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Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency
The best way to tell if you suffer from magnesium deficiency is by symptoms. Magnesium is very important for us to consume each day and is required for us to experience great health. Magnesium is necessary for approximately 350 biochemical reactions that take place in our bodies, including helping the digestive process, muscle function, producing energy, bone production, activating Vitamin B, helping create new cells, helping with muscle relaxation, and assisting with kidney, adrenal, nervous system and brain functions.
The fourth most abundant mineral in the human body is magnesium. It is found in bones, red blood cells, teeth, and when combined with zinc and iron, help with the enzyme system. In 1971, Dr Fink printed in the 'Executive Health':
Early on, the initial symptoms resulting from a magnesium deficiency may be very subtle. Cramps, muscle twitches, or pain in the feet are often the early signs of a deficiency. If you choose to ignore these signs, many other issues can soon follow if the deficiency is not taken care of.
Metabolism of fats and carbohydrates require many chemicals which are dependent on magnesium being present in the system. Henry Lukaski (physiologist) produced a study in 2002 showing that those who have a magnesium deficiency while taking part in moderate activities, use more energy, in turn becoming tired more quickly. This was in comparison to those who had sufficient magnesium levels in their system. During this study he showed 10 postmenopausal women who were given a magnesium sufficient diet for 35 days, and then followed with a diet that was magnesium deficient for 93 days, followed again by a diet that had sufficient levels of magnesium for 93 days. When the levels of magnesium were low, more oxygen was used, and increased heart rate was also noted during physical activity. When magnesium was low, more energy was required to do low level activities, than during the phases where all were placed on a magnesium sufficient diet. Other similar studies have shown the same results; more oxygen and energy is required when magnesium levels are low in the body. If you are constantly tired and have low energy levels, a magnesium supplement might be a great addition to the diet.
CFS, or chronic fatigue syndrome, is also often diagnosed with magnesium deficient diets. Our body slows down during deficiency, resulting in slower cellular functioning, making the body sluggish. Fatigue eventually kicks in. Cox performed a study in 1991 in England and reported that all patients who had CFS, also had lower red blood cell and magnesium levels. It was also noted that when magnesium supplements were used, this issue could be greatly improved. In a blind study with 32 patients, a placebo injection was used to treat those with CFS; 15 of the randomly chosen patients received the magnesium supplement, and 17 were injected with water. Those who were injected with the magnesium supplement showed higher energy levels and less fatigue.
From 1965 to 1990, studies were performed in New Zealand, England, Australia, and France to determine the relationship between SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) and sleep positions. In a 1991 report, it stated that magnesium deficiency was at least one of the major factors which contributed to SI|DS,and explained the increased SIDS in those prone sleeping children. An increase in magnesium and proper levels in the diet ,may possibly help to prevent SIDS.
PMS and Hormonal Imbalances
Premenstrual symptoms (PMS) are the many symptoms, both physical and psychological, that women experience before their menstrual cycle. Some of these symptoms include headaches, cramps, bloating, fatigue, irritability, or anxiety, all which begin to take place 2 to 7 days before the menstrual cycle is set to begin. Dr Guy Abraham, who is a former OBGYN, stated that PMS is due to many hormonal imbalances that are not found through routine testing. Magnesium deficiency is amongst the 22 conditions which may trigger this hormonal imbalance, causing PMS. Other results of this deficiency and hormonal imbalance could also be infertility, premature contractions, and other issues during pregnancy. Due to the fact that magnesium levels are much lower in women who experience PMS, as opposed to those who don't suffer these symptoms, is proof of this finding. Susan Johnson (gynaecologist at University of Iowa) noted various supplements that could be taken to help alleviate symptoms of PMS. Some which were noted include Vitamin D and E, calcium, and magnesium supplements.
Inability to Sleep
Insomnia is commonly attributed to magnesium deficiency as well. If it is hard for you to get to sleep, or if you commonly wake up feeling muscle cramps or stiffness, then you may also want to consider the consumption of magnesium supplements. Dr Davis performed a study with over 200 participants, and tested the use of magnesium to help with the issue of insomnia. Ninety nine percent of those who were on the study, stated that their inability to sleep, or at least alleviate restlessness, was cured with proper supplementation. Anxiety and tension also diminished during the normal course of the day. No negative side effects were noted during the 12 month study. For elderly individuals, the use of magnesium supplements was found to help with sleep by reducing the cortisol levels in their system.
