Magnesium is a vital ingredient in hundreds of various biochemical reactions that occur throughout your body daily. So when you don’t have enough of this essential mineral, it can lead to a wide variety of symptoms.
Approximately two-thirds of adults in the US are estimated to get less than the recommended daily amount of magnesium, around 420 mg for men and 320 mg for women.
Here are five warning signs that you may not be getting enough magnesium:
You Have Muscle Cramps or Twitches
If you regularly experience muscle cramps or twitches, it could indicate a magnesium deficiency. This is because magnesium plays a role in muscle contraction and relaxation.
Bringing your magnesium levels up may help reduce muscle cramps’ frequency and severity. It might also help improve your athletic performance and reduce exercise-related fatigue and soreness.
You Have High Blood Pressure
There are many contributing factors to high blood pressure, but magnesium deficiency is one that’s often overlooked.
Magnesium helps to relax your blood vessels and reduce inflammation. So if you don’t have enough of it, it can lead to high blood pressure and an increased risk of heart disease.
Some studies have shown that magnesium supplementation may be an effective aid for reducing blood pressure. However, it’s always a good idea to consult with your doctor before starting any new supplement, especially if you’re already taking medication for high blood pressure.
You Experience Migraines Frequently
Magnesium is needed to develop, manage, and signal brain and nerve cells. It’s also involved in other important neurological processes as well.
People who often suffer from migraines tend to have reduced magnesium levels, and elevating these levels appears to reduce the frequency and intensity of migraines.
For this reason, supplements and magnesium-based medications are currently being explored for their potential to be more effective and faster-acting than currently available migraine treatments.
You Feel Anxious or Depressed
In addition to migraines, magnesium’s effect on your nervous system may also extend to your emotional state.
Insufficient magnesium levels have been linked to increased incidence of anxiety, depression, chronic stress, and other affective disorders.
Although magnesium supplements may not be a perfect cure for these conditions, clinical research has found that they could be a helpful component of a comprehensive treatment plan.
You Are Often Tired and Have Difficulty Sleeping
Magnesium helps regulate the activity of a neurotransmitter called GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid). One of GABA’s primary functions is to help you relax and return to normal after periods of stress.
In addition to contributing to anxiety, low magnesium levels (and, therefore, reduced GABA activity) can make it harder for you to fall asleep at the end of the night.
Magnesium also helps your metabolism convert food into energy—less magnesium could mean less energy.
These effects can manifest as constant tiredness, as well as other symptoms that typically accompany fatigue: difficulty concentrating, irritability, and depression.
Should You Take Magnesium Supplements?
If you think you might be deficient in magnesium, the best way to find out is to ask your doctor to order a blood test.
In most cases, magnesium deficiency is best corrected through diet. Foods that are high in magnesium include:
● Dark leafy greens
● Nuts and seeds
● Whole grains
If, for some reason, you’re not able to get enough magnesium through your diet, you might need to take supplements.
Magnesium supplements are available in a variety of forms and dosages. The best way to find out what’s right for you is to consult with a doctor or other healthcare professional.
In general, magnesium supplements are considered safe. However, overdoses are possible, and they can lead to very serious side effects.
Talk to your doctor about what form and dosage of magnesium would be appropriate for you before starting any supplement regimen, especially if you have an underlying condition or are currently on another treatment plan.