Potential causes of low magnesium levels include alcoholism, chronic diarrhea, malabsorption syndromes and excessive urination, explains MedlinePlus. High blood calcium levels, malnutrition, burns covering large amounts of the body, certain medications and sweating can also result in low magnesium. A magnesium deficiency is called hypomagnesemia.
Inflammatory bowel disease and celiac disease are examples of malabsorption syndromes that can result in a magnesium deficiency, notes MedlinePlus. Medications that can cause hypomagnesemia include proton pump inhibitors, diuretics, cyclosporine, aminoglycoside antibiotics and amphotericin. Excessive urination leading to low magnesium levels may occur in the case of uncontrolled diabetes, or when a patient is in the recovery phase of acute kidney failure.
Signs of hypomagnesemia may include numbness, muscle weakness, convulsions, abnormal eye movements, muscle cramps, muscle spasms and fatigue, advises MedlinePlus. Other symptoms may include anxiety, irritability, sleep disorders, low blood pressure and abnormal heart rhythms, explains University of Maryland Medical Center. In addition, adequate magnesium intake may help make the treatment of certain conditions, such as depression, migraines and asthma, more effective.
Foods rich in magnesium include green leafy vegetables, tofu, whole grains, pumpkin seeds and Brazil nuts, notes University of Maryland Medical Center. The mineral is also found in many spices and herbs, such as dill weed, dried mustard and basil.