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Magnesium deficiency: signs, causes & solutions

Magnesium is an important mineral that plays a major role in many functions of the human body. A magnesium deficiency can therefore manifest itself in various symptoms. But how does a magnesium deficiency develop in the first place, what are the symptoms and how can it be combated?

Why is magnesium so important for the body?

Many vital functions are linked to magnesium. It is important for muscle contraction and plays a role in communication between nerve cells and between nerve and muscle cells. Magnesium is also essential for cardiac activity.

Another area in which the mineral is of great importance is the formation of teeth and bones. It is also important for good fat and carbohydrate metabolism.

Is a magnesium deficiency dangerous?

Anyone who notices signs of a magnesium deficiency should correct it as quickly as possible. After all, a long-term deficiency can be potentially dangerous. Possible consequences include cardiac arrhythmia and low bone density. This is because without magnesium ,calcium can hardly be stored in the bones.

Obesity is also a possible consequence of chronic magnesium deficiency. One of the reasons for this is that magnesium, together with B vitamins, helps to utilise proteins, fats and carbohydrates. If the mineral is lacking, the food may be processed incorrectly. Blood sugar fluctuations and severe weight problems are common consequences. A magnesium deficiency also blocks the breakdown of fat. After all, the mineral is considered to be the foreman of insulin.

Magnesium deficiency: these are the symptoms

The mineral is very important for the body. But this raises the question: How do you realise that you have a magnesium deficiency? What are the signs and symptoms? As the mineral is of great importance for various bodily functions, a magnesium deficiency can be recognised by various signs.

Cramps and overstimulation of the muscles are particularly common. This can be felt in the form of tingling and numbness. But what happens in the body when there is a magnesium deficiency to trigger this effect? As the mineral is responsible for communication between the cells and for relaxing the muscles after a contraction, a deficiency can lead to uncontrolled muscle tension. This is what people experience as cramp.

Another common sign of magnesium deficiency is tiredness. This is because the mineral has a balancing effect on the release of the stress hormone adrenaline. This equalisation no longer works properly with a magnesium deficiency.

Magnesium deficiency can also lead to weight gain. It not only prevents weight loss, but also promotes cravings. The body lacks minerals that it wants to replenish. This can lead to real food cravings.

Experts still disagree, but cardiovascular disorders can also be linked to a magnesium deficiency. The fact is that a long-term deficiency contributes to the calcification of blood vessels and kidneys.

Is a magnesium deficiency test by a doctor necessary?

If you are not sure whether you are suffering from a magnesium deficiency, you can also have yourself tested by a doctor. A magnesium deficiency test involves a blood test to determine whether or not you actually have a deficiency.

Is it possible to have a deficiency despite normal to high magnesium levels? There have actually been a few cases of this in the past. The reason for this may be increased adrenaline. It is therefore advisable to have this value determined at the same time as the blood test. This allows a meaningful result to be obtained.

Pregnant women in particular should have a magnesium deficiency analysed by a doctor. Severe magnesium deficiency during pregnancy can be dangerous. Cramping of the uterus is one of the possible consequences, which can trigger premature labour and even premature birth.

However, too much magnesium can also harm the pregnant woman and the child. Therefore, you should not take supplements without a proven magnesium deficiency. Although it is difficult to overdose, as excess magnesium is usually excreted, it is better to be on the safe side.

Causes of a magnesium deficiency

How does a magnesium deficiency actually develop? The causes can actually be very diverse. Some people suffer from a deficiency because they do not eat properly. Eating disorders or long-term diets are therefore particularly common causes of magnesium deficiency. However, industrially processed foods with a low nutrient density can also favour a deficiency.

High alcohol consumption or alcoholism are also causes of magnesium deficiency. This is because increased consumption of alcoholic beverages increases excretion and reduces the absorption of nutrients through food. Alcoholics are therefore particularly frequently affected by a magnesium deficiency.

However, life situations such as pregnancy or stress can also favour a deficiency. Athletes also have an increased magnesium requirement that needs to be covered.

Some illnesses also contribute to a magnesium deficiency. These include gastrointestinal diseases in particular. Crohn’s disease, regional enteritis, diarrhoea or coeliac disease can contribute to magnesium not being properly absorbed by the body. Other common causes of magnesium deficiency are diabetes and diseases of the parathyroid gland.

What is the daily requirement for magnesium?

As with all other nutrients, the daily requirement varies from person to person. Everyone has their own individual requirements and characteristics. For example, children need a different amount of magnesium than adults. And the values also vary between men and women.

The German Nutrition Society (DGE) provides estimated values for the daily requirement of magnesium:

– Women aged 25 and over: 300 mg per day

– Men aged 25 and over: 350 mg per day

– Children depending on age: 170 – 239 mg per day

The requirement may be higher, for example, if a person sweats a lot or is stressed. These are therefore only estimates.

What to do if you have a magnesium deficiency?

Magnesium deficiency can affect many areas of life. Therefore, those affected should act as soon as they notice signs of a magnesium deficiency or a deficiency has been detected by a blood test. It is particularly important to pay attention to your diet in such situations. However, dietary supplements can also prove useful.

What to eat if you have a magnesium deficiency?

Some foods provide magnesium, so the right diet definitely plays a role in a magnesium deficiency. But can the daily requirement be covered by diet alone? Various aspects play a role here:

– Solubility of the magnesium salt

– Composition of the food

– Passage time of the food

Asa general rule, the body can only absorb around 30-50% of the magnesium consumed daily through food. However, the mineral is contained in a number of foods, so that a healthy and balanced diet can certainly cover the individual daily requirement.

Plant-based foods in particular provide a lot of magnesium. Vegetables such as beans and peas are very good sources of magnesium. However, wholemeal products such as rye, barley, spelt, oats, wheat and buckwheat are also among the foods that contain a lot of magnesium and should be eaten if you have a magnesium deficiency. Nuts and seeds such as sunflower seeds should not be forgotten either.

There are also animal products that contain magnesium. However, the quantities here are significantly lower.

Food supplements: when should you take magnesium?

Foodsupplements should be treated exactly as they are labelled. They are a supplement to the diet – not a substitute. For this reason, those affected should never do without a healthy and balanced diet. Food supplements are only regarded as additional help in the case of a magnesium deficiency.

The following therefore applies: As soon as you are unable to cover your daily magnesium requirements with food and notice signs of a magnesium deficiency, it makes sense to consider supplementation. It is not without reason that magnesium-containing food supplements are absolute top sellers: after all, many people are unable to combat a deficiency through their diet alone.

When taking magnesium as a dietary supplement for a magnesium deficiency, those affected should not exceed 350 – 400 mg per day. In order to better tolerate the dietary supplement, the daily dose should be divided into two doses. However, there is no danger to be expected from taking too much magnesium. Nevertheless, even if you have a magnesium deficiency, you should take care not to exceed the recommended dose.

If you want to take magnesium supplements, you should consider not only the dose but also the quality. Only high-quality magnesium can be effectively absorbed by the body in order to have an effect. At Kingnature, for example, you will find high-quality and above all natural food supplements. The body absorbs them well and can utilise them quickly. As a result, it only benefits from taking them.

Conclusion: Magnesium deficiency can be quickly remedied

Magnesium is an important mineral that the body cannot do without. So if you notice a deficiency, you should start switching to magnesium-rich foods in your diet as soon as possible. Food supplements can also help to get a magnesium deficiency under control. In this way, dangerous consequences such as a lack of bone stability or cardiac arrhythmia can be avoided.