A Magnesium Deficiency Could Be Causing These Common Symptoms
Diets that are lacking key nutrients will be reflected as physical signs and symptoms that we can learn to pay attention to. Unfortunately, it is very easy to miss out on important minerals like magnesium. Magnesium is vital to many functions of the body, so when you don’t have enough, you can start to feel lousy.
Unfortunately, magnesium is one of the most common deficiencies in today’s diet due to soil depletion and lack of consumption of magnesium rich foods.
Symptoms of a magnesium deficiency include:
- Muscle cramps and spasms – experiencing cramps in your legs or feet isn’t supposed to be a normal thing, they are happening for a reason! If you have any sort of muscle cramp or twitching, this is the most common sign of a deficiency.
- Low thyroid – our thyroid is one of the main regulators in our body and magnesium is essential for making thyroid hormones. This simple solution is often overlooked when sorting out underlying thyroid problems.
- Trouble sleeping – research shows that supplementing with magnesium can help people sleep who have trouble staying asleep. GABA is a neurotransmitter that helps calm us, this vital nutrient is needed for GABA receptors in the brain.
- Anxiety and depression – due to it’s relaxing effects, magnesium calms down the excitatory NMDA receptor. Without adequate levels, calcium and glutamate activate NMDA, which can lead to feeling depressed and anxious.
- Adrenal fatigue – similar to the calming effects listed above, it also has the ability to decrease stress levels which help to balance and regulate hormones. Magnesium can regulate cortisol levels (those with adrenal fatigue have increased cortisol) and keep them balanced throughout the day.
- Poor memory – brain fog and memory problems are increasingly common these days and are considered “normal” or as part of aging. Research tells us that magnesium levels play a role in learning and memory function, when levels are low one may experience a brain fog type of symptom. Magnesium has the ability to heal, change, and grow new neural pathways. This is essential when aiming to slow down or reversing cognitive decline.
- Migraines and headaches – migraines can be triggered by many things including food sensitivities, but an estimated 50 percent of those suffering are magnesium deficient.
- Heart problems – low levels of magnesium are associated with increased risk of coronary heart disease (CAD).
- Inflammation – again, due to magnesium’s calming effects, it has the ability to calm and decrease inflammation in the body.
- ADHD – several studies have researched the effects of magnesium on children with hyperactivity disorders. Those who took magnesium daily had decreased symptoms compared to those who didn’t.
- Insulin resistance – research shows that magnesium intake can improve insulin sensitivity. Other studies show that magnesium improved triglycerides and high blood pressure, two factors that contribute to metabolic syndrome and diabetes.
- Weak bones – along with calcium, magnesium is a key nutrient for bone health. Studies show that the more deficient someone is in magnesium levels, the lower their bone density was, increasing risk of osteoporosis and fractures.
- Asthma – eating magnesium rich foods can help those with asthma, it helps by increasing bronchodilation.
We always recommend correcting nutrient deficiencies through food first.
Try incorporating the following foods into your diet!
- Black beans
- Dark chocolate
- Pumpkin seeds
- Swiss chard
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you might consider seeking help from a functional wellness practitioner who can draw labs to find out your specific magnesium level and if additional supplementation is necessary. Supplementing with magnesium is generally safe, but it can cause diarrhea and GI upset when taking too much for your body. It is also important to ask your doctor about interactions with any medications you may be taking.