This test is used to evaluate Magnesium levels in red blood cells. Magnesium is a mineral that is important for strong bones and muscles, heart health, energy production, and nerve function. Magnesium levels are typically checked to evaluate kidney function, aid in the diagnosis of certain gastrointestinal disorders, or determine the severity of uncontrolled diabetes. Magnesium deficiency can be associated with malnutrition, malabsorption, chronic diarrhea, and alcoholism.
A Magnesium RBC test can provide an earlier indicator of Magnesium deficiency that a standard Magnesium blood test. When levels are low, the body will pull Magnesium from the cells to keep blood levels normal. In this case a Magnesium blood test may show normal levels while a Magnesium RBC test will give a more accurate result.
This test is typically ordered when someone is experiencing symptoms associated with Magnesium deficiency such as weakness or cramping in the muscles, confusion, seizures, or cardiac arrhythmias. Magnesium levels are typically checked when someone has a disorder which affects the kidneys. It may also be ordered to monitor people who are taking Magnesium supplements.
Turnaround time for the Magnesium RBC test is typically 1-3 business days.
Magnesium blood testing does not have any special requirements.