Medically known as hypomagnesemia, a magnesium deficiency is not very common. But inadequate levels of this electrolyte is common among people. In fact, about 57% of the US population aren’t meeting the recommended daily value of magnesium.
Magnesium is uber important for your body. It is necessary for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. Ranging from blood pressure regulation to muscle and nerve function, this electrolyte is important for the synthesis of DNA, RNA, and the structural development of your bone.1
The signs you need to watch out for in the case of a deficiency are nausea, headache, fatigue, and poor appetite. It is diagnosed with the help of a blood test.
But, besides not getting enough of this particular electrolyte from your diet, here are the other causes of low levels or a deficiency in magnesium.
1. Gastrointestinal (GI) Diseases
People with gastrointestinal diseases have the highest risk for low magnesium levels. This is because their intestines cannot absorb nutrients. And when this happens, it causes malabsorption, which, in turn, could lead to the development of Celiac disease or Crohn’s disease.
Low levels of magnesium can also occur with starvation or anorexia from a neoplastic disease, a condition that leads to tumor growth.2
2. Type 2 Diabetes
People with type 2 diabetes are common to have chronic low levels of magnesium or a deficiency. This is because insulin and glucose are important regulators for the electrolyte. Also, when you have diabetes, you tend to urinate a lot more, releasing more magnesium out of your system. That’s why several diabetics are given magnesium supplements to help bring back their levels.3
3. Alcohol Use
Magnesium deficiency could be a reality for people drinking large amounts of alcohol. Experts reveal within minutes of drinking alcohol, the kidneys release magnesium 260% more than it normally does. And that’s not all.
Excessive consumption of alcohol can also mean your diet is poor, you are urinating a lot more, your digestive system isn’t working smooth, and your stomach lining is getting damaged. All these factors aggravate your magnesium levels. People with severe alcoholism are always given magnesium supplements.4
4. Chronic Diarrhea Or Excessive Urination
A magnesium deficiency can be the result of chronic diarrhea or frequent urination. This is usually in the case of Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, coeliac disease, and short bowel syndrome. In fact, how depleted your magnesium levels are, are influenced by the severity of your diarrhea.5
5. High Levels Of Calcium In The Blood
Another cause of magnesium deficiency is when you have hypercalcemia, a condition in which you have a lot of calcium in your system. This medical issue can cause excessive urination and lead to a depletion in phosphate, potassium, and magnesium.
6. Certain Medication
Taking certain medication can also be responsible for low levels of magnesium. Chemotherapy drugs, diuretics (medication that increases urine), and a few antifungal drugs can influence magnesium levels.
What You Need To Do
If your magnesium levels are severely low, you would need an IV. But if is controllable, your doctor might suggest taking magnesium supplements or coupling supplements with a diet rich in magnesium. These are the foods you need to include.
- Eat your greens: Spinach, swiss chard, edamame, peas, kale, and broccoli are amazing options
- Load up on fruits: Butternut squash, avocado, kiwi, banana, watermelon, and apples
- Go nuts: Almonds, cashews, and peanuts
The treatment for magnesium deficinecy is highly effective. Discuss it with your doctor to find out what will work best for you.
|↑1||Magnesium. National Institutes Of Health, Office Of Dietary Supplements.|
|↑2||Whang, Robert. “Magnesium deficiency: pathogenesis, prevalence, and clinical implications.” The American journal of medicine 82, no. 3 (1987): 24-29.|
|↑3||Barbagallo, Mario, and Ligia J. Dominguez. “Magnesium and type 2 diabetes.” World journal of diabetes 6, no. 10 (2015): 1152.|
|↑4||Rink, Edmund B. “Magnesium deficiency in alcoholism.” Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research 10, no. 6 (1986): 590-594.|
|↑5||Swaminathan, R. “Magnesium metabolism and its disorders.” The Clinical Biochemist Reviews 24, no. 2 (2003): 47.|