Magnesium is a crucial electrolyte that aids in proper nerve, muscle, and
enzyme function. It helps the body use energy and is important for moving
potassium and sodium in and out of cells. It also is part of the structure
of teeth and bones. When an individual has low magnesium levels, they
may experience a number of symptoms and health issues.
Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency
Because magnesium is involved in so many parts of the body, a deficiency
can affect the entire body. Symptoms of magnesium deficiency may include:
- Muscle cramps or spasms
- Sleeplessness and fatigue
- Dental cavities
- Recurring infections or a weakened immune systems
- Heart disease
These symptoms can have lasting effects, and can lead to more serious illnesses
if left unchecked. Magnesium is an important nutrient that many people
may not get enough of. In a healthy diet, there should be more than enough
magnesium, but poor absorption can mean that your body may not be effectively
using the nutrients that you consume.
If you are not absorbing and utilizing the magnesium your body needs, it
can lead to a number of health problems, ranging from chronic fatigue
and insomnia to heart disease and osteoporosis. Low magnesium levels can
pose a very real threat to your health. If magnesium deficiency is left
untreated, patients can experience cardiac arrest, respiratory arrest,
and even death. It is crucial to ensure that you obtain enough magnesium
in your diet and treat any health conditions that may cause low magnesium levels.
What Causes Magnesium Deficiency?
A magnesium deficiency occurs when you don’t take in as much magnesium
as your body uses or when you lose excessive amounts through daily activity.
Magnesium is an electrolyte, which can be lost through sweating.
Deficiencies can also be caused by other medical conditions, such as:
- Alcohol abuse or withdrawal
- Diabetic complications
- Poor absorption, due to disease or poor gut health
- High blood calcium levels
- Kidney disease
- Long-term diarrhea
- Low magnesium content diets
- Pregnancy, especially later trimesters
- Underactive parathyroid glands
Treating Magnesium Deficiency
Magnesium deficiency can be treated with supplements or IV fluids, if levels
are low enough to pose an immediate threat. Treatment for the condition
that is causing the magnesium deficiency may also raise magnesium levels.
Diet can also be a powerful tool to treat your magnesium deficiency.
One of the reasons for low levels of magnesium may be poor absorption.
This can be caused by a number of illnesses, such as celiac disease, Crohn’s
disease, lactose intolerance, leaky gut, and intestinal damage. Treatments
such as radiation therapy, surgery, and antibiotics may cause injury to
the intestines or reduce the amount of digestive bacteria in the gut.
A history of family illness and excessive alcohol consumption can increase
the risk of poor absorption.
Treating an injured or compromised digestive tract can help increase the
body’s ability to absorb nutrients. Often, eliminating certain foods
that trigger illness or inflammation, such as gluten, can help those who
suffer from certain diseases that affect digestion to absorb nutrients.
Probiotics may also help boost healthy bacteria in your digestive tract,
making it easier to digest food and use the nutrients that it contains.
Increasing your magnesium intake can also help to raise your magnesium
levels and reduce the symptoms of magnesium deficiency. Dietary sources
of magnesium include:
Nuts and seeds: almonds, cashews, sesame seeds, brazil nuts, pine nuts, and peanuts.
Dark leafy greens: spinach, Swiss chard, kale, collard greens, and turnip greens.
Beans and lentils: black-eyed peas, red lentils, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, and black beans.
Whole grains: quinoa, brown rice, millet, bulgur, whole wheat pasta, and barley
Low-fat Dairy: milk, yogurt, and cheese
Fish: mackerel, pollock, turbot, and tuna
- Dark chocolate
Our integrative, diverse approach to medical treatment and healing may
be able to help you. We are dedicated to reducing chronic illnesses, and
we explore alternative treatments, such as healthful diets. Contact the
Arizona Center for Advanced Medicine today to learn more about effective
and natural treatments for magnesium deficiency.