One of the biggest deficiencies in people is magnesium. But before you just go out and get more to put in the quality of magnesium and how it works in the body, it’s ability to absorb, and other co-nutrients needed are part of this magnesium problem.
What does magnesium do?
Magnesium is so much more important that most people think and they are just so deficient they don’t realize how much it matters.
This is an intracellular mineral (meaning INSIDE the cells). It facilitates over 300 enzyme reactions. Its highest concentrations are found in the heart, and bone, as well as mitochondria of cells (SO IMPORTANT). Sixty percent is in the bone, with 25% in muscle and the rest in the other tissues and cells.
You need this for so many reasons!
- Teeth and bones
- Contracting heart muscles
- Relaxing smooth muscles (and this is where you get so many symptoms from right here)
- Decreases coagulation of blood (too much clotting)
- Needed for metabolism of essential fatty acids (so important to so many functions)
- Protein synthesis
- When with B6 is useful in kidney stone prevention
- AND MORE!
Now that we know this what are the signs of deficiency?
1. Constipation or other similar bowel issues
This is the starting point for most people. We always start with looking at magnesium levels if someone is constipated. Often just starting to consume more magnesium rich foods, and supplement (with an appropriate balanced nutraceutical with help from a practitioner) relieves the issue. But as I have mentioned here sometimes there are other absorption factors or co nutrients also lacking keeping magnesium from being utilized in the body.
Magnesium helps by keeping the stools moving and softer, thus making them easier to move through the bowels and exit. (More water intact). In addition it also helps the muscles contract themselves. The bowels are smooth muscles, and it’s needed for their function.
2. Muscle Cramping (especially at night)
Ever had those cramps in your lower leg or feet? Especially when getting ready for bed or just getting in bed?
Magnesium is important for nerve transmission, which is essential for muscle contraction. Thus, if we are short on the thing we ned to make that easy movement, it gets cramped and not easy anymore. Sometimes it’s involuntary spasms as well. This is a sign even before constipation that you need to increase magnesium rich foods, or get some help finding an appropriate supplement in addition to the foods if that isn’t enough.
PMS cramping and issues with cycles are also linked to low magnesium.
3. Headaches & Chronic Migraines
Many of my clients have these complaints and issues and often are deficient in magnesium. Again – this is related to nerve function. Magnesium is also related to proper neurotransmitter production, and this is part of migraine development as well.
Again this is where balance between nutrients comes in too. Magnesium and calcium MUST be in balance in the neuronal cells. Neurotoxicity can happen when these fall out of balance. This is something you can work with a practitioner on to get the right balance.
The right balance in a supplement for magnesium taken daily has been shown to decrease frequency and intensity of migraines. This is also helpful for all types of headaches.
4. Chronic Pain & Fibromyalgia
Although there are other contributing factors in these two things, magnesium is part of the picture.
Once again we are back to the nerves and the nervous system. As mentioned this is key in that function. When there isn’t enough magnesium the nerves are hyper excitable, (overstimulated) and this increases muscle tension (causing pain and fibromyalgia symptoms). Magnesium calms the nerve response and soothes the muscles.
5. Brain Fog, Poor Cognitive Function (memory, concentration etc)
This is a HUGE complaint for nearly every adult client that comes in. This can be caused by a variety of things, but magnesium is an easy thing to look at first and fix. Magnesium is needed for the mitochondria of cells (energy), and without it it’s tough to make them function properly. The brain has the highest concentration for males, and ovaries for females.
Supplementing helps with learning and memory. (Also is helpful in ADD and ADHD children.)
Why are people deficient today?
- Processed food
- Soil depletion
- Exogenous estrogens (birth control pills, hormone replacement etc)
- Other conditions also contribute like leaky gut, low stomach acid, irritable bowel and chronic diarrhea. Even heavy caffeine intake as well.
What this means is that processed food is devoid of this and often needs more processing in the body to filter and magnesium is needed as part of the cycle, and it’s just not being eaten and over utilized. In my practice, medications that people come in to me with are also draining the magnesium supply. Most medications drain magnesium supplies.
Is it possible to have too much magnesium?
Yes! If you take too much magnesium or are eating a lot and overusing supplements you will most certainly have diarrhea. But also even if you are having too much but not to the point of diarrhea it will deplete calcium, so it’s important to have the right balance and not OVERDO magnesium.
What can you eat?
You should always start by eating more magnesium rich FOOD sources, and then get help choosing the right balanced and clean magnesium supplement for your personal needs. How much you need daily will depend on your body, medications and more.
Some great foods are almonds, cashews, brown rice, kelp, pumpkin seeds (also rich in zinc!), spinach, avocado, potato, banana, salmon, chicken, broccoli, apples and carrots. These are from highest quantity to lowest listed here. These aren’t the only things but these are common foods that people enjoy or could eat more of that would help with magnesium levels.
Think you need help with any of these signs and symptoms? Let’s do a consult about your symptoms and see what we could do! Its FREE!