Thursday, January 7, 2010

The newest side effect

Chemo was a go today. It was rather sparse in the chemo rooms today due to the weather. The doctor informed me that my magnesium level was low, a side effect called Hypomagnesemia. It is an electrolyte imbalance and is indicated by a low level of magnesium in the blood. The normal adult value for magnesium is 1.5-2.5 mEq/L. I am at the very low end. Magnesium is one of many electrolytes in your body and normal levels of magnesium are important for the maintenance of heart and nervous system function. Severely low blood magnesium levels can cause the following symptoms: muscle weakness, confusion, and decreased reflexes. You may also notice "jerky" movements, high blood pressure, and irregular heart rhythms.
So, I was prescribed Magnesium Oxide. This medication is a mineral supplement used to prevent and treat low amounts of magnesium in the blood. Magnesium is very important for the normal functioning of cells, nerves, muscles, bones, and the heart. Usually, a well-balanced diet provides normal blood levels of magnesium. However, certain situations cause your body to lose magnesium faster than you can replace it from your diet (i.e. chemotherapy).
Tonight I'm tired/feeling weak and still a little nauseous even though I've taken all my nausea meds. That's surprising as I got both doses of steroids in today and that usually keeps me hyped up well into the wee hours of the morning! Not tonight. Dinner consisted of saltines and Gatorade. I'm sure I'm headed for an early bedtime, too.

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