Magnesium deficiency makes the human body vulnerable to every known disease to mankind. Magnesium is the most vital nutrient our body needs, being responsible for over 300 physiological processes in the body. Hence, it is astonishing to learn how the problem of magnesium deficiency is downright ignored by modern society.
A recent study suggested that over 75% of Americans are not meeting their daily magnesium intake requirements. In many cases, this deficiency remains undiagnosed as its primary symptoms do not appear until the magnesium levels in the body have decimated to a severe low.
Health problems pertaining to magnesium deficiency include:
As magnesium plays a number of roles in our body, it wouldn’t be far-fetched to associate its deficiency with a lot of other conditions. The effects of magnesium deficiency can range from a minor annoying symptom to serious health issues. Here are the most common signs of magnesium deficiency.
7 Signs of Magnesium Deficiency
1. Muscle Twitches and Spasms
As magnesium is vital in nerve transmission, it should come as no surprise to anyone that it is also related to muscle contraction. Twitches, cramps, and spasms are all signs of magnesium deficiency in the body.
Spasms will typically occur in legs, feet and even in places like eyelids. Women can experience aggravated PMS related cramps when magnesium levels are alarmingly low. In the worst cases, deficiency can lead to violent seizures and convulsions.
Another sign of magnesium deficiency is insomnia or lack of proper sleep. The mind and body struggle to relax and rest when the magnesium in the body is at an all-time low. Without magnesium, the regulation of neurotransmitters in the brain like Serotonin, and GABA can be hampered.
As GABA is a chemical responsible for relaxation, its deficiency results in causing restlessness and ultimately insomnia.
Magnesium helps in regulating blood sugar, it stabilizes cortisol, improves GABA Levels, Reduces brain inflammation, reduces chances of depression, etc. All of these factors work together in relieving the body of stress and anxiety.
3. Heart Arrhythmia
Our heart contracts to pump out blood to every nook and cranny of our body. Magnesium plays a role in this muscle just like it does in every other muscle in your body. If your heart is beating irregularly, you may have a magnesium deficiency. Other symptoms include rapid heartbeats, sudden changes in heart rhythm, slow heartbeats, etc.
Magnesium is responsible for regulating heart contractility, improves energy production, regulates calcium in the body, and relaxes skeletal and smooth muscles.
4. Mood Disorders
Magnesium has a crucial role in regulating neurotransmitter balance. Neurotransmitters are chemicals in the brain that control thought patterns and behaviors in the body. With low magnesium levels, there is nothing regulating the neurotransmitters, thus resulting in erratic electrical and chemical transmission within the synapses of the nerves in the brain as well as in the body.
Low levels of magnesium lead to an imbalance of brain chemicals like serotonin or GABA. An imbalance in neurotransmitters (brain chemicals) can in turn, lead to a plethora of other issues like ADHD, anxiety, hallucinations, depression, migraine, PPD, Autism, Delirium, etc.
The mitochondria (the powerhouse of the cell) in our bodies rely heavily on magnesium to produce energy in our body. So at a cellular level, your mitochondrial levels determine your energy levels. Magnesium also supports adrenal glands, which play a fundamental role in energy production.
We have mentioned that magnesium is responsible for over 300 physiological processes. With low levels of magnesium, fatigue is a common symptom where in some cases it becomes so severe that performing even the most simple activities of daily living becomes daunting and almost impossible.
6. Headaches and Migraines
We have mentioned the importance of magnesium in the proper functioning of our brain. With magnesium deficiency, two things can happen that can trigger headaches. First, the ability for the smooth muscles of the blood vessels to relax becomes compromised, leaving the blood vessels in a state of contraction. This not only raises blood pressure but can instigate a headache or migraine. The other instigator of headaches can be that there aren’t an adequate amount of neurotransmitters flowing in the brain and this can be, in part, due to a deficiency of magnesium.
Magnesium is vital in all nerve functions. Magnesium supplements have been acknowledged in reduced migraines and headaches in many studies. Magnesium helps regulate calcium within our cells and influences electrical conductivity and contraction of our smooth and striated muscles in our body, and the electrical and chemical activity of our brain and nervous system. Magnesium deficiency can increase the levels of calcium, resulting in an excitotoxic effect where the brain is overstimulated, and the muscles in our body (including in our blood vessels) become contracted (they cramp up) causing a headache.
Constipation is a typical digestive issue you might have heard from time to time. With low levels of magnesium, our kidneys have a hard time regulating the amount of fluid in our colon which can result in hard stools and slower movement through the colon. Magnesium can ‘re hydrate’ the colon by allowing water into the bowels, thus resulting in a more normal bowel movement.
Increasing Magnesium Levels
We are now aware of just how vital and potent magnesium is to the human body. So vital, that many conditions can be traced back, in part, to its deficiency.
Let’s look at the three ways in which magnesium levels can be restored in the body.
Magnesium Rich Foods
Our diets are the best way to start refueling ourselves with the nutrients we lack. Same is true for replenishing magnesium. Incorporating magnesium-rich foods in the diet can help immensely in maintaining a healthy balance of magnesium in the body.
Here are some Magnesium Rich Foods:
- Green Leafy Vegetables
- Raw Chocolate
- Wild-Caught Fish
- Swiss Chard
- Pumpkin Seeds
Consuming these food products on a regular basis can help restore and maintain healthy magnesium levels in your body.
Epsom Salt Baths
This kind of bath is probably one of the most relaxing ways of letting your body consume magnesium. Epsom salts are popular sources of magnesium that can be absorbed by the body through the skin while soaking in it.
Epsom salts are made of magnesium chloride and sulfate, both of which have long-lasting benefits for the body.
Sometimes the magnesium levels in the body are so low that food and Epsom salt baths simply won’t cut it. In such a case, supplements become a lifesaving alternative to natural magnesium sources.
Magnesium supplements are available for purchase in the form of powder, capsules, and even lotions or oils.
The powdered supplement can be mixed in water, or tea for consumption. The supplements can both have immediate positive results on the body, leading to regulated blood pressure, better sleep, increased stamina, and improved moods.