6 Signs of Magnesium Deficiency
I write about Magnesium quite a lot. I’m a big fan of this mineral. I often refer to it as a miracle mineral because of the amazing transformations I see it make to my patients’ health regularly.
Magnesium deficiency can be difficult to diagnose because it can cause such a wide range of different symptoms and health problems. It is also difficult to test whether a person has sufficient magnesium in their body. Blood tests are not useful because only approximately 1 percent of the body’s magnesium is present in the bloodstream. Most magnesium is in the bones, muscles and organs.
Not many people realize just how critical magnesium is to your body. This mineral is responsible for approximately 300 metabolic processes in your body.
Many people associate magnesium deficiency with anxiety, insomnia and muscle cramps. This is certainly true, although magnesium is also required for energy generation in your body and is brilliant for helping to overcome fatigue. Heart conditions can be improved with magnesium, particularly palpitations, which are extremely common in post menopausal women.
Here are 6 signs you could be magnesium deficient
- Muscle problems. One of the first signs of magnesium deficiency is cramps, spasms, pain or twitching of the muscles. This could be painful leg cramps that jolt you awake in the night, or twitching in the muscles under your eye. Muscle aches and pains can be caused by magnesium deficiency, particularly having poor recovery after exercise and continuing to feel sore for days. Painful menstrual cramps in women are a common sign of magnesium deficiency.
- Nervous system problems. Anxiety, tension, feeling flustered and easily overwhelmed are signs of magnesium deficiency. Basically having a low tolerance to stress. Magnesium deficiency can make it impossible for you to wind down and relax enough in the evening to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night. Hyperactivity and restlessness in children may be partly due to magnesium deficiency.
- Heart problems. Magnesium is required for maintaining the normal electrical activity of the heart. Therefore heart arrhythmias, palpitations and spasms of the arteries in the heart (leading to angina), can all be worsened by magnesium deficiency. Magnesium is also required for maintaining healthy blood pressure and many cases of hypertension can be helped by taking a magnesium supplement.
- Tooth and bone problems. This is not surprising, considering that most of the magnesium in your body is found in your skeleton. Long term deficiency of magnesium raises the risk of osteoporosis. You need a lot more than just calcium for strong bones. That’s why every good bone strengthening supplement should contain magnesium and other minerals. Magnesium, along with vitamin B6 helps to reduce the risk of calcium stones forming in the kidneys. Tooth decay and slow healing of broken bones are other possible symptoms of magnesium deficiency.
- Insulin resistance. Magnesium is required in order to make insulin function effectively in the body. People with poor insulin function are said to suffer with insulin resistance, also known as metabolic syndrome, syndrome X or pre-diabetes. These conditions make it much more difficult to lose weight, mostly because of fatigue, hypoglycaemia and intense sugar or carbohydrate cravings. Insulin resistance tends to cause stubborn weight gain around the abdomen, and that places a person at increased risk of fatty liver.
- Hormone imbalance. In men, magnesium deficiency can contribute to testosterone deficiency. In women, magnesium deficiency can contribute to symptoms of excess testosterone such as facial hair and scalp hair loss. In women, those symptoms are often present in polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) which is a common cause of infertility.
Small amounts of magnesium are found in green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds and red meat. However, if you suffer with some of the conditions listed above, these foods will not provide sufficient magnesium. Because there are no effective laboratory tests to check for magnesium deficiency, the best thing to do is take a Magnesium and watch for an improvement in symptoms. Of course, eating healthy, nutrient rich foods each day is a must, but if you already display several symptoms of magnesium deficiency, you may be waiting a very long time before your body’s level of this vital mineral is increased through food alone. A magnesium supplement offers a fast and reliable way of topping up with this mineral.
If you’d like to learn more, see my book Magnesium, The Miracle Mineral.
The above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.