Magnesium Deficiency

Many people have either heard or learned about magnesium. However, most people don’t realize how essential it is for the human body. Interestingly enough, magnesium is actually more important for our bodies than most other vitamins and minerals. Magnesium not only plays a vital role in calcium absorption and energy production but it also helps to maintain our nervous system, cardiovascular health, healthy bones, and a healthy hormonal balance. More specifically, our bodies need magnesium to synthesize DNA, RNA, and proteins and to transport ions across bone and cell membrane surfaces, among many other tasks.

Unfortunately, despite its importance, most Americans suffer from magnesium deficiency. Various factors such as large consumption of alcohol, caffeine, salt and sugar or even exposure to high levels of stress can cause magnesium deficiency. On a community scale, modern farming methods have stripped large amounts of nutrients from the soil on which our fruits and vegetable grow, causing the nutritional quality of our food to decrease. As a result, magnesium deficiency is becoming more of a prevalent problem. 

So, how do you know if you have magnesium deficiency and what can you do about it? For starters, you should stay alert for symptoms such as:

-Fatigue

-Headaches

-Period pain

-Weakness

-Constipation

-Twitches

-Abnormal heart rhythms

-Nervous tension

-Muscle spasms

In addition to symptoms, chronic magnesium deficiency could cause medical conditions such as depression, ADHD, Parkinson’s disease, asthma, etc. A blood test could also be administered to test for magnesium deficiency. However, blood tests are proven to be insufficient in testing for magnesium levels because magnesium operates on a cellular level and accumulates in nerve and organ tissue.

An ideal range for daily magnesium intake is 400-800 mg/d. Unfortunately, most Americans only receive about 250 mg/d from their diet. Therefore, 400-600mg/d should be gained through supplements.

A variety of the natural parts of our diet, such as fruits, vegetables, and meat, provide abundant amounts of magnesium if they come from well mineralized soil or from healthy animals. Unfortunately, due to our tainted methods of production, the nutritional value of magnesium in our foods has decreased. However, if organically produced, we should include the following in our diet as good sources for magnesium: green leafy vegetables, seaweed, whole grains, legumes, nuts, natural salt, bone stock, and dairy products.

You should try various magnesium supplements in order to increase your body’s magnesium levels. Different supplements include different forms of magnesium – individual types are not only absorbed by our body in different ways but they also implement their own therapeutic value. Therefore, a specific form of supplement may be more effective in treating a certain symptom.

For example, if you’re struggling with mild muscle pain and cramps, you could try magnesium chloride in the form of a magnesium lotion for quick relief. On the other hand, if you’re struggling with headaches and/or migraines, 250-400 milligrams of oral supplement in the form of magnesium citrate would be more effective. 

 
 

Another option, good for treating all symptoms, is a magnesium bath with natural Epsom salts, also known as magnesium sulfate. When buying the salt, double check to make sure that it’s a food grade and natural Epsom salt, rather than a chemically constructed substitute. Spend 20 or more relaxing minutes in your bath tub for detoxification, relaxation of muscles, calmed nervous system, etc.

If you want more information on magnesium and its impact on your health, please call 734-726-0153 to schedule a free consultation and evaluation. At Digestive Health Ann Arbor, we are known for providing professional and compassionate care. We strive to guide people towards a comprehensive and holistic healing strategy. Restoring your body to health will restore the quality of your life.