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How to Tell If You Have a Magnesium Deficiency

 Magnesium is one of those vital vitamins your body needs to work properly. Without it your body cannot effectively regulate cholesterol levels or break down fat. Magnesium also controls the production of antioxidants, proteins, and enzymes. Magnesium is also responsible for creating and repairing DNA and RNA strains.

Usually you get magnesium from foods and beverages you consume, but increasingly people are suffering from a deficiency – in fact four out of five Americans are said to be deficient in magnesium. The good news is that your body lets you know when it’s lacking in minerals. Here are 8 outward warning signs that may indicate that you need more magnesium.

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1. Easily injured
Magnesium plays a vital role in your muscle health and ensures that your bones and musculo-skeletal system function correctly. One consequence of a magnesium deficiency is that you develop osteoporosis. This means you will get injured fairly easily and your muscles will be much weaker, because magnesium builds blocks of muscles and produces proteins.

This symptom is one of the more tell-tale signs of a magnesium deficiency. It’s recommended that you take calcium and magnesium supplements in this case.

2. Bad headaches
There are many causes behind the classic headache, but if you find yourself suffering from severe migraines or tension headaches, this could indicate a magnesium deficiency. You can try to alter this by eating foods rich in magnesium or by taking magnesium supplements. If your headaches persist you should get in contact with your physician to investigate other possible causes.

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3. Insomnia

While the most common cause behind the tens of millions of insomnia cases is stress, it can also be caused by a magnesium deficiency. If you find yourself having difficulty falling asleep or you're waking up during the night, it’s best to have your magnesium levels checked out.

4. Muscle cramps
Magnesium plays a key role in making sure your muscles are relaxed and support your body’s general cellular function. Since you use your muscles daily it’s important to provide them with the right minerals so that they function correctly. Both a lack of magnesium and potassium are well known causes of muscle cramps so it’s recommended that you increase both of these minerals via supplements.

5. Hypertension
The leading cause behind hypertension, also called high blood pressure, is too much sodium. The second cause is a magnesium deficiency, and it is a notable symptom of this deficiency. It might be worth considering a magnesium supplement before resorting to strong prescription medication.

6. Anxiety and depression
A lack of magnesium might actually be bringing you down or giving you anxiety and panic attacks. Magnesium controls your mood and works to calm your body. The common modern day problems of anxiety and depression might be driven by low magnesium levels. It’s worth trying magnesium supplements for a few days to see if there’s a change in your mood before committing to antidepressants.

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7. Muscle pain
Low levels of magnesium are known for causing muscle cramps. It can also trigger more severe muscle pain, known as fibromyalgia. This painful symptom is a tell-tale sign of a magnesium deficiency. To test whether your fibromyalgia is magnesium related take supplement pills for a few days to see if the pain subsides.

8. Spikes in blood sugar
Magnesium is also an important component in leveling out your blood sugar level and works to improve glucose absorption. If you notice that your blood sugar spikes or that you are feeling tired all the time, no matter how much you eat, you might be magnesium-deficient. Similarly you might be running low on magnesium if you are chronically fatigued and develop adrenal fatigue.

Cover image courtesy of Depositphotos

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