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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).

Expectations (prognosis)

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

Calling your health care provider

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

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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