Signs of a Magnesium Deficiency

Why our Body Needs Magnesium? Magnesium is a mineral that our body needs for protein synthesis, energy production, glycolysis, normal functioning of muscles and nerves, control of blood glucose levels and blood pressure, as well as DNA and RNA synthesis.

Therefore, magnesium deficiency can cause a series of problems in any of the listed areas. It is essential that we take this mineral through our diet on a daily basis.

Magnesium can be found in green veggies, nuts, seeds, whole grains, fish and cereals.

Nuts are a good source of magnesium; image source:

Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency

1. Osteoporosis

More than 50% of magnesium is stored in our bones. Also, this mineral affects our vitamin D levels, and if we combine these two factors, it is clear why magnesium deficiency can cause osteoporosis and make our bones fragile and weak.

2. Muscle Cramps

When we suffer from magnesium deficiency, the amount of calcium that flows into our nerve cells is much higher. Calcium overstimulates our nerves, and that’s how muscle cramps and twitches occur. In severe cases, this mechanism can even cause seizures.

3. High Blood Pressure

Even though there are not enough studies to support the hypothesis, observations suggest that low magnesium levels cause high blood pressure, which consequently leads to heart disease.

Low magnesium can also cause calcification of arteries, which in turn leads to high blood pressure.

4. Fatigue

To be able to create energy, our cells need magnesium. ATP or adenosine triphosphate is our main source of energy. However, in order to provide energy, it has to be bound to magnesium.

Therefore, if you are low on magnesium, you will feel tired and without energy.

5. Arrhythmia

In most cases symptoms of arrhythmia due to magnesium deficiency are unnoticeable. However, sometimes, palpitations or pauses between heartbeats can occur.

Scientists believe that this condition happens due to potassium imbalance in and outside of the heart muscle because of low levels of magnesium.

6. Asthma

Calcium can build up not only in arteries, but in airways as well. This can cause a constriction of airways in asthma patients. If that happens, an inhaler with magnesium sulfate needs to be applied to relax the airways.

7. Headache

Low levels of magnesium have a negative impact on your neurotransmitters and cause the constriction of nerve cells.

Both of these symptoms can cause a headache. Sometimes, medical professionals use magnesium oxide in migraine treatment.

8. Mental Health Problems

Low magnesium levels can also cause anxiety and depression. These conditions happen because there is not enough magnesium to prevent calcium from activating receptors in our brain. This can lead to nerve damage and consequently cause depression and anxiety.

Recommended Intake

Recommended daily intake of magnesium depends on the age and sex of patient. For grown women, older than 31, recommended daily dose would be 320 mg. If a woman is pregnant, she needs more magnesium (360 mg).

The recommended daily dose of this precious mineral for grown men older than 31 is 420 mg.

When to Visit a Doctor

If you notice any of the symptoms listed above that would suggest magnesium deficiency, contact your physician. He/she will recommend change in your diet or prescribe magnesium supplements or medications if necessary.


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