6 Huge Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms You Should Know

There are many Health Benefits of Magnesium as it is an essential mineral that helps maintain healthy muscle and bones. Here are 6 huge magnesium deficiency symptoms you should be looking for when evaluating your health.


Magnesium is a mineral and important nutrient that your body
needs to function. It is responsible for helping with over 300 processes
within the body. Magnesium helps muscles and nerves work efficiently,
helps to regulate blood sugar levels, assists in keeping bones strong
and helps your body maintain a steady heart rate. It is known for having
a calming and relaxing effect on body systems.

You can get magnesium through eating foods rich in the nutrient or
dietary magnesium supplements. Foods rich in magnesium include green
leafy vegetables, nuts, avocados, pumpkin seeds, salmon, grass-fed dairy
and dark chocolate. Below are some common signs of magnesium deficiency

Did you know the average recommended amount is around
400-420 mg per day, and 310-320 mg for women?

What is the first sign of Low Magnesium?

According to Healthline,
early magnesium deficiency symptoms include nausea, vomiting, weakness
and loss of appetite. Low levels of magnesium can contribute to abnormal
heart rhythms and increase your blood pressure both of which can put
you at risk for heart disease.

A really interesting way to explain the role of magnesium and heart
disease is from Carolyn Dean, MD, ND, a medical advisory board member
for the Nutritional Magnesium Association. She says, “The highest levels
of magnesium in the whole body are in the heart, specifically in the
left ventricle, which does the most work. Magnesium is the gatekeeper
for calcium being allowed into muscle cells to cause contraction. Then
magnesium ushers the calcium out of the cell. Without magnesium to guard
the channel, calcium floods the cell and leads to hypercontraction of
the muscle cells, which translates into angina and even heart attack.”

Poor diet creates a path for health problems including low magnesium
but anyone with celiac disease has an added risk factor for magnesium
deficiency without the intake of whole grains.

1. Problems with Cognition
A deficiency in
magnesium in older adults can result in a number of cognitive
difficulties, such as brain fog, memory problems and difficulty
concentrating. This is because magnesium plays a vital role in helping
your mitochondria function. Mitochondria are structures within the
body’s cells that are responsible for producing energy.

Without enough magnesium, the mitochondria in brain cells have difficulty producing enough energy to power thinking processes.

MIT researchers found that magnesium plays a pivotal role in regulating brain receptors needed for learning and memory function, and that supplementing with magnesium helped clear so-called “brain fog.”

2. Headaches and Migraines
If you suffer from
chronic headaches or migraines, low magnesium may be playing a role in
keeping your head pounding. Some studies have shown that people who get
migraines tend to have lower levels of magnesium in their bodies. Low
magnesium is thought to contribute to headaches and migraines because of
its role in supporting healthy neurological function and neurotransmitter production.

Experts think magnesium may help reduce pain during a migraine by blocking pain-transmitting chemicals in the brain.

“Migraine is widely thought of as a disorder of brain excitability,” Richard Lipton, M.D. neurologist with the American Migraine Foundation.
He goes on to say, “The thought is that when levels of magnesium are
low, that makes nerve cells more prone to release these excitatory
chemicals like glutamate and that might contribute to the state of brain
excitability in general,” says Lipton. So if the brain is excitable,
then a migraine attack is more likely to happen.

The American Migraine Foundation suggests
taking a 400–500 milligram (mg) supplement of magnesium oxide daily to
prevent migraines. They also say that daily oral magnesium has also been
shown to be effective in preventing menstrually related migraine,
especially in those with premenstrual migraine.

Research on magnesium has
found it to be a well-tolerated, safe and inexpensive option for
migraine prevention, while it may also be effective as an acute
treatment option for headaches including migraines, tension-type
headaches and cluster headaches.

3. Constipation is a sign of magnesium deficiency
magnesium levels can often lead to bouts of constipation. Magnesium
works to keep you regular in a couple of ways. By helping to draw water
into the intestines, magnesium plays a role in keeping stools soft for
more efficient elimination. It also helps by keeping the muscle
contractions of the intestinal track regulated and working optimally.

We don’t eat enough magnesium-rich foods here in the United States.
Plus things like chronic stress, too much caffeine and sugar and toxic
overload often deplete magnesium levels and can make you constipated.

Here are some magnesium-rich foods that can also help with constipation:

  • almonds (80 mg of magnesium per ounce)
  • cashews (75 mg of magnesium per ounce)
  • cooked spinach (75 mg of magnesium per 1/2 cup)
  • shredded wheat cereal (55 mg of magnesium in two rectangular biscuits)
  • fortified instant oatmeal prepared with water (55 mg of magnesium per cup)
  • baked potato with skin (50 mg of magnesium in one medium potato)
  • peanuts (50 mg of magnesium per ounce)
  • cooked lentils (35 mg of magnesium per 1/2 cup)
  • smooth peanut butter (25 mg of magnesium per tablespoon)

4. Muscle Cramps and Spasms
As 30-40 percent of the body’s magnesium is found in the muscles and soft tissues,
it plays a huge role supporting your muscles. Not having enough
magnesium can lead to painful leg cramps and spasms. Your muscles work
by contracting and relaxing.

Without enough magnesium, the muscle contraction and relaxation can
become difficult and uncoordinated. Muscle spasms and cramps are often
early signs of magnesium deficiency. Muscle spasms due to low magnesium
are often felt in the feet and legs.

According to this 1996 study, magnesium deficiency should always be included in the diagnosis of patients who present with persistent or severe muscle pain.

5. Anxiety and Stress from lack of magnesium
of its important role in the production of neurotransmitters, low
magnesium can leave you feeling anxious, stressed and irritable.
Neurotransmitters are chemicals found in the brain that help your nerves
communicate with each other so anxiety is one of the biggest big
magnesium deficiency symptoms.

They help your body regulate a variety of behaviors, such as sleep,
thought patterns, moods and more. Low magnesium can result in a variety
of mood disorders, including anxiety, depression, irritability and

6. Insomnia
If you suffer from sleepless nights,
you may be low in magnesium. The neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric
acid (GABA) plays a role in helping the body to relax. GABA is the
neurotransmitter responsible for quieting down nerve activity and
magnesium plays an important role in helping GABA production in the

Being low in magnesium can lead to low GABA production. And, without
proper amounts of GABA, getting a good night’s sleep can be difficult.
By helping to quiet the nervous system and promote GABA production,
magnesium may help prepare your body and mind for sleep.



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