Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency
Some of the symptoms of magnesium deficiency are
- Nausea, muscular weakness, lethargy,
- Hyper-irritability, hyper-excitability, muscular spasms, Numbness
- Abnormal heart rhythms, and coronary spasms, increased heart rate, increased blood pressure
- low levels of calcium (hypocalcemia) and potassium (hypokalemia) in the blood
- Chocolate cravings
- Headaches, Back aches, neck pain, and jaw joint (or TMJ) dysfunction.
- Urinary and menstrual cramps;
- Difficulty swallowing in the throat-especially provoked by eating sugar;
- Photophobia, especially difficulty adjusting to oncoming bright headlights in the absence of eye disease;
- Loud noise sensitivity from stapedius muscle tension in the ear
Health benefits of Magnesium
Enzyme activation and metabolic functions: The main function of magnesium is enzyme activation. More than 300 biochemical processes in body are possible due to presence of magnesium. Hence the functions of minerals are very diverse and any deficiency largely affects body health. Some of the key metabolic activity where magnesium is involved is metabolism of protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Our cardiovascular system, digestive system, nervous system, muscles, kidneys, liver, hormone-secreting glands, and brain depend on magnesium for their metabolic function.
Energy Production: Magnesium is one of the co-factors necessary for release of energy and ATP in body cells. Fatigue is hence one of the symptoms of magnesium deficiency. Most active parts of body including brain, heart, liver and kidney have highest concentration of magnesium and any deficiency of magnesium largely affects the functioning of the organs.
Nerve and Muscle Relaxation: Magnesium along with calcium regulates nervous and muscle system. In our nerve cells, calcium activates the nerve cells, while magnesium blocks calcium from activating nerve cell. Together in balance they are responsible for nervous system functioning. Magnesium blocks activation / over activation of nerve cells and keeps them and the target muscles relaxed. Magnesium deficiency can thus explain tension, soreness, spasms, cramps and fatigue of muscles.
Building blocks of body: DNA and RNA are the building blocks of our body and responsible for body growth. Studies show that DNA synthesis is slowed by insufficient supply of magnesium.
Pre-menstrual syndrome: Women suffering from abdominal cramps and pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) tend to have low levels of magnesium in blood. Studies show that magnesium supplements helps alleviate PMS-related mood changes and cramps, insomnia and breast tenderness.
Cardio vascular health: Magnesium is key to proper functioning of our circulatory system. The next time you feel your heart pounding as you sprint uphill on your bike, you know that magnesium is in there helping to make it all happen. Magnesium not only plays a critical role in sound functioning of heart and circulatory system, but also prevents and treats heart diseases including stroke, ischemic heart disease. Magnesium helps maintain a normal heart rhythm and is sometimes given intravenously (IV) to reduce the chance of atrial fibrillation and cardiac arrhythmia. Traditionally eating dairy products, lots of fruits and vegetables is associated with normal blood pressure. All of these foods are rich in magnesium, calcium and potassium. Some clinical studies show that people with high intake of dietary magnesium had low risk of high blood pressure.
Electrolyte balance in body cells: Human body cell is complex structure with various minerals and fluids acting in tandem. A fine balance of mineral and fluid, both within the cell and outside the cell is extremely important for its proper functioning. Magnesium plays a role in the healthy balance (“homeostasis”) of important minerals such as calcium, sodium and potassium and thus helps conduction of nerve impulses, muscle contraction, and heart rhythms.
Strength of Bone: More than half of magnesium in body is strored in body bones. Magnesium in our bones helps give them their physical structure. This magnesium is part of the bone scaffolding or bone crystal lattice together with phosphorus and calcium. Surface of bone also acts as storage site for magnesium which the body can draw upon in times of poor dietary supply.
>Magnesium and Osteoporosis: Magnesium also impacts bone density, and any deficiency of magnesium can cause osteoporosis. Magnesium helps regulate Calcium, Copper, Vitamin D and zinc in body. Adequate intake of magnesium eliminates chances of developing osteoporosis.
Need of magnesium during pregnancy: Magnesium helps build and repair body’s tissues during pregnancy. A severe deficiency during pregnancy may lead to preeclampsia – rise in blood pressure in third trimester of pregnancy and may develop seizures (eclampsia). Magnesium deficiency may lead to poor fetal growth and even infant mortality. Research suggests that proper levels of magnesium during pregnancy can help keep the uterus from contracting prematurely. Magnesium also plays an important role in foetal health.
Asthma and Magnesium: Magnesium acts as relaxant for cells in lungs and bronchi. Studies show that intravenous magnesium and inhaling magnesium through a nebulizer can help treat acute attacks of asthma. Clincal studies show that low levels of magnesium increases risk of developing asthma.
Depression: A study shows that magnesium is effective anti depressant and effective on treatment of depression among people.
Diabetes: Clincal study has found low level of magnesium in people with type 2 diabeties and regular intake of adequate magnesium can prevent development of type 2 diabetes. There are also some studies which suggest that magnesium helps regulate body sugar and insulin sensitivity in people suffering from diabetes..
Fibromyalgia: Magnesium is found helpful for fibromyalgia patients and found to reduce pain and tenderness.
Noise related hearing loss: A study suggests that intake of magnesium can prevent temporary or hearing loss due to very loud noise.
Migraine headache: Various studies have been undertaken on benefits of magnesium supplements on migraine headache. Studies suggest that magnesium can shorten duration of migraine and reduce pain. Magnesium regulates blood flow in brain and other neuronal functions which are important factors in migraine.
Restless legs syndrome: A study has found that magnesium treated insomnia related to restless legs syndrome (a disorder characterized by uncomfortable sensations in the legs, becoming worse while resting)
Magnesium and Constipation: European Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a study which found that low intake of magnesium is associated prevalence of constipation in people with low dietary fiber intake. Studies have been published which state that magnesium citrate and magnesium oxide have laxative effect and results in bowel movement.
Magnesium Treats Urinary Urge Incontinence: Magnesium supplements is found to be beneficial for women suffering from urinary urge incontinence or unstable bladder (characterized by a sudden need to urinate, followed by a strong contraction of the bladder, resulting in involuntary leakage of urine).
Magnesium oil: Magnesium Oil contains naturally occurring magnesium salts, which can be applied to the skin. This transdermal magnesium therapy is becoming popular as ideal magnesium delivery system with medical health benefits. Especially in sports medicine coaches use this for treatement of injuries and enhancing athlete performance. Magnesium Oil reduces pain and inflammation while propagating quicker regeneration of tissues. Transdermal Magnesium Therapy is a boon for people with arthritis and muscle cramping. Magnesium applied directly to the skin alleviates chronic pain, muscle cramps. Magnesium is a potent vasodilator, and smooth muscle relaxant.
Alcoholism – Magnesium is often called alcoholic’s balm. Chronic alcoholics often shown a low plasma magnesium concentration and high urinary output. Therefore they require extra magnesium intake especaill in an acute attack of delirum tremens.
Kidney Stone: By increasing solubility of calcium in urine, magnesium prevents recurrence of kidney stone. Magnesium together with Vitamin B6 has also been found effective in prevention and treatment of kidney stones.
All this summarizes few of the health benefits of magnesium. This wonder mineral requires more research on its medicinal benefits. Regular intake of dietary magnesium is thus advised for enjoying the health benefits of magnesium.