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11 Warning Signs of Magnesium Deficiency

        Are you experiencing trouble sleeping and feeling more tired than usual? Do you have bad headaches and terrible muscle cramping? These might be warning signs of magnesium deficiency.  Magnesium is one of the many essential minerals our bodies need to function properly. It plays a crucial role in our blood, muscles, nerves, and ...





Are you experiencing trouble sleeping and feeling more tired than usual? Do you have bad headaches and terrible muscle cramping? These might be warning signs of magnesium deficiency. 

Magnesium is one of the many essential minerals our bodies need to function properly. It plays a crucial role in our blood, muscles, nerves, and bones and can directly impact our physical and emotional health. 


Most people get enough magnesium from their diet; however, if you follow a strict meal plan or don’t eat enough foods high in magnesium, you can develop a deficiency. If you stay at low magnesium levels for a long time, you will likely start experiencing negative side effects. 


At our pharmacy in Milwaukee, WI, we see many cases of people coming to us with what they consider a magnesium deficiency. They want to know what over-the-counter supplements can help them overcome this issue. As we tell all our clients, before taking supplements, they must be sure they are facing low magnesium levels and know the reason why.


In this article, we’ll explore 11 warning signs of magnesium deficiency. You’ll learn through which symptoms you can spot a deficiency and the best methods to boost your body’s magnesium levels. 


Why Is Magnesium so Important?


The image shows foods high in magnesium, including avocado, nuts, seeds, and leafy green vegetables.

Magnesium is among the 7 essential minerals our bodies need to function properly and stay healthy. While most people understand the value of other essential nutrients, such as calcium, potassium, and vitamins, magnesium is often vastly overlooked. However, this mineral deserves more consideration, as a magnesium deficiency can lead to real health complications.


Magnesium’s responsibilities are no joke; this mineral is present in the activation of over 300 enzyme systems that help regulate chemical reactions in the body. Those chemical reactions are important and help to:


  • – Support muscle and nerve function
  • – Proteins, DNA, and bone production
  • – Regulate blood sugar levels
  • – Maintain healthy blood pressure levels
  • – Fatty acid digestion
  • – Regulate hormone cortisol (stress control)


Magnesium also helps balance calcium, zinc, vitamin D, blood potassium levels, and other essential nutrients. It assists calcium and potassium in getting in and out of cells. All these fundamental processes help nerves send signals, muscles contract, and promote a normal and steady heartbeat rhythm. 


What Is Magnesium Deficiency?


A magnesium deficiency occurs when your body magnesium levels drop below a certain number. When your body doesn’t get enough of this essential mineral, it will struggle to or stop performing crucial functions. 


A true magnesium deficiency is rare; most people only present low magnesium levels, but that is enough to cause uncomfortable symptoms, such as headaches or trouble sleeping. 


Anyone can have a magnesium deficiency, although this problem is more common among individuals with health conditions such as type 2 diabetes or gastrointestinal disorders. Low magnesium is also prevalent among people with an alcohol use disorder. 


How can you know if you have a magnesium deficiency? Below, will explain the most notorious warning signs of magnesium deficiency, which you can use as clues that your magnesium levels might be off. If you suspect you have low magnesium, the next step is a serum magnesium concentration test to confirm it. You can monitor serum magnesium concentrations through blood or urine test checks. 


Magnesium Daily Intake


How much magnesium should you take a day to stay healthy? That answer changes depending on your age, gender, and other factors. 


For example, males between 19 and 30 should take an average of 400mg of magnesium per day, while women that age should take about 310mg daily. However, pregnant women might need to increase their daily magnesium intake. 


Some medications can cause you to discharge more magnesium through your urine, leading to a deficiency. Some of these meds include:


  • – Diuretics to treat health conditions
  • – Some antibiotics
  • – Chemotherapy medications
  • – Proton pump inhibitors


If you take any of these medications, you might need to take magnesium supplements to reach your ideal daily intake. 


