Being an essential mineral, magnesium tops the requirement list for many women around the globe. Our muscles require magnesium to perform routine tasks with thorough lucidity. It is required for smooth functioning of muscles and nerves. It is found that women suffer from mineral deficiencies due to the composition of food intake, pregnancy, and enduring menstruation marked by a 28-day cycle. It is, therefore, said that women require to supply themselves with foods rich in nutrients, and minerals which keeps them going effectively. It is very important, and is found in green leafy vegetables. Moreover, they also contain a sufficient amount of fiber; another component that is demanded by a woman's constitution. It is a good source of sustenance as it helps in making muscles fight against wear and tear. When its levels in the body dwindle, it is bound to cause hypomagnesemia. It is a condition which is characterized by developing muscle cramps in legs. One may feel a certain intensity of stretch that is exerted on the legs especially during nights. It is also a prevalent condition during pregnancy. It may be said that leg cramps can occur even when the content of magnesium is in excess. This condition is referred to as hypermagnesemia. Thus, both these conditions are a result of the levels in the body touching two extremes. Apart from maintaining muscles and nerves from cramping, it is also involved in regulating blood pressure and blood sugar levels and aids in sustaining a normal heart rate.
How Magnesium Is Associated with Leg Cramps?
The consistency of magnesium in the human body is recommended to be 23 to 25 g. It is when the consistency drops, that troubles concerning cramps arise. Research proves testimony that magnesium and leg cramps are interrelated. It is also mandatory that women increase their intake of foods that are rich in calcium. It makes their bones stronger and increases vitality. Magnesium, along with promoting healthy muscles is also known to absorb calcium. When its levels in the body are alleviated, the retention of calcium content significantly improves. Calcium and magnesium are known to work side by side. As calcium is responsible in maintaining bone health and helping muscles to contract, magnesium is highly recommended for maintaining muscle vitality. To avoid leg cramps, the two, therefore, are very important.
Magnesium deficiency in women can cause severe leg pain, making them susceptible to bone ailments such as osteoporosis. The symptoms predominantly develop as menopause approaches. Premature labor can also be averted when the recommended intake is maintained. However, magnesium, when consumed in excess, may also cause muscle fatigue and soreness. If the intake exceeds the recommended allowance, an individual may suffer from syncope and excessive sweating; to an extent where the consumption on a higher degree may cause cardiac crises leading to death.
Why Do Leg Cramps Occur?
A normal functioning of muscles involves calcium and sodium ions to enter the muscles. It is when these ions enter that the potassium ions are pushed out. Potassium ions then enter the muscles when the calcium and sodium ions exit the muscle territory. What magnesium does is that it allows potassium, sodium, and calcium to give way to each other to enter and exit the muscles. It is when the magnesium contents lessens and it cannot allow sodium and calcium to leave the muscles, the muscles tighten and tense. This is called muscle contraction. This is because the muscles have not received potassium to relax them. When this enter-and-exit performances are not executed thoroughly, the muscles undergo cramps which is a symptom of magnesium deficiency.
Treatment for Leg Cramps
When leg cramps are caused due to magnesium deficiency, it is advised that one increases the intake of green vegetables, beans and legumes, potatoes, beetroot, yogurt, and nuts. These are good sources of magnesium. One must include them in their regular meals, be it any form - whole, granular, raw, or cooked. There are supplements that can be consumed as well. When hypomagnesemia has a higher intensity, one may have to take help of dietary supplements. However, it is advisable that one garners an expert consult before taking any supplements, especially when pregnancy is concerned. Before you are set on a dietary supplement it is important that a blood test or Complete Blood Count (CBC) is conducted. It will display the level of magnesium in your system, and how much replenishing is required to get the levels back to normal.
Low levels of magnesium and leg cramps as a result must not hinder your normal functioning. Taking magnesium supplements after consulting a health care professional and eating magnesium-rich foods may help one in dealing with painful episodes of leg cramps.