How do you know if you are magnesium deficient? How do you become magnesium deficient? Everyone knows the importance of staying hydrated, exercising regularly, and getting enough vitamins C, D, and E. But there’s something most people forget when it comes to total well-being. Magnesium.
Magnesium is necessary for over 300 different bodily reactions! It’s honestly a wonder this vital mineral is so often overlooked.
Over 50% of Americans are magnesium deficient. As the fourth most abundant mineral in our body, a shortage of magnesium results in a domino effect of health problems.
9 Signs You Are Magnesium Deficient.
1. Muscle Spasms & Cramps
Most of our magnesium is locked away deep in our muscle tissue. Leg cramps, foot aches, muscle stiffness, and muscle twitches are symptoms of a magnesium deficiency, especially when they occur at night.
2. Calcification of the Arteries
Among the more dangerous symptoms of a magnesium deficiency, calcification of arteries can lead to heart disease, heart attacks, and even heart failure. Some cardiac issues are given injections of magnesium chloride to stop clotting and calcification.
3. Anxiety or Depression
Magnesium hangs out in the brain to calm down something known as the ‘NMDA receptor.’ Think of it as a bodyguard protecting this receptor from getting too excited. When the magnesium is missing, glutamate and calcium (two excitatory agents) activate the NMDA receptor like there’s no tomorrow, which leads to a whole host of mental problems, including anxiety and depression.
Researchers discovered magnesium deficiencies in many patients with severe asthma, the connection wasn’t likely by chance. The mean serum values of vitamin D and magnesium were significantly lower in patients of asthma, compared to healthy controls. Magnesium causes relaxation of bronchial smooth muscles and dilatation of airways. In addition to circulating calcium, to prevent buildup and trouble breathing.
5. High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure and hypertension is a heavily-studied result of magnesium deficiency. A Harvard study demonstrated, the subjects with the highest magnesium levels had the healthiest blood pressure.
Hypertension, high blood pressure, may develop due to a lack of magnesium. Magnesium is needed for adequate blood vessel relaxation. When the vessels are relaxed the blood experiences less resistance, which improves blood pressure.
Stress is detrimental to our physical and mental wellbeing. It drains us of many vital things, including magnesium. The greater your stress, the more magnesium your body loses, and the lower your magnesium levels are, the more stressed your body becomes. It’s a terrible cycle.
7. Trouble Sleeping
Magnesium has a powerful natural ability to help the body settle down and switch off. This is by regulating chemicals in the brain, ‘nature’s tranquilizer.’
Osteoporosis, a medical condition in which the bones are weakened and susceptible to fracture, is intensified by a lack of magnesium. This is due to the strong correlation between bone density and magnesium levels. Magnesium has the ability to stimulate calcitonin which draws calcium out of muscles and into the bones.
Let’s take it back to freshman year biology for a second – Does ATP (or adenosine triphosphate) ring a bell? ATP is the primary energy source of our cells, and to function efficiently, it must bind to a magnesium ion. Without magnesium, we lack energy on a cellular level, which translates to fatigue and lack of drive.
Why We Lack Magnesium?
Magnesium deficiencies weren’t always the trendy magnesium health crisis they are today. If you’re fortunate enough to live near the ocean, eat only foods grown in magnesium-rich soil, not have any stress in your life, and don’t consume caffeine or sugar, well you might be getting enough magnesium.
The nature of our soil and water supply has changed dramatically over the years, becoming more and more depleted of nutrients. That means the plants we grow and the meat from the animals who eat those plants is lower in minerals. As a result, we need more magnesium than ever, not only is the processed food we eat devoid of most nutrients, also the healthy foods we grow.
Furthermore, our lifestyle choices heavily influence the amount of magnesium we’re able to receive and retain. Let’s dive into how you know you are magnesium deficient.