It’s important to be aware of magnesium deficiency and the warning signs associated with it. Magnesium is an essential mineral that our bodies need and if the magnesium levels within our body become too low, this could lead to serious health issues. Thankfully, there are Warning Signs of Magnesium Deficiency can present, such as fatigue, irritability, loss of appetite and depression. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s a good idea to get your magnesium levels checked out!
Magnesium Deficiency is one of the most common mineral deficiencies worldwide, and it’s important to pay attention to magnesium levels in your body. Symptoms associated with magnesium deficiency can range from muscle cramps and fatigue, to insomnia and irritability. If you are experiencing any of these things, it may be worth getting a magnesium level test as a step towards restoring balance within your body!
Magnesium is one of the most abundant minerals in the body. It participates in several functions in the body from, DNA making to helping your muscles contract. Despite its importance, a large number of adults do not meet the recommended daily intake.
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The recommended daily intake is 400-420mg for men and 310-320 mg for women. You can find this mineral in plenty of food ex spinach, black beans, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds, cashews, avocado, and dark chocolate.
If you can not get the daily recommended magnesium from your diet alone, you can try taking supplements.
You are not alone because just like you, many others are neither aware of the importance of magnesium nor aware of the symptoms of magnesium deficiency.
However, your ignorance might be costing you a lot. Because most of the symptoms or health challenges you face today are directly or indirectly connected to lack of magnesium. And ignoring such symptoms, of course, can result in more catastrophic health challenges.
As one of the most substantial minerals in the body (4th to be precise), magnesium is solely responsible for more than 300 biochemical processes in the average human body.
Some of these processes include:
- Blood sugar regulation (which is important to prevent type-2 diabetes)
- Helps to maintain good muscle and nerve functions,
- Regulates the rate of heartbeat (for a healthier heart and normal blood pressure),
- Regulation of Calcium (For stronger bones)
- Absorbing and synthesizing other minerals and nutrients,
And so much more…
Hence, magnesium deficiency (hypomagnesemia) remains a serious health concern that can lead to more critical health challenges like diabetes, osteoporosis, or High blood pressure.
Here are 11 warning signs of magnesium deficiency that you might be ignoring
1. Headaches and Migraines
Anything between having a slight tension in your head to having serious migraine headaches can be a result of magnesium deficiency. Because one of the cellular functions of magnesium is to relax your muscles by controlling the calcium levels within your nerve cells.
Several research studies have shown that low levels of magnesium may be one of the causes of headaches. Increasing your magnesium intake either through diet or supplements may help reduce migraines.
A research study carried out on people with migraines who ingested 600mg magnesium supplements, experienced fewer migraines after taking the supplement.
2. Cognitive Issues
Lack of magnesium in your body can also result in cognitive delay, otherwise known as brain fog. This symptom is characterized by poor memory and inability to concentrate properly.
Magnesium is essential in the functioning of several tissues in the body one of them includes the brain.
Increase intake of magnesium enhances memory and different modes of learning. Many people with low magnesium levels especially, people in the formal employment sector, may have difficulties in cognitive functions and, their memory may deteriorate faster when they age.
To reduce your memory from worsening, it is better to take magnesium supplements daily or increase the magnesium diet to lead a healthy lifestyle.
3. Muscle Pains, Tensions, and Cramping
Although the lack of potassium is widely known to cause muscle pains and cramps, magnesium deficiency has also been reported to be a possible cause.
If you experience frequent leg cramps and muscle spasms, you may need to increase your intake of magnesium. A muscle cramp is an abrupt and uncontrolled contraction of your muscles. They may be very painful and, although they are harmless, it might be hard to use the affected muscle for some time.
People with low magnesium levels may be at risk of developing muscle cramps but, you can reduce this by daily intake of magnesium supplements. Add a little bit of exercise before you sleep. A research study carried out in 2015 on the medical uses of magnesium suggests taking magnesium citrate daily as it is quickly absorbed by the body.
