Magnesium, the second most abundant mineral in the human body, is involved in more than 300 biochemical processes. It is critical to everything our cells do, including producing energy. It is difficult to know when we are deficient in magnesium, however, because only about one percent of the mineral is stored in our blood, and of all the nutritional deficiencies people experience, the second most common is magnesium.
Learning the symptoms of magnesium deficiency can help lower your risk of serious health problems, There is more magnesium in the heart than in any other part of the body. Magnesium keeps our heart rhythms regular, supports our immune systems, and maintains optimal nerve and muscle function. Without enough of the mineral, we risk heart disease, diabetes, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, osteoporosis and headaches.
Famous neurosurgeon and pain management pioneer Dr. Normal Shealy has said: “Every known illness is associated with a magnesium deficiency,” and “Magnesium is the most critical mineral required for electrical stability of every cell in the body. A magnesium deficiency may be responsible for more diseases than any other nutrient.” Because of the increased consumption of processed food, fluoride, and pharmaceutical drugs, magnesium deficiencies have become widespread.
Early symptoms of magnesium deficiency include leg cramps, foot pain and muscle twitches. Other less common symptoms may be loss of appetite, fatigue, weakness, and nausea and vomiting. As the deficiency advances, people may experience numbness, seizures, tingling, personality changes, abnormal heart rhythms and coronary spasms. The central nervous system can be affected, resulting in anxiety, nervousness and premenstrual irritability. If the cardiovascular system is involved, there may be palpitations, heart arrhythmias and angina. Some symptoms of deficiency mimic symptoms of diabetes; these include extreme thirst and hunger, frequent urination and blurry vision.
Fortunately, a magnesium deficiency is quickly corrected through supplementation. The supplements combine magnesium with other molecules to stabilize the combination. Thus, there are many options, each with a different absorption, bioavailability and therapeutic benefit. Magnesium citrate is much better absorbed by the body, for example, than is magnesium oxide.
If you take calcium supplements, be sure to include magnesium in the mix. Health experts recommend a one-to-one ratio of calcium to magnesium. An imbalance of calcium to magnesium puts you at risk of heart attack.