Magnesium: An Invisible Deficiency That Could Be Harming Your Health. Magnesium is a mineral used by every organ in your body, especially your heart, muscles, and kidneys. If you suffer from unexplained fatigue or weakness, abnormal heart rhythms or even muscle spasms and eye twitches, low levels of magnesium could be to blame.
If you’ve recently had a blood test, you might assume it would show a magnesium deficiency. But only 1 percent of magnesium in your body is distributed in your blood, making a simple sample of magnesium from a serum magnesium blood test not very useful. Most magnesium is stored in your bones and organs, where it is used for many biological functions. Yet, it’s quite possible to be deficient and not know it, which is why magnesium deficiency has been dubbed the “invisible deficiency.”
By some estimates, up to 80 percent of Americans are not getting enough magnesium and may be deficient. Other research shows only about 25 percent of US adults are getting the recommended daily amount of 310 to 320 milligrams (mg) for women and 400 to 420 for men.
Even more concerning, consuming even this amount is “just enough to ward off outright deficiency,” according to Dr. Carolyn Dean, a medical and naturopathic doctor.
Magnesium Deficiency May Trigger 22 Medical Conditions
Magnesium is often thought of primarily as a mineral for your heart and bones, but this is misleading. Researchers have now detected 3,751 magnesium-binding sites on human proteins, indicating that its role in human health and disease may have been vastly underestimated.
Magnesium is also found in more than 300 different enzymes in your body and plays a role in your body’s detoxification processes, making it important for helping to prevent damage from environmental chemicals, heavy metals, and other toxins. In addition, magnesium is necessary for:
- Activating muscles and nerves
- Creating energy in your body by activating adenosine triphosphate (ATP)
- Helping digest proteins, carbohydrates, and fats
- Serving as a building block for RNA and DNA synthesis
- Acting as a precursor for neurotransmitters like serotonin
Dr. Dean has studied and written about magnesium for more than 15 years. The latest addition of her book, The Magnesium Miracle, came out in 2014 and in it you can learn about 22 medical areas that magnesium deficiency triggers or causes, all of which have all been scientifically proven. This includes:
|Anxiety and panic attacks||Asthma||Blood clots|
|Insomnia||Kidney disease||Liver disease|
|Migraine||Musculoskeletal conditions (fibromyalgia, cramps, chronic back pain, etc.)||Nerve problems|
|Obstetrics and gynecology (PMS, infertility, and preeclampsia)||Osteoporosis||Raynaud’s syndrome|
Early signs of magnesium deficiency include loss of appetite, headache, nausea, fatigue, and weakness. An ongoing magnesium deficiency can lead to more serious symptoms, including:
|Numbness and tingling||Muscle contractions and cramps||Seizures|
|Personality changes||Abnormal heart rhythms||Coronary spasms|