Every airport has a control tower with a group of people who organize each airplane that lands. Without out them, everything would be chaos. Think of magnesium as the critical person in the control tower.
Researchers have linked magnesium to over 300 functions in the body; it metabolizes energy, regulates blood sugar, and boosts antioxidant efficiency, to name a few. You can find it in whole plant-based foods like spinach, bananas, and black beans. Without magnesium, you’ll start to notice a myriad of troubling symptoms.
Pain That Won’t Quit
Pain is your body’s signal that something’s wrong. If you’re drowning out the red flags with extra-strength painkillers, maybe it’s time to look for the cause.
Migraines can be quite debilitating; one or two migraines a year is more than enough for many people. However, if you’ve noticed an uptick in migraine frequency, consider evaluating your magnesium levels. Increasing magnesium in your diet helps decrease migraine frequency.
Muscle Pain or Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia symptoms can be frustrating. They include transient symptoms like muscle pain, fatigue, headaches, and mood disorders without an apparent cause. Researchers found that supplementing with magnesium improved the immune system and reduced pain and muscle tenderness.
Leg Irritation (Cramps, Restlessness)
After an exhausting day, the last thing you want is to be kicking yourself awake. Maybe you’ve noticed your legs fidgeting in bed. Perhaps you’ve had a few too many leg cramps after exercising. Either way, recurring restless legs and cramps are red flags of a magnesium deficiency.
Too Tired to Deal with It All
We’ve all winked off at work, but if you’re chugging the office coffee pot to stay afloat, you might want to keep reading. Busy schedules seem to be the norm, but if you’re not recovering each night, your health will pay the price.
Counting the specks on your ceiling at night is no way to get to sleep. If “getting to sleep” seems to be the issue, check your magnesium levels. Magnesium deficiency is a precursor to many sleep disorders because magnesium is vital for calming brain chemicals such as GABA, which helps you relax and get to sleep.
I’ve personally struggled with debilitating fatigue, and it’s no laughing matter. You’ve got enough energy in the tank to find somewhere to lay down, and that’s about it. Fatigue is a common symptom of magnesium deficiency. Most chronic fatigue syndrome patients are magnesium deficient, so don’t rule it out if you’re always exhausted.
Anxiety makes you feel like you’re at your wit’s end. Magnesium deficiency affects central nervous system functions and your GABA cycle, and without GABA’s calming effect, you may find yourself with high anxiety, depression, or hallucinations.
Sick and Weak
The list goes on. Magnesium engages in cell functions from your brain to your gut, so a deficiency negatively affects your health and wellness throughout your entire body.
High Blood Pressure
Supporting proper blood pressure is critical for your heart health, and magnesium and calcium partner together to maintain healthy blood pressure. That’s important, because elevated blood pressure (or hypertension) is responsible for life-threatening emergencies like ischemic strokes. One study showed that magnesium-rich diets reduced the risk of a stroke by 8%.
Magnesium deficiency and type II diabetes often play a game of “What came first, the chicken or the egg?” While type II diabetes is a top cause of magnesium deficiency, patients with low magnesium levels were 10 times more likely to be newly diagnosed diabetics.
Half of the magnesium in your body is in your bones, and if you’re getting up in age, you’re at a higher risk for developing osteoporosis. However, supplementing with magnesium significantly slows the development of osteoporosis.
I’m Magnesium Deficient! What Now?
If you checked off a few of the symptoms in this article, it’d be wise to get your magnesium levels checked, especially if you’re at risk. At-risk patients include people with GI disorders, type II diabetes, the elderly, and those with alcohol dependence.
Proper blood work might reveal where your body is lacking. For example, low magnesium levels could also go hand in hand with low calcium levels. Your body needs balanced amounts of essential minerals to maintain healthy functions, but once you know where the holes are, you can begin to fill them.
How do you fill the holes? Start with your plate. Magnesium-rich foods like spinach, pumpkin seeds, yogurt, and even dark chocolate all contain over 20% of your daily value! Enriching your diet with whole foods allows your body to absorb all of the vitamins and minerals, not just the magnesium.
If you’ve discovered that you’re severely magnesium deficient, there are several types of supplements you can use to squash your deficiency. Magnesium glycinate is ideal for those correcting a deficiency because it’s absorbed quickly into your system. Additionally, magnesium threonate’s ability to penetrate cell membranes has made it one of the best new magnesium supplements on the market. (Do your body a favor and remember to purchase all-natural supplements.)
Remember that magnesium is essential to your body. If you’re pushing aside nagging pains and constant fatigue, maybe it’s time to take a closer look at what your body is telling you.
As a friendly reminder, know that high doses of magnesium work as a laxative. If you’re taking 600+ milligrams of magnesium, 1 out of 5 people tend to experience diarrhea. Try supplementing in the 300-400 milligram range and monitor your GI tract for any noticeable changes.
Remember to keep in touch with your doctor, too. They’ll be able to help you sort out any problems you’re having. Many of these signs aren’t permanent, and together, you can restore your optimal health.