Magnesium deficiency is a medical condition characterized by lack of dietary magnesium in the body. Basically, people suffering from magnesium deficiency syndrome are the ones whose body either doesn't absorb magnesium or loses it in copious amount. That the absence of magnesium can result in a series of undesired effects on various body functions shouldn't come as a surprise; after all, it is essential for around 300 enzymatic reactions in the body.
➠ Magnesium deficiency is usually caused due to the absence of magnesium in the daily diet. A recent study revealed that approximately 61 percent Americans do not meet the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDI) for magnesium.
➠ In some cases, the condition is attributed to underlying medical conditions, ranging from recurring diarrhea and vomiting to kidney problems, which leads to excessive loss of magnesium.
➠ Excessive alcohol intake and certain medications are also known to lead to depreciated levels of magnesium in the body.
The amount of magnesium required by the body varies according to the age and gender. When the body is not provided necessary amount of this compound, it hinders the chemical reactions in which it has a crucial role to play, and that, in turn, reflects on the body in the form of symptoms.
➠ The symptoms of low magnesium can be categorized into two groups: physical symptoms, like headache, involuntary muscle spasms, insomnia, and fatigue, and psychological symptoms, like irritability, confusion, difficulty in memorizing, etc.
➠ These symptoms may seem harmless initially, but they worsen with time and lead to further complications, such as muscle contractions, menstrual cramps, panic attacks, hyperactivity, and hallucination.
After studying the symptoms, the doctor will recommend a series of tests to check the magnesium levels in the blood. These include the blood ionized magnesium test, low dose magnesium load test, and checking the 24 hour urine magnesium content.
In most cases, the treatment involves administering oral supplements and consuming magnesium-rich foods, like green leafy vegetables, fish, whole grains, beans, dairy products, etc., to replenish the magnesium content in the body. Though the chances are rare, the person may also require intravenous supplementation at times. This is especially the case when it comes to severe magnesium deficiency.
One has to be careful though, as excess intake of magnesium is known to cause magnesium overdose, which is also harmful for the body. In fact, people suffering from kidney disorders are more likely to be affected by excess magnesium in their body, as their kidneys lack the ability to clear it. Hence, they should not resort to magnesium supplements without consulting a doctor.
Although magnesium deficiency is a harmful condition, considering that it can lead to a series of complications, it is relatively easy to prevent it by including magnesium-rich foods in your daily diet.
Not just magnesium, but even proteins, vitamins, and other minerals are important for various functions of our body, such that their deficiency is bound to reflect on various body functions. It is important to have a balanced diet in order to prevent various deficiencies and complications associated with them.