Undergoing a blood test determines the levels of nutrients and the presence of deficiencies in the body. Similarly a magnesium deficiency test helps detect the level of this vital nutrient and an increase or decrease in the levels is also revealed.
The human body requires certain minerals for the overall health and proper functioning of the organ systems. One such essential mineral is magnesium, which is an important component of nucleic acid in the cells. The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of magnesium is approximately 350 mg.
Improper diet, and leading an unhealthy and sedentary lifestyle can be one of the causes of magnesium deficiency, which can affect the proper functioning of the body. A deficiency of this essential nutrient can also be a sign of some underlying serious health disorders. In order to determine the levels of magnesium in the body or to see if the individual is suffering from deficiency, a magnesium deficiency blood test is carried out. This test can reveal low magnesium levels in the body, if any, and also help find out the causes of magnesium deficiency.
Symptoms and Causes of Magnesium Deficiency
A deficiency of any nutrient is said to be due to the low levels of that specific nutrient in the body. These low levels can occur if there is less intake of foods rich in that nutrient or if the body fails to store the nutrient and expels it in large amounts. Here are some of the magnesium deficiency causes, which can be controlled.
- Low intake of foods rich in magnesium
- Prolonged diarrhea
- High intake of foods like refined sugar, white flour, etc.
- Excessive smoking and alcohol addiction
- Overuse of diuretics
- High intake of caffeine
- Over dependence on drugs like cocaine and amphetamines. This is also termed as drug abuse and is one of the major causes of magnesium deficiency
- Excessive physical stress
In order to diagnose the presence of any disorder in the body, it is necessary to observe the symptoms exhibited. However, every individual may show symptoms according to the severity of the condition (in this case magnesium deficiency). To treat this disorder, magnesium rich foods and supplements can be given. Following are some of the magnesium deficiency symptoms.
- High blood pressure and heart palpitations
- Back aches
- Sleep disorders like insomnia, hallucinations etc.
- Loss of memory and confusion
- Unnecessary cravings especially for salt and salty foods
- Eye problems like sensitivity to light (photophobia)
- Fatigue due to hyperactivity
- Breast tenderness in women
- Muscle spasms and twitches
- Mitral valve prolapse
Diagnostic Test for Magnesium Deficiency
A magnesium deficiency blood test is mainly carried out to determine levels of magnesium in the body. But most of the doctors prefer magnesium loading over magnesium deficiency test. The magnesium loading test to analyze the levels of magnesium in the body is comparatively more accurate than the blood test. This is due to the fact that magnesium is found in the cells rather than the blood serum. So to test the levels of magnesium in the body and to assert if the individual is suffering from magnesium deficiency, the magnesium loading test is preferred.
In the loading test, the initial levels of magnesium in the body are checked through a urine sample taken from the individual. After the initial test, a specific level of magnesium is injected into the patient’s body. After a lapse of 24 hours, the urine sample of the patient is tested again to check for the levels of magnesium. The result of the test reveals the amount of urinary magnesium secreted in response to the magnesium injected in the body. Though magnesium loading test is a bit inconvenient, it has yielded accurate results, even in case of mild deficiencies.
A routine magnesium deficiency test will reveal the levels of magnesium in the body. In case of a deficiency, following a proper diet, regular intake of oral or injectable magnesium supplements and a visit to your health care provider is advisable. However, due to some magnesium supplements side effects, it is always better to consult a doctor before taking a supplement or medication of any kind. Wish you good health and take care!