Although many believed calcium was the main factor for healthy bones, recent studies have shown magnesium supplementation is just as important for strong healthy bone structures, and to prevent the development of osteoporosis. Approximately one percent of the human bone mineral is made up of magnesium; it influences bone matrix and mineral metabolism to help assimilate calcium levels. Dr Barnett, an orthopedic surgeon, has also stated that "magnesium is possibly the most important element in bone health." A magnesium deficiency might also play a role in postmenopausal osteoporosis, due to the fact that it alters hormones in the body to regulate calcium levels. As magnesium levels decrease, the bone crystals are larger, and the structure becomes weaker. In a study by Weaver CM, Sojka JE, it was noted that levels of magnesium which were lower in osteoporotic women, could be helped by using magnesium supplements.
Muscle Tension, Spasms and Cramps
One of the first signs of magnesium deficiency is the irritating spasms in the eyelids, which can cause you to wake up in the middle of the night. In order to properly regulate muscles in relaxation and contraction, proper magnesium levels are necessary. If you experience excessive muscle tension, this can also be a clear sign of magnesium deficiency. Due to the fact that the minerals are lost through bodily fluids, if you are an athlete who sweats profusely, cramping might be another sign that you are deficient in your magnesium levels. Changes in diet and magnesium supplements are going to help in these areas, and cramps and similar signs that you are deficient, are going to respond fairly quickly once you begin using supplementation.
Abnormal Heart Rhythm
Because it is a natural muscle relaxant, magnesium has beneficial effects to our cardiovascular system, and also helps regulate blood pressure levels. With more relaxed blood vessels, there is less difficulty in proper blood flow. If the system is low in magnesium, this can result in abnormality in heart rhythms, in turn possibly heightening the risk of heart attacks. In 1998, Liao F, conducted a study of about 14,000 women and men, and noted that increased magnesium serum levels had a positive effect, decreasing the risks of coronary heart attacks in women. Keeping an adequate level of magnesium intake can help as a modification and preventive means to helping reduce the risk of higher blood pressure levels. The Dash (the dietary approach to stopping hypertension) study noted that higher magnesium, potassium, and calcium can aid in lowering levels of blood pressure.
Muscular tightness and tension is present in about 70% of patients with tension headaches. Lower magnesium levels have been noted as one of the issues that cause these headaches. In 1998, a Pub Med article noted that those who have recurring migraine headaches, also have lower intramuscular levels in their system. In the March 1996 of journal 'Headache,' rsearchers stated that people who had clustered headaches, benefited from magnesium therapies. With these clustered headaches, sufferers experience about 20 bouts a day of pain; with the therapy, it was noted that clustered headaches ended, and certain patients were cured after 2 to 7 days. Again in 2003, another study showed that in a placebo study with 86 children with migraines, headaches were reduced by oral magnesium oxide tablets being used, to help treat the frequency of the headaches.
Magnesium is also noted to help with anxiety and panic attacks, and help reduce levels of stress. In 1982, Mildren Seeling noted the association between anxiety and deficiency in magnesium, in her article. Another study that was conducted in 2002, reported that patients who were injected with magnesium during and after surgery to test anxiety levels, required far less pain medication after the procedure than the ones who did not receive the magnesium injections.
Proper functionality of the nervous system is in part going to require proper levels of magnesium in our system. Proper levels control the rates of neuron firing. With an imbalance, cells can't give off or properly receive messages, and heightened stimulations of any kind are going to be noticed. Lights will seem much brighter, noise will seem much louder, and emotions might become exaggerated, causing the individuals who have a low level of magnesium to seem on edge. Magnesium supplements have been shown to have a sedative affect over the nervous system, helping to provide necessary relief.
Depression or restlessness, as well as other psychiatric conditions, might be attributed to levels of low magnesium. Many patients who are depressed have lower magnesium levels in their system, and use of magnesium supplementation has been used to treat this, as well as other psychiatric conditions, including bipolar conditions. A study conducted at University Hospital Gasthuisberg in Belgium, found that a depletion in the magnesium levels caused irritability in the nervous system, which in turn resulted in epileptic seizures. Although studies have not proven magnesium deficiency is a cause in epilepsy, corrections of low levels have proven to be life saving for many.
There are studies dating back to the 1960s that show there is a connection between kidney stones and magnesium levels. In a 1964 publication, Dr Sauberlich quoted that: "magnesium oxide looked very promising as a preventive measure for kidney stones." In many studies that followed, it has been shown that magnesium does help reduce the recurrence of kidney stones due to calcium oxalate; this is done by increased solubility levels of calcium that is found in urine. Supplements, as well as foods that are high in magnesium levels, have also proven to help in the prevention or treating the stones.
WAYS TO AVOID A MAGNESIUM DEFICIENCY:
There are a couple things you can do to increase the levels of magnesium in your diet.
Magnesium Deficiency Conclusion:
So, even if you feel you are getting sufficient levels, due to the fact that most of our foods are depleted in levels of magnesium, it is essential to include a supplement in your diet on a daily basis.
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