5 Signs You Are Magnesium Deficient and What You Can Do Now

The mineral magnesium is a “cofactor” in more than 300 enzyme systems that energize and regulate activity throughout your body. To understand the importance of this vital mineral, let me tell you what would happen to your body if your magnesium levels suddenly plummeted…

Your heartbeat would be erratic. Your thoughts would be muddled. Your muscles would cramp. Your blood sugar levels would rollercoaster up and down. Your skin would start falling apart and your bones would crumble. You’d feel so tired you couldn’t take a step.  

With that, please allow my team at UpWellness to educate you about this most important mineral. 

Be Well, 

-Dr. Josh 

It seems like there’s always something else that the general American population is deficient or lacking in. Iron, fiber, vitamin D, the list could go on and on. And most of these widespread deficiencies can be traced back to one thing, the standard American diet. Here’s another mineral that is often excluded in the processed, packaged, sugary diet that most people adhere to…magnesium. 

While only around 2% of the population actually qualify as magnesium deficient, studies show that as much as 75% of the American population is not receiving their daily recommended intake. Many of these symptoms don’t begin to show until you are severely deficient in magnesium, so it is important to be sure that you are paying close attention and listen to your body. 

Mental health issues

Anxiety and depression are commonly linked to a lack of magnesium in the body. Though it can be hard to pinpoint the cause of such conditions, certain observational studies have indicated a connection. Scientists suspect this is because magnesium availability is one of the determining factors for the amount of energy that the mitochondria of the cells in your brain are making. It could also contribute to feelings of mental numbness, lack of emotion, apathy, delirium, and coma, though such cases are rare. 

High blood pressure

More human studies are needed to confirm these results, but certain animal studies suggest that a magnesium deficiency may increase blood pressure, especially in those who struggle with hypertension or have other risk factors. 

Muscle spasms and crams

That moment when your leg begins cramping uncontrollably in the middle of the night is most often attributed to a potassium deficiency, which could be the case. However, it may also be due to a magnesium or calcium deficiency as well, as all three of these minerals help with muscle regulation and relaxation. Though muscle spasms may seem like a minor inconvenience, severe deficiencies could lead to seizures or convulsions. If you experience regular muscle spasms, be sure to cut caffeine out of your diet and try to limit stressors in your life, as these could be contributing to the problem. 

Insomnia

Though a cup of coffee too late in the day may be to blame, your restless nights and insomnia could be a symptom of a magnesium deficiency. This critical mineral plays a huge role in regulating your central nervous system and is extremely important for promoting relaxation. Therefore, when your body isn’t getting enough of it, you may toss and turn through the night. 

Fatigue

Ah fatigue, the ever-elusive symptom. Do you have a serious health issue, or did you just get a poor night’s rest? Fortunately, your body knows the difference between lack of sleep and total, body-draining fatigue. If you feel like you are getting an adequate amount of rest, are eating a well-balanced diet, and engaging in regular exercise and still seem unduly tired, you may have a magnesium deficiency. This type of fatigue is usually persistent, severe, and often comes along with mental fog and physical, muscle weakness known as myasthenia

How to get more magnesium

Food 

Unsurprisingly, food plays a huge role in making sure that your body gets enough magnesium to function optimally. Thankfully, there is a wide variety of healthy, magnesium-rich foods available that you can easily add to your diet, including:

  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Swiss chard
  • Black beans
  • Broccoli
  • Cashews
  • Almonds
  • Potatoes
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Bananas
  • Avocados
  • Mung beans
  • Brussels sprouts

Supplements

Filling your diet with these nutrient-rich foods will often add enough magnesium to your diet to help reach your daily recommended intake. However, if you have an actual magnesium deficiency, you may need to go with a more potent option and consult your healthcare provider regarding magnesium supplementation. Though you can manage your own supplements, it is always a good idea to talk with a professional to help determine dosage and find a reputable brand without harmful fillers. 

Topical magnesium

Though Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) will not help remedy an internal magnesium deficiency, it can be very beneficial when used topically to help relax tense muscles and alleviate soreness. Try taking an Epsom salt bath to unwind, refocus, and help manage stress, migraines, and pain.

-The UpWellness Team

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