Signs of inadequate magnesium consumption may consist of muscle contractions, twitches in the face, sleeplessness, and constant discomfort. It is beneficial to make sure that you have enough magnesium in your body before any symptoms of deficiency begin to appear.
But how can you know whether you’re getting enough?
Studies of the average population’s magnesium intake suggest that you likely are not getting enough.
Only around thirty percent of grownups in the United States take in the Recommended Daily Allowance of magnesium. Close to 20% of people don’t attain the amount of magnesium necessary daily in order to stay healthy.
Do I Get Enough Magnesium?
A way to determine your magnesium levels is to talk to your doctor and ask for an in-depth magnesium analysis. Testing for magnesium levels in the blood serum is the usual practice, however, these tests may give inaccurate results. A mere 1% of all of the magnesium in the body can be tracked in blood, and only 0.3% is visible in blood serum — meaning that a clinical blood serum test won’t necessarily reveal if a magnesium deficiency is present.
What to do?
By considering your lifestyle, it is possible to estimate how much magnesium you consume. Additionally, you can detect if you have a magnesium deficiency with particular signs and clues.
Discover the methods of deciphering the indicators presented to you, and analyze what you must do to guarantee an optimal magnesium level in the body and general wellbeing. Do any of the following questions make you think that your magnesium intake might be insufficient?
1. Do you drink carbonated beverages on a regular basis?
Most dark colored sodas contain phosphates. These substances interact with magnesium within the digestive system, making it unavailable to be used by the body. Even if your dietary intake is proper, drinking soda with your meals will cause the magnesium in your body to be expelled.
The amount of carbonated drinks that are being consumed today is ten times higher than what it was in 1940. The dramatic rise has resulted in lower levels of both magnesium and calcium present in the body.
2. Do you regularly eat pastries, cakes, desserts, candies or other sweet foods?
Refined sugar does not contain any magnesium and also causes the kidneys to eliminate magnesium from the body. Making refined sugar from sugar cane involves eliminating molasses and all of the magnesium it contains.
Sugar does not just help to decrease magnesium levels. Sweet foods are known by nutritionists as “anti-nutrients”. Foods like sweets that are considered anti-nutrients replace other healthy and nutritious food options in your diet, while still requiring nutrients to be broken down during digestion. In the end, you experience a net loss of nutrients. In order to efficiently process the food we consume, it is essential to pick foods that are rich in essential vitamins and minerals, but also provide extra nutrients.
The more candy, desserts, and pre-made pastries you have in your eating regimen, the more probable you are to be lacking in magnesium and other important nutrients.
3. Do you experience a lot of stress in your life, or have you recently had a major medical procedure such as surgery?
Stress can be a result of a magnesium lack, and the absence of the mineral tends to create an enhanced stress response, making the issue even more severe. Research has revealed a link between reduced levels of magnesium and the body’s stress response, characterized by the production of adrenaline and cortisol.
Given that stressful situations necessitate the body making use of more magnesium, a deficiency of it might occur as a result of any type of stress – mental or physical, such as that from operations, burns, or ongoing sickness.
4. Do you drink coffee, tea, or other caffeinated drinks daily?
The kidneys play a sizable role in regulating the amount of magnesium in the body. They have the responsibility of filtering and discharging any additional magnesium and other minerals. However, caffeine stimulates the kidneys to discharge additional magnesium even if there is no deficiency in the body.
If you are in the habit of consuming drinks that contain caffeine, like coffee, tea and soda, your chance of developing a lack of magnesium is heightened.
5. Do you take a diuretic, heart medication, asthma medication, birth control pills or estrogen replacement therapy?
Evidence has demonstrated that specific medications can lower the levels of magnesium in the body by heightening the amount of magnesium that is flushed out by the kidneys.
6. Do you drink more than seven alcoholic beverages per week?
Alcohol works in much the same way as diuretic medications do: it reduces the amount of magnesium in the body by making the kidneys excrete more magnesium. Research showed that thirty percent of people with alcoholism suffered from a shortage of magnesium.
