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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:

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


Signs 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).



Support Groups:



Expectations (prognosis):

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



Complications:



Calling your health care provider:

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



Prevention:



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.




Review Date: 11/6/2012
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 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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