Magnesium deficiency symptoms – the major signs you could be running low on vital mineral

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Vitamins, minerals and nutrients are an integral part of a healthy lifestyle. From iron and zinc to copper and beta-carotene, lots of elements contribute to a healthy body. Magnesium is an important mineral, as it helps turn the food we eat into energy and helps the parathyroid glands, which produce hormones important for bone health, to work normally. Abnormal amounts of magnesium in the body can cause health problems.

What are the signs of magnesium deficiency?

Magnesium deficiency can cause several different symptoms, and any symptoms should be discussed with a doctor.

As per the Cleveland Clinic website, Naoki Umeda, MD, a specialist in integrative medicine, explained how fatigue is often one of the first signs of magnesium deficiency.

Dr Umeda said: “One of the first signs of magnesium deficiency is often fatigue.

“You may notice muscle spasms, weakness or stiffness as well.

“Loss of appetite and nausea are other common symptoms in the early stages.

“However, you may not notice any symptoms at all in the beginning.

“A magnesium deficiency can be hard to diagnose. Many of the initial symptoms could indicate a wide variety of other health issues.”

According to health website Healthline, symptoms which may indicate magnesium deficiency include:

  • Muscle twitches and cramps
  • Mental health disorders
  • Osteoporosis
  • Fatigue and muscle weakness
  • High blood pressure
  • Asthma
  • Irregular heartbeat

Anyone concerned they may have symptoms of deficiency or about their health generally should speak to a doctor for further advice.

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How is magnesium deficiency diagnosed?

If a doctor suspects abnormal magnesium levels, they may recommend the patient undergoes a magnesium test.

The NHS website explains: “Abnormal magnesium levels can occur in conditions that affect the functioning of your kidneys or intestines.

“A magnesium test may be recommended as part of a series of tests if you have symptoms such as nausea, weakness or cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat).

“You may have abnormal levels of magnesium, calcium or potassium in your blood.”

How much magnesium do people need?

The NHS guidelines state the amount of magnesium adults need is:

  • 300mg a day for men (19 to 64 years)
  • 270mg a day for women (19 to 64 years)

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) advises that most people should be able to get all the magnesium they need from eating a varied and balanced diet.

Taking too much magnesium in supplements can be harmful, but the DHSC states that “having 400mg or less a day of magnesium from supplements is unlikely to cause any harm.”

Magnesium is found in several foods, such as spinach, nuts and wholemeal bread.

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