Magnesium is one of the most important minerals in our body. It is involved in over 300 biochemical reactions and thus plays a very important role in our health. If our body lacks magnesium, this can have far-reaching consequences for our well-being.
But how does a magnesium deficiency develop? Magnesium is responsible for our energy balance. Every time we use energy, we also consume magnesium. So if we eat an unbalanced diet, it can very quickly lead to a deficit. Furthermore, a lot of magnesium is consumed during sports activities, alcohol consumption, high blood pressure, stress and the additional intake of calcium. In addition, a diseased gastrointestinal tract can prevent the adequate absorption of magnesium.
Many people who suffer from a magnesium deficiency do not even realize this. Symptoms are not perceived or misinterpreted and blamed on other problems. Thus, a magnesium deficiency often remains undetected and can lead to serious health damage to the affected person.
This is why it is so important to recognize the symptoms and interpret them correctly. In this blog article, we would like to show you 15 warning signs of our body that can indicate a magnesium deficiency.
For many of us, it is not necessarily unusual to be tired or even lethargic. Fatigue can be due to many causes – stress at work, tight schedules or an eventful day with the children. However, frequent and excessive fatigue can also be due to a magnesium deficiency.
Magnesium is significantly involved in energy production and energy transport. Without magnesium, the metabolic processes do not function properly and it is not possible to produce sufficient energy. It is involved in all ATP reactions as an enzyme activator by facilitating the cleavage of the energy-rich phosphate residues from the ATP by forming complexes.
So if we lack magnesium, this automatically leads to frequent fatigue and lack of concentration.
2. Muscle spasms
Muscle spasms can be incredibly painful. Most of the time, they are uncontrollable and appear out of nowhere. Cramps are often caused by overexertion and dehydration.
But magnesium deficiency can also lead to muscle cramps. When our muscles tense, calcium is released in the muscles. If the muscle is to relax again, the calcium channels are opened and magnesium displaces the calcium from the muscle. If there is not enough magnesium, the calcium cannot be completely displaced from the muscle. The muscle is therefore not able to relax completely. We feel this cramped posture of the muscle as muscle spasm.
Magnesium also plays a big role in our heart health. As described in the Muscle Cramps section, magnesium is responsible for functioning muscle contractions. Also for our most important muscle – our heart. If the muscle contraction in the heart does not work properly, irregular heartbeats, also called arrhythmia, occur.
Furthermore, magnesium is responsible for the enzyme activities in the heart. If a person suffers from magnesium deficiency for a longer period of time, heart health is acutely endangered. Patients who die from a heart attack always have too low magnesium levels.
Dizziness can occur if we get up too quickly, e.B. However, this dizziness usually passes quite quickly. However, if the dizziness persists, or it occurs suddenly and unexpectedly, this could indicate a magnesium deficiency.
Magnesium deficiency increases the excitability of muscles and nerves. So they can quickly be overwhelmed. This can trigger dizziness.
5. Nausea and vomiting
Similar to dizziness, magnesium deficiency can lead to nausea and vomiting. If the nerves continue to be irritated, the dizziness worsens and leads to nausea and vomiting.
6. Physical deafness
Magnesium has a very strong influence on our nervous system. For this reason, magnesium deficiency can lead to tingling or numbness in our limbs. This warning signal should definitely be observed, especially if it worsens over time. Magnesium deficiency can cause muscle and nerve functions to stop functioning properly. Likewise, signals from nerves can be incorrectly transmitted and interpreted. Especially often these symptoms then occur on the face, hands and feet.
7. Personality changes
It may “sound” bizarre at first glance and you wouldn’t immediately associate it with magnesium deficiency, but a deficit can lead to personality changes. Most often, people are affected by normal confusion and very strong irritability. Simple problems can seem unsolvable.
8. Anxiety and panic attacks
Each of us has moments of fear. You want to hide under your duvet and have nothing to do with the world. That’s normal. We should be worried if these conditions occur regularly and become normal. This condition can also be triggered by magnesium deficiency.
Magnesium is a modulator of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA axis). With a dysregulation of this axis (i.e. magnesium deficiency), anxiety disorders occur more frequently. The problem is that we consume a lot of magnesium in stressful or anxiety situations. This increases the deficit even further and there is a risk of a vicious circle.
9. Sleep disorders and insomnia
A magnesium deficiency can lead to sleep disorders in various ways. As we have already learned, magnesium ensures that we can relax. If we are not relaxed, it is much more difficult for us to fall asleep. In addition, unrelaxed muscles tend to twitch during sleep. This can be particularly disturbing during the process of falling asleep and reduce the quality of sleep.
Furthermore, numerous studies provide good evidence that magnesium plays a key role in the regulation of sleep through its diverse functions for various neurotransmitters of our nervous system. Magnesium can thus significantly improve sleep quality.
10. High blood pressure
Various studies report that magnesium deficiency can significantly promote high blood pressure. On the one hand, the pulse pressure is positively influenced by magnesium, on the other hand, magnesium can reduce hardening of the arteries. Both together ensure lower blood pressure without it being too low in healthy people.
A study in the American Journal of Hypertension also found that people with high blood pressure are significantly more likely to have low magnesium levels. As already described, all those who died of heart attacks also have far too low magnesium levels.
Side fact: Drugs that are prescribed particularly frequently (so-called diuretics) further deprive the body of magnesium.
11. Type II diabetes
What does type II diabetes have to do with magnesium? At first, magnesium deficiency seems unlikely to be related to type II diabetes. But let’s take a closer look.
Type II diabetes usually develops as a result of an unhealthy lifestyle and diet. But if you take a closer look, all diabetes patients have a strong magnesium deficit.
Magnesium plays an important role in sugar metabolism. Only if there is enough magnesium, the pancreas can release enough insulin. If this is not the case, it can only work to a limited extent.
In addition, magnesium is responsible for opening the cells so that the glucose can enter the cells. If the mineral is missing, the cells remain closed and the glucose cannot be consumed (onset of insulin resistance). At the same time, however, the cells signal that they need glucose, which encourages the pancreas to continue producing insulin. This leads to the depletion of insulin cells.
Magnesium deficiency increases the risk of weak bones. From this, diseases such as osteoporosis can develop, in which bone mass decreases and bone tissue deteriorates. This increases the risk of fractures.
There are several reasons for this. On the one hand, our bones store large amounts (about 60 -70% of the total balance) of magnesium. If we absorb too little magnesium over a longer period of time, the body must release the magnesium from the bones. The bones become softer and more susceptible to fractures and fractures. Furthermore, a magnesium deficiency lowers the calcium content in the body. Calcium also plays an important role in healthy bones.
Migraine patients often suffer from cell hyperexcitability (as already mentioned, an effect on magnesium deficiency). Magnesium is able to stabilize and relax the nervous system.
There can be many reasons for constipation. For example, stress or too many dairy products. But magnesium deficiency can also lead to digestive problems. Magnesium has a relaxing effect on many areas of the body – including the digestive tract. So if our body has too little magnesium, the muscles contract and cramp. This makes it difficult to transfer the food residues in the digestive tract to the next organ. The result: constipation and stomach cramps.
15. Acid reflux
As already mentioned, magnesium plays an important role in relaxing muscles. These muscles also include the lower and upper sphincter muscles of our stomach.
If there is not enough magnesium, it can lead to malfunctions and misinterpretations of these muscles. Food cannot be properly passed through the digestive tract and stomach acid can run back into the esophagus. This leads to acid reflux and heartburn. Since some heartburn medications boost magnesium consumption, they can even make symptoms worse.