However, taking too much magnesium can be as dangerous as a magnesium deficiency. Always provide your pharmacists or doctor with your health information and let them assess if magnesium supplementation is what’s most beneficial for your health. 


11 Warning Signs & Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency


The images shows a tired man.

Now, you are aware of magnesium’s importance for your overall health and the negative outcomes of low magnesium levels. Spotting low magnesium in time can help you act promptly and avoid a deficiency. 


But how can you know if your magnesium levels are optimal and when they start decreasing? These are 11 warning signs of magnesium deficiency and the common symptoms your body and mind experience when you are not getting enough of this mineral: 


Muscle Cramps or Numbness


Magnesium takes part in over 300 chemical reactions in the body, including muscle contraction and relaxation. It’s no surprise that when magnesium levels start to dip, one of the first places we notice it is in our muscles. 


A magnesium deficiency can lead to muscle cramps, spasms, twitches, numbness, and muscle weakness. Depending on the severity of the deficiency, your age, and body composition, you might experience mild numbness or severe cramps and spasms. 


You Are Fatigued or Feel Too tired


Are you wondering why you are always so exhausted regardless of how much sleep you get? You wake up in the morning, and only a few hours into your day, you already feel worn out. Tiredness and fatigue are two of the most common symptoms of magnesium deficiency. 


Among magnesium’s many tasks, it helps convert glucose into energy. When you are low in this essential mineral, your body has trouble producing the energy it needs to function through the day. 




Trouble falling asleep? Do you find yourself tossing in bed for hours before finally getting into your beauty sleep? Magnesium promotes hormone melatonin production, a brain hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle. 


People with poor magnesium levels can find it difficult to fall asleep or wake up several times during the night. This would further exacerbate the last symptom, tiredness, as not getting a good night’s sleep takes a toll on the body’s energy levels. 


You have Bad Headaches or Migraine 


Individuals with low magnesium levels are more prone to suffer migraine than those with a good magnesium intake. That’s because this mineral plays a key role in blood vessel function regulation and neurotransmitter release in the brain. 


A magnesium deficiency can reveal itself through migraines, but it can also start as sporadic headaches that, with time, turn stronger and more regular. 


You Are Dealing With Anxiety


A low mood or a sudden surge of anxiety might not be just the result of a bad day. If you constantly feel anxious or stressed, you might have low magnesium levels.


Magnesium plays a part in brain function. A magnesium deficiency alters the balance of calcium and blood potassium levels, which can cause an increase in the release of adrenaline and cortisol (also known as the stress hormone). 


These hormones are part of our brain’s stress response; when released in large quantities, they cause worry and anxiety. 


Brain Fog


Do you struggle to remember things? Do you find it difficult to stay concentrated on your daily tasks? Magnesium plays a role in the transmission of nerve impulses in the brain. It also supports neural plasticity, which allows our brains to make new connections. 


A poor magnesium intake can disrupt those crucial neuronal processes, causing brain fog and impacting memory function.  We depend on the proper function of those processes to learn, make new memories, and even heal from trauma. 


You Are Often in a Low Mood 


We already discussed magnesium’s crucial role in our nervous system and how its deficiency can cause stress, anxiety, and brain fog. Low magnesium levels can also impact your mood, making you feel down or aloof. 


In severe cases, a magnesium deficiency can lead to depression. Maintaining good magnesium levels is crucial for optimal mental health. 


Blood Sugar Imbalance


Magnesium takes part in glucose metabolism and insulin secretion, so if you are low on this mineral, you can experience high blood sugar spikes or develop insulin resistance. 


Studies show that magnesium supplementation helps with blood sugar control, especially in patients with type 2 diabetes. 


High Blood Pressure


Magnesium is also involved in blood pressure management. A diet poor in magnesium can cause high blood pressure, which, in the long run, can lead to strokes, heart attack, or heart disease. 


