8 Warning Signs & Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency

Did you know that regardless of your BMI, if you don’t have enough magnesium in your system, you can experience a set of unpleasant symptoms? [1]

When the body is exposed to magnesium deficiency long-term, important functions like the digestive system, brain function, etc. may suffer.

This is because magnesium is a pivotal mineral and electrolyte that has a crucial role in various processes in the body, including the production of energy, muscle and nerve function, and bone and teeth structure. [2]

With this in mind, our guide will help you learn:

  • Why magnesium is important for good health
  • How to recognize the early symptoms of a deficiency
  • The most common signs of this nutrient deficiency

It’s a mineral which we can only get through foods and supplements- the body doesn’t produce it naturally!

Unfortunately, a lot of people today don’t acquire the recommended daily amounts of this mineral.

Realizing the role of this nutrient in our optimal health, we should be able to recognize the early indicators of a potential deficiency and consult our doctor for treatment.

Warning Signs & Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency

1. Muscle cramps & twitches

Frequent muscle cramps, tremors, and twitches are common symptoms of magnesium deficiency. [3]

No matter your BMI is, if you’re not getting enough magnesium, you can experience this problem.

  • Muscle cramps have been linked with low magnesium
  • In severe cases, convulsions & seizures may happen
  • A result of the higher flow of calcium in the nerve cells

In worse cases of low levels of magnesium, it can even trigger convulsions and seizures.

This symptom is believed to happen because of the increased flow of calcium into the nerve cells that hyperstimulates the muscle nerves.

But, involuntary twitches may also indicate other reasons- for example, excessive caffeine or stress or a side effect of some meds or due to some other conditions.

Although supplementation may help reduce the cramps in people who’re low on magnesium, studies have found that they’re not the most effective way to treat this deficiency.

2. Tiredness & weak muscles

Chronic tiredness or fatigue is a condition that’s a result of a mental or physical weakness and it’s considered to be one of the symptoms of magnesium deficiency. [4]

Surely, it’s completely normal for every person to become fatigued occasionally and usually, this sensation goes away after rest. But, an ongoing fatigue or a very strong one may signal a health problem.

  • Fatigue may indicate low magnesium
  • Usually accompanied by weakness in the muscles
  • May also be a symptom of other health issues

As it’s not a very specific sign, the reason behind is hard to determine unless there are other accompanying symptoms. Often, low magnesium is characterized by both fatigue and weakness in the muscles!

This weakness is believed to be a result of the reduced potassium in the cells of the muscles, a condition that’s associated with this deficiency.

3. Asthma

Did you know that sometimes, patients with severe asthma suffer from magnesium deficiency?

What’s more, their levels of this nutrient are lower than the levels of it in healthy individuals.

  • Asthma is sometimes associated with low magnesium
  • Asthmatic patients often use magnesium sulphate inhalers
  • More research is necessary

It’s believed that this happens due to the low magnesium causing calcium to build up in the muscles which line the lungs’ airways. [5]

This further ends up constricting the airways and impedes the breathing.

Often, people with asthma are therefore given inhalers with magnesium sulphate in order to expand their airways and relax.

Some scientists also consider asthma one of the symptoms of magnesium deficiency in specific patients; however, further research is necessary to find out more about its role and the effect of magnesium supplements on people with asthma.

4. Irregular heartbeat

This is one of the severe symptoms of magnesium deficiency. Irregular heartbeat or heart arrhythmia is mild in most cases and it can often be asymptomatic.

But, in some individuals, it may trigger heart palpitations or pauses between heartbeats.

The arrhythmia may be characterized by chest ache, fainting, shortness of breath or light-headedness.

  • More severe symptom
  • Result of imbalanced potassium
  • Followed by shortness of breath, chest ache, etc.

According to medical experts, it’s believed that this symptom is a result of the imbalanced potassium levels in the heart muscle cells, a condition linked with low magnesium. [6]

Moreover, in some people who have congestive heart failure and arrhythmia, their levels were found lower than the ones of healthier individuals.

