Are you among the millions of Americans who suffer from common complaints such as insomnia, migraine headaches, leg cramps, high blood pressure, Type2 diabetes, even fatigue or muscle pain?
According to numerous sources, a common culprit behind all of these ailments, and others, is a magnesium deficiency.
You may have heard of magnesium referred to as the “Master Mineral“. The reason for this is that more than 300 vital bodily functions depend upon your having an ample supply of magnesium in your system.
When you don’t have enough magnesium, you may find yourself suffering from a wide variety of symptoms including:
- Severe Premenstrual Syndrome Symptoms
- Feelings of Anxiousness
- Restless Leg Syndrome
- Excessive Irritability
- Migraine Headaches
- Excessive Tiredness
- Bacterial Infections
- Muscle Twitching
- Cramped Muscles
- Unstable Moods
- Muscle Cramps
- Inability to Sleep
- Trouble Relaxing
- Fungal Infections
- Kidney Damage
- Dental Caries
- Liver Damage
- Weight Gain
- Joint Pain
It’s easy to see that getting the right amount of magnesium in your daily diet and health routine is of the utmost importance.
In fact, according to Norman Healy who is a neurosurgeon and a specialist in pain medicine, all illnesses are linked in some way with magnesium deficiency. Dr. Healy says that magnesium may be an important part of the cure to all types of illness.
Magnesium Supports Every Part Of Your Body
Magnesium can be found throughout the body from the teeth to the blood cells to the bones. It is essential in regulating calcium, sodium and potassium.
It is also needed to promote excellent cellular health and assist your body in performing more than 300 biochemical functions.
For example, the antioxidant, glutathione, depends upon magnesium for synthesis.
When your body is suffering magnesium deficiency, it does not do so in silence. You will notice a wide variety of symptoms and red flags.
Unfortunately, many people ignore the signs and symptoms of magnesium deficiency. Here are a few things you may experience if you are in need of magnesium:
Without ample magnesium, you may experience chronic headaches and migraine headaches. This is because magnesium balances your body’s neurotransmitters. Adding between 360 and 600 milligrams of magnesium to your daily diet can significantly reduce the frequency and duration of your headaches.
2. Muscle Cramps:
Many people believe that leg cramps are normal and something that we just have to put up with, but this is not true.
More often than not, leg cramps are caused by magnesium deficiency because magnesium plays a vital role in controlling muscle contraction and neuromuscular signals.
Eating a diet that is rich in magnesium will help reduce leg cramps and symptoms of conditions such as restless leg syndrome.
3. Anxiety & Insomnia:
In today’s world, inability to sleep is also often accepted as being normal. Additionally, many people take medication for anxiety on a regular basis without giving it a second thought.
The fact is, insomnia and anxiety are both symptoms of magnesium deficiency. Magnesium is needed for a bodily process known as GABA function which helps you to feel calm and relaxed.
Just as many people regularly pop pills in order to sleep and reduce anxiety, taking medication to control hypertension is also commonplace in the world today.
In many instances simply increasing magnesium, potassium and calcium in the diet will help lower and regulate high blood pressure.
A study conducted by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition indicates that a magnesium rich diet may reduce stroke risk by as much as 8%.
The development of type 2 diabetes is currently in epidemic proportions in the Western world.
Even very young people are developing this life-threatening disease, which can predispose an individual to a great number of health complications.
According to a study conducted by the American Diabetes Association, diabetics (both adults and children) have very low magnesium levels.
“Magnesium deficiency has been associated with insulin resistance (IR) and increased risk for type 2 diabetes in adults…(and) Serum magnesium (is) significantly lower in obese children.“ [source]
Increasing magnesium in the diet by as little as 100 milligrams daily has been proven to help reduce blood sugar levels.
6. Chronic Fatigue:
If you feel extremely tired on a regular ongoing basis, you may be suffering from chronic fatigue. This is a symptom of magnesium deficiency.
A study conducted by the University of Maryland Medical Center found that increasing magnesium in the diet by 300 to 1000 milligrams a day has a significant, positive effect on energy levels.
Just as type II diabetes is plaguing the Western world in epidemic levels, so is fibromyalgia.
This complex condition exhibits a combination of symptoms that are indicative of magnesium deficiency, including tenderness in the joints, insomnia, excessive fatigue and all-over pain.
A study which can be found in the publication, Magnesium Research, states that increasing magnesium in the diet can significantly reduce the tenderness and pain caused by fibromyalgia.
Additionally, adding magnesium to the diet improves blood markers.
