HealthMagnesium deficiency: 4 signs you may be ignoring and how to prevent it

Magnesium deficiency: 4 signs you may be ignoring and how to prevent it

What symptoms does magnesium deficiency cause?
What symptoms does magnesium deficiency cause?
Images source: © Licensor | Sean De Burca

3:44 PM EST, January 13, 2024

Despite magnesium being present in our regular diet, a deficiency in it is still a concern specialists often warn about.

Magnesium is crucial for the normal functioning of muscles, nerves, and bones and maintaining proper blood sugar levels. A continued deficiency can enhance the risk of significant health problems, such as diabetes and irregular heart rhythm - potentially leading to heart attacks or strokes. Magnesium deficiency can also contribute to the onset of osteoporosis.

Signs of a magnesium deficiency

1. Loss of appetite. Nausea and vomiting, along with appetite loss, may be an indication of a magnesium deficiency.

2. Muscle twitches and cramps. Regular cramps or muscle twitches could suggest a magnesium deficiency. Calcium overexciting muscle nerves can cause this.

3. Feelings of weakness and stiffness. Inadequate magnesium levels can negatively impact nerve signaling and potassium levels in muscle cells, resulting in fatigue and weakness.

4. Mental health issues. A shortage of magnesium can have harmful effects on mental health, potentially leading to depression or heightened anxiety.

Preventing a magnesium deficiency

As per the recommendations of the Food and Nutrition Institute, the average daily requirement for magnesium (EAR) for adults is 350 mg for men and 265 mg for women. The recommended daily dose (RDA) of magnesium for men is 420 mg; for women, it is 320 mg.

It's crucial not to exceed the suggested dosage to avoid issues like diarrhea and potential long-term side effects.

A magnesium-rich diet is the key to preventing deficiency. Foods like leafy green vegetables (e.g., spinach), nuts, avocados, tofu, whole grain products (like oats and barley), dark chocolate, bananas, and fatty fish (such as salmon, mackerel) are natural sources of magnesium that should be incorporated into your diet.

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