Health & Wellness

11 Warning Signs of Magnesium Deficiency that You Should not Ignore

The feeling of being healthy is the only thing that makes us happy and bright. Now suppose we all know that our health is a combination of physical, mental, and social well-being, and it is also a resource for living a stress-free life.

Good health does not necessarily mean the absence of diseases; rather, it indicates the ability to recover quickly from illness and get back to our everyday lives. In a word, we can say that good health is our capability to prevent other health problems.

However, food is one of the key factors that play an essential role in our fitness. Therefore, a healthful diet that consists of all essential nutrients and minerals, including magnesium as one of the salient components, is necessary for all.

So considering the importance of magnesium in human health, we will discuss the health benefits and resources of this mineral. Moreover, we will talk about the signs and causes of magnesium deficiency. So stay with us to know more about magnesium.

Causes of Magnesium Deficiency

Magnesium deficiency is a widespread health issue that can cause severe complications in our organs and whole body system. A low level of magnesium in the blood is called hypomagnesemia.

Electrolyte imbalance is the leading cause due to which magnesium serum level is low in our blood (less than 1.46mg/dl)

However, low magnesium level happens due to the following health condition. These are as follows—

  • Inadequate magnesium in the diet.
  • Excretion of magnesium at an increased rate with urine.
  • Any chronic health condition.

11 Warning Signs of Magnesium Deficiency

1. Muscle Cramp

The most common and indefinable symptom of magnesium deficiency is muscle cramp. Muscle cramps and muscle tremors and twitches are also associated with it. 

2. Mental Disorder

This is one of the deadliest symptoms of magnesium deficiency. In this case, the victim goes through a mental disorder.

3. Osteoporosis

Another common magnesium deficiency symptoms are osteoporosis. Most of you are aware of this. Osteoporosis is the weakening of bones that can lead to fractures.

4. Hypertension

Magnesium deficiency can also lead to increased blood pressure which can be fatal

5. Irregular Heartbeat

Heart arrhythmia, commonly known as an irregular heartbeat, can also be seen in the person suffering from magnesium deficiency.

This could be life-risking as it can lead to stroke and heart attack.

6. Asthma

Breathing problems and asthma can also be a symptom of magnesium deficiency.

7. Vomiting

Nausea and vomiting are the most common symptoms you may feel in this condition.

8. Loss of Appetite

Loss of appetite is generally the first sign of magnesium deficiency, primarily seen in this condition.

9. Fatigue and Weakness

Fatigue and weakness are the most common signs of magnesium deficiency; unfortunately, the fatigue won’t go away until your body gets the right amount of magnesium in it.

10. Headache

One of the main ways that magnesium deficiency affects the body is through headaches – if you’re experiencing chronic headaches that don’t seem to respond to treatment, it may be due to a magnesium deficiency.

11. Poor Sleep Quality

Magnesium is also important for healthy sleep cycles, and when it’s not available enough, you may experience difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.

ALSO READ: Vitamin D Deficiency Symptoms You Need to Know

What Magnesium Does for our Body?

Magnesium is a well known chemical compound, and it is written with the symbol Mg in chemistry. It is a shiny, grey or silver coloured lightweight solid material that is often found in the combined state in nature.

The chemical compound is needed to perform a significant chemical reaction in the human body.

So before we talk about the cause and symptoms of magnesium deficiency, we must know the health benefits of magnesium in our body.  

1. Improve Brain Function

Our brain is the key organ to operate our body system. Magnesium plays a vital to connect signals between the brain and body.

It acts as a protector for the NMDA receptor and blocks calcium entry into postsynaptic neurons. It also resists over-excitement, which may cause brain damage. 

2. Maintain Bone Health

Magnesium is also responsible for healthy bone structure. Scientific researchers have proved that proper magnesium intake increases bone density and lowers the risk of osteoporosis, especially in females.

3. Control Blood Sugar

Magnesium can reduce insulin resistance, as we all know that insulin resistance is one of the leading causes of type 2 diabetes. 

ALSO READ: Warning Signs you’re Eating Too Much Sugar

4. Improve Heart Health

An adequate quantity of magnesium helps relax vascular muscles and thus helps to increase cerebral blood flow.

It also controls the effect of calcium on the heart muscles. Thus it prevents heart muscles from contracting.

5. Lower Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is the most common problem in everyone’s life.

Research study shows that 400mg of magnesium is enough to reduce the systolic and diastolic pressure of the person suffering from high blood pressure.

It is important to note here that the person having normal blood pressure doesn’t undergo any change in pressure after intake of magnesium.

ALSO READ: Benefits of Almonds Nuts for Men and Women

6. Fights Depression

As is discussed earlier that magnesium helps our brain to function properly. So it can also lead to depression if the person is magnesium deficient.

It is mainly seen in adults who only consume 30% magnesium out of 100%. So there is a high risk of mental disorders as well as depression.

7. Prevent Migraines

People generally suffer from headaches, but the most painful headache is a migraine headache. It is accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and sensitiveness to pin-drop noise.

This generally occurs due to magnesium deficiency. So, proper intake of magnesium-rich foods daily can prevent this situation.