Does Everyone Have Magnesium Deficiency?
Some people are at greater risk of suffering magnesium deficiency than others. Inability to absorb magnesium can be inherited or developed due to lifestyle.
The five main groups that are at risk for magnesium deficiency are:
People suffering from type 2 diabetes tend to have trouble absorbing magnesium due to increased urination. Adopting a whole foods diet that is low in sugar and that shuns processed foods can help correct this problem.
2. People With Digestive Difficulties:
Those who suffer from digestive disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease or celiac disease have a hard time absorbing magnesium.
People who drink alcohol to excess usually suffer from magnesium deficiency. This is because alcohol, which is an anti-nutrient, hampers the absorption of vitamins and minerals.
Drinking more than two glasses of wine weekly (or the equivalent) can be damaging to your liver and your immune system. It can also disrupt your sleep, cause gut bacteria imbalance and promote premature aging.
4. Older People:
Mature people and senior citizens experience a drop in magnesium levels because they often do not eat an adequate amount of magnesium rich food.
People who are taking antibiotics may experience a drop in magnesium levels because and about ask do damage to the digestive tract. They unbalance the friendly fauna in the digestive tract and this makes it difficult to absorb magnesium.
How Can You Get Ample Amounts Of Magnesium?
It can be hard to get enough magnesium from food these days because the soil in which we grow our food is becoming more and more depleted of minerals.
Before factory farming, individual human farmers followed the wise practice of allowing their fields to fall fallow every seven years.
Giving the soil a rest for a year helped it to regenerate and kept the nutrients in the soil high and vibrant.
Today, the practices of intensive factory farming, planting genetically modified crops and mono crops and the use of chemicals and pesticides have stripped the soil of minerals.
Be that as it may, there are still foods that are higher in magnesium that you should try to include in your diet. Among them are:
- Sunflower Seeds
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Sesame Seeds
- Black Beans
- Mung Beans
- Sweet Corn
What Is the Right Amount of Magnesium?
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) women need 320 milligrams of magnesium daily. Men need 400 milligrams. Pregnant women should get between 350 and 400 milligrams.
It is important to note that you should take calcium along with magnesium. Dr. Andrew Weill, alternative health practitioner says that you should take twice as much calcium as magnesium every day.
There are many different types of magnesium supplement available, and they perform different functions here is a quick list for your reference:
1. Magnesium chelate is easily absorbed and can be found in a wide variety of foods.
2. Magnesium chloride oil is a topical form of magnesium supplement. It is particularly useful for athletes as well as people with digestive disorders. This type of magnesium supplement is very helpful for easing muscle pains and healing skin irritation and wounds.
3. Magnesium citrate is a combination of magnesium and citric acid. In low doses it is helpful for improving digestion and preventing constipation.
4. Magnesium threonate is an easily absorbed form of magnesium that is capable of penetrating mitochondrial membranes.
5. Magnesium glycinate is easy to absorb and does not have the laxative effect of some other types of magnesium supplementation.
Every Body Needs Magnesium
It’s important to remember that magnesium is the most abundant mineral in your body. It can be found throughout the body in abundance when you are getting enough magnesium in your diet.
Magnesium is necessary for almost every function and every tissue of your body. It helps support good heart health, reduces the risk of chronic pain and even wards off such extremely serious conditions as cancer.
Many people do not realize that magnesium is often administered in the hospital setting to deal with such diverse conditions as seizure disorder and heart failure.
A study published by the Journal of Intensive Care Medicine flatly states that ICU patients suffering from magnesium deficiency have a 50% greater chance of dying than those who do not.
Nonetheless fully 80% of Americans do suffer from magnesium deficiency.
What Can You Do about Magnesium Deficiency?
To avoid magnesium deficiency, it’s important that you eat a healthy, whole foods diet that consists of foods that are as close to their natural state as possible.
Avoid sugar, artificial colors, artificial flavors and sweeteners. In short, do not eat processed foods!
- Water Containing Fluoride
- Soft Drinks
Be sure to include foods in your diet that will help support good gut health because having a healthy gut increases your ability to absorb the magnesium you consume.
Be sure to eat plenty of fresh fruits and veggies for the enzymes they contain. Include fermented foods and natural yogurt in your diet for the probiotics.
You may also wish to supplement with magnesium. Some medical professionals believe that magnesium oil is far superior to any other type of magnesium supplementation.
Be sure to discuss your options with your own health advisor to ensure you are taking the type and amount of magnesium supplementation that is best suited to you and your needs.