Magnesium helps regulate blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels. If your doctor has diagnosed you with high blood pressure, taking magnesium supplements can help improve your condition.  


Irregular Heart Beat


Besides playing a role in blood pressure balance, magnesium is also involved in heartbeat control. Low magnesium levels are linked to abnormal heart rhythms, also known as arrhythmia, which can lead to heart, brain, and other organ damage. Arrhythmia can also cause heart failure, stroke, and heart disease. 


Improving your magnesium levels is crucial for good heart health and overall well-being. 


Decreased Bone Density 


Magnesium helps our bodies absorb calcium, another essential mineral responsible for building and maintaining healthy bones and teeth. 


A lack of magnesium can prevent the body from getting the minerals it needs to maintain healthy bones, leading to weak bones and the potential risk of fractures and osteoporosis. This becomes more dangerous in pregnant women and women entering menopause, who are at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis. 


How to Overcome Magnesium Deficiency


Do you have any of the mentioned symptoms? Then, you might be facing a magnesium deficiency or, at least, low magnesium levels. If you do, don’t worry; as long as you start to work on improving your magnesium intake as soon as possible, your body will start working efficiently again, and you’ll regain your good health. This is what you can do to overcome a magnesium deficiency:  


Check Your Magnesium Levels


First and foremost, you must confirm you have a magnesium deficiency. Being extra tired or having bad headaches doesn’t directly mean low magnesium. If you crossed 3 or more of the 11 warning signs from his article, then it’s more likely you have a deficiency. But still, that doesn’t immediately mean that a lack of magnesium is the reason for those symptoms. 


Take a magnesium urine or blood test to make sure a lack of this mineral is the root of your health issues. 


Take Magnesium Naturally: Improve Your Diet


Our bodies don’t produce magnesium, so we can only get it from food or supplements. Enriching your diet is the first step to improving your magnesium levels. Foods rich in magnesium include:


  • – Leafy greens
  • – Whole Grains
  • – Seeds
  • – Legumes
  • – Nuts
  • – Avocados
  • – Bananas
  • – Dark chocolate (make sure it is at least 70% cocoa)


Including those foods in your diet will help you achieve your magnesium goals. 


Give Your Diet a Boost: Start Taking Magnesium Supplements


The image shows magnesium supplement pills and bottles.

If you are struggling to meet your daily magnesium intake through your diet or a medication is sabotaging your efforts, you can always resort to magnesium supplementation. 


There are several types of magnesium supplements; the most common ones include:


  • – magnesium citrate
  • – magnesium lactate
  • – magnesium aspartate
  • – magnesium chloride
  • – magnesium malate
  • – magnesium taurate


Some supplements are easier to absorb than others, but that also depends on your genes and whether you have another deficiency or health condition. 


The best you can do is talk with your healthcare provider or pharmacist about your individual needs so they can guide you and recommend the right supplement. If you already take other medications, you can enroll in a med sync pharmacy program to receive all your medications on the same day and never forget about your magnesium supplements. 


Go a Step Further: Try More Efficient Supplement Administration Routes


Most magnesium supplements come as oral pills. However, several studies showed that our bodies better absorb magnesium through our skin. 


Consider trying supplements with alternative administration routes, such as sprays, gels, and oils. Our Wisconsin compounding pharmacy can develop the supplement you need, with the specific dosage you require, and in any form. 


Final Thoughts


A magnesium deficiency can lead to many negative outcomes, from headaches and low mood to depression and high blood sugar. If, after reading this article, you think you have any of the 

warning signs of magnesium deficiency, we advise you to take a magnesium test. 


By improving your magnesium intake, you’ll quickly start noticing positive changes in your health, mood, and overall well-being. 


Do you have more questions about magnesium or supplements in general? Don’t hesitate to book a free pharmacy consultation with us. We’ll use our experience to guide you toward a healthier, more fulfilling life.

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