Magnesium deficiency symptoms in humans indicate low levels of magnesium in the body which can lead to several illnesses. Since hypomagnesemia (magnesium deficiency) can be detrimental to health, it is essential to find remedies to overcome this disorder.
Magnesium is one of the most important elements of the body that is essential for its proper functioning. A number of functions in the body depend on this essential nutrient. Magnesium is an important component for the building of muscles, bones and manufacturing protein. It also helps regulate the body temperature. The requirement of magnesium varies according to the age and gender of the individual.
However, a recent research has shown that people do not have a sufficient intake of magnesium in their diet, as per the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA), which can lead to magnesium deficiency symptoms in humans. This condition may result in magnesium deficiency syndrome, also known as hypomagnesemia.
There are many reasons why this deficiency occurs. One of the primary reasons is due to excess alcoholism, which drains magnesium out of the body. Several other causes related to deficiency of magnesium include malnutrition, severe dehydration, overuse of medications like diuretics, antibiotics like cyclosporine and certain medications for cancer. Magnesium deficiency can also arise due to certain genetic disorders. The causes of magnesium deficiency and treatment of the same may depend upon the symptoms that are observed in the affected individuals.
Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency
According to the Reference Daily Intake (RDI), the required amount of magnesium is 400 mg. But this requirement is not fulfilled through the daily diet. A few factors that lead to deficiency of magnesium are diarrhea, mismanaged diabetes, improper usage of drugs like diuretics and alcoholism. A deficiency of magnesium may increase the risk of hormonal imbalances, hypertension, abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia) and sometimes even heart attacks. The signs of magnesium deficiency may vary according to the severity of the deficiency of magnesium. Here are some indications that will help you identify this disorder.
- The earliest and mild symptoms of deficiency of magnesium are migraine headaches, disturbances in sleep patterns, involuntary twitches and spasms in the muscles, also known as muscle fasciculation and insomnia.
- Irritability, poor concentration and memory, and loss of appetite are some of the magnesium deficiency symptoms in children. A child may also complain of lethargy and feeling tired all the time.
- A change in the menstrual cycle and tenderness of breasts are some magnesium deficiency symptoms in women. A few other symptoms observed are mood swings, owing to hormonal fluctuations, abdominal discomfort, depression, hypocalcemia, unexplained fatigue etc.
- Magnesium deficiency also results in osteoporosis, which is a disorder of the bones which makes the individual more susceptible to brittle bones leading to injuries and multiple fractures. Low calcium levels, due to hypomagnesemia also causes unintended weight loss, increased urination, memory loss and weakness.
- Severe deficiency of magnesium shows symptoms like numbness of the body, pronounced muscle contractions and twitches, hallucinations and tingling sensation or a feeling of pins and needles all over the body. Some other deficiency symptoms are hypertension, also known as high blood pressure which may sometimes lead to fatal conditions like coma, stroke or even heart attack.
Treating Magnesium Deficiency
It is very essential to treat the deficiency of magnesium before it leads to any further complications. The mild symptoms of magnesium deficiency can be controlled with proper diet which should include all the essential nutrients. Foods containing magnesium include bananas, spinach, milk, cereal, halibut, mixed nuts, raisins and lentils.
There are also various supplements of magnesium that are available in the market in the form of tablets. But these supplements must be taken only under the guidance of a health care practitioner to avoid the overdose of magnesium, which may have certain ill effects. A severe case of magnesium deficiency can be treated by administering magnesium solution intravenously.
To detect the presence of the levels of magnesium in the body, the individual may have to undergo blood ionized magnesium test. To avoid any type of illness related to this syndrome, it is necessary to include foods high in magnesium, in order to maintain appropriate levels of this vital nutrient in the body.