Magnesium – The Under Valued Mineral

A magnesium deficiency is all too often missed because it does not show up in routine blood tests.Around only 1% of magnesium is stored in the blood, whilst the remaining 99% is found in our cells and the fluid surrounding our cells. As a result when a routine blood test detects a magnesium deficiency,  it is likely to be a severe or even potentially life threatening deficiency, with up to 99% of the body’s magnesium already depleted.

Magnesium is required for around 300 enzymatic processes within the body, and is the second most abundant ion inside cells, and along with calcium is critical in regulating the electrical activity in the body, this includes all muscles contractions, hearts beats and brain activity.

The first signs of a magnesium deficiency usually manifest as foot pain, muscle twitches, or leg cramps, other signs include vomiting, fatigue, nausea and weaknesses. Once a magnesium deficiency begins to worsen it can result in tingling, seizures, personality changes, abnormal heart rhythms, tension headaches, jaw point pain, back aches, neck pain and muscle soreness.

Symptoms involving impaired contraction of smooth muscles such as constipation, urinary spasms, menstrual cramps, difficulty swallowing and loud noise sensitivity, are hallmarks of a magnesium deficiency. Symptoms of the central nervous system include insomnia, anxiety, hyperactivity, and restlessness with constant movement, panic attacks, agoraphobia, and premenstrual irritability. Symptoms involving the peripheral nervous system include numbness, tingling and other abnormal sensations, such as zips, zaps and vibratory sensations.

Here is a list of early warning signs that may be suggestive of a magnesium deficiency in its early stages:

  • Physical and mental fatigue
  • Persistent under-eye twitch
  • Tension in upper back, shoulders and neck
  • Headaches
  • Pre-menstrual fluid retention and/or breast tenderness

Here is a list of possible manifestations of magnesium deficiency:

  • Low energy
  • Poor digestion
  • Confusion
  • Nervousness
  • Fatigue, weakness
  • Anxiousness
  • Irritability
  • PMS
  • Inability to sleep

Signs of a severe magnesium deficiency include:

  • Excessive thirst and hunger
  • Frequent urination
  • Dry itchy skin
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Frequent or recurring skin, gum, bladder or vaginal yeast infections
  • Sores that heal slowly

By Megan Maitland


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