7 Common Signs of Magnesium Deficiency That May Surprise You

7 Common Signs of Magnesium Deficiency That May Surprise You

Magnesium is a necessary nutrient that’s involved in thousands of bodily processes. In fact, magnesium deficiency is an extremely common health problem. Some health experts suggest that the condition is severely underdiagnosed because magnesium levels are typically only tested when they get dangerously low.

If you suspect you lack magnesium (that actually tends to decline with age), let’s look at the most common signs of a deficiency (experiencing chronically one or two of these signs is a clue that further testing may be required):

1. Chronic inflammation 

Inflammation is an important part of the immune system and plays a role in wound healing, however, chronic inflammation is usually the result of many conditions such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Persistent inflammation is typically accompanied by chronic fatigue, low-grade fever, muscle weakness, blood and brain problems, and skin conditions.  

Magnesium plays a big role in controlling the body's normal inflammatory response. With low magnesium levels, inflammatory biomarkers such as high-sensitivity c-reactive protein (hs-CRP), interleukin-6, and fibrinogen are significantly affected.

2. Restless leg syndrome and cramps 

Scientists suggest that there is a link between low magnesium levels and restless leg syndrome (RLS). Magnesium supplementation has been shown to help control symptoms of restless leg syndrome, leg cramps, and even periodic limb movement disorders. 

3. Fatigue 

While chronic fatigue could be tied to many health conditions or stress and poor sleep. It may also be an indication of low magnesium levels. Research on chronic fatigue syndrome has shown that magnesium provides nutritional support to fight fatigue. This is due to the fact that magnesium is needed for the production of energy. If the body has insufficient access to magnesium, energy production suffers, leaving you with constant fatigue. 

4. Blood sugar swings and prediabetes 

Blood glucose is directly linked to your diet and the levels of your physical activity, but it also depends on your magnesium levels. In fact, magnesium helps your body metabolize glucose and insulin. 

According to a large six-year study, low serum magnesium levels were linked to insulin resistance and risk of prediabetes. Plus, it has shown that common variations in magnesium-regulating genes that provoke low serum magnesium were linked to an elevated risk for diabetes. 

5. Migraines and headaches 

Migraine headache is the sixth-most disabling condition worldwide, that's accompanied by hours and days of recurring pain, sensitivity to light and sound, and even nausea and vomiting. According to a large body of evidence, magnesium can be a helpful and inexpensive way to effectively manage migraines

6. Mood swings and chronic stress 

About 40 million Americans suffer from social stress, fear, and apprehension. The good news is that maintaining healthy magnesium levels can help manage stress levels due to magnesium's beneficial interaction with the brain.

Magnesium helps regulate the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin as well as the stress response. Low brain magnesium means serotonin levels are low as well, which can result in mood swings.

7. Irregular heartbeat 

Magnesium is a mineral that acts as an electrolyte that our bodies need to maintain normal nerve and electrical impulses of the heart. In fact, irregular heartbeat is a sign of low magnesium levels. 

Plus, insufficient magnesium consumption has been proven to have a negative effect on various aspects of heart health. According to a meta-analysis, an extra 100 mg of magnesium a day was linked to cardiovascular health.

The Bottom Line 

If you suspect you have low magnesium levels, consult your healthcare provider. They will evaluate your symptoms and check your magnesium levels. In addition to taking supplements, consider eating more magnesium-rich foods and lowering your stress levels, since constant stress tends to reduce magnesium. 

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