Magnesium deficiency (or hypomagnesemia) is a common, yet often overlooked health issue. And if left unchecked it can lead to serious health problems.
While there aren't sufficient statistics here in New Zealand, in the United States around 2% of the population are magnesium deficient, while other studies suggest 75% are not meeting their recommended daily magnesium intake.
Magnesium deficiency can also be hard to detect, as the obvious signs typically don’t appear until your levels are unhealthily low. Serious health problems that can develop as a result of low magnesium include: diabetes, celiac disease, hungry bone syndrome and more.
To help you avoid running into these health problems in future, here are 10 signs you might need a magnesium pick me up this winter:
1. You Experience Muscle Twitching And Cramping
Do you experience constant twitches, tremors, or muscle cramps? According to scientists, these symptoms are caused by an increased flow of calcium into your nerve cells. This causes your muscle nerves to become over-stimulated. Supplementing with magnesium is a great way to help calm your over-excited nerves and relieve twitching or cramping.
2. Mental Health Issues
Mental health issues such as depression or anxiety can also be enhanced by a magnesium deficiency. Recent studies found that low magnesium levels came with an increased risk of depression. Scientists have also theorised that low magnesium may promote anxiety - although more research is required on the subject.
3. You Constantly Feel Fatigued Or Weak
Feeling fatigued or tired is another common symptom of magnesium deficiency. Fatigue can be defined as experiencing physical or mental exhaustion. We all feel fatigued from time to time, so you’re likely to have to experience additional symptoms before being diagnosed with a magnesium deficiency.
4. You Have High Blood Pressure
A variety of observational studies have shown that low magnesium levels along with a poor diet, can lead to a rise in blood pressure. Other reviews also found that magnesium supplements had positive effects in lowering blood pressure, which also reduces the risk of heart disease.
5. You’re Asthmatic
Interestingly enough, magnesium deficiency is often found in those with severe asthma. This is due to the fact that a lack of magnesium can lead to a buildup of calcium in the lungs - which constricts your airways and makes breathing more difficult. In some cases asthmatics are given an inhaler with magnesium sulfate to help relax and expand the airways.
6. You Have An Irregular Heartbeat
One of the more serious symptoms of magnesium deficiency is an irregular heartbeat (or heart arrhythmia). Patients who suffered from heart failure were shown to have lower levels of magnesium compared to healthy people. Treating heart patients with magnesium is also proven to help improve the health and function of the heart.
7. You Suffer From Migraines Or Migraine-Like Headaches
Multiple studies have shown that low magnesium levels in the brain can be related to migraines. This is because magnesium is needed for optimal nerve function in the brain. Taking magnesium supplements helps improve your nerve function and can lessen the likelihood of migraine attacks. Just remember to speak to your doctor if your migraines / headaches still continue.
8. You’re Having Trouble Sleeping
Magnesium can help relax the body and the mind, which helps you get a better sleep. It also helps the “GABA” receptors in the brain function properly. GABA is the neurotransmitter which allows the brain to reach a restful state.
9. You Have Weak Bones (Or Osteoporosis)
Osteoporosis is a disorder where your bones become weaker and are more likely to damage or fracture. Factors such as old age and lack of vitamin D and K are commonly associated with this disorder, however magnesium deficiency can also increase the risk of osteoporosis. As well as weakening bones, low magnesium levels can reduce the blood levels of calcium, which is also crucial for bone health.
10. You’re Pregnant
Often the higher the estrogen or progesterone levels in a woman’s body, the lower the magnesium levels. This commonly occurs during pregnancy. This is part of the reason why pregnant women experience more cramps and other muscular problems in the second half of their cycles - as during this time their magnesium levels usually drop.
How Much Magnesium Should You Be Taking?
According to the National Institutes of Health's Office of Dietary Supplements, adult men should consume between 400g and 420mg of magnesium per day.
Women on the other hand should be consuming between 310mg and 320mg daily. It’s also recommended that pregnant women consume a higher dose than those who are not pregnant (as touched on above).
Need high-quality Magnesium?
Check out Sportfuel’s range of magnesium supplements today.