Magnesium what?! This little miracle mineral has been trending lately for good reason, it’s been estimated that up to 75% of people are deficient in magnesium and the effects on your health can be pretty serious. When you don’t get enough of this essential mineral, it can cause a wide range of unpleasant symptoms and you’d be surprised to find out a lot of us have them. Another reason it’s important to keep an eye on your magnesium levels and track symptoms is that most medical professionals don’t connect these funky symptoms to magnesium deficiency because only 1 percent of magnesium is in the bloodstream, so blood tests don’t detect deficiencies! Magnesium is used in more than 300 biochemical processes in our bodies, some of these includes the functions of the heart, muscles, kidneys, digestion and hormone production so as you can tell, it’s a pretty important mineral. So what should we look for in our lives to give us an idea of if we have magnesium deficiency? Well here are a couple of the main symptoms for you to cross check:
- Fatigue: Magnesium plays a huge part of energy production in the body as the mitochondria (the little powerhouse in your cells) rely heavily on magnesium to produce energy. Your mitochondria functioning properly determines your energy levels and additionally, supports the adrenal glands. Ever heard of the trending term “adrenal fatigue”? Well with the adrenal glands responsible for producing hormones that help the body control blood sugar, burn protein and fat, help your nervous system in and out of fight or flight, and regulate blood pressure… you don’t wanna tempt a magnesium deficiency that could mess any of that up.
- Chronic muscle cramping and tension: this is caused by a greater flow of calcium into nerve cells when magnesium levels are low, which overexcites or hyper-stimulates the muscle nerves and causing cramping. If you have chronic neck, jaw or back pain some of this may be relieved by taking magnesium regularly and increasing H2O consumption.
- The Cognitive function and the blues: Brain fog much? Low magnesium levels can lead to changes in your mood, attention and personality and increase your risk of depression. Some signs might include mental numbness, a lack of feeling emotions, and increased feelings of anxiety and listlessness. While supplementing with magnesium may not cure depression, a lack of it could certainly enhance those feelings of melancholy and numbness.
- Constipation: If you’re constipated, it may be an indication that magnesium is needed to stimulate a laxative effect. If you tend towards low motility in you GI tract and have chronic constipation, you NEED magnesium! Plus, since we Chinese medicine practitioners LOVE talking poop… let’s discuss what’s “normal”? The common definition of a ‘normal’ number of bowel movements to a western GP is on average 4 times a week, although most medical professionals will agree that having fewer than three bowel movements a week means you’re experiencing constipation. For your favorite Chinese Medicine practitioner however, we would love to help you go number 2 everyday to keep your GI tract running smoothly and toxin free. Because constipation basically equates to a decrease in the movement of waste materials and fecal matter through your GI tract, it’s important that you are evacuating your bowels regularly to avoid toxic backup (magnesium is a great way to help!).
- Headaches & Chronic Migraines: If you are suffering from chronic headaches or migraines, chances are there’s a magnesium deficiency here too. This key mineral is essential for proper nerve function and also plays key role of regulating neurotransmitter production, which can also influence migraines. Eating foods high in magnesium as well as supplementing with magnesium on a regular basis has been shown to decrease both the frequency and intensity of migraines and headaches.
- Tingly, numbness or nerve-like sensations: Since magnesium plays a role in nerve impulses in the body, problems with your muscle and nerve function such as tingling, cramping, numbness and contractions in your fingers and toes could mean deficiency. Have one of those annoying little eye twitches that catches you out of nowhere? That too may be linked to a deficiency in this wonder mineral.
So as you can see, this important mineral is a key part of many different bodily processes and its deficiency, isn’t to be taken lightly. it is essential to keep your magnesium levels in normal range, so if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms come talk to us and we’ll be happy to investigate your symptoms further and help you decide if supplementing with magnesium is right for you!
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