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The Low Magnesium Epidemic: Dr. Berg Explains Signs, Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 10/12/2023

Ever wondered why you feel those odd muscle twitches or bouts of insomnia? The culprit might be closer than you think - hiding right within your daily diet. We're talking about magnesium, an unsung hero in our body's symphony of functions.

This tiny mineral plays a massive role in keeping us healthy but often gets overlooked. It’s like the understudy who never gets credit until the star is missing! Did you know that over 40% of people are low on this crucial nutrient?

Intriguing. Stick around, and let's delve into recognizing signs and symptoms linked with magnesium deficiency.

We'll also explore its potential health risks, such as cardiovascular complications and diabetes, understand what causes this shortfall, and learn practical ways to boost our intake through diet and supplementation.

Let's begin our exploration of magnesium deficiency and its potential health risks! Get ready for a thrilling ride!

Understanding Magnesium Deficiency

Magnesium deficiency, or hypomagnesemia, is a health issue that often flies under the radar. Approximately two out of every five people worldwide are not consuming adequate amounts of magnesium.

Magnesium-rich foods

The Role of Magnesium in the Body

This underrated mineral plays an essential role in our bodies. It helps maintain muscle and nerve function, supports a healthy immune system, keeps your heartbeat steady, and aids bone health.

Studies have found that magnesium involves more than 350 enzyme or biochemical pathways - from energy production to DNA synthesis.

However, every individual has unique nutritional needs based on age, sex, weight, and overall health status. One individual may require a different amount than another; too little or too much could be the case.

Tackling Deficiency Through Diet And Supplementation

To tackle this prevalent deficiency head-on, we need practical solutions like improving dietary intake of magnesium-rich foods and considering supplementation when necessary.

But always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen.

Signs and Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency

We must pay attention to the messages our bodies are sending us. A lack of magnesium can lead to physical and psychological symptoms that may seem unrelated.

Physical Indicators of Deficiency

If your muscles are twitching or cramping without an apparent reason, like exercise, they might tell you something important - you lack magnesium.

These uncomfortable sensations aren't just annoying; they could signal a severe deficiency. High C-reactive protein levels, a biomarker used to measure inflammation in the body, can be an indication of magnesium deficiency.

Psychological Symptoms Related to Magnesium Deficiency

Magnesium isn’t just about bodily function – it also plays a crucial role in our mental health. Feelings of depression are often associated with low levels of this vital mineral.

So, if your mood seems quieter than usual, don't simply chalk it up to having a bad day - consider checking your magnesium intake.

Health Risks Associated with Magnesium Deficiency

It's not just a minor issue; magnesium deficiency can seriously affect your health. Complications can arise when the body doesn't get enough of this essential mineral.

Cardiovascular Complications

Magnesium plays a pivotal role in heart health and vascular function. Its shortage may lead to high blood pressure because it aids in relaxing arteries and muscles.

Studies suggest that lack of magnesium might even mess up the functioning of the heart's pacemaker cells, triggering arrhythmias - irregular heartbeat rhythms that are no fun at all.

The Link Between Magnesium Deficiency and Diabetes

If you thought diabetes was only about sugar control, think again. A lack of magnesium has been connected to an augmented risk of diabetes and insulin resistance.

Research demonstrates how crucial maintaining healthy levels of this mineral is for metabolic health. Don’t let your body miss out on what it needs; remember, 'magnificent' starts with 'magnesium.'

Causes of Magnesium Deficiency

Magnesium deficiency, or hypomagnesemia, can stem from a variety of causes. Two major categories are dietary factors and other health-related influences.

Dietary Factors Contributing to Deficiency

A poor diet is often the root cause behind inadequate magnesium levels. Food processing and refining strips away essential nutrients, including magnesium. So, our intake drops drastically when we favor refined carbohydrates over whole grains.

Sugar-laden foods are another culprit, as they require lots of magnesium for digestion but provide none in return. This ends up depleting your body's stores even more.

Other Factors That Can Deplete Magnesium

Beyond diet, several health conditions and lifestyle choices also contribute to low magnesium levels. Chronic diarrhea can flush out essential minerals before absorption occurs.

Certain medications like diuretics and antibiotics interfere with the body's absorption of this mineral. Age plays a role, too; as you grow older, your ability to retain this crucial nutrient diminishes.

Magnesium deficiency printed on paper

Addressing Magnesium Deficiency: Diet and Supplementation

The key to fixing magnesium deficiency is increasing intake. This can be done through diet or supplements. Depending on your health condition, you must get the right amount of magnesium daily, ranging from 300 to 750 milligrams.

Diet plays a significant role in maintaining healthy levels of magnesium. Foods rich in this essential mineral are necessary for our bodies.

Dark, leafy green vegetables like spinach and kale are excellent sources of dietary magnesium. Here is a list of more high-magnesium foods.

If food isn't enough, many bioavailable forms of magnesium supplements exist. These encompass magnesium supplements like citrate, lactate, glycinate, aspartate, and gluconate.

Remember to always consult your healthcare provider before starting any supplement regimen.

Blood tests help monitor progress when addressing deficiency issues. This guide provides detailed information about how blood tests work to track mineral deficiencies, including Magnesium.


That's a wrap on our deep dive into magnesium deficiency. You've learned how to spot the signs, understand their causes, and take control of your health.

Magnesium plays an integral role in over 350 biochemical reactions within us. But remember that leg cramps or muscle twitching might not just be fatigue - they could signal a lack of this crucial mineral.

The connection between heart health and magnesium isn't one to ignore either. And did you catch that about diabetes risk increasing with low magnesium levels?

Awareness is critical when dealing with Magnesium Deficiency: Signs, Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment effectively. From dietary changes to supplementation options - you now have the knowledge at hand!

Keep exploring these wisdom nuggets as we move together toward optimal health! So here's cheers...to better days filled with wellness ahead!

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