Magnesium deficiency is a silent epidemic of modern times, where almost two out of every three people are experiencing its symptoms. However, magnesium deficiency often goes undiagnosed in the absence of reliable clinical tests to determine magnesium status and deficiency symptoms that are often tied up to a number of other health problems. So, for diagnosis, treatment and after diagnosis from magnesium deficiency, you need to closely observe the bodily signs or symptoms that are linked with other diseases and health conditions.

Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms

Your Organs and Tissues Need Magnesium

Magnesium is an essential trace mineral, which operates on a cellular level and accumulates in organs and tissues. It is a cofactor for hundreds of enzymes and therefore involved in more than 300 regulatory and biochemical functions such as energy production; synthesis of essential molecules (DNA, RNA and proteins); hormonal pathways and regulation of other minerals (calcium, copper, zinc, potassium) and vitamin D in the body. Magnesium is also necessary to get calcium into bone matter and plays a structural role in making strong bones and teeth with calcium and vitamin D. This is what contributes to us getting healthier. It is required for temperature regulations, transmission of nerve impulses, detoxification in the liver, and for optimal functioning of all systems in the body such as nervous, muscular, cardiovascular and excretory systems.

Besides, these myriad functions, magnesium is the vitally important mineral that works as an electrolyte and maintain electrical stability of every cell in the body especially the heart, muscles, brain and kidneys. Therefore, magnesium deficiency makes people susceptible to a wide range of clinical and subclinical symptoms:

  1. Cardiovascular symptoms: arrhythmia (or abnormal heart rhythms or palpitations), high blood pressure, high serum cholesterol and triglycerides levels, and circulatory disturbances (atherosclerosis, stroke and congestive heart failure)
  2. Neurological symptoms: migraine headaches, chronic fatigue syndrome, anxiety, agitation, irritability or restlessness, ADHD, sensitivity to noise, poor memory, confusion, seizures and depression.
  3. Gastro-intestinal disturbances: food allergies, sensitivities, nausea and vomiting, gut disorders, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), ulcerative colitis, constipation and lack of appetite.
  4. Muscular symptoms: muscle soreness or weakness, muscle spasms, cramps, back pain, restless legs syndrome (RLS), fibromyalgia, cystic fibrosis, vertigo, tremors and trouble in swallowing
  5. Poor bone and teeth health: calcium deficiency, osteoporosis, low vitamin D levels, frequent cavities and poor dental health
  6. Kidney disease: kidney stones
  7. Diabetes: pancreatitis or insulin resistance  
  8. Thyroid issues: hyperthyroidism
  9. Insomnia: sleep disturbances
  10. Preeclampsia and eclampsia: A sharp rise in blood pressure during the third trimester of pregnancy i.e. preeclampsia. These women may develop seizures, which is then called eclampsia.

Studies suggest that women who suffer from premenstrual syndrome (PMS) such as bloating, insomnia, leg swelling, weight gain and breast tenderness are often deficient in magnesium. Low levels of magnesium may also increase the risk of developing asthma, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease and certain cancer. If you are suffering from more than one of the above symptoms and diseases, you are more likely to be magnesium deficient and can get healthier and benefit by adding this nutrient.  Learn how you can boost your immune system naturally. 

In fact, magnesium is used in the hospitals as a critical “medication” in emergency situations such as life-threatening arrhythmia, pre-term labor, seizures associated with eclampsia or complications from preeclampsia. Several research studies show that intravenous (IV) magnesium and magnesium inhaled through a nebulizer can treat acute attacks of asthma in adults and children.

Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms

Magnesium in Drinking Water

Though, magnesium is found abundantly on earth and in natural water sources, modern lifestyle habits may be the reason behind the prevalent magnesium deficiency. Industrial monoculture agricultural practices use massive amount of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and insecticides that are absorbed into the soil, making soil depleted and the food produce deficient in natural minerals. Drinking water from municipal supplies is also lacking in minerals that are found in healthy drinking water from natural sources. Fluoride content can hinder magnesium absorption.

Further, consumption of a highly-processed, refined diet (that contains no magnesium) with too much sugar and salt, caffeine, soda, alcohol depletes body’s magnesium stores and lead to leaky gut syndrome which making it difficult to absorb vital nutrients (vitamins and minerals) from your food.  Hectic working schedules and prolonged and intense stress can lead to complete depletion of magnesium stores, as magnesium is required for stress hormone production.

It is important to focus on maintaining a healthy diet.

Magnesium and Medications

Use of some drugs like birth control pills, antacid, antibiotics, diuretics, insulin and hypertension medicine also deplete magnesium levels. In certain conditions (such as pregnancy, recovery from surgery and illnesses, and athletic training) you become more susceptible for magnesium deficiency because of increased requirement.

To treat magnesium deficiency the first step is to strengthen the digestive system and restore gut health by eating magnesium rich foods such as seeds (flax, pumpkin, sun flower, sesame), nuts, green leafy vegetables, legumes especially beans, avocado and whole grains. Other dietary sources of magnesium are bananas, baked potatoes (with skin), okra, blackstrap molasses and cocoa powder. Try magnesium rich seaweeds (Agar), herbs and spices (coriander, celery, sage, mustard, basil, fennel, poppy and cumin seed) to flavor your regular meals. Also, dark chocolate is good source of magnesium. If you are a chocolate lover, go ahead!  

However, for some raising magnesium levels may require additional efforts. It is possible to increase magnesium levels by applying magnesium chloride also known as magnesium oil to your body, or soak in epsom salt bath for better absorption of magnesium through your skin in the blood and tissues of the body. It is possible to greatly improve magnesium deficiency symptoms like swelling, inflammation, and muscle aches and pains. Practicing relaxation techniques like meditation and yoga will further help in reducing your stress levels and the body’s demand for magnesium..

If you are considering magnesium supplementation go for more absorbable forms such as magnesium citrate, glycinate, taurate, or aspartate. Also, it will be a good idea to take a multi-vitamin-mineral formula with magnesium supplement as you need enough vitamin B6, vitamin D and selenium for proper absorption of magnesium into the cells. As a precautionary measure people suffering from kidney disease or severe heart disease should take magnesium supplementation only under a doctor’s supervision.

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