Northside Health Library


Hypophosphatemia

Definition

Hypophosphatemia is a low level of phosphorus in the blood.

Alternative Names

Low blood phosphate; Phosphate - low

Causes

Many conditions may cause hypophosphatemia, including:

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

Symptoms

  • Bone pain
  • Confusion
  • Muscle weakness

Exams 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.

Outlook (Prognosis)

The outlook depends on the disease causing the condition.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

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.
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