7 Signs and Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency

Magnesium insufficiency, besides known as hypomagnesemia, is an often-overlooked health problem.

While less than 2 % of Americans have been estimated to experience magnesium lack, that share has been shown to be far greater in hospital and ICU patients and people with diabetes or alcohol habit disorder ( 1 ). In some cases, lack may be underdiagnosed since the obvious signs normally don ’ t appear until your levels become badly low. The causes of magnesium insufficiency deviate and can include ( 1 ) :

  • starvation
  • certain medications, such as chemotherapy drugs and proton pump inhibitors
  • acute or chronic diarrhea
  • “hungry bone syndrome” after parathyroid or thyroid surgery
  • gastric bypass surgery

Health conditions such as diabetes, poor concentration, chronic diarrhea, and coeliac disease are associated with magnesium loss. People with alcohol use disorder are besides at an increased hazard of insufficiency ( 2 ). This article lists 7 symptoms of magnesium insufficiency.

1. Muscle twitches and cramps

serious black man portrait with magnesium deficiency plowshare on PinterestGoodboy Picture Company/Getty Images Twitches, tremors, and muscle cramps are signs of magnesium insufficiency. In worst-case scenarios, insufficiency may even cause seizures or convulsions ( 1, 3 ). Scientists believe these symptoms are caused by a greater flow of calcium into steel cells, which overexcites or hyperstimulates the muscle nerves ( 4 ). While supplements may help relieve muscle twitches and cramps in some people with a lack, one review concluded that magnesium supplements are not an effective treatment for muscle cramps in older adults. far studies are needed in early groups ( 5 ). Keep in mind that involuntary muscle twitches may have many other causes. For exemplar, stress or excessive caffeine could besides cause involuntary brawn spasms. They may besides be a slope effect of some medications or a symptom of a neuromuscular disease such as mesomorphic muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, or myasthenia gravis. While occasional twitches are common, you should see your repair if your symptoms persist .

Summary common signs of magnesium insufficiency include muscle twitches, tremors, and cramps. however, supplements are improbable to reduce these symptoms in older adults or people who aren ’ thyroxine insufficient in magnesium .

2. Mental health conditions

mental health conditions are another possible consequence of magnesium lack. One example is apathy, which is characterized by mental numbness or miss of emotion. Worsened insufficiency may even lead to delirium and coma ( 3 ). additionally, experimental studies have associated low magnesium levels with an increased gamble of depression ( 6 ). Scientists have besides speculated that magnesium insufficiency might promote anxiety, but lineal evidence is lacking ( 7 ). One reappraisal concluded that magnesium supplements might benefit a subset of people with anxiety disorders, but the choice of the evidence is hapless. Higher choice studies are needed before any conclusions can be reached ( 8 ). In light, it seems that a lack of magnesium may cause boldness dysfunction and promote mental health conditions in some people .

Summary Magnesium lack may cause miss of emotion, craze, and even coma. Scientists have suggested that lack may besides cause anxiety, but no potent evidence supports this mind .

3. Osteoporosis

osteoporosis is a disorder characterized by weak bones and an increased risk of cram fractures. numerous factors influence the gamble of developing osteoporosis, including :

  • aging
  • lack of exercise
  • poor dietary intake of vitamins D and K

interestingly, magnesium insufficiency is besides a gamble gene for osteoporosis. insufficiency might weaken bones directly, but it besides lowers the lineage levels of calcium, the chief build up obstruct of bones ( 9, 10 ). Studies in rats confirm that dietary magnesium depletion results in reduce bone bulk. Although no such studies have been carried out in humans, research has associated poor magnesium intake with lower cram mineral concentration ( 11, 12 ) .

Summary Magnesium lack may be one of the risk factors for osteoporosis and bone fractures, though many factors influence this risk .

4. Fatigue and muscle weakness

Fatigue, a condition characterized by physical or genial exhaustion or weakness, is another symptom of magnesium insufficiency. Keep in heed that everyone becomes fatigued from clock time to time. typically, it plainly means you need to rest. however, hard or dogged fatigue may be a sign of a health trouble. Since tire is a nonspecific symptom, its causal agent is impossible to identify unless it is accompanied by early symptoms. Another more specific polarity of magnesium lack is muscle failing, which may be caused by myasthenia gravis gravis ( 13 ). Scientists believe the weakness is caused by the passing of potassium in muscleman cells, a condition associated with magnesium insufficiency ( 14, 15 ). therefore, magnesium insufficiency is one possible lawsuit of fatigue or weakness .

Summary Magnesium insufficiency may cause fatigue or muscle helplessness. however, these are not specific signs of a insufficiency unless they are accompanied by other symptoms .

5. High blood pressure

animal studies show that magnesium insufficiency may increase blood atmospheric pressure and promote high gear blood pressure, which is a strong hazard factor for heart disease ( 16, 17 ). While direct testify in humans is lacking, respective experimental studies suggest that low magnesium levels or poor dietary intake may raise rake imperativeness ( 18, 19, 20 ). The strongest tell for the benefits of magnesium comes from control studies. respective reviews have concluded that magnesium supplements may lower rake pressure, particularly in adults with high blood blackmail ( 21, 22, 23 ). Put just, magnesium lack may increase blood pressure, which, in turn, increases the hazard of heart disease. however, more studies are needed before its role can be fully understand .

