What are the Effects of Lack of Magnesium?

Food containing magnesium should be a part of the regular diet! The body requires magnesium for carrying out around 300 biochemical reactions. Magnesium can found mainly in seeds, nuts, green vegetables, unrefined whole grains and legumes. Some quantity of magnesium can be found in the natural form of tap water or hard water which carries a lot of minerals. Most of the magnesium in the body can be found in the bones and the rest in the cells and organs. Thus, the body needs magnesium to perform various important functions of the body.

Carbohydrate metabolism: Magnesium controls insulin response in the blood, which in turn regulates the blood glucose levels through carbohydrate metabolism. Type 2 diabetes can brought under control with consumption of dietary magnesium.

Muscle Contraction and Relaxation: Magnesium manages regulation of muscles and nerves. If a patient is deficient of magnesium then she may suffer from weak muscles, contraction or twitching of muscles and fatigue.

Bone health: Magnesium keeps the bones healthy. Deficiency of magnesium alters the way the body breaks down calcium along with the hormones which regulate calcium. Therefore, intake of magnesium enhances bone mineral density and prevents osteoporosis.

Blood disease: Intake of magnesium rich food develops serum lipid profiles and regulates blood pressure.

Transport of energy: Magnesium helps in absorption of fats, carbohydrates and proteins. It is executes the release and mobilization of energy by acting as a partner with different enzymes such as adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the basic molecule for storage of energy, to promote digestion. Magnesium helps in protein synthesis by working with different other enzymes.

Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency:

Magnesium deficiency mostly affects older people. It may be the result of extravagant consumption of alcohol, a few health conditions like gastrointestinal disorders, and the use of particular medications.

Early symptoms:

Advanced symptoms:

  • Muscle cramps and spasms
  • Seizures
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Becoming cranky and going through personality changes
  • Heart rhythm changes

What are the Effects of Lack of Magnesium?

Effects of Lack of Magnesium include:

  1. Calcification of Arteries

    Magnesium deficiency is examined as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Researchers have found that both in animals and plants that magnesium prevents calcification which further leads to atherosclerotic process which is repressed cardiovascular disease. People who consume excess magnesium have markedly lesser coronary artery calcification. With consumption of 50 mg of magnesium one can reduce the risk of coronary artery calcification by 22% also it can reduce to an extent of 60% if the magnesium intake is highest.

    Consumption of water and beverages that contain magnesium in wholesome quantities can control the deaths caused by stroke or any other heart diseases. Magnesium levels in the body can be reduced by too much alcohol consumption or use of diuretics, having diabetes or stress.

  2. Degradation of Bone Health

    Magnesium is essential for maintaining bone health. Besides calcium being one of the most important constituent in bone health, magnesium also plays a major role in it and so does vitamin D. these 3 components work together where magnesium converts vitamin D to its active form which helps in calcium absorption. All the enzymes required to metabolize vitamin D need magnesium as an essential co-factor. With high dosage of Vitamin D and low quantity of magnesium, the intensified rate of metabolic work removes magnesium from the muscular areas where magnesium is stored. That is why muscles are at first affected due to magnesium deficiency. Even heart attacks occur due to magnesium deficiency affecting the heart muscle.

    Magnesium activates a hormone called calcitonin that assists to protect bone composition by extracting calcium out of the soft tissues and blood to the bones. Therefore, it reduces the risk of osteoporosis, heart attack, kidney stones and some cases of arthritis. The efficacy and positives of calcium in averting and curing osteoporosis are largely incapable without the presence of magnesium. Magnesium helps calcium to remain dissolved in the blood stream. For substituting the mineral balance one needs to exercise regularly and include vegetables, nuts and seeds in their meal in good quantities.

  3. High Blood Pressure

    Magnesium deficiency can affect blood pressure because in helps in regulating the muscle tone of the circulatory system. Magnesium accounts for more 300 cellular processes of the body thus, when a person is deficient of magnesium she may face problems related to heart and aging. The RDA for adults, according to the NIH, is between 300 and 420 mg per day. An adult should have a magnesium intake of 300 – 420 mg per day which can be done by consuming leafy vegetables such as spinach, and seeds such as that of pumpkins.

    Magnesium helps in dilating and relaxing the blood vessels. Thus, when someone is deficient of magnesium the blood vessel constriction increases and leads to high blood pressure. Nothing other than exercising or having a good share of magnesium can prevent high blood pressure.

  4. Erectile Dysfunction

    Magnesium helps in carrying out a number of bodily functions in spite of it being juts a mineral. Such functions include protein synthesis, calming of the muscles and nerves, regulation of blood pressure and controlling of blood glucose level. Smooth muscles need nitrous oxide to comprehend and retaliate to the indication for relaxing, hence letting the usual process of blood vessel dilation to take place. Bereft of this process, the hyped blood flow needed for an erection merely cannot happen. Since this mechanism is very much based on the accompaniment of magnesium in the correct quantity, magnesium could be an absentee connection in the curing of erectile dysfunction.

  5. Muscle Spasms and Cramps

    Being low in magnesium or calcium is considered to be the root cause of muscle cramps. Magnesium is essential for the relaxation of muscle. Therefore, with deficiency of magnesium the muscles tend to contract involuntarily causing agonizing spasms. Diuretics, blood pressure medicines or caffeine infused drinks make us urinate more often which results in quick depletion of the mineral stores. On urinating a lot of minerals get excreted. Thus, for maintaining proper supplies of minerals in the body one needs to consume mineral rich especially magnesium rich food.