Magnesium Deficiency may Start in the Following Health Condition:

1. Gastrointestinal Disease

The foremost cause of magnesium deficiency is GI disease or gastrointestinal disease. It mainly includes constipation, chronic diseases, irritable bowel, colon cancer, and colitis.

A large amount of magnesium gets out of our body with our stool, becoming magnesium deficient.

2. Alcohol Dependency

Dependency on alcohol also leads to hypomagnesemia. It is so because too much alcohol consumption increases urination and stool, vomiting, liver diseases, and pancreatic.

All this condition leads to magnesium loss from our bodies. Hence, we become magnesium deficient.

3. Diabetes

Though magnesium helps control blood sugar, people with type 2 diabetes are often diagnosed with hypomagnesaemia.

People who are insulin sensitive can lose magnesium through urine, and thus magnesium level decreases.

4. Age

Old age performs a severe role for magnesium deficit. Therefore aged persons are often diagnosed with hypomagnesaemia.

At old age, all the physiological functions tend to deteriorate. At this point, magnesium absorption becomes quite irregular, and the capacity of the intestine to absorb dietary magnesium declined to a great extent.

All these changes, including low mg intake, inadequate absorption of mg by the intestine, and increased magnesium excretion through urine, indicate the tendency of low magnesium with old age.

5. Internal Organ failure

In some cases, organ failure can lead to magnesium deficiency. Those suffering from chronic kidney disease have a high chance of facing health problems due to hypomagnesemia.

6. Specific Medication

Individuals with certain medicines may develop a low magnesium level due to losing a large amount of magnesium. Some of these medications include:

  • Antifungal medicines.
  • Diuretic drugs.
  • Proton pump inhibitors are mainly used to reduce the production of stomach acid.
  • Drugs used in chemotherapy.
  • Those who are receiving certain thyroid hormones or vasopressin hormones.

Magnesium Rich Foods

There is no doubt that magnesium is an essential mineral for our body, and it’s easy to meet the daily requirement through diet.

Without the adequate quantity of this mineral, our nerves and muscles would not work as they are supposed to, so we must choose our daily diet full of essential minerals like magnesium.

Let us have a look at magnesium-rich foods.

1. Dark chocolate

Chocolate is one of the favourite foods in the human community. It is also rich in magnesium. 30gm of chocolate can provide up to 18% of the RDI for magnesium.

It provides a good heart, and it also contains iron, copper etc

2. Nuts

Tasty Nuts such as Cashews and Brazilian nuts are rich in magnesium which can withstand our magnesium deficiency.

Single cashew can provide our body with 24% of the RDI. It also increases blood sugar as well as cholesterol level. So take it properly.

3. Tofu

This vegan food, or more precisely a staple, is best for a vegetarian diet, and it provides 15% of the RDI for magnesium; it is also a good source of protein and other essential nutrients for our body.

4. Fatty Fish

It is known to all that fatty fishes are very much rich in magnesium. A high intake of fatty fish can also reduce the risk of chronic disease.

Fatty fishes include Salmon and Halibut; Tuna is extremely high in magnesium and must meet daily magnesium requirements.

A half fillet of this can provide 16% of the RDI. These beneficial credits go to the presence of Omega-3-fatty acid in it. 

5. Banana

Being one of the most popular food worldwide, the banana is regarded as the richest source of magnesium. One banana can provide up to 24% of the RDI and other essential nutrients.

6. Legumes

This plant includes different beans. These are excellent sources of many nutrients necessary for our body.

It is also a rich source of magnesium. 175gm of it can provide 30% of the RDI.

7. Whole Grains

Whole grains are nothing but wheat, barley, etc. These are excellent sources of magnesium and a great source of other nutrients. It is said that 39gm of buckwheat can provide 18% of the RDI.

8. Avocados

This heart-healthy fruit is a good source of magnesium and vitamins, nutrients and other chemical compounds.

Avocados that are magnesium-rich are in high demand are the best choice. An avocado provides about 15% of the RDI for magnesium.  

9. Seeds

Different types of seeds like chia seeds, pumpkin seeds are good sources of magnesium.

These seeds also contain antioxidants that help our cells get rid of harmful free radicals. 28gm of seed has 40% of the RDI.

10. Cauliflower

Another great source of magnesium is cauliflower. A single cauliflower can provide up to 26% of the RDI.

11. Broccoli

Broccoli is also a great source of magnesium for magnesium-deficient people. Single broccoli can provide up to 14% of the RDI.

Although inadequacy of magnesium results in hypomagnesaemia, an overdose of it may cause, health complications like diarrhoea, nausea or muscle cramping and the very high dose may cause kidney disorder.

Therefore it’s necessary to detect the exact magnesium level and fix your daily intake. So if you are experiencing any of these magnesium deficiency Symptoms for a long time, consult a doctor immediately.

Dr Maria

MD. Board Certified physician. Fellowship In Family Medicine UK. 8 years of medical experience in Lifestyle-related health disorders. Graduated from AIIMS – All India Institute Of Medical Science, INDIA

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