Magnesium deficiency affects up to 57% of Americans. This means that more than half of Americans have a medically diagnosed low level of magnesium. Even more people will show sub-clinical signs of magnesium deficiency.While many of us show signs of magnesium deficiency, few of us are aware of what these signs are.
WHY IS MAGNESIUM DEFICIENCY SO WIDESPREAD?
Modern agriculture is much to blame for the depletion of magnesium levels in the blood. Potassium and phosphorus are antagonists of magnesium in soil, and both are present universally in most fertilizers. This means the magnesium that should enrich our foods is no longer present in naturally occurring quantities because of the use of fertilizers. To create plants that thrive in these depleted conditions, generations of plants with hybrid technology in their make-up are continually introduced.
Another factor of magnesium depletion is handling, refrigeration, transport, storage, and processing. Even organic foods bought and stored “properly” for days in the refrigerator will lose much of their nutritional density. Flouride in drinking water binds with magnesium, making it nearly impossible to absorb. Even many bottled waters have very low magnesium stores. The very best sources of magnesium in drinking water include deep wells with magnesium sources or mineral-rich runoff from glaciers.
In her book The Magnesium Miracle, Dr. Carolyn Dean explains the dire importance of magnesium, and the epidemic nature of our universal magnesium depletion.
Speaking from my own experience, I quickly noticed when I started surfing every day last year a huge boost in mood, energy, and over-all well-being. I believe it is because surfing allows you 1-2 hours a day of magnesium absorption (our oceans are 1/3 magnesium and one of the greatest sources we have of it).
Read on to find out the most common signs of magnesium deficiency.
THE 10 MOST COMMON (AND SURPRISING) SIGNS OF MAGNESIUM DEFICIENCY ARE:
1 – FATIGUE
On a cellular level, magnesium is necessary to produce ATP – a coenzyme responsible for transporting energy in our cells. This exchange is crucial in determining our metabolism, as well as cell division. If ATP is not combined with magnesium, it will not be active (ie, it won’t work!). Imagine the combination of these two as a battery – powering many of the functions and processes of your body. Magnesium is expended through exercise, emotional stress, and daily living.
2 – DEPRESSION, ANXIETY BRAIN FOG, & DIFFICULTY CONCENTRATING
When brain cells lack ample levels of magnesium, they will no longer work as effectively. Brain fog, difficulty concentrating, and poor memory result. Serotonin is absorbed in the body with the help of magnesium. This means without abundant magnesium levels, the brain is not able to maintain adequate serotonin levels, leading to depression and anxiety.
3 – ASTHMA
Asthma may be caused by low magnesium levels. The low levels affect the smooth muscle function of the bronchioles. Also, low levels of magnesium can cause calcium build up within the bronchioles, triggering asthma attacks.
4 – MUSCLE SORENESS, CHRONIC PAIN & CRAMPING
Since magnesium is required in the smooth functioning of muscles, depleted levels of this mineral result in aches, pains, soreness, injuries, and less than optimal recovery after workout. This occurs when too much calcium enters the cells, causing prolonged muscle contraction. Over time this can become twitching, cramps, soreness, weakness and injury. Crazy fact – Did you know that 60 percent of the body’s magnesium is found in the bones and teeth, 39 percent in the muscles, and 1 percent in the blood?!
5 – INSOMNIA
Did you know that hibernating animals are able to maintain extremely high levels of magnesium? This is because magnesium has a relaxing affect on the body, and is required in maintaining a calm nervous system and restful sleep.
6 – HORMONAL IMBALANCES
Ample magnesium levels are key in balancing hormonal levels. The brain, which is the chemical center in the body, requires magnesium for cells to work properly. The adrenal glands, also major producers of hormones in the body, require healthy levels of magnesium to regulate adrenaline and cortisol. Lowered levels of magnesium in the body have been linked to hyper-production of both of these adrenal hormones, wreaking havoc on the body’s ability to regulate several other key hormones, including estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and serotonin.
7 – CONSTIPATION
Constipation develops early in magnesium deficiency. As levels of the mineral drop in smooth muscle throughout the body, the intestines become hypo-mobile and prone to hyper-contractility. Without magnesium, tension in the intestines, dehydration throughout the body, and sluggish movement prohibit optimal digestion.
8 – HEADACHES & MIGRAINES
Magnesium is responsible for the relaxation of muscle tissue in the body; calcium is responsible for contraction. When magnesium to calcium ratios are out of balance, relative excess of calcium causes muscles to contract more than relax. This causes an increase in headaches and migraines.
9 – HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
The heart and the brain are the two organs which require the highest levels of magnesium in the body. Without ample levels of magnesium, heart muscle, as well as the arterial and veinous walls, become hyper-tensile. This causes blood pressure to rise.
10 – NAUSEA, DIZZINESS & POOR APPETITE
When magnesium deficiency begins to affect the smooth muscle of the digestive tract, gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, poor appetite, and even dizziness may develop. These, along with other symptoms of magnesium deficiency, will subside with adequate magnesium supplementation.
BEST WAYS TO REPLENISH MAGNESIUM STORES
Ample magnesium supplementation should show relatively immediate results (3 weeks to 3 months – depending on the severity) – improving sleep, mood, energy, and subsequently other physical and psychological conditions.
Remember, next to being in the ocean or other mineral-rich bodies of water (hot springs, mineral springs, mountain streams and lakes are all included here!) – receiving IV magnesium, and eliminating sources of direct magnesium depletion, dermal application of magnesium oil is the BEST source of ample magnesium levels. Absorption through the skin circumvents any issues with digestion. According to Dr. Dean, the BEST times of day to supplement magnesium are early morning and late afternoon, when magnesium levels tend to dip.
Adults & children 14 and older – 300 mg/ day; Teens 9-13: 240 mg/ dayKids 4-8: 130 mg/ day; Kids 1-3: 80 mg/ day
The magnesium oil I recommend states that 8 sprays massaged into the skin provides 100mg of magnesium.
IF ONE OR MORE OF THESE SOUND FAMILIAR, YOU MAY BE DEALING WITH MAGNESIUM DEFICIENCY.