Magnesium Deficiency – Symptoms and Treatment

The body requires all sorts of nutrients to function properly; and vitamins and minerals in their correct proportions should be present in the body for this. Among the essential minerals that the body requires, is Magnesium. This mineral is found in various types of body tissue such as the bones, the organs and other tissues of the body and even the blood stream.

Why is magnesium important?

Magnesium impacts routine body functions such as proper muscle tone, bone strength, functioning of the nerves, a healthy immune system, regular heart beats, keeping blood pressure normal and even regulating levels of blood sugar. Recently clinicians have also been exploring the use of magnesium in treating problems such as heart arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat), heart attacks, chronic heart disease, asthma, diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome and so on.

Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency


A deficiency of this vitamin is most often manifested by symptoms such as fatigue or tiredness, weakness of the muscles and hyper-excitability. If magenesium levels in the body get dangerously low, they could cause muscle spasms or tremors, sodium retention, hypokalemia (low serum potassium levels), nausea, appetite disturbances and even personality changes. In very extreme deficiency this could even lead to heart failure.

Causes of magnesium deficiency

If one’s diet is lacking in leafy greens, certain legumes, seeds and whole grains, it could be that the body is not getting adequate amounts of magnesium from the diet. Other cases of this deficiency can be poorly controlled diabetes, dehydration from diarrhea or vomiting, alcohol abuse and so on. Certain medications can also cause a deficiency of this essential mineral.

Certain health conditions such as Bartter syndrome and Gitelman syndrome may also be responsible for causing the deficiency. Some types of magnesium deficiency could also have a genetic element.

Treatments for magnesium deficiency

For a mild deficiency all that may be needed is to increase the proportion of magnesium rick foods in the diet. In a lot cases, increasing the amount of leafy veggies, whole grains such as rice, oats and bran can redress the deficiency.

Sometimes supplements may have to be prescribed for redressing the deficiency. However it is important never to self medicate and to take any supplement only after consulting with a doctor. If may be that a supplement is not required and may be contraindicated. On the other hand it could be that injectible and not oral supplements are required so always use supplements only on the advice of a doctor.