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What Are The 10 Signs Of Low Magnesium? + What To Do About It

Everyone seems to be looking for ways to improve their health. Magnesium is a very much talked about supplement in the health and wellness industry because of the importance of this mineral to our overall health and functionality.

We have put together what the experts are saying to make your research of this mineral much easier and provide you with many answers to key questions.

Continue reading to find out just what are the 10 signs of low magnesium and what to do about it to avoid magnesium deficiency.

What Exactly Is Magnesium?

Magnesium is a mineral that's essential for good health. It's necessary for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the human body. It helps keep your heart beating regularly, supports a healthy immune system, and keeps your bones strong.

Magnesium helps to regulate blood sugar levels, promotes normal blood pressure, and is known to be involved in energy metabolism and protein synthesis. So if high blood pressure is something you deal with, that could be one of the signs of magnesium deficiency.

But that's not all! Magnesium also helps to relax muscles, soothing muscle cramps, and has even been known to reduce anxiety. Basically, this essential mineral is necessary for the proper function of every cell in your body.

Magnesium is crucial to the health of your bones, muscles, soft tissues and fluids and even impacts your entire nervous system.

While magnesium is found in many foods, some people may not get enough of this important mineral. Low magnesium can result in numerous health issues.

Why is Magnesium Deficiency So Widespread?

It’s estimated that 80% of the population is magnesium deficient. Experts say that magnesium deficiency is so widespread for several reasons and pretty much all are related to diet, lifestyle and environment. Here's why:

Diet:

  • most people don't consume enough magnesium-rich foods such as leafy greens, nuts and seeds
  • eating too many processed foods which destroys the magnesium naturally found in the food source
  • substances such as sugar and caffeine have shown to deplete magnesium levels in our body

Lifestyle:

  • too busy to eat a well balanced diet
  • not enough sleep
  • always on the go
  • stress
  • overall health
  • medications and certain medical conditions can interfere with magnesium 

Environment:

  • environmental stressors
  • depleted soil conditions for growing food sources
  • use of chemicals such as fluoride and chlorine which hinder magnesium
  • stress depletes magnesium & taxes the endocrine system

How Much Magnesium Do You Actually Need?

Like any mineral or vitamin that your body requires, how much you really need varies from one individual to the next. Why? Because each person's overall health, diet, lifestyle and even the environment they live in can affect their levels as well as how their body actually uses or absorbs said mineral or vitamin.

Generally speaking though the experts do recommend that the average adult in relatively good health should have a dietary allowance of magnesium intake of around 350 mg.

If you enjoy a well balanced and healthy diet that includes magnesium rich foods, you should consider a magnesium supplement that is lower than 350 mg as you will have a magnesium intake from your dietary sources as well as the supplement.

It's always best to begin with a lower dosage and increase if needed to give your body time to adjust.

10 Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency

Some people do not experience any symptoms of magnesium deficiency but there are some signs to keep an eye out for.

What are the 10 signs of low magnesium that experts believe are the symptoms that may raise concerns of magnesium deficiency? Let's take a look.

Loss Of Appetite

Our appetite is regulated by a complex system and when it's out of balance, it can lead to a number of problems, including loss of appetite.

Experts believe that this loss of appetite may be due to the fact that magnesium plays a role in regulating blood sugar levels. When magnesium levels are low, blood sugar levels can drop, leading to feelings of anxiety and dizziness. This can make it difficult to eat, as the body doesn't have the energy it needs to digest food properly.

In addition, magnesium is necessary for the absorption of other nutrients, such as vitamin D. Without adequate levels of magnesium, the body may not be able to properly utilize these nutrients, leading to further decline in appetite. 

Nausea & Vomiting

Nausea and vomiting are common symptoms of magnesium deficiency. Magnesium is necessary for the production of stomach acid, so a lack of magnesium can lead to indigestion and gastrointestinal distress.

When the body does not have enough magnesium, it cannot properly regulate nerve and muscle function. This can lead to an overreaction of the digestive system, causing nausea and vomiting.

Fatigue & Weakness

Both fatigue and weakness are frequently linked to a lack of magnesium. Magnesium is a mineral that plays an important role in energy production, muscle contraction, and nerve function. When levels of magnesium are low, these processes can be impaired, leading to feelings of fatigue and weakness.

Magnesium is essential for the proper absorption of calcium. Calcium is needed for strong bones and muscles, so when magnesium levels are low, bone and muscle health can be affected, leading to further fatigue and weakness.

Shaking

Shaking, also known as tremor, can be a symptom of magnesium deficiency. Although magnesium is an essential nutrient that plays a role in many bodily functions, it is not stored in the body in large quantities. As a result, even a small shortfall can lead to symptoms like shaking.

The exact mechanism behind this symptom is not fully understood, but it is thought that magnesium helps to stabilize nerve cell membranes. Without enough magnesium, nerves may become overexcited, leading to involuntary muscle contractions and tremors. In severe cases, magnesium deficiency can also cause seizures.

Pins & Needles

Pins and needles, also known as paraesthesia, is a tingling or prickling sensation that is often caused by pressure on the nerves. When you sit on your leg for too long, for example, you may start to feel a pins and needles sensation as the blood flow to the area is restricted.

Magnesium deficiency can also cause pins and needles. Magnesium is essential for nerve function, so a lack of magnesium can lead to neuropathy, which is a condition that causes tingling, numbness, and pain in the hands and feet. If you are experiencing pins and needles, it may be worth checking your magnesium levels.

