magnesium deficiency

Magnesium Deficiency

Humans need different kinds of vitamins and minerals to stay strong and healthy. One in particular is magnesium, which is said to be the fourth most abundant mineral in the body. Magnesium supports various cellular processes, and needs to be included in our daily diet. A magnesium deficiency can lead to a number of different health conditions, some of which may be severe.

what is dietary magnesium

Dietary magnesium typically occurs as the Mg2+ion, and is present in all cells in every organism. About fifty percent of magnesium in the human body is found in the bones, the other half is in the cells, and the remaining one percent is in the blood. Magnesium is involved in the synthesis of over 300 enzymes that are all essential in maintaining the normal functions of the body organs.  Among the multifarious benefits of dietary magnesium include strong immune system, energy metabolism, and cardiovascular health.

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the recommended daily value for magnesium is approximately 400 grams. Good sources of magnesium are green vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. People who do not get enough magnesium from their regular meals or are experiencing magnesium deficiency may be prescribed to take supplements by the doctor.  Active sports people may look to sports drinks as a possible source for magnesium.

Why Does Magnesium Deficiency Occur?

Magnesium deficiency can occur for a number of reasons but in reality poor diet is the predominant cause. If there is not enough magnesium in the diet, then one will have to consider getting magnesium from supplements (under advice from suitable health care professional).

However there are other reasons and they are listed below.

  • Gastrointestinal disorder. Magnesium and all other nutrients are absorbed in the intestines and transported by the blood to the different parts of the body. Gastrointestinal disorder impairs absorption, resulting in magnesium deficiency.
  • Kidney failure. Magnesium that is not retained by the body is excreted in the urine. However, if the kidneys are not in their good condition, more magnesium is released and less is absorbed by the body.
  • Chronic diarrhea. Recurring episodes of diarrhea prevents the intestines from absorbing magnesium and other vital nutrients. This can affect mental and physical development in children.
  • Medication. Prescription drugs such as diuretics, antibiotics, and pain relievers can deplete magnesium levels in the body by impairing absorption, or by increasing excretion by the kidneys.

What happens if we dont get enough magnesium

Magnesium plays a vital role in numerous biochemical reactions in the body. With magnesium deficiency, different health problems can occur. The intensity of the symptoms will vary from patient to patient. Early symptoms of magnesium deficiency include nausea, vomiting, poor memory, fatigue, irritability, and sleeplessness. But when the deficiency is severe, a patient can experience the following:

Muscular problem. Magnesium is involved in the synthesis of protein, an essential building block of muscles. Severe magnesium deficiency can lead to muscle twitching, numbness, or pain.

Susceptibility to infection and illnesses. The immune system is impaired with lack of magnesium in the body. This makes us a patient prone to infection and illnesses.

Diabetes. Magnesium deficiency tends to decrease insulin sensitivity, and lead to Type 2 diabetes. This is also associated with high blood pressure and heart disease.

magnesium deficiency and diabetes

Lack of energy. When there is low magnesium in the body, it uses more oxygen and energy during a physical activity. Because more energy is used up, the patient gets tired easily.

Osteoporosis. Magnesium helps maintain the optimum level of calcium in the body. It also prevents abnormal calcium crystal deposits in the bones that can lead to osteoporosis.  Low magnesium prevents the absorption and metabolism of the right amount of calcium, which is important to building a stronger skeletal system.