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Hypophosphatemia

Definition

Hypophosphatemia is a low level of phosphorus in the blood.

Alternative Names

Low blood phosphate; Phosphate - low

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Many conditions may cause hypophosphatemia, including:

  • Alcoholism
  • Diarrhea (chronic)
  • Starvation
  • Vitamin D deficiency

Symptoms

  • Bone pain
  • Confusion
  • Muscle weakness

Signs and tests

Treatment

Treating the cause of hypophosphatemia is needed to correct the phosphorous deficiency. Phosphate can be given by mouth or through a vein.

Expectations (prognosis)

The outlook depends on the disease causing the condition.

Calling your health care provider

Call your health care provider if you have muscle weakness or confusion.

References

Pollak MR, Yu ASL, Taylor EN. Disorders of calcium, magnesium, and phosphate balance. In: Brenner BM, ed. Brenner and Rector's The Kidney. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2007:chap 16.

Yu ASL. Disorders of magnesium and phosphorous. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 120.


Review Date: 11/14/2010
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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