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magnesium deficiency

Magnesium is an important mineral that plays a part in over 300 different chemical reactions that occur in our bodies. 60% of magnesium is found in our bones, 39% within our muscles and cells and the other 1% outside cells and in our blood. 

Common causes of magnesium deficiency

  • Stress: Chronic stress can imbalance of cortisol levels which leads to an increased demand for magnesium.

  • Diuretics: Caffeine and some medications can decrease bodily fluids and lead to a loss of minerals like magnesium.

  • Diet: Eating an excess of refined carbohydrates requires more magnesium to process them into fuel for your body.

  • Medications: Depression and anti-anxiety medications (SSRI), as well as chronic use of antibiotics, NSAID pain relievers, and antacids can cause nutritional deficiencies.

  • Bone Loss: 60% of magnesium goes to the bones, so bone loss, osteopedia or osteoperosis, equals a magnesium deficiency.

  • Gluten Intolerance: An intolerance or sensitivity to gluten can be one possible cause of magnesium deficiency. In people with gluten intolerance, the tiny hairs in the lower intestines become flattened due to chronic inflammation. This results in malabsorption of nutrients, including magnesium.

  • Alcohol: Excessive alcohol consumption can also cause vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

What are the symptoms of magnesium deficiency?

Identifying magnesium deficiency can be difficult because it mimics the symptoms of so many other health problems.

Do these symptoms of magnesium deficiency sound familiar to you?1-Muscular

  • Muscle Spasms and Cramps

  • Involuntary Eye Movements

2-Neurological

  • Extreme Fatigue

  • Insomnia

  • Anxiety

3-Metabolic

  • Hyperglycemia

  • Calcium Deficiency

  • Potassium Deficiency

  • Increased Intercellular Calcium

4-Other

  • Hair Loss

  • Soft, Brittle Nails

  • Cold Hands

  • PMS

  • Hypertension

5-Gastrointestinal

  • Nausea and Vomiting

  • Stomach Cramping

  • Constipation/ Diarrhea

So what relationship exists between constipation and magnesium?

The laxative effect of magnesium appears to come through two different mechanisms. Magnesium relaxes the muscles in the intestines which helps to establish a smoother bowel movement. Magnesium also attracts water; this increased amount of water in the colon serves to soften the stool, helping to make stools easier to pass.

  • It acts as a natural “anti-stress” agent, relaxing skeletal muscles as well as the smooth muscles of blood vessels and the gastrointestinal tract.

  • Magnesium increases water in your intestines which help initiate peristalsis (the wavelike motion which moves fecal matter through your intestines). The increased water also softens the stool which allows it to pass more freely through the intestines.

  • It helps to regulate the electrical potential across cell membranes, helping cells to properly communicate with one another.

  • Magnesium is an essential for the proper metabolism of food once it is digested.

  • It plays a crucial role in the body’s ability to produce and release energy.

  • It helps maintain proper nerve function of the bowel.

Could adding more magnesium to your diet help you feel better?

Over the years, as the convenience and availability of processed foods has increased the amount of time we spend eating whole natural foods that possess the necessary vitamins and minerals has decreased. Getting adequate amounts of magnesium from real, whole foods has  become an problem in the US. In fact US adults on average are getting only about half of their daily Mg requirements from food. It is recommended that women should be getting between 310-320 mg/day while men should be getting 350-360 mg/day.

The first step to healing your symptoms and getting more magnesium in your diet is to start eating magnesium-rich foods. At GreenLite Medicine our Thera- M multi vitamin has 100mg. of magnesium and, when combined with a health diet, is a great way to ensure you are getting enough of this very important mineral every single day.

Try to incorporate these magnesium packed foods into your daily menu.

  • 1/4 cup of Pumpkin seeds= 191 mg. magnesium

  • 1 cup of cooked Spinach or Swiss Chard= 150 mg. magnesium

  • 1 cup cooked soybeans= 148 mg.

  • 4 ounces Halibut= 121 mg.

  • 1cup of black beans= 120 mg.

By taking our multivitamin and including the suggested magnesium rich foods in your menu, you can easily get your daily recommended dose of magnesium. If you aren’t taking our multivitamin or don’t enjoy eating the types of foods that have higher amounts of magnesium, you may want to consider taking a supplement. Healthy individuals should limit their dose of magnesium to no more than 350 mg per day unless prescribed by a physician. Nausea and diarrhea are the most common side effects of magnesium overdose, rarer side effects include dizziness, flushing, and drowsiness. Do not take a magnesium supplement if you cave compromised kidney function. As always, consult one of our medical providers or your primary care physicians before beginning a new supplement regime.

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