As earlier mentioned, magnesium works to regulate the level of calcium for optimal bone density. But due to a lack of magnesium, one might experience low calcium levels which can, in turn, result in poor bone density (osteoporosis) and consequently; multiple bone fractures.
Osteoporosis is a disease that affects the bones and makes them weak. The bones may break easily at any slight fall. Magnesium is essential for a healthy bone structure. A research study carried out in 2013 indicated that magnesium is a crucial factor in bone health.
Supplementing magnesium intake is an effective and affordable measure in preventing osteoporosis in individuals with low magnesium levels. Magnesium also helps to monitor calcium and vitamin D levels, which are two nutrients crucial in healthy bones. Magnesium does make an impact on the bones either directly or indirectly.
As an energy contributor, once magnesium is lacking in the body, fatigue is very likely to set in. The sense of fatigue will persist and feel like severe exhaustion. When someone is low in magnesium, there is often low potassium levels which can cause muscle weakness. This, in turn, makes performing regular tasks absolutely exhausting.
6. High Blood Pressure
A lot of factors including stress and poor diet are directly or indirectly linked to high blood pressure. But then even low magnesium levels in the body can cause it.
Fortunately, a study has proven that increased magnesium supplements can go a long way to reduce blood pressure.
High blood pressure is quickly becoming a concern as it’s becoming a common disease. One in every three people has high blood pressure. Studies have shown taking magnesium may help lower blood pressure.
A research study carried out on 82 patients who took 450 mg of magnesium daily experienced a reduction in systolic and diastolic blood pressure by a good percentage.
7. Diabetes And Imbalanced Sugar Levels
Magnesium is important to regulate your body sugar levels. Therefore, its deficiency can quickly result in type-2 diabetes and/or high or low blood sugar levels. People with high magnesium dietary intake have a lower risk of getting type 2 diabetes.
Magnesium plays a big role in glucose regulation and insulin metabolism. Low magnesium levels may make insulin resistance worse which is a condition that develops before it proceeds to type 2 diabetes.
Taking magnesium supplements may improve insulin levels in people who have low magnesium levels in their bodies.
8. Heart Arrhythmia
A heart arrhythmia is a condition when you have an irregular heartbeat. It means your heartbeat is not in its usual rhythm. The symptoms may be mild but, a doctor may notice during a physical exam. Either the heartbeat is very fast or slow.
Magnesium also helps to adjust the cellular levels of minerals like calcium and potassium. Interestingly, these two minerals play a significant role in the contractions of heart muscles for proper blood circulation. Hence, inadequate magnesium in the body can indirectly result in heart issues like arrhythmia (irregular heartbeats).
Magnesium plays a major role in enabling a healthy heart rhythm. It transports minerals such as calcium and potassium to different cells. These nutrients are important for muscle contractions and nerves operations for a normal heartbeat. Low magnesium levels lead to arrhythmias and heart disease.
Factors like mental stress and anxiety can keep you awake all night. However, if you’ve tried every possible means to get some sleep to no avail, then you should check your magnesium level.
Insomnia can be nerve-wracking as it will lead to exhaustion. Imagine yourself not having a good rest for two weeks. It is not an appealing scenario as we all need to rest in our lives. Taking magnesium may help you relax and help you sleep better. A research study carried out on 46 elderly adults found that those taking magnesium supplements daily had quality sleep and decreased insomnia.
Magnesium can control melatonin production which is the hormone that regulates your body’s wake and sleep rhythm. It also interacts with gamma-aminobutyric (GABA) receptors. GABA receptors relax nerve activities that influence sleep.
10. Digestive Issues
Once you notice a persistent bowel problem, it’s obviously a sign that all is not well. Digestive issues like constipation should never be ignored because it could be a sign of magnesium deficiency.
Are you aware that it is impossible to digest a meal without magnesium? A deficiency in the mineral will lead to digestive problems.
