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What are the signs of magnesium deficiency?

Magnesium is a very common deficiency in the general population. Diets high in carbohydrate and sugar can cause a magnesium deficiency simply because it creates a need for additional magnesium to control blood sugar levels. This becomes a huge issue when a carbohydrate and sugar rich diet is also lacking magnesium. Heavy sweating during exercise can also deplete magnesium levels significantly as can stress and some medications.

Good sources of magnesium include beans, nuts and leafy green vegetables. Milk and other dairy are not good sources of magnesium because they are high in calcium. High calcium levels will compete with magnesium for uptake. Magnesium, iron and zinc will also compete for uptake so be mindful if there have ever been supplemented in the past.

Possible Symptoms of magnesium deficiency.

  • Sleeping issues.

Magnesium deficiency can lead to restlessness or anxiety that interferes with sleep. It is not the only issue affecting sleep but it is a good place to start.

  • Restlessness/ generally fidgeting
  • Anxiety.

Known as ‘nature’s tranquiliser’, but reducing stress hormones and promoting GABA production Magnesium can have an anxiety-lessening effect.

  • Sensitive to noises.

The link between magnesium and noise sensitivity is not well understood, it could be related to the rise in adrenaline that occurs with deficiency. There are a number of anecdotal reports that suggest administration of magnesium leads to less issues with severe noise sensitivity.

  • Easily stressed
  • Irritable/aggressive
  • Poor concentration
  • Learning difficulties
  • Seizures/ Tics
  • Constipation.

Magnesium helps maintain peristalsis which keeps the bowels moving appropriately. A lack of magnesium can lead to chronic constipation.

  • Muscle weakness /twitching / tension. Magnesium’s relationship with muscle conduction means that low levels can cause twitching, weakness or tension.

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Author: Sarah Hanratty

Sarah is a specialist practitioner at the Brain Food Clinic. She has a degree in Nutritional Medicine and is a certified Gut and Psychology Syndrome Practitioner. Sarah helps people to overcome physical and mental health issues using bespoke nutritional protocols.

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