By: Katie Lisbon CPLC
Magnesium is an essential electrolyte, much like potassium and sodium. Magnesium is important for the health of our cells and over 300 biochemical functions in the human body. Magnesium has an important role in overall health and yet over 80% of the population is not getting enough magnesium in their diets.
Causes of Magnesium Deficiency
Here are 3 top reasons for magnesium deficiency:
- Poor nutrition
- Poor absorption or gut health (ex. Crohn’s Disease or Leaky Gut Syndrome)
- Magnesium depleting medications (ex. antibiotics and diuretics)
5 Signs of Magnesium Deficiency
Many people have signs of magnesium deficiency but remain unaware they are deficient. If you suspect you could be magnesium deficient here are some key symptoms to consider:
Magnesium plays an important part in muscle contraction and the signals being transmitted between the body and the brain. A very common example of magnesium deficiency would be leg cramps or “charley horses.”
2) Headaches and migraines
Did you know 50% of individuals suffering from migraines are estimated to be magnesium deficient?
3) Chronic fatigue or Insomnia
Magnesium can help promote a good nights sleep. Magnesium is vital to GABA function, a neurotransmitter responsible for aiding the brain into a calming state and promoting relaxation.
4) Depression and anxiety
The GABA cycle is not only responsible of sleep. When the GABA cycle falters, side effects can include nervousness and irritability. If the deficiency is not corrected, symptoms can worsen into high levels of anxiety and in the most extreme cases hallucinations.
5) High Blood Pressure
Magnesium and calcium work alongside one another to support proper blood pressure and maintain the health of the heart. Having a deficiency in either calcium and/or magnesium can result in high blood pressure.
How To Increase Magnesium In Your Diet
Magnesium levels can be increased by introducing these foods into your diet:
- Swiss chard
- Pumpkin seeds
- Dark chocolate
Before determining if you are magnesium deficient please consult with your doctor or nutritional professional. Reversing magnesium deficiency and maintaining proper levels through your diet alone can be difficult. Supplements can help, the recommend daily dosages for an adult is 300-500 mg. (Higher dosages can upset your stomach, so again please consult a professional.)