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Top 5 Symptoms of Low Magnesium Levels

Do you have cravings, muscle cramps, headaches, high blood pressure, constipation or sleep imbalances?

You may be magnesium deficient!!

Magnesium is a mineral that is involved in over 300 enzymatic and physiological processes in our body. It is also a mineral that is commonly depleted by stress and refined sugars.  Since it is so widely used in our body, and so easily depleted its absence can create many common nagging deficiency symptoms.

I have highlighted the top 5 common symptoms of low magnesium levels…

  1. Chocolate Cravings

Do you ever get those times when all you can think about is chocolate. The times where you keep banging the cupboards or even get in your car and go and get some. You assume it is just PMS, but you may be surprised to learn that cocoa cravings could be a sign of magnesium deficiency. One of the common questions asked in a patient intake is if the PMS is associated with sugar cravings, alerting the clinician that magnesium could be an issue.

  1. Balances Blood Sugar Levels

Magnesium can influence the release and activity of insulin. We know that insulin is a storage hormone and when found in excess can cause weight to accumulate around our waistline.  The catch-22 is that refined sugar (and stress) causes the body to excrete magnesium through the kidneys, which in turn can boost your cravings, continuing the cycle.

According to the American Diabetes Association there is an inverse relationship between magnesium intake and the risk of type 2 diabetes. Magnesium is rich in foods such as nuts and green leafy vegetables.

In a study published in Diabetes Care, 63 subjects with below-normal serum magnesium levels received 300 mg elemental magnesium per day, or a placebo. At the end of the 16-week study period, those who received the magnesium supplements had improved control of their diabetes.

If you require supplementation, take 200 to 400 mg of magnesium glycinate which is the best absorbed form.

  1. Eases anxiety and stabilizes mood

Individuals with anxiety have been found to have lower levels of magnesium. A study published in Psychiatry Research found that patients who received magnesium were able to reduce their anti-anxiety medications, and symptoms of anxiety such as bradycardia (heart arrhythmia) disappeared.

A bedtime dose of magnesium may help to improve sleep.  Some say it helps you sleep like a baby, but since my babies don’t sleep…I have stopped using this expression :). A study out of the University of Pretoria of more than 200 patients over a period of 12 months tested magnesium as a possible means of combating insomnia. It was discovered that patients on magnesium supplementation reported that they fell asleep more quickly, and had an easier time staying asleep throughout the night. Waking tiredness disappeared, and anxiety and tension diminished during the day.
Taking magnesium before bedtime is a great place to start for sleep disturbances in people of all ages…including kids!

  1. Reduces muscle cramping

Have you ever had calf cramps, restless legs, tension headaches or eyelid twitching? Magnesium could help. The mineral is closely involved in proper muscle relaxation and contraction. Start taking your magnesium dose at bedtime instead of in the morning, and you may be surprised at how quickly these symptoms go away.

Pregnanct woman can be especially responsive to magnesium for help with both sleep and leg cramps. Athletes are another group of individuals that can be especially prone to magnesium loss from sweating. It is important in these situations to make sure that you are getting in enough magnesium via nuts, seeds and green leafy vegetables and then consider supplementing should the symptoms persist.

  1. Improves blood pressure

Evidence suggests that magnesium may play an important role in regulating blood pressure, due to its natural muscle-relaxing ability. When blood vessels are relaxed, there is less resistance to the flow of blood and as a result, lower blood pressure. Studies have shown that those with the highest levels of dietary magnesium will have the lowest blood pressure.

Diets that provide high sources of potassium and magnesium — such as those that are high in fruits and vegetables — are consistently associated with lower blood pressure. The DASH study (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) suggested that high blood pressure could be significantly lowered by consuming a diet high in magnesium, potassium and calcium, and low in sodium and fat.

Since magnesium is important for so many processes in our system, and is also easily depleted by stress and sugar it is important to ensure a decent intake.

Focus on making sure that your diet is rich in green leafy vegetables and nuts and seeds, and if you require supplementation start with 200-400mg of magnesium glycinate per day (usually at night).

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