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Low blood phosphate; Phosphate - low; Hyperparathyroidism - low phosphate


Hypophosphatemia is a low level of phosphorus in the blood.



The following may cause hypophosphatemia:

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




Symptoms may include:

  • Bone pain
  • Confusion
  • Muscle weakness


Exams and Tests


Your health care provider will examine you.

The following tests may be done:

  • Kidney function tests
  • Vitamin D blood test

Exam and testing may show:

  • Anemia due to too many red blood cells being destroyed ( hemolytic anemia )
  • Heart muscle damage ( cardiomyopathy )




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 has caused the condition.


When to Contact a Medical Professional


Call your provider if you have muscle weakness or confusion.




Klemm KM, Klein MJ. Biochemical markers of bone metabolism. In: McPherson RA, Pincus MR, eds. Henry's Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods . 23rd ed. St Louis, MO: Elsevier; 2017:chap 15.

Yu ASL. Disorders of magnesium and phosphorous. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine . 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 119.


        Tests for Hypophosphatemia



          Review Date: 2/7/2017

          Reviewed By: Laura J. Martin, MD, MPH, ABIM Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Atlanta, GA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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