Magnesium is the mineral that your body needs to maintain the health of your bones, nerves, muscles, and blood sugars. A severe deficiency of this mineral can lead to muscle spasms, arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms), and cardiac arrest. In order to avoid these complications, let’s dive into the theory of magnesium deficiency and what steps you can take to counter it:
What Is Magnesium Deficiency?
Magnesium is a mineral that helps us maintain healthy muscles, bones, blood sugar levels, and nerves. A deficiency of magnesium can lead to consequences ranging from weakness to cardiac arrests. And still, this mineral is the least talked-about component in our diets.
According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) of 2005–2006, a majority of the population in the US is not getting enough magnesium in their diet.
There are several factors that contribute to the deficiency of minerals. Let’s look at them:
Factors contributing to Mineral deficiency:
- Not having enough magnesium in your diet
- Genetic disorders resulting in loss of magnesium through urine and sweat
- Being pregnant and lactating
- suffering from parathyroid disorders and hyperaldosteronism
- having gastrointestinal disorders
- having type 2 diabetes
- Taking antibiotics and medications such as diuretics or medicines for reflux
- long-term vomiting and diarrhea
It is important to note that magnesium is vital for younger people or children. The deficiency of this mineral may prevent bone growth. So, when the bones are still developing, make sure that your child is getting enough magnesium to help them build stronger bones.
Now, let’s figure out if you have magnesium deficiency by diving into the symptoms of magnesium deficiency.
Also Check: Signs And Symptoms Of Iron Deficiency Anemia
Symptoms Of Magnesium Deficiency
Early symptoms of magnesium deficiency are:
- Nausea and vomiting
- loss of appetite
- Constant tiredness and fatigue
It is vital to keep magnesium levels in check because progress in magnesium deficiency can lead to:
- Muscle spasms and tremors
- Abnormal heart rhythms
- Coronary Spasms
- hypocalcemia low calcium levels in the blood)
- hypokalemia low potassium levels in the blood)
- Muscle contractions and cramps
Prolonged magnesium deficiency can have adverse effects on chronic diseases such as:
- Diseases related to the heart
- Type 2diabetes
More than half of the US population does not meet the US RDA for dietary magnesium intake. This needs to be countered. In order to do that, you must regularly get a body health check, including getting your magnesium levels diagnosed. How is magnesium deficiency diagnosed, though? Let’s see:
How Is Magnesium Deficiency Diagnosed?
Checking the accurate levels of magnesium in a person’s body is still a difficult task in the medical sector. However, generally, the deficiency is diagnosed with a blood test and/or a urine test. Your doctor may ask you for these tests to check for magnesium deficiency and abnormal calcium and potassium levels.
Now, let’s see what the recommended dietary allowances for magnesium are, as suggested by doctors:
RDA For Magnesium
According to the National Institutes of Health, for people aged between 19 and 30, the RDA for magnesium should be 310mg for females.
and 400mg for males. For people aged more than 31 years, the RDA for magnesium should be 320mg for females and 420mg for males.
Now, finally, let’s look at the best ways to treat magnesium deficiency:
Ways To Treat Magnesium Deficiency
Have a balanced diet rich in magnesium. Include food items, such as:
- Green leafy vegetables such as spinach
- Peanut butter
- Seeds such as pumpkin seeds and chia seeds
- Nuts such as cashews and almonds
- Whole-wheat bread
- Black beans or kidney beans
- Chicken breasts
- Broccoli and carrot
- Salmon fish or halibut fish
- Fruits such as bananas and apples
Besides, you can also take magnesium supplements in a variety of formulations, such as:
- Magnesium oxide
- Magnesium citrate
- Magnesium chloride
However, you should avoid high-dose magnesium supplements since they can cause magnesium poisoning. Magnesium poisoning is when you exceed your magnesium intake by more than what it should be. Excessive magnesium can cause diarrhea, cramping, and nausea.
Tips To Counter Magnesium Deficiency
- Avoid calcium-rich foods before or after having a magnesium-rich meal.
- Avoid high-dose Zync supplements.
- Eat more raw vegetables instead of cooking.
- Quit smoking and drink moderately.
- Treat vitamin D deficiency.
While taking care of all the other nutrients, including vitamins and minerals, in your diet, do not forget magnesium. It’s important for your bones, nerves, blood sugar, and nerves.