6 Warning Signs You Might Have A Magnesium Deficiency
6 Warning Signs You Might Have
A Magnesium Deficiency
part 1 of a 2 part article series
Magnesium deficiency is popularly known in health forums as the ‘invisible deficiency.’ This is because it can manifest without you ever even noticing it. This is probably one of the main reasons that it is still the leading nutrient deficiency in adults. Almost 80% of adults reportedly have some form of magnesium deficiency.
Magnesium plays a vital role in how our bodies function and stay healthy. The human body contains about 25 grams of magnesium. 50 to 60 percent are in the skeletal system, while the rest are found in muscles, soft tissues, and bodily fluids.
There are tons of ways to check whether you are already deficient in magnesium. However, because of the number of possible symptoms, it can prove to be more difficult to notice the signs. It’s not called the ‘invisible deficiency’ for nothing. Luckily, there are simple and common symptoms that can make it easier for you to tell.
- Fatigue and Muscle Weakness
When you begin to feel the onslaught of fatigue, it usually means that you need rest. It’s perfectly normal to feel tired after a long day. However, fatigue that persists over a long period of time could already be a sign of a health problem.
Fatigue is a medical condition characterized by physical or mental exhaustion. This could also manifest through muscle weakness, making your body feel heavy and lethargic. Fatigue is a non-specific symptom, meaning that it does not exclusively attribute to or explain a single condition.
However, magnesium deficiency is specifically characterized by muscle weakness, which is usually accompanied by fatigue. This is more formally known as myasthenia. Doctors believe that this muscle weakness is due to the loss of important nutrients, such as potassium, in the muscle cells. This leads to magnesium deficiency, causing strain on the body. Which ultimately leads to the appearance of persistent fatigue.
Individuals with asthma are more prone to lower magnesium levels than people without. The lack of magnesium stops the body from regulating muscle and nerve function. Doctors say that this lack of magnesium can cause a buildup of calcium in the muscles lining the airways of the lungs. This constricts the airways, possibly causing more severe and fatal asthma attacks.
Some inhalers include magnesium sulfate to alleviate severe asthma, expanding and relaxing the airways. In other cases, individuals with more severe symptoms need to be injected supplements to relieve their airways. Dietary magnesium supplements, on the other hand, are known to be less effective in alleviating asthma attacks.
While there is an evident correlation between magnesium deficiency and asthma, it is still important to consult a doctor to investigate this symptom. However, if you have had recurring cases of asthma that border on the severe, it might be time to raise your magnesium level intake.
- High Blood Pressure
One of the main factors that contribute to magnesium deficiency is poor dietary habits. This promotes low magnesium levels, which can ultimately lead to more severe health problems. Studies show that magnesium deficiency can increase blood pressure, which exposes one to the risk of heart disease. Other than that, people with low magnesium levels have a higher risk of developing diabetes and suffering through a stroke.
The presence of
magnesium nutrients in the body helps to balance your blood pressure, keeping your heart rhythm at a normal, healthy rate. Magnesium supplements are usually taken by adults to lower the chances of high blood pressure. In fact, this greatly contributes to lowering your blood pressure itself.
If you have recently noticed persistent spikes in your blood pressure over a long period of time, you might already be low on magnesium. Do consider stocking up on magnesium-rich foods and supplements to avoid this.
- Muscle Cramps and Spasms
You have probably experienced a sudden cramp while walking or have spontaneously spasmed while just lying in bed about a couple of times in your life. Muscle cramps and spasms are the most tell-tale signs of magnesium deficiency. Doctors say that this is usually caused by an excess of calcium in the system, which overstimulates the nerve muscles, causing cramps and spasms.
This excess in calcium is offset by the lack of magnesium in the body. In the beginning, this usually manifests through occasional twitching and spasms while in the middle of an activity. In a worst-case scenario, it can lead to seizures or convulsions — even in your sleep.
While muscle cramps and spasms are non-specific symptoms, it is also important to check what you’re already doing to and putting in your body. Stress and caffeine are known contributors, but they can also be considered as symptoms.
The relationship between stress and magnesium deficiency is an interesting one. Stress can be a primary cause of magnesium deficiency, primarily due to its demanding nature. This can lead to a lack of proper dietary habits and the tendency to overwork. Likewise, the lack of magnesium deficiency caused by stress can magnify the stress reaction.
This worsens the problem, making it counterproductive. Getting caught up in stressful conditions require more magnesium to be used by the body. Since stress can manifest both physically and psychologically, it can really take a toll on the body. This makes it harder for your body to keep up, slowing the rate of magnesium production.
Other than that, physical forms of stress such as chronic disease and burns could directly affect the magnesium production of the body. When the body experiences consistent stress with no signs of recovery, it could cause a potentially severe health problem.
- Caffeine High
The kidneys are one of the organs responsible for controlling magnesium levels. This allows them to filter and excrete excess magnesium and minerals that could potentially endanger the body’s system. This prevents low blood pressure, an irregular heartbeat, and even becoming induced in a coma. However, most of you may not know that your caffeinated drinks are speeding up this process.
Caffeine prompts the kidneys to release more magnesium, regardless of whether your body may need it or not. This can lead ultimately lead to magnesium deficiency. Since caffeine comes in numerous variants, it is important to be aware of how much caffeine is already entering your body daily. Especially if these are easily available to you.
If you’re a regular at your local coffee shop, have your afternoon tea with the girls, or even buy some soda for the family — you could be putting yourself at higher risk of magnesium deficiency.
Look for next week’s article to find out 6 MORE Warning Signs You Might Have A Magnesium Deficiency
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Published July 2022 IHC of Charlottesville, Dr. Kirk Childers