  6. Hormonal Problems

    High estrogen or progesterone levels in the body of a woman amounts to lesser is the quantity of magnesium. This accounts for the leg cramps and excessive mood swings during the second part of their cycle. The reason why pregnant women have cravings for chocolate is that it is a good source of magnesium. Muscle cramps during menstrual cycle due to magnesium deficiency. Magnesium hinders the formation of excess cortisol and the stress hormone and pacifies the nervous system. If the stress hormones are in balance then the levels of progesterone, testosterone, estrogen, LH and FSH will also be in balance.

    Without magnesium sufficient amount of hormones cannot be produced which will result in irregular ovulation and other endocrine disruptions. It controls the production of insulin thus preventing blood sugar spikes. Magnesium is essential in healing hormonal problems like PCOS. Magnesium helps in the production of the thyroid hormone which prevents inflammation and thyroid diseases. It prevents chronic urination helping women to have a sound sleep at night.

  7. Anxiety, Depression and Sleep Problems

    Deficiency of magnesium will have a great impression on the sleep, but can be instantly overcome with magnesium supplements. Magnesium is also called the ultimate relaxation mineral. This is because it helps in relaxing the muscles of the body, calms the nervous system both of which are essential for a sound sleep. Magnesium is also required for functioning of the GABA receptors present in the brain. These GABA receptors are the neurotransmitter that let the brain to changeover into a tranquil condition. Being insomniac or having trouble in sleeping directly points towards lack of magnesium on the body.

    Even if someone if deficient by a very small amount, they may face difficulty in relaxing during the night because of magnesium’s important role in the central nervous system. One may take the magnesium supplement if magnesium intake through food is not being sufficient as per the quantity required for the body. Most people suffering from troubled sleep take magnesium supplements at night for experiencing a smooth uninterrupted sleep.

    Anxiety on is one of the most common mental ailment which is in fact is a very common symptom of magnesium deficiency. Deficiency of magnesium can make one cranky, can give cramps and tense a person. Hence, if one feels nervous, at unrest, worried at some uncertainty then they should be given some magnesium supplements. Magnesium may not be the ultimate treatment for anxiety by various different factors.

    Depression is a grave disorder that can give people a huge deal of anguish, as well as to their near and dear ones like friends and family. Treatments such as medication and counseling like talking therapies help the patient to overcome this adverse situation. When medications are taken into consideration, magnesium plays a huge role as an anti- depressant. Scientists have approved magnesium supplements to be a “safe” medicine to rely on. However, overdose of antidepressants should be strictly avoided.

  8. Migraines

    Headaches or migraines are mostly caused by the constriction or tenseness of the muscles. Tension headaches are the consequence of tense muscles that can generally be noticed in the upper back or behind neck or shoulders and are sometimes perceived as migraines. Research has proved that this kind of headaches can be observed more in people who are lacking in magnesium levels compared to people have adequate magnesium content. Contracting muscles are another cause of the headaches which is also a result of magnesium deficiency. Adding more quantity of magnesium in the diet and by consuming food that is rich in magnesium will give relief from headaches and migraines to a large extent. Medicines can only solve the problem for the time being but magnesium on the other will be able cure it for long term.

  9. Constipation

    Magnesium helps in relaxation of the muscles which also includes the muscles of the intestines. Therefore, deficiency of magnesium results in contraction of the intestinal muscles making it difficult to pass waste leading to constipation. Magnesium works as a laxative because it has the capability to draw water into the feces which makes them softer and simpler to pass. The overdose of magnesium or magnesium supplement may give the very opposite trouble that was originally upsetting. Thus, if taking magnesium supplement the dosage should be mild so that one does not suffer from loose bowels every 5 minutes. Overdose of the supplement may feel uneasy, but remaining hydrated will help and the effect of it will slowly fade away.

  10. Pregnancy complaints

    Magnesium levels can substantially affect health and mood during pregnancy. Morning sickness can be overcome by consuming transdermal magnesium. Magnesium is very much required in the healthy development of the fetus and the wellbeing of the mother and deficiency in such a case may turn out to cause long term ailments. Some symptoms of magnesium deficiency can be muscle cramps, high blood pressure including anxiety, depression and headaches. Another important fact about magnesium is that, a woman may have problems in conceiving due to spasms in the fallopian tube. Still if the woman conceives then she will be in for a painful labor and can also suffer a miscarriage. The woman may even go into a premature labor due an over-sensitive uterus or uterine hyper excitability. Preeclampsia, a life threatening complication, leg cramps, gestational hypertension and water retention can affect the body if the pregnant woman is deficient in magnesium.

    Other problems include difficulty in regulating the baby’s body temperature; intrauterine growth restriction along with disorders in metabolism can all lead to death of the infant. Thus, a pregnant woman can have a diet that includes magnesium rich foods like fish, cereals, dried fruits, green vegetables and beans. One may avoid saturated fats food with high sugar content, processed food, alcohol and caffeine. Vitamin D helps in absorption of magnesium, so getting sufficient sunlight always helps.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:May 24, 2018

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