Top 8 Symptoms Of Magnesium Deficiency [Updated 2022]


It is estimated that 75% of Americans are deficient in magnesium.

That’s a problem.

In this article, we explore the most common magnesium deficiency symptoms, what foods are high in magnesium, and the intake recommendations for adequate magnesium intake.

What is magnesium?

Magnesium is an important mineral in the human body and can be found in our bones and muscles.

Magnesium is the 4th most abundant mineral in our body and is essential for optimal health.

Benefits of magnesium include:

  • Helping with muscle and nerve functioning
  • Playing an important role in heartbeat rhythmic.
  • Supporting a healthy immune system
  • Keeping our bones strong

8 Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency

1. Diabetes may be a sign of low levels of magnesium

Individuals with type 2 diabetes often have low levels of magnesium in their bloodstream. A large clinical study of over 2,000 people found that getting more magnesium in the diet may help protect against developing type 2 diabetes.

There was another recent study conducted in 2011 further supporting that magnesium intake is inversely related to type 2 diabetes.

2. Inadequate magnesium intake may be linked to depression

– Magnesium deficiency symptoms include reduced serotonin levels, which may lead to depression. In a 2008 study, magnesium supplements were just as effective as antidepressants in treating depression. In a 2006 study, Magnesium was found usually effective for treatment of depression in general use.

3. Hearing loss

In a study of 300 people in 2004, magnesium was shown to be effective in reducing noise-related hearing loss.

4. Heart Failure

Magnesium is essential for heart health.

In a study conducted in 2003, magnesium was shown to be very effective in helping with arrhythmia, a condition where the heart beats irregularly.

Magnesium is involved in assisting the heart to maintain normal heart rhythm. Magnesium is often given in hospitals to reduce the chance of a patient receiving cardiac arrhythmia.

5. High blood pressure

Fruits and vegetables have been shown to lower blood pressure and these foods are rich in magnesium.

A large clinical study of 8,500 women found that a higher intake of magnesium could decrease high blood pressure.

6. Migraine headaches

One of the many major benefits of magnesium has been magnesium’s ability to help with migraine headaches.

Studies have shown that magnesium levels in the body affect serotonin receptors, NMDA receptors, and nitric oxide synthesis and release.

These have been shown to play a vital role in the causes of migraines. Two double-blind studies have shown that magnesium supplementation may reduce the frequency of migraines.

In many other studies, both migraine and cluster headache patients have responded sharply to intravenous magnesium.

In another double-blind study, the treatment group, receiving 600mg of magnesium for a 12 week period, experienced a 41.6% reduction in headaches as compared to only 15.8% reduction in migraine headaches in the placebo group.

7. Increased risk of osteoporosis

In a study conducted in 2009, a group of menopausal women were given magnesium hydroxide to assess the effects of magnesium on bone density.

At the end of the 2-year study, magnesium therapy appeared to have prevented fractures and resulted in a significant increase in bone density.

Magnesium regulates calcium transport, which could be the reason as to why magnesium consumption is so important in regards to osteoporosis.

Not consuming enough magnesium can be detrimental for bone health as osteoporosis is one of many symptoms associated with magnesium deficiency.

8. Increase chance of symptoms related to PMS

Scientific studies suggest that magnesium supplements may help relieve symptoms associated with PMS, including bloating, insomnia, leg swelling, weight gain, and breast tenderness.

What foods are rich in magnesium?

Magnesium-rich foods include rice, wheat, oats, dried herbs, pumpkin seeds, watermelon seeds, cocoa powder, flax seeds, sesame seeds, and brazil nuts. Other magnesium-rich foods include sunflower seeds, almonds, cashews, molasses, edamame, broccoli, artichoke, potatoes, beet greens, cooked bok choy, carrot juice, cooked Swiss chard, kale, luffa, okra, spinach, sweet potatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, turnip greens, dzuki beans, black beans, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, great northern beans, lentils, and navy bean.

How much magnesium should I be consuming?

The recommended Dietary Allowance is 420 mg/day for men and 320 mg/day for women.

Further Reading

If you are looking for more information on how to improve bone health and strength, then you need to know about collagen. Collagen has been proven to improve the quality of our hair, skin, and bones, among many other benefits. Learn more about the benefits and types of collagen here.

Put It into Practice: 3 Impactful Takeaways to Implement

  • Be aware of the symptoms of magnesium deficiency: Keep an eye out for symptoms such as fatigue, loss of appetite, muscle spasms, nausea, stiffness, and weakness. If you experience any of these symptoms, consider talking to your doctor about the possibility of a magnesium deficiency.
  • Understand how medical conditions and medications can affect magnesium levels: Certain medical conditions and medications can interfere with your body’s ability to absorb magnesium or increase the amount of magnesium that your body excretes. Be aware of this and talk to your doctor if you have any concerns.
  • Consider increasing your magnesium intake if you have diabetes: If you have type 2 diabetes, you may have low levels of magnesium in your bloodstream. Consider increasing your magnesium intake through diet or supplements to help protect against developing type 2 diabetes.

Daniel Maman

Daniel is a certified personal trainer (ACE), has a Bachelors of Science degree in Sports, Exercise, and Wellness, and spends his free time keeping up to date with the latest research in health and fitness. In his free time, you can find him playing basketball, doing muay thai, camping, traveling, reading, and eating tomatoes like they're apples.

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