Consuming large amounts of alcohol can reduce the effectiveness of the digestive system and lead to a Vitamin D deficiency, both of which can cause a drop in magnesium levels.
7. Do you take calcium supplements without magnesium or calcium supplements with magnesium in less than a 1:1 ratio?
Research has demonstrated that if the amount of magnesium consumed is inadequate, taking calcium supplements can decrease the amount of magnesium that is absorbed and retained. Calcium supplementation can bring about detrimental results concerning magnesium concentrations, yet taking in magnesium supplements literally increases the body’s use of calcium.
Many studies indicate that the suggested 2:1 ratio of calcium to magnesium is rather an assumption. An individual’s optimal proportion will be determined by their existing circumstances as well as the likelihood of a lack.
Researchers have now come to a consensus that balancing calcium and magnesium in a 1:1 ratio is beneficial for optimal bone strength and decreased likelihood of illnesses. This can be attributed to multiple factors, such as the mounting evidence of extensive magnesium deficiency, as well as worries regarding calcification of the arteries when calcium intake is high and magnesium supplies are low.
8. Do you experience any of the following:
- Times of hyperactivity?
- Difficulty getting to sleep?
- Difficulty staying asleep?
The indications above could be an indication of a lack of magnesium on a neurological level. It is essential to have the proper amount of magnesium for the transmission of nerves and also connected to electrolyte discrepancies which alter the functioning of the nervous system. An insufficiency of magnesium has been linked to shifts in one’s personality and even depression in some cases.
9. Do you experience any of the following:
- Painful muscle spasms?
- Muscle cramping?
- Facial tics?
- Eye twitches, or involuntary eye movements?
Signs that could indicate a possible lack of magnesium include neuromuscular issues.
Our muscles need magnesium in order to be able to relax, otherwise they would be stuck in a state of contraction. Calcium, on the other hand, signals muscles to contract. The book The Magnesium Factor points out that although magnesium and another mineral act in contrasting ways, they ultimately work together in unison.
Chvostek’s Test and Trousseau’s Test are both physical examinations for reflexive contractions of muscles, which may be indicative of a lack of either calcium or magnesium, or both of them. It could be said that when a person is tested for calcium deficiency, it is possible that the actual issue is a lack of magnesium. That being the case, the pharmacist or doctor may advise taking magnesium supplements in the first instance.
Are You at Risk for Magnesium Deficiency?
So, who is most susceptible to a magnesium deficiency? The National Institute of Health suggests that not all individuals process and absorb magnesium in the same way. Some individuals are more prone to having a shortage of magnesium in their body.
It is possible to inherit genetically a lack of ability to take in magnesium, a key mineral. Eating a diet that is low in foods containing high levels of magnesium, as well as stress due to emotional and/or work issues, can deplete magnesium levels in the body. A magnesium shortage can be a consequence of heredity, an inadequate intake of food, or anxiety, and could cause ailments such as migraines, diabetes, tiredness, and other symptoms.
The four most prominent at-risk groups include:
- People with gastrointestinal complaints — It really all starts in the gut. Since most magnesium is absorbed in the small intestines, issues like celiac disease, Crohn’s disease and regional enteritis all have a tendency to cause magnesium deficiency. Also, people who elect for surgeries involving the gut, such as resection or bypass of the small intestines, leave themselves vulnerable for magnesium deficiency.
- People with type II diabetes — Partly due to increased urination, type II diabetics and people suffering from insulin resistance are known to struggle with proper magnesium absorption. Lowering glucose concentrations in the kidneys through natural diet changes can be extremely helpful for these patients.
- The elderly — For several reasons, as people age their magnesium levels drop. First and foremost, studies have shown that the elderly simply don’t eat magnesium-rich foods as they did when they were younger. This is relatively easy to correct. The uncontrollable risk factor, however, is that as we age we naturally experience reduced magnesium intestinal absorption, reduced magnesium bone stores and excess urinary loss.
