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The First Symptom of Magnesium Deficiency

by Kunal K March 18, 2024 2 min read

This chart is an overview of how a magnesium deficiency impacts different aspects of human health. It highlights symptoms and potential consequences.

Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms and Effects

Magnesium is often overlooked in medical assessments due to the difficulty of accurately determining magnesium levels through blood tests. A significant portion of the body's magnesium is stored in bones (60%), muscles (20%), and soft tissues (19%), with only a minor amount (1%) present in the blood.

This distribution complicates the detection of magnesium deficiency via blood tests, as bone and tissue stores can mask a deficiency until it becomes severe.

Several factors that can lead to magnesium depletion:

  • Consumption of sugar, refined carbohydrates, and alcohol
  • liver conditions like cirrhosis; agricultural practices that deplete magnesium from the soil
  • malabsorption issues
  • the use of certain medications; and various diseases associated with low magnesium levels

Good dietary sources of magnesium include green, leafy vegetables due to their chlorophyll content (a good indicator of magnesium content).

Bad dietary sources include foods like grains, which contain anti-nutrients that can hinder magnesium absorption. Also, cooking methods like boiling can leach magnesium from foods.

The most common signs of magnesium deficiency include anxiety and insomnia to muscle cramps and cardiovascular issues. Magnesium participates in the function of over 350 enzymes in the body, thus affecting a multitude of physiological processes.

The first sign of magnesium deficiency is neuromuscular hyperexcitability like involuntary twitching of muscles, such as under the eye or on the arm. 

This symptom is attributed to the role of magnesium in nerve function and muscle contraction, where its deficiency leads to an imbalance in calcium influx and efflux in cells, causing the observed twitching.

Next: The Role of Magnesium Deficiency in Ageing and Disease

Explore Topic: Magnesium 


Kunal K
Kunal K

Co-Founder, OptimOZ.com.au

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