8 symptoms of a magnesium deficiency

Foxys Forest Manufacture / ShutterstockGreens, like spinach, offer plenty of magnesium.
  • Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body and is responsible for regulating muscular contractions, blood pressure, insulin metabolism, cardiac health, and more.
  • Without enough magnesium, you might feel tired and lose your appetite.
  • A severe magnesium deficiency can cause muscle cramps.

Magnesium doesn’t get as much press as minerals like calcium and iron, but it’s a vital player in your body’s health. Magnesium does everything from regulating nerve function to keeping your bones healthy and strong.

Though a true magnesium deficiency is rare, many of us aren’t getting enough of this important mineral. Here are a few signs that your body has inadequate levels of magnesium.

A chronic lack of magnesium might cause nausea.

michaelheim/ShutterstockTalk to your doctor if you’re experiencing nausea.

One sign of magnesium deficiency is nausea, according to Medical News Today. This is usually an early symptom and may not present in everyone.

Nausea can also be the result of a host of various medical problems or even stress, so be sure to chat with your doctor if nausea becomes a recurrent issue.

Tingling in the extremities can also signal a magnesium deficiency.

Pablo Cuadra/Getty ImagesTingling in your feet may be from a magnesium deficiency.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) lists tingling in the extremities as a possible sign of a magnesium deficiency. This is because magnesium plays an important part in nerve function. You might notice this tingling in your toes, fingertips, or face.

General fatigue is also a possible marker of a deficiency.

Photographee.eu/ShutterstockTired all the time? A lack of magnesium might be the culprit.

An early symptom of a deficiency in magnesium is sometimes general fatigue or sluggishness, according to the NIH.

However, it’s important to note that a lack of energy can signal countless different medical problems or may simply be a result of poor diet or sleep. Get checked out by your doctor to rule out other causes before treating for a magnesium deficiency.

A loss of appetite can sometimes occur with magnesium inadequacy.

Ann Haritonenko/ShutterstockIf you’re not hungry, consider whether your diet is missing any important nutrients like magnesium.

According to Medical News Today, a loss of appetite can sometimes be a sign of a lack of magnesium.

An extremely poor appetite might also lead to a magnesium deficiency if you’re unable to eat enough foods that contain magnesium, such as spinach, nuts, legumes, whole grains, and fortified breakfast cereals.

Severe magnesium deficiency can lead to heart problems.

Getty ImagesMagnesium helps your heart function properly.

A rapid or irregular heartbeat can be the result of chronically low magnesium levels.

Magnesium is one of several electrolytes, including potassium, sodium, and calcium, that play a crucial part in regulating the electrical signals within your body and help your heart to function properly. When these electrolytes are imbalanced, dangerous cardiac arrhythmia can be the result.

Muscle cramping and weakness can be caused by a lack of magnesium.

ShutterstockLeg cramps are a sign of a severe magnesium deficiency.

Since magnesium is important to muscle function, problems with your muscles such as cramping, weakness, or tremors might be linked to a lack of the mineral.

According to Health, these types of symptoms are usually linked to a more advanced magnesium deficiency or occur with conditions that deplete magnesium levels such as vomiting or nausea.

Trouble sleeping or low mood can be a sign of magnesium deficiency.

ShutterstockFeeling down? It could have something to do with a magnesium deficiency.

Poor sleep might be one symptom of magnesium deficiency. Sleeplessness might also be accompanied by depression, agitation, or anxiety.

If you begin to experience any of these symptoms, the first thing you should do is contact a medical professional, as sleep and mood problems may have many different causes.

Brittle bones might be a sign of long-term magnesium deficiency.

Though not getting enough magnesium for a week or two won’t lead to brittle bones, magnesium is actually very important to the action of calcium in the body. In fact, about 60% of the magnesium in the human body is stored in the bones.

Without proper magnesium levels, the healthy development of the skeletal system can be negatively affected. This is why it’s especially important for children and young adults to eat a diet rich in this mineral.

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