolytes?
Nutrition and Healthy Eating Resources
- Symptoms of a Severe Allergic Reaction
- Can Baby Catch Eczema?
- How to Get Beautiful, Dandruff-Free Hair
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape
This article describes important principles and specific methods of fluid, electrolyte, and nutrition (FEN) management in newborns, with a special focus on patients with complex fluid and electrolyte requirements, including premature, very low birth weight (VLBW), and extremely low birth weight (ELBW) neonates, as well as patients who have undergone abdominal surgery and those who have sepsis.