Magnesium is an essential nutrient that is crucial for many of your bodyâs vital functions, including protein synthesis, proper muscle function, blood pressure and blood sugar control, energy production, and proper bone development. In fact, magnesium is actually responsible for over 300 of the bodyâs reactions! It is also essential for many of your bodyâs enzyme functions. Because of its important role in the body, itâs vital to recognize any magnesium deficiency symptom.
Magnesium is found naturally in many foods that you may eat on a daily basis, such as almonds, cashews, peanuts, green leafy vegetables, soy milk, black beans, edamame, and avocados. A good rule of thumb to go by is that if a food is a significant source of dietary fiber, then it likely contains a good amount of magnesium too.
Unfortunately, many people do not get the RDA of magnesium, and are thus at risk of magnesium deficiency symptoms. Itâs estimated that about 70% of Americans suffer from magnesium deficiency.
In This Article:
- Magnesium Deficiency Early Symptoms – Stage 1
- Severe Conditions Associated with Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms
- More Severe Conditions Associated with Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms
- Life-Threatening Conditions Associated with Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms
- Factors Affecting Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms
- Magnesium Serum Test: Finding Your Magnesium Levels
- How to Improve Magnesium Deficiency Levels
Magnesium Deficiency Early Symptoms – Stage 1
A magnesium deficiency is rare in most healthy people as the kidneys are designed to allow only a small amount of the mineral to escape through the urine.
Low amounts of magnesium are seen with an insufficient dietary intake in the elderly, and in those taking certain medications, suffering from alcoholism, and with existing health conditions. These common conditions include type 2 diabetes and gastrointestinal diseases.
There are various stages of a magnesium deficiency. The early signs, if left untreated, may progress to severe complications, and possibly lead to a serious health condition.
Early detection of the signs and symptoms of a magnesium deficiency will help confirm a diagnosis as there is no conclusive blood test or other single diagnostic test to detect the lack of magnesium.
Mild Conditions Associated with Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms
|Muscle Twitch, Cramps, and Spasms||
|Fatigue and Muscle Weakness||
|Loss of Appetite||
Severe Conditions Associated with Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms
The presence of the following health conditions may indicate that your low serum magnesium levels have gone untreated for too long. Â The deficiency can have far-reaching effects on your nervous, musculoskeletal, and digestive systems.
|Anxiety and Panic Attacks||
More Severe Conditions Associated with Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms
Magnesium is essential to every organ in your body, but it is most important for the proper function of your muscles, heart, and kidneys. This is likely why the below conditions related to these organs can be traced to insufficient intake.
On the other hand, some of these more severe conditions can throw off your bodyâs natural magnesium balance.
|Calcified Mitral Valve||
|Chronic Fatigue Syndrome / Myalgic Encephalomyelitis||
Life-Threatening Conditions Associated with Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms
Finally, itâs important to take note of those medical conditions linked to persistently low levels of the mineral which can result in death.
|Alcoholism||Alcohol causes large amounts of water, magnesium, and other nutrients to be excreted by the kidneys.|
|ALS â Lou Gehrigâs Disease||ALS interferes with the nerve cellsâ ability to transmit messages, and triggers spasms, muscle pain, insomnia, anxiety, weakened bones, and heart issues.|
|Alzheimerâs Disease||Low magnesium levels are common among patients with the neurodegenerative disease.|
|Cancer||Radiation treatment may reduce magnesium levels with side effects of vomiting and diarrhea; cancer medications can also lower levels.|
|Congestive Heart Failure||Having too much calcium in the heart muscle causes excessive contractions, which can lead to a heart attack.|
|Eclampsia||The official cause is unknown, but the condition has been linked to malfunction of the blood vessels connecting the placenta; seizures and pre-mature birth may occur.|
|Emphysema (COPD)||Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients generally have low levels of magnesium, which is required for proper lung function.|
|Myocardial Infarction||Also known as a heart attack; magnesium deficiency can cause damage to the heart muscle as well as death.|
|Parkinsonâs Disease||Muscular problems are enhanced in patients lacking magnesium.|
|Renal Failure||Kidneys depend on balanced magnesium levels for normal function, including secretion.|
|Stroke||The potentially fatal condition occurs with an interruption of blood flow due to vascular interference and reduced cardiac output.|
|Sudden Cardiac Death||Some research links low serum magnesium to the sudden loss of heart function, which often occurs when no pre-existing heart disease, or damage, is noted.|
Factors Affecting Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms
There are a variety of factors that affect magnesium deficiency and magnesium deficiency symptoms. For example, diabetics and people with insulin resistance are more likely to have magnesium deficiency.
For sufferers of multiple sclerosis, magnesium deficiency symptoms make them more likely to suffer from twitching, muscle aches, and epilepsy.
People who have low levels of potassium, called hypokalemia, are also more likely to suffer from magnesium deficiency. Finally, magnesium deficiency can also be the cause of many cardiovascular problems.
Magnesium Serum Test: Finding Your Magnesium Levels
Determining a magnesium deficiency in the body can be complicated, which may explain why many cases are misdiagnosed.
A total serum magnesium test is simply a blood test that detects the level of magnesium present. This form of testing may not always be accurate as only one percent of total magnesium can be found in the blood. Most magnesium is found in the bones, as well as other locations in the body.
Other diagnostic tests for magnesium levels include a urine test to measure the amounts excreted. An EXA Test, similar to a cheek swab, may be ordered to note the magnesium levels in the cells.
Magnesium may also be purposely transmitted into the bloodstream to determine the amount that is secreted.
How to Improve Magnesium Deficiency Levels
One of the worst magnesium deficiency symptoms is exhaustion, with people reporting feeling fatigued, irritable, and lethargic. To combat these symptoms, ensure that you are getting enough magnesium in your diet; this will help you feel stronger and more energized than ever before.
In order to reduce your magnesium deficiency symptoms, many people consider taking a supplement of about 100 mg of magnesium a day. However, you can also try to get magnesium from your diet alone. Here are a few magnesium-rich foods:
- Brown rice
Natural remedies to try to build up magnesium levels include using Epsom salts in a bath and applying magnesium oil directly onto the skin. Reducing stress, refraining from excessive alcohol use, and drinking filtered water may also boost your magnesium levels naturally.
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