Summary evidence suggests magnesium insufficiency may raise rake coerce. additionally, supplements may benefit people with high blood atmospheric pressure .

6. Asthma

Magnesium lack is sometimes seen in people with dangerous asthma ( 24, 25 ). additionally, magnesium levels tend to be lower in individuals with asthma than in people who do not have this condition ( 26, 27 ). Researchers believe a miss of magnesium may cause the buildup of calcium in the muscles lining the airways of the lungs. This causes the airways to constrict, making breathing more difficult ( 28 ). interestingly, an inhaler with magnesium sulfate is sometimes given to people with austere asthma to help relax and expand the airways. For those with animation threatening symptoms, injections are the choose method of rescue ( 29, 30 ). however, evidence for the potency of dietary magnesium supplements in individuals with asthma is discrepant ( 31, 32, 33 ). In short, scientists believe severe asthma may be linked to magnesium insufficiency in some people, but foster studies are needed to investigate its function .

Summary magnesium lack has been associated with severe asthma. however, its role in the development of asthma is not entirely sympathize .

7. Irregular heartbeat

Heart cardiac arrhythmia, or guerrilla heartbeat, is among the most serious possible effects of magnesium lack ( 34 ). cardiac arrhythmia can range from causing no symptoms to causing very dangerous symptoms. In some people, it may cause kernel palpitations, which are pauses between heartbeats. other possible symptoms of cardiac arrhythmia include :

  • lightheadedness
  • shortness of breath
  • chest pain
  • fainting
  • dizziness
  • fatigue

In the most dangerous cases, cardiac arrhythmia may increase the risk of stroke or heart bankruptcy. Scientists believe that an asymmetry of potassium levels inside and outside of heart muscleman cells — a condition associated with magnesium lack — may be to blame ( 35, 36 ). Some people with congestive heart failure and cardiac arrhythmia have been shown to have lower magnesium levels than people who don ’ t have heart failure. In a minor discipline in 68 people with heart failure, magnesium injections importantly improved participants ’ heart function ( 37 ). magnesium supplements may besides help reduce symptoms in some people with cardiac arrhythmia ( 38 ) .

Summary Magnesium lack can cause or worsen cardiac arrhythmia, or irregular blink of an eye, which may increase the risk of more dangerous complications, such as a solidus or kernel failure .

How to get enough magnesium

The table below shows the Recommended Dietary Allowance ( RDA ) or adequate inhalation ( AI ) of magnesium for males and females in the United States ( 39 ) .

Age Male Female Pregnancy Lactation
Birth to 6 months 30 mg* 30 mg*
7–12 months 75 mg* 75 mg*
1–3 years 80 mg 80 mg
4–8 years 130 mg 130 mg
9–13 years 240 mg 240 mg
14–18 years 410 mg 360 mg 400 mg 360 mg
19–30 years 400 mg 310 mg 350 mg 310 mg
31–50 years 420 mg 320 mg 360 mg 320 mg
51+ years 420 mg 320 mg

* Adequate consumption Although many people don ’ t reach the RDA for magnesium, there are enough of magnesium-rich foods to choose from. magnesium is wide found in both plant- and animal-based foods. The richest sources are seeds and nuts, but whole grains, beans, and leafy green vegetables are besides relatively good sources. Below is the magnesium message in 3.5 ounces ( 100 grams ) of some of the best sources ( 40, 41, 42, 43, 44 ) :

  • almonds: 279 mg
  • pumpkin seeds: 550 mg
  • dark chocolate: 228 mg
  • peanuts: 176 mg
  • popcorn: 144 mg

For model, merely 1 ounce ( 28.4 grams ) of almonds provides 19 % of the RDA for magnesium. early capital sources of magnesium include :

  • flaxseed
  • sunflower seeds
  • chia seeds
  • cocoa
  • coffee
  • cashews
  • hazelnuts
  • oats

magnesium is besides added to many breakfast cereals and other processed foods. If you have a health condition that causes your soundbox to lose magnesium, such as diabetes, it ’ second important to eat batch of magnesium-rich foods or take supplements. talk with your doctor about creating a plan to increase your magnesium intake that works well for your needs .

Summary Seeds, nuts, cocoa, beans, and hale grains are capital sources of magnesium. For optimum health, try to eat magnesium-rich foods every day .

The bottom line

While some older research suggests that 48 % of Americans are not getting adequate magnesium, true magnesium insufficiency is not very common — less than 2 %, according to one estimate ( 45 ). The symptoms of magnesium lack are normally subtle unless your levels become hard broken. lack may cause :

  • fatigue
  • muscle cramps
  • mental health conditions
  • irregular heartbeat
  • osteoporosis

If you believe you may have a magnesium lack, you should speak with your doctor. Testing for magnesium levels can be challenging because magnesium tends to collect in tissue and bone, not rake.

An RBC blood test, which measures magnesium levels in the crimson blood cells themselves, is more sensitive and accurate than the more normally ordered serum magnesium blood test ( 39, 46 ). Whatever the consequence, try to regularly eat enough of magnesium-rich hale foods, such as nuts, seeds, grains, and beans. These foods are besides high in other healthy nutrients. Including them in your diet not entirely lowers your risk for magnesium lack but besides supports your overall health .

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