Magnesium injections were found to be a helpful treatment for their weakened heart function. This being said, regardless of your BMI consult your physician if you’ve been experiencing this symptom.

5. Hypertension

Could your increased blood pressure lately be a sign of low magnesium levels in your body?

Namely, in animal studies, it was found that low magnesium may elevate the blood pressure and contribute to hypertension- chronic high blood pressure. [7]

This condition is a risk factor for heart illness!

  • High blood pressure may signal low magnesium
  • Supplements may help decrease hypertension
  • Hypertension increases the risk of heart illness

Although proof of this in humans isn’t available, several studies have found that low magnesium may increase the blood pressure.

In fact, reviews have discovered that magnesium in the form of supplements may help decrease the blood pressure, particularly in adults with hypertension.

So, it’s therefore crucial to consult your physician in case of high blood pressure, no matter what’s your BMI, and check out your magnesium levels-there may be a connection!

6. Mental health problems

Another possible consequence of low magnesium levels in the body is mental health problems. [8] One such mental disorder is apathy that’s manifested by lack of emotions and mental numbness.

A very severe magnesium deficiency can actually trigger delirium and coma.

Some studies have also linked poor levels of this mineral in the body with a higher chance of depression, another mental health problem.

  • Low magnesium can contribute to depression
  • Apathy may be a result of poor magnesium levels
  • There’s a potential link between anxiety & this mineral

Even though evidence is lacking, some scientists believe that the low levels of this mineral can encourage anxiety too.

Magnesium supplements were found beneficial for some individuals with anxiety disorders, yet further research is needed.

What’s known is that the insufficient magnesium contributes to nerve dysfunction that can cause mental issues in some individuals.

7. Weak bones

Weak bones or osteoporosis is a disorder which is manifested by weaker bones and a higher chance of fractures. And, it’s one of the symptoms pointing to a low level of this pivotal nutrient.

The weakening is also affected by factors such as older age, low exercise, and insufficient levels of the vitamins D and K, and magnesium deficiency.

  • Low magnesium weakness the bones
  • It minimizes the calcium levels
  • Higher risk of osteoporosis

The decreased amount of magnesium in the body affects the bone density directly and indirectly too by decreasing the blood levels of calcium- the building block of our bones. [9]

What’s more, several studies have linked the poor intake of magnesium with reduced bone density. And, in mice experiments, magnesium depletion led to bone mass reduction.

8. Migraines

According to research, individuals who have migraine usually have reduced amounts of magnesium than the people who don’t have this health problem.

And, a study has concluded that intake of this mineral on a regular basis helped reduce the frequencies of migraines by an amazing 41.6 percent.

  • Low magnesium may contribute to migraine
  • Supplements may be of aid
  • Magnesium oxide is the best for migraine sufferers

Therefore, migraine is considered to be one of the symptoms of a possible magnesium deficiency. [10]

One of the best ways to avert migraines is to supplement with magnesium oxide- the recommended amount is 400 mg per day.

Being a natural element that’s vital for our overall health, it can be a viable and safe way to alleviate migraines, unlike meds that often come with various side effects.

Final Thoughts

Magnesium deficiency is a deficiency characterized by insufficient amounts of this pivotal mineral in the bodily system.

You can recognize this condition through various common symptoms that we talked about.

One of the best ways to increase the presence of this mineral in the body is through foods rich in it and effective supplements.

But, don’t forget-before taking any treatment measures, it’s always best to consult your physician for the adequate tests and treatment.

Reference sites:

  1. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002423.htm
  2. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/magnesium-deficiency-symptoms
  3. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-proven-magnesium-benefits#section8
  4. https://www.ancient-minerals.com/magnesium-deficiency/symptoms-signs/
  5. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/magnesium-supplements#magnesium
  6. https://www.bulletproof.com/supplements/vitamins-minerals/magnesium-deficiency-supplements-causes/
You might also like