Magnesium deficiency: 10 signs for you to watch for

Magnesium deficiency: 10 signs for you to watch for | Mr Vitamins
Magnesium deficiency can lead to symptoms such as muscle cramps, facial tics, poor sleep, and chronic pain. It pays to ensure that you get adequate Magnesium (Mg) before signs of deficiency occur. But how do you know whether you’re getting enough? According to population studies of average Magnesium intake, there’s a good chance that you’re not. Less than 30% of U.S. adults consume the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of Magnesium. And nearly 20% get only half of the Magnesium they need daily to remain healthy.

1. Do you drink carbonated beverages on a regular basis?

Most dark coloured sodas contain phosphates. These substances actually bind with magnesium inside the digestive tract, rendering it unavailable to your body. So even if you are eating a balanced diet, by drinking sof drinks with your meals you are flushing Mg out of your system.

2. Do you regularly eat pastries, cakes, desserts, candies or other sweet foods?

Refined sugar not only contains zero Mg, but it also causes your body to excrete Magnesium through your kidneys. The process of producing refined sugar from sugar cane removes molasses, stripping the Mg content entirely. The more sweet foods and processed baked goods you have in your diet, the more likely you are to be deficient in Magnesium and other vital nutrients.

3. Do you experience a lot of stress in your life?

Stress can be a cause of magnesium deficiency, and a lack of  this mineral tends to magnify the stress reaction, worsening the problem.

4. Do you drink coffee, tea, or other caffeinated drinks daily?

Magnesium levels are controlled in your body in large part by the kidneys, which filter and excrete excess Magnesium and other minerals. But caffeine causes your kidneys to release extra Magnesium regardless of your needs. If you drink caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea and soda regularly, your risk for Magnesium deficiency is increased.

5. Do you take a diuretic, heart medication, asthma medication, birth control pills or estrogen replacement therapy?

The effects of certain drugs have been shown to reduce Magnesium levels in your body again, by increasing mineral loss through excretion by the kidneys.

6. Do you drink more than seven alcoholic beverages per week?

The effect of alcohol on Mg levels is similar to the effect of diuretics: it lowers availability of this mineral to the cells by increasing the excretion of Magnesium by the kidneys. In studies, clinical deficiency was found in 30% of alcoholics.

7. Do you experience:

  • Anxiety
  • Hyperactivity
  • Difficulty getting to sleep
  • Difficulty staying asleep
The above symptoms may be neurological signs of Magnesium deficiency. Low Mg is also associated with personality changes and sometimes depression.

9. Do you experience:

  • Painful muscle spasms
  • Muscle cramping
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Eye twitches, or involuntary eye movements
Neuromuscular symptoms such as these are among the classic signs of a Magnesium deficiency. Without Magnesium, your muscles would be in a constant state of contraction.

10. Are you age 55 or older?

Older adults are particularly vulnerable to a low Magnesium status. It has been shown that aging, stress and disease all contribute to increasing Magnesium needs. In addition, Magnesium metabolism may be less efficient as you grow older, as changes to the GI tract and kidneys contribute to older adults absorbing less and retaining less Magnesium. 'Ask a Naturopath' about which Magnesium supplement may be right for you.