11 warning signs of magnesium deficiency

11 warning signs of magnesium deficiency - welzo

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11 warning signs of magnesium deficiency

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Are you getting enough magnesium? Chances are if you're like most people, you're not. Magnesium is one of the most common mineral deficiencies in the world, and it's estimated that up to 19% of young adults in the UK are deficient in this nutrient.

While magnesium deficiency may not cause obvious symptoms in many people, it can lead to health problems down the road if left untreated.

So how can you tell if you're deficient in magnesium? Here are 11 warning signs of magnesium deficiency.

1. Muscle cramps or twitches

Magnesium is involved in more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body, including muscle contraction and relaxation.

So it's no surprise that magnesium deficiency can lead to muscle cramps, spasms, muscle weakness and twitches.

If you often find yourself reaching for the topical magnesium cream or taking supplements to relieve muscle pain, it could be a sign that you're not getting enough of this essential mineral.

2. Fatigue

Are you always tired, no matter how much sleep you get? Feeling exhausted all the time is one of the most common symptoms of magnesium deficiency.

That's because magnesium helps convert glucose into energy, and when you're low on magnesium, your body has trouble producing the energy it needs to function properly.

If you're constantly struggling to make it through the day, it may be time to look into magnesium supplementation.

3. High blood pressure

According to a 2012 study, magnesium can help lower blood pressure by relaxing blood vessels and improving insulin sensitivity.

If you've been diagnosed with high blood pressure, or if your blood pressure is consistently higher than 120/80, talk to your doctor about whether magnesium supplementation might help lower your numbers.

4. Asthma

Research has shown that people with asthma are more likely to be deficient in magnesium than those without the condition.

In fact, some studies have found that magnesium sulphate can be used as an emergency treatment for asthmatic attacks.

If you have asthma and are looking for ways to better control your symptoms, talk to your doctor about whether magnesium supplementation might help.

5. Osteoporosis

Magnesium plays a vital role in bone health; it helps the body absorb calcium and other minerals that are essential for strong bones.

A lack of magnesium can lead to osteoporosis, especially in postmenopausal women who are already at risk for the condition.

6. Type 2 Diabetes

One study found that people with type 2 diabetes are more likely to be deficient in magnesium than people without the condition.

While more research is needed to confirm a cause-and-effect relationship, it's thought that low magnesium levels might contribute to insulin resistance, which is a key factor in type 2 diabetes.

7. Cystitis

Cystitis is a condition that refers to inflammation of the bladder. This condition can be extremely painful and may cause symptoms like urinary frequency, urinary urgency, and pelvic pain.

A small study found that magnesium citrate was effective at reducing the symptoms of cystitis.

8. Anxiety or Depression

When magnesium levels are low, it can cause anxiety and depression. Low magnesium levels alter the balance of calcium and potassium in the cells, which can lead to an increase in adrenaline and cortisol.

These hormones are part of the stress response system and can cause feelings of anxiety and worry.

In addition, low magnesium levels can also cause changes in brain neurotransmitters that are linked to depression.

As a result, maintaining adequate magnesium levels is essential for mental health.

9. Irregular Heartbeat

Magnesium plays an important role in heart health. It's involved in controlling heart rate and blood pressure.

Low magnesium levels have been linked to an increased risk of arrhythmias, which are irregularities in the heartbeat.

10. Migraines

Migraine sufferers tend to have lower levels of magnesium than people who don't experience migraines.

While more research is needed, it's thought that taking a magnesium supplement might help prevent migraines or reduce their frequency.

11. Difficulty Swallowing

If you have difficulty swallowing pills or capsules, then you might want to consider taking a liquid magnesium supplement instead.

This form of supplement is easier to take and doesn't require you to swallow large pills or capsules.

So, how can you make sure you’re getting enough of this important nutrient? Here are the top 5 ways to increase your magnesium intake.

How to Check for Magnesium Deficiency?

If you suspect you may be magnesium deficient, there are a few ways to check. The most accurate way is to order a magnesium blood test.

Another option is to have your doctor order a magnesium RBC (red blood cell) test, which is a more sensitive test for measuring magnesium levels.

Finally, you could also ask your doctor about doing a urine test for magnesium, which can measure the amount of magnesium that is being excreted by your body.

While not as accurate as the blood tests, this test can still give some indication of whether you might be lacking in this essential nutrient.

Supplements are an efficient source of magnesium

The Top 5 Ways to Increase Your Magnesium Intake

So, how can you make sure you’re getting enough of this important nutrient? Here are the top 5 ways to increase your magnesium intake.

Eat Plenty of Dark, Leafy Greens

To counter magnesium deficiency, it is prudent to eat magnesium-rich foods. Dark, leafy greens like spinach and kale are excellent sources of magnesium. Just one cup of cooked spinach provides almost 25% of the recommended daily value of magnesium.

Add some greens to your lunch or dinner for an easy way to boost your magnesium intake.

Include Nuts and Seeds in Your Diet

Nuts and seeds are another great way to get more magnesium into your diet. An ounce of almonds, for example, contains almost 80 milligrams of magnesium—that’s 20% of the recommended daily value.

Add a handful of nuts or seeds to your breakfast cereal or afternoon yogurt for a nutritional punch.

Eat More Fish

Fish is yet another excellent source of magnesium. A 3-ounce serving of salmon, for instance, contains almost 50 milligrams of magnesium.

Not a fan of fish? You can also get your magnesium fix from other seafood like shrimp and scallops.

Add fish to your diet a few times per week for a healthy dose of this essential nutrient.

Use Magnesium-Rich Cooking Oils

Cooking oils like olive oil and avocado oil are rich in magnesium. Just one tablespoon of olive oil contains 8% of the recommended daily value of magnesium.

So, drizzle some olive oil on your salad or use it to cook up your favourite veggies for a tasty way to increase your intake of this essential mineral.

Take a Magnesium Supplement

If you’re still not getting enough magnesium from food alone, talk to your doctor about taking a supplement.

Magnesium supplements are available in many different forms, so you’re sure to find one that works for you.

Just be sure to talk to your doctor before starting any new supplement regimen as they can interact with certain medications you may be taking.


Magnesium is an important mineral that plays a role in hundreds of biochemical reactions in your body.

Many people don't get enough magnesium from their diet and this can lead to a deficiency that causes a host of different health problems including anxiety, depression, type 2 diabetes, and irregular heartbeat.

If you think you might be deficient in magnesium, then talk to your doctor about taking a supplement.

Getting enough magnesium is vital for good health so make sure you're getting enough of this important mineral!

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