Magnesium is vital for numerous functions within your body. For example, this nutrient is essential for protein synthesis, blood glucose control, blood pressure regulation, muscle and nerve function, the structural development of bone and the transport of potassium and calcium ions across cell membranes.
Assessing for a magnesium deficiency is a tricky process because most magnesium is located inside your bones and cells, and there is no one preferred medical method. However, although not completely accurate, the most common method used to test magnesium levels is a blood serum test. This does not give an accurate representation of magnesium levels though, as very little of the body’s total magnesium is found in blood serum.
Why is magnesium deficiency so common?
There are a number of reasons why most people suffer from a magnesium deficiency. One of the main natural sources of this mineral is from our food. Unfortunately, depleted soil conditions mean that our fruits and vegetables have lower magnesium levels. Furthermore, levels of this mineral in our water supply are also lower due to the use of chemicals like chlorine and fluoride, which bind to magnesium. Together with natural sources of this mineral having less magnesium present, lifestyle choices in today’s society deplete the body’s magnesium levels. Stress, sugar and caffeine are three examples of lifestyle choices that result in lower magnesium levels. Another reason for the high prevalence of magnesium deficiency is excess calcium in the body.
Symptoms of magnesium deficiency.
Symptomatic magnesium deficiency can occur from any of the above-listed reasons, as well as due to the use of certain medication, health conditions, or chronic alcoholism. There are numerous symptoms of magnesium deficiency, the most common of which including the following:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Muscle cramps or spasms
- High blood pressure
- Hormone problems
- Issues with bone health
If you suspect that you have a magnesium deficiency based on this list, it would be wise to consult your doctor before the deficiency becomes more severe. Early signs of a more severe magnesium deficiency include the following:
- Loss of appetite
As the deficiency progressively worsens symptoms like the following will start to present themselves:
- Abnormal heart rhythm
- Coronary spasms
Certain groups of people are more likely to have a magnesium deficiency due to having particular medical conditions or the medications that are taken for these.