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Hypophosphatemia

Hypophosphatemia is a low level of phosphorus in the blood.

Causes

The following may cause hypophosphatemia, including:

  • Alcoholism
  • Antacids
  • Certain medicines including acetazolamide, foscarnet, imatinib, pentamidine, and sorafenib
  • Fanconi syndrome
  • Starvation
  • Too little vitamin D
  • Overactive parathyroid gland (hyperparathyroidism)

Symptoms

  • Bone pain
  • Confusion
  • Muscle weakness

Exams and Tests

The doctor or nurse will examine you.

The following tests may be done:

  • Kidney function tests
  • Vitamin K blood test

Exam and testing may show:

Treatment

Treatment depends on the cause. Phosphate can be given by mouth or through a vein (IV).

Outlook (Prognosis)

How well you do depends on what is causing the condition.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

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

Alternative Names

Low blood phosphate; Phosphate - low

References

Yu ASL. Disorders of magnesium and phosphorous. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 121.

Update Date: 11/6/2012

Updated 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 A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.

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