Electrolyte disturbance in acute alcoholism: with particular reference to magnesium.


A STUDY of serum electrolyte bevels in the alcoholic was undertaken in view of the reports from Flink and his associates 1,2 of the frequent occurrence of low serum magnesium levels in the chronic alcoholic with delirium tremens, with the improvement of the tremor, handwriting, and hallucinations in these patients occurring with magnesium therapy. As other electrolyte changes were not documented except for mention of occasional hypopotassemia and hypophosphatemia, and absence of hypocalcemia, it appeared important to study the serum electrolyte pattern.


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