Are you Deficient in Magnesium?
What is magnesium? Basically, it’s been called the Master Mineral. Magnesium is one of those nutrients we don’t hear about too much, despite the fact that it’s one of the most abundant minerals in our bodies. Moreover, it’s the fourth most abundant mineral that we have!
According to Dr. Mark Hyman, “This critical mineral is actually responsible for over 300 enzyme reactions and is found in all of your tissues — but mainly in your bones, muscles, and brain. You must have it for your cells to make energy, for many different chemical pumps to work, to stabilize membranes, and to help muscles relax.”
Unfortunately, we don’t usually have enough of it. In fact, 80% of those tested are magnesium deficient.
Here’s why magnesium is so important:
Magnesium helps lower our stress levels. In fact, magnesium is often referred to as the “relaxation mineral.” Serotonin, which is a natural mood stabilizer found mostly in our digestive system, requires magnesium for its production. Therefore, it is recommended that we take magnesium to help manage our stress, anxiety, and mood disorders. In turn, a magnesium deficiency can affect our stress level and emotional state.
Magnesium is used in hospitals and given to patients intravenously who are having heart palpitations – the magnesium helps slow down their heart rate.
Magnesium is necessary for numerous chemical reactions in our body, including making DNA.
Magnesium helps maintain our brain function by relaying signals between our body and our brain. It prevents overstimulation of nerve cells, which could result in brain damage.
Magnesium helps regulate muscle contractions – it opposite to calcium to help our muscles relax. Magnesium is commonly recommended for treating muscle cramps.
Magnesium has also been linked to helping reduce the risk of many diseases, including arthritis, heart disease, and diabetes. Several studies have shown that migraine headaches are associated with low levels of magnesium.
The other major reason magnesium is so important is that your body can’t absorb calcium without it. If you don’t have enough magnesium, your body basically can’t put calcium to good use—and we all know how important calcium is.
What ends up happening is you have all this “extra” calcium floating around your body, waiting for magnesium to help it go where it needs to go. But since there isn’t enough magnesium, the calcium ends up collecting in areas where it really doesn’t have a lot of use—like your arteries (clogging them), or collecting where it might be needed, like your joints, hips, knees, but without the ability to be properly absorbed, these areas become imbalanced calcium collection points (ironically) which results in aches, pains, and arthritis, to name a few.
So you basically need magnesium for the most important body functions to operate smoothly. That’s why when you don’t have enough of it, the first symptoms you’ll have are continuous fatigue and poor sleep.
So what causes a magnesium deficiency?
Sugar (It takes 28 molecules of magnesium to metabolize a single glucose molecule)
Processed food (bread, pasta, packaged foods, dairy)
Consumption of produce from depleted soil
Consumption of foods high in phytic acid (grains, beans, legumes)
How do you know if you’re deficient?
Inability to sleep or insomnia
Sensitivity to noise
Anxiety, depression or restlessness
Muscle soreness or spasms
Infertility or PMS
High levels of stress
Heart “flutters” or palpitations
Fatigue or unusual tiredness
Coldness in extremities
Fuzzy brain or difficulty concentrating
Allergies and sensitivities
Lack of appetite
Bad short term memory
Frequent cavities or poor dental health
Restless leg syndrome
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Can you see why it’s called the Master Mineral?
If you have five or more of these symptoms, you need to raise your magnesium levels:
Up your intake of high-magnesium foods such as leafy greens, broccoli, sea vegetables and kelp, or my favorite–chocolate.
Reduce your intake of sugar, caffeine and processed foods
Take Epsom salt baths
Supplement: Adult men should consume 420 mg/day, while adult women should consume 320 mg/day.
There could be consequences from consuming too much magnesium or not enough magnesium:
Too much magnesium can cause various symptoms, including diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, lethargy, and irregular heartbeat. Therefore, you might not want to take a supplement that contains magnesium if you are already getting enough magnesium through your food and other sources.
A magnesium deficiency (called hypomagnesemia) could lead to various health conditions, including muscle twitches and cramps, osteoporosis, fatigue, high blood pressure, asthma, heart disease, and diabetes.
One of the best ways to absorb and make use of magnesium is with a topically applied magnesium oil. Apply it all over your body daily after your shower and/or workout. At bedtime, apply it on the bottoms of your feet for an uninterrupted night of sleep. The first few times that you use it, you might feel a tingly sensation–that’s fine and is relative to your deficiency–so the more tingling you experience, the more deficient you are. As you continue to use the oil and rebuild up your magnesium levels, this tingling will subside.