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a condition that causes bones to become weak and brittle. It is often caused by a lack of vitamin D and calcium, but magnesium deficiency can also contribute to the development of osteoporosis.

Magnesium helps to strengthen bones and prevent the breakdown of bone tissue. Without enough magnesium, bones can become thin and fragile. This makes them more likely to break, which can lead to pain, disability, and an increased risk of developing other health problems.

While many people are aware of the importance of calcium and vitamin D for bone health, fewer people know that magnesium is also essential for keeping bones strong.

Muscle Spasms

Muscle spasms are involuntary contractions that can cause pain and discomfort. They're often caused by dehydration or electrolyte imbalances, but magnesium deficiency is another possible cause.

When magnesium levels are low, calcium can bind to muscle cells, causing them to contract. This can lead to cramping, twitching, and spasms. 

Hyperexcitability

When we think of magnesium, we might not automatically think of excitement or energy. However, magnesium is actually essential for regulating nerve and muscle function. This means that a lack of magnesium can lead to a condition called hyperexcitability, which is characterized by increased sensitivity to stimuli, leading to feeling frazzled, anxious and an overall feeling of being on edge. Ongoing hyperexcitability can be quite debilitating. 

Hyperexcitability, often caused by stress, can further deplete magnesium levels which can then lead to stress related health concerns such as: anxiety, irritability, and even insomnia.

Sleepiness

Magnesium plays a role in the production of melatonin, the hormone that regulates our sleep-wake cycle. When we don't get enough magnesium, our bodies can't produce enough melatonin, leading to fatigue and difficulty sleeping.

Low magnesium has also been linked to restless leg syndrome, another condition that can make it hard to get a good night's sleep. 

Abnormal Heart Rhythms

In order for our heart to beat properly, it relies on a coordinated system of electrical impulses. These impulses originate in the sinus node, a small cluster of cells in the heart's upper right chamber, and travel through the atria and ventricles, causing them to contract and pump blood.

Sometimes, this system can become impaired, causing the heart to beat abnormally. This can be caused by a variety of factors, including electrolyte imbalances, certain medications, and underlying health conditions.

Magnesium deficiency is one potential cause of abnormal heart rhythms. Magnesium is an essential mineral that plays a key role in many physiological processes, including cardiac function.

When levels of magnesium are low, it can disrupt the electrical impulses that control heart rate, leading to arrhythmias. If you are experiencing abnormal heart rhythms, often the doctor will check your magnesium levels.

Research has shown that magnesium supplementation can help to correct these abnormalities and improve heart health.

The Best Ways To Boost Your Magnesium Levels

Since you now know what the 10 most common signs of low magnesium are, you are better able to discern whether or not you may be low in magnesium or more importantly, if there may be concern of magnesium deficiency. The good news though is that there is an easy remedy.

There are many ways to increase your magnesium levels. Let's go over the two easiest and most convenient ways to do this: 1) eating a healthy diet that includes magnesium-rich foods and 2) by taking a quality magnesium supplement.

Magnesium Supplementation

It's not always easy with today's lifestyle and busy lives to eat a well balanced and nutritionally adequate diet. Thank goodness for supplements!

Magnesium supplementation simply refers to the act of taking magnesium supplements in order to increase one's intake of this essential mineral. There are a variety of magnesium supplements on the market, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. As with most supplements, the most common forms of magnesium supplements are powders, capsules, and liquids.

Powders are generally the most economical option, but they can be difficult to mix into beverages and may have an unpleasant taste. Oral magnesium capsules are more expensive than powders but are easier to take and tend to be better tolerated by the body. Liquids are absorbed more quickly by the body but can be costly and may have a strong taste.

A topical magnesium supplement can also help to improve magnesium levels in the body. This type of supplement is applied directly to the skin, where it is absorbed into the bloodstream. Topical magnesium supplements are safe for most people to use and are relatively inexpensive. 

The form of supplement may also be dependent on the type of magnesium supplements and the health concern you wish to target. The types of magnesium include magnesium oxide, magnesium citrate, and magnesium chloride.

Magnesium oxide is the most common form of supplement, but it's also the least easily absorbed by the body. Magnesium citrate is more easily absorbed than magnesium oxide and is often used to treat constipation. Magnesium chloride is the most easily absorbed form of magnesium supplement and is often used to increase levels of magnesium in people with deficiencies. 

Ultimately, the best magnesium supplement for you is one that you will actually take on a regular basis. 

Magnesium-Rich Foods

The best way to get any vitamin or mineral into your body is of course through the most natural way possible and that is through diet. Eating healthy, including lots of vitamin and mineral rich foods ultimately gives our body the best possible nutrient fuel to do all the things it naturally needs to do.

It’s relatively easy to add magnesium rich foods to your daily diet as there are lots of readily available options. You just need to be aware of what those food choices are.

Magnesium Rich Foods:

  • dark leafy greens (spinach, kale)
  • beans and lentils
  • nuts and seeds
  • whole grains (oats, quinoa, brown rice)
  • fish (salmon, tuna, halibut)
  • avocados
  • dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa)
  • fortified foods (breakfast cereals)
  • dairy products (milk, yogurt)

The Bottom Line

We hope you have enjoyed this post “What Are The 10 Signs Of Low Magnesium? & What To Do About It” and that you have found it quite informative. Your health matters and we want to equip you to make informed decisions on how to be your healthiest!

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