Locking in enough nutrients on a daily basis can be challenging for some. But there are health consequences when our bodies don’t get what they need. One of the most important minerals the body needs is magnesium.

In addition to your bones, magnesium is responsible for hundreds of functions in the body. Some of these include energy production, nerve processes, metabolism, and DNA synthesis. It’s estimated that less than 30 to 50 percent of American adults are receiving the recommended amount of magnesium daily.

Similar studies done in Europe and throughout North America revealed the Western diet contains low amounts of magnesium. This can trip up your system and caused a myriad of health problems – directly or indirectly.

Signs can be subtle, but obtaining more magnesium can help alleviate issues that can lead to something dangerously serious. Let’s take a look at some of the symptoms of magnesium deficiency.

  1. Heart Conditions

    An irregular heartbeat is one of the most common signs of magnesium deficiency. But low magnesium is connected to other cardiovascular conditions including palpitations, chest pain, low blood pressure, high blood pressure, or the biggie – heart disease. Patients under a doctor’s care for heart-related diseases should speak to their physician about magnesium levels.

  2. Fatigue

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    Being unusually overtired could be a sign of low magnesium, as the mineral plays a huge role in energy production. Because fatigue could be a sign of other health issues, the cause could be hard to detect. Slowly adding more magnesium to your regimen could help you find relief.

  3. Nausea

    Unexplained nausea that’s unrelated to illness or pregnancy might be due to low magnesium stores. Still, taking too high of a dosage can also cause nausea.

  4. Insomnia

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    Lack of magnesium can cause the brain to stay unsettled at bedtime. Supplementing with magnesium or increasing dietary intake can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep through the night.

  5. Headaches

    Low magnesium in the brain has been linked to migraines, but it’s also been found to be a solution for headache sufferers. Speak with your doctor about supplementation.

  6. Menstrual Cycle Problems

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    PMS symptoms, infertility, irregular cycles, or missing periods may be caused by magnesium deficiency. The mineral’s levels are impacted by hormones, resulting in low stores. A higher magnesium intake has been found to help regulate painful cycles, PMS, and fertility issues.

  7. Seizures

    NIH has done studies on magnesium and seizure activity, finding correlation between low levels in people who have seizures versus people with adequate levels of the mineral. Research from Oregon State University cites the fact that obstetricians treat pregnant patients with preeclampsia with magnesium to prevent seizures.

  8. Muscle Cramps or Spasms

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    We all experience cramping from time to time after exercising or strenuous activity. However, abnormally frequent pain, spasmodic episodes, and cramping in the body – legs, arms, feet – could all indicate low magnesium.

  9. Appetite Loss

    Loss of appetite is one of the early warning signs of magnesium deficiency. It may also be accompanied by fatigue or nausea.

  10. Restless Leg Syndrome

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    While restless leg syndrome can contribute to insomnia, magnesium levels can be the cause and remedy for the condition. It can relax nerves and muscles in the legs to relieve the symptoms of RLS like pain, spasms, and jittery muscles.

  11. Irritability or Stress

    When you’re not you and those other personalities take over, your nerves may be crying out for magnesium. Magnesium has been noted to have a chill-pill effect on people, balancing out behavioral changes.

  12. Depression

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    Several studies have researched the link between depression and low magnesium, finding that it indeed plays a large role, including lowering serotonin. Many adults have found success when placed on magnesium supplements with the help of their physicians and psychiatrists. That includes treatment for post-partum depression and clinical depression.

  13. Acid Reflux

    Magnesium helps the sphincters in your esophagus to relax, therefore opening and closing properly. Indigestion can happen when food and acid are able to shoot back up into the esophagus. That’s why milk of magnesia can help calm acid reflux, but a permanent form of magnesium can also relieve chronic digestive issues.

Magnesium loss can be temporary or chronic. A temporary loss can occur through illness, or activities like drinking alcohol and coffee, or intense exercise. Chronic magnesium deficiency is usually caused by poor nutrition, disease, or hormone fluctuations.

To increase your dietary intake of magnesium, try these foods that are rich in the mineral:

  • Almonds
  • Avocados
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Spinach
  • Sesame seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Salmon
  • Bananas
  • Legumes
  • Peanuts
  • Soybeans and soy milk

In terms of supplements, magnesium citrate and chloride are among the forms considered easily absorbed. Too much calcium is said to interfere with magnesium intake, so it’s best to take the two separately. However, Epsom salt is a natural way to absorb it through the skin, and can also relieve body aches.

According to the National Institutes of Health, those who are considered high risk for magnesium deficiency include type 2 diabetes patients, geriatric adults, or alcoholics.

If you believe you might have a magnesium deficiency or are considering taking supplements, speak with your doctor first to have your levels tested. You may only need to change your diet!

Have you had experience with low magnesium stores? Do you have any of these unexplainable symptoms?