Magnesium is crucial to your body’s functioning, as it supports the operation of the muscles and nerves and produces energy. However, most people who are deficient in magnesium have few, if any, obvious symptoms.
Chronically low magnesium can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, and heart disease. However, getting enough magnesium is often as easy as adding a few magnesium-rich foods to your daily diet.
Identifying the signs of a magnesium deficiency can ensure chronically low levels don’t cause long-term concerns for your health.
Persistent Muscle Twitches and Cramps
As magnesium supports the function of the muscles and nerves in the body, those with a deficiency are more likely to experience involuntary muscle twitches, cramps, tremors, or, in severe cases, seizures.
Muscle Weakness and Fatigue
A magnesium deficiency can lead to a loss of potassium in the muscles, causing weakness and fatigue. While fatigue is a common symptom many people experience occasionally, a physician should evaluate persistent fatigue.
Heart arrhythmia, an irregular heart rate, is one of the most concerning symptoms of magnesium deficiency. Patients may experience heart palpitations, lightheadedness, fatigue, or shortness of breath with heart arrhythmia and should see a doctor immediately to identify the cause.
Mental Health Concerns
Magnesium deficiency can cause nerve dysfunction, leading to several mental health concerns, including:
Those experiencing fluctuations in their mental health should seek the guidance of a healthcare professional to identify the exact cause and treatment.
How to Increase Your Magnesium
Dietary changes are the best way to ensure your body has enough magnesium to function properly. Foods that are high in magnesium include:
- Whole grains
- Dry beans
- Green, leafy vegetables
- Fortified foods
Fortunately, only a few servings of high-quality foods can significantly affect your magnesium levels. For example, one ounce of almonds provides 20% of an adult’s daily magnesium requirements. You can also up your magnesium intake through increased water consumption.
Supplements can also fulfill the dietary needs of those who struggle with magnesium consumption. It’s best to talk with your healthcare provider if you’re experiencing any symptoms of magnesium deficiency and ask if there are supplements that can best meet your needs.
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