Lack of magnesium in your body will lead to abdominal cramping, less bowel movement, bloating, and excessive gas. Magnesium acts as a stool softener preventing constipation. Magnesium pulls water into the intestines that help to ease and enlarge the size of the stool. It helps to have an easier passing of stool.
Anxiety is one of the factors that increase symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Magnesium helps to reduce anxiety and, this may reduce digestive issues.
11. Anxiety And Depression
Two of the most common mental health issues in the world today can be caused by a lack of magnesium in the body.
Low levels of magnesium may be associated with symptoms of depression. A research study was conducted on 8894 people and found that adults aged 65 and below with a low magnesium intake had a 22% higher risk of getting depression.
Magnesium helps to regulate the activities of the brain and your moods. Taking daily supplements of magnesium may help reduce the symptoms of depression.
More Helpful Magnesium Posts
- Using Magnesium as a Sleep Aid
- Magnesium for Leg Cramps
- The Best Foods High in Magnesium
- What are the Different Types of Magnesium?
- 6 Huge Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms
How Can I Raise My Magnesium Levels Quickly?
Well, here are some foods high in magnesium that contain just about the right percentage for your body. Eating more of these magnesium-rich foods can NATURALLY elevate your magnesium levels tremendously;
- Dark chocolate
- Pumpkin seeds
- Whole grains
- Black Beans
- Green leafy vegetables
- Coriander, and so on.
You can as well take some helpful magnesium supplements daily that can help supplement your diet. The National Institutes of Health advises older adults, meaning those over 30 years old, to take 420mg daily for men and 320mg daily for women.
- Magnesium gluconate
- Magnesium citrate
- Magnesium chloride
- Magnesium Oxide
You can as well take some helpful magnesium supplements like;
- Magnesium gluconate,
- Magnesium citrate, and
- Magnesium chloride.
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How Long Does It Take To Correct A Magnesium Deficiency?
Although you might likely feel much better after just a week of taking magnesium foods and supplements, it could take up to 40 weeks to get to a completely stable state.
Magnesium is a very vital mineral you might be lacking. But fortunately, your everyday diet can boost it.
With the 11 warning signs of magnesium deficiency discussed in this article, you should know when to eat more (magnesium) foods and supplements.
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More information about Magnesium
Talebi, M., Savadi-Oskouei, D., Farhoudi, M., Mohammadzade, S., Ghaemmaghamihezaveh, S., Hasani, A., & Hamdi, A. (2011). Relation between serum magnesium level and migraine attacks. Neurosciences (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia), 16(4), 320–323.
Gaul, C., Diener, H. C., Danesch, U., & Migravent® Study Group (2015). Improvement of migraine symptoms with a proprietary supplement containing riboflavin, magnesium and Q10: a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, multicenter trial. The journal of headache and pain, 16, 516. https://doi.org/10.1186/s10194-015-0516-6
Gröber, U., Schmidt, J., & Kisters, K. (2015). Magnesium in Prevention and Therapy. Nutrients, 7(9), 8199–8226. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu7095388
Castiglioni, S., Cazzaniga, A., Albisetti, W., & Maier, J. A. (2013). Magnesium and osteoporosis: current state of knowledge and future research directions. Nutrients, 5(8), 3022–3033. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu5083022
Guerrero-Romero, F., & Rodríguez-Morán, M. (2009). The effect of lowering blood pressure by magnesium supplementation in diabetic hypertensive adults with low serum magnesium levels: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Journal of human hypertension, 23(4), 245–251. https://doi.org/10.1038/jhh.2008.129
Abbasi, B., Kimiagar, M., Sadeghniiat, K., Shirazi, M. M., Hedayati, M., & Rashidkhani, B. (2012). The effect of magnesium supplementation on primary insomnia in elderly: A double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. Journal of research in medical sciences : the official journal of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, 17(12), 1161–1169.
Tarleton, E. K., & Littenberg, B. (2015). Magnesium intake and depression in adults. Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine : JABFM, 28(2), 249–256. https://doi.org/10.3122/jabfm.2015.02.140176