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Symptoms of Low Magnesium

Symptoms of Low Magnesium

Symptoms of low magnesium are often missed due to their subtlety. Sadly, deficiency of magnesium is common and manifests itself through several health issues, which are often ignored. If these are noted at the earliest, life-threatening health problems can be easily circumvented.
Mukta Gaikwad
Last Updated: Feb 8, 2018
Did you know?
Our body uses magnesium in 300 metabolic processes. This why it is called the master mineral!
Magnesium is a chemical element symbolized by the letters Mg. This abundantly found alkaline metal, comprises about 2% of the Earth's crust. Besides its critical role in the environmental makeup, magnesium is also important in maintaining body's health.
Magnesium is a very valuable element in the human body as its compounds manipulate the DNA, ATP and the RNA for harmonious functions of the body. Thus it is evident that every single cell in our body requires magnesium to perform its function. The magnanimous amounts of magnesium is easily available to us through a normal dietary intake. However, low levels of magnesium are seen very commonly due to irregular diets and malnutrition. A prolonged deficiency can cause several problems and ailments. Let's take a look at some of the symptoms experienced by those suffering from low magnesium.
Symptoms of Low Magnesium

Low Energy Levels
Magnesium plays an important role in converting food into energy. Higher levels of magnesium in the body allow it to absorb glucose better and convert it into required energy. Lower levels of magnesium in the body makes simple activities seem harder, thus causing additional exertion. This makes the body demand more oxygen and energy, which leads to low energy levels.

Fatigue
As body draws extra energy to perform daily activities, it naturally gets fatigued. When the fatigue continues for a longer duration it leads to chronic fatigue syndrome or CFS. Low levels of magnesium in the body hampers the functioning of various enzyme systems. This slows down the body function and lethargy begins to set in, until it turns to fatigue or chronic fatigue.

Mental Illnesses
Our body uses magnesium in several chemical processes. Low magnesium levels are known to cause several psychiatric problems such as depression, irritability, nervousness and anxiety. If these go unnoticed for a long time, they can result in life-threatening seizures. Taking oral supplements and making dietary changes with a doctor's consultation can help.

Headaches
Frequent headaches or migraines are also caused due to lack of magnesium in the body. Antibiotics, diuretics and excessive consumption of alcohol can lower your levels of magnesium in the body. Building up your levels of magnesium is the only way of keeping headaches at bay.

Muscle Tension, Spasms and Cramps
Magnesium is known to keep the nervous system calm and relaxed. It ensures smooth blood circulation and strengthens bones too. Depletion in the level of this important element makes the body's health plummet into a serious muscle tension, fatigue, spasms and cramps.

Insomnia
Insomnia is one commonly witnessed symptom. Magnesium assists in sleeping and helps in staying asleep all night long. Thus, disturbed sleep patterns or inability to fall asleep are both attributable to low magnesium.

Other Symptoms
The other symptoms of magnesium deficiency are difficulty in swallowing, constipation, urinary spasms, menstrual cramps, photophobia, chest tightness, neck pain, jaw joint dysfunction, breast tenderness, loss of appetite, nausea, and weakness. Thus it is the primary case of hyperactivity, restlessness, panic attacks and premenstrual irritability. The symptoms arising out of peripheral effect on nervous system are numbness and tingling. Low levels of magnesium also affects the heart. Palpitations, heart arrhythmia, high blood pressure and mitral valve prolapse are the common symptoms of magnesium deficiency. A desperate urge to binge on chocolates is also seen as one of the signs of magnesium deficiency in the body.

Detection of Low Magnesium Level
The best test for detecting magnesium deficiency is magnesium loading test. The level of the element is measured through the urine that is collected in a day. If the level is found to be low, the patient is given an injection of adequate quantity of magnesium and the level is measured again. If the magnesium is retained, then it is concluded that the body requires magnesium and needs treatment. The other method of diagnosing magnesium level is by laboratory tests.

Sources of Magnesium
All that is green and edible is a source of magnesium. The reason for this is because, the element plays a key role in 'coordinating ion in the chlorophyll molecule'. This essentially means that the the source from where vegetables derive their green color is magnesium. Hence, all the green leafy vegetables that are generally disliked for its taste are excellent sources of magnesium. A lot of whole wheat and white sugar in the diet is not good either as it leads to loss of magnesium. Replace your meal with green and fresh veggies. Fried food too, causes damage beyond repair at times. Refined and processed food stuffs such as cheese and white bread should be avoided by patients dealing with magnesium deficiency.

Treatment for Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency
People suffering from magnesium deficiency can take oral supplements or injections. The cheapest way of dealing with this problem is to eat a lot of vegetables that are grown in natural soil. However, before you take any kind of medication do consult a doctor.

Symptoms of magnesium deficiency are indicators of unhealthy diet or malnutrition. These signs are caused due to continuous deprivation of healthy food due excessive workload, stress, irregular meal patterns and all other reasons that prompt you to eat junk food than normal healthy food. Thus, one needs to make certain dietary changes to keep these signs and symptoms at bay. After all, eating right and healthy is the only way of acquiring a fit body for a lifetime!