- People struggling with alcohol dependence — Alcoholics often experience magnesium deficiency because of a combination of the reasons above. The easiest way to understanding this is to see alcohol as an “antinutrient.” It literally sucks the nutrients out of your cells and prevents proper absorption/utilization of the vitamins and minerals that you consume. I would even go one step further and suggest that regular recreational alcohol use, not just alcohol dependence, can lead to magnesium problems. Consuming one to two glasses of wine a week is fine for most people, but much more than that is highly taxing on your liver. Alcohol can also deplete the minerals in your body because it causes dehydration, gut floral imbalance, immune system compromise, disturbed sleep patterns and premature aging.
Soil Depletion Affects Magnesium Intake
Suppose you don’t belong to any of these categories, and you’re young, energetic and appearing to be healthy? Does this mean that you’re off the hook? Not exactly.
Magnesium used to be abundantly present in most foods. In recent times, the levels of magnesium in food have decreased considerably as a result of various agricultural techniques and modifications to the farming cycles that have occurred in the last 100 years.
In the Bible, a pattern of six years of reaping crops followed by one year of rest was observed by farmers. This safeguards the nutrition level of the dirt, which is passed on to the food we consume.
Evidence has suggested that the food we consume now is significantly less nutritious than what it was sixty years ago.
According to a 2011 report published in Scientific American:
The Organic Consumers Association referenced numerous other tests with similar conclusions: the Kushi Institute conducted an examination of nutrient information from 1975 up to 1997, observing an average lowering of calcium in twelve fresh veggies by 27 percent, iron by 37 percent, vitamin A by 21 percent, and vitamin C by 30 percent.
An investigation into British nutrient figures from 1930 to 1980, as shared in the British Food Journal, indicated that the average calcium content in 20 vegetables had dropped by 19%, iron had decreased by 22%, and potassium had decreased by 14%. A study has shown that in order to get the same level of vitamin A that our grandparents would have gotten from a single orange, you now have to consume eight.
Ultimately, even if we strictly consume organic, non genetically modified raw foods, we are still taking a risk due to soil erosion and the capitalistic farming methods that are prevalent currently.
Despite this, it is still important to ensure you are consuming a lot of foods with a high magnesium content in your diet.
Best Magnesium Supplements
If you believe that your magnesium deficiency may be more intense, and you wish to raise your levels speedily, you may want to examine taking a natural dietary supplement.
I recommended taking one of the following magnesium supplements:
- Magnesium Chelate — a form of magnesium that bonds to multiple amino acids and is in the same state as the food we consume and highly absorbable by the body.
- Magnesium Citrate — is magnesium with citric acid, which has laxative properties and is often taken for constipation.
- Magnesium Glycinate — is a chelated form of magnesium that tends to provide high levels of absorption and bioavailability and is typically considered ideal for those who are trying to correct a deficiency.
- Magnesium Threonate — is a newer, emerging type of magnesium supplement that appears promising, primarily due to its superior ability to penetrate the mitochondrial membrane, and may be the best magnesium supplement on the market.
- Magnesium Chloride Oil — this form of magnesium is in oil form. It can pass through the skin and into the body. For those who struggle with digestive issues like malabsorption, this is the best form of magnesium to take.
Magnesium Side Effects
It is important to remember that when using over 600 milligrams of magnesium as a supplement, up to a fifth of people may experience diarrhea as a side effect.
I advise staying within the 300–400 milligrams range and talking to a specialist in natural healing if any difficulties occur in your digestive system.
Final Thoughts on Magnesium Deficiency
Magnesium is an essential nutrient that is necessary for the body, and research has found a lack of magnesium is linked to a variety of diseases.
Soil erosion, genetically modified organisms, gastrointestinal ailments, and long-term medical conditions can lead to a deficiency in magnesium.
Signs of having too little magnesium in the body include spasms, difficulty sleeping, aching muscles, panic, hypertensive episodes, diabetes mellitus, tiredness, headaches, and weak bones.
Individuals with problems of the gastrointestinal system, diabetes, reliance to alcohol, and those of an advanced age, are more prone to inadequate levels of magnesium.