Symptoms and Causes of Magnesium Deficiency

Symptoms and Causes of Magnesium Deficiency

Two of three people suffer from magnesium deficiency

The recommended dietary allowance for magnesium:

Age Male Female Pregnant Woman
19-31 years 400 mg/day 310 mg/day 350 mg/day
31+ 420 320 360

Are you getting enough magnesium?

Magnesium deficiency is widespread

Magnesium deficiency affects at least 2 in 3 of us, according to the Journal of the American College of Nutrition. Translation? Two out of every three people suffer from magnesium deficiency, and the problem is most people don’t even know it.

Magnesium is a mineral used by every organ in your body, especially your heart, muscles, and kidneys. If you suffer from unexplained fatigue or weakness, abnormal heart rhythms or even muscle spasms and eye twitches, low levels of magnesium could be to blame.

The difficulty in detecting low magnesium

If you’ve recently had a blood test, you might assume it would show a magnesium deficiency. But only 1 percent of magnesium in your body is distributed in your blood, making a serum magnesium blood test not very useful in determining low magnesium levels. Most magnesium is stored in your bones and organs, where it is used for many biological functions. Yet, it’s quite possible to be deficient and not know it, which is why magnesium deficiency has been dubbed an “invisible deficiency.”

Symptoms to watch for

Early signs of magnesium deficiency are wide-ranging, including a loss of appetite, headache, nausea, fatigue, and weakness. Other signs of low magnesium levels are:

  • Agitation and anxiety
  • Poor heart health
  • Restless legs syndrome (RLS)
  • Low energy
  • High blood pressure
  • Insomnia
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Poor nail growth
  • Poor memory
  • Sleep disorders
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle spasms and weakness
  • Respiratory issues

Important note: It is possible to experience the symptoms above, but not have a magnesium deficiency. To confirm whether you are magnesium-deficient, please consult a physician.

What causes low magnesium?

There are many reasons believed to cause magnesium deficiency. The most common three reasons are listed below.

1. Low consumption of foods rich in magnesium

Magnesium is part of chlorophyll, the green pigment found in plants, so green leafy vegetables are particularly high in magnesium. The average American consumes foods that are rich in energy and poor in micronutrients such as processed foods, sugar, sodas, and even meat. This is the most significant cause of magnesium deficiency in the U.S. — not enough green vegetables in our diets. Examples of products and ingredients that contain very little magnesium:

  • Meat (very little)
  • Milk (very little)
  • Soda (virtually none)
  • Sugar (virtually none)
  • White flour (virtually none)

2. Poor absorption of minerals

The more alkaline your intestines, the harder it is for your body to absorb minerals like magnesium.

For example, despite the fact that oat bran and brown rice are both very high in magnesium, they’re not a great first choice to increase magnesium levels. The reason for this also has to do with absorption.

Chances are you’re simply not absorbing enough magnesium from your food.

Although you may think you’re getting an adequate supply of magnesium in your diet, the digestive system has a tough time taking full advantage of magnesium, absorbing only 50% of the magnesium we consume.

This is where products like Asutra’s transdermal magnesium products come into play. They each deliver much needed magnesium to your body in a variety of delivery methods!

3. Too much calcium

We need calcium to absorb magnesium.

Yet it’s a delicate balance because the two minerals compete for resources within our body. If you consume too much calcium, you actually hinder your absorption of magnesium.

Studies indicate that taking a calcium supplement without enough magnesium can increase the shortage of both nutrients.

Researchers have found that Americans ingest 2–2.5 times more calcium than magnesium, resulting in a dietary calcium to magnesium intake ratio of over 3:1.1

1.Rosanoff A, Dai Q, Shapses S. Essential Nutrient Interactions: Does Low or Suboptimal Magnesium Status Interact with Vitamin D and/or Calcium Status?

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