Magnesium Deficiency: Do You Know the Symptoms?

girl taking a sunbath

Magnesium deficiency is a constant in this day and age. In fact, there are studies which estimate its prevalence at 42% of the young adult population (1). U.S. experts estimate that 56 to 68% of their population fails to get enough magnesium in their daily diets (2, 3). How can this be? Our hectic day-to-day lifestyles have a great deal to do with our low levels of this nutrient.

For example, did you know that alcohol reduces magnesium’s presence in the body? Beyond that, medications like antibiotics can also influence our levels (4). But what are the symptoms of low magnesium? How can we avoid it? That’s precisely what we’re here to discuss, so keep reading!

Key Ideas

  • Does magnesium deficiency have any symptoms? If that’s what you’re wondering, you’ve found the right place. Signs of low magnesium are sometimes imperceptible, or may be confused with many other medical conditions. However, there are certain symptoms which can raise eyebrows for even your regular physician.
  • Headaches, loss of appetite, or high blood pressure could perhaps be the alarm which makes your doctor suspect a magnesium deficiency. If he or she recommends a magnesium supplement, consider a liposomal version. They’re at the forefront of nutritional supplement technology for a variety of reasons, especially their increased effectiveness.
  • Are you unfamiliar with liposomal supplements? This article will both unpack the symptoms of magnesium deficiency and explain the best treatment to prevent it: Sundt Nutrition’s liposomal supplements. These products boast a variety of advantages; you won’t want to switch once you’ve tried them.

What Are the Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency?

Over the last century, many of the fruits and vegetables we grow have lost their magnesium content. This reduction is related to recent decades’ depletion of the magnesium found in soil. (5) We also have to add the increased number of processed foods in our diet as a contributor. But what symptoms can alert you to a possible magnesium deficiency? Let’s take a look!

girl covering her face
Headaches and migraines are common in people with severe magnesium deficits. (Source: Aleksic: hko-iwhydye/ Unsplash.com)

Initial Symptoms

Magnesium deficiency is a relatively common phenomenon, but one rarely detected by general practitioners.

In fact, low magnesium levels are quite tricky to diagnose, since the symptoms tend toward the non-specific. However, some early signs may appear, including (6, 7, 8, 10):

  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue

Moderate Symptoms

Scientific studies have identified a series of symptoms which indicate a moderate-to-severe loss of this macronutrient. They include (4, 6, 7):

  • Muscle cramps and contractions. These may take the form of painful muscle cramps in your hands and feet. You may also experience pain and involuntary muscle spasms.
  • Altered mood or personality. Signs include anxiety, irritability, and even aggressive behaviour.
  • Irregular heartbeat. Magnesium deficiency affects your cardiovascular health, as shown in many studies.
  • Tinnitus. Also known as ringing or buzzing in the ears.

Severe Symptoms

When your magnesium levels fall even lower, we conider this a severe deficiency. In these cases, the safest treatment is to optimise your nutrient levels through diet changes and nutritional supplements. This can be a useful therapy for various illnesses, experts inform us. The symptoms of severe magnesium deficiency are (4, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13):

  • Eye conditions. Many diseases affecting the eyes appear when we age. However, studies indicate that preventing magnesium deficiency could help us better manage future problems like cataracts and glaucoma.
  • Arrhythmia and tachycardia. Effects on your cardiovascular system may include heart palpitations and irregular heartbeats (arrhythmia). Other signs include angina (chest pain), high blood pressure, and heart valve problems.
  • Low potassium levels. The relationship between magnesium and potassium still requires further study, but there is a possibility that magnesium deficiency can lead to potassium deficiency. If so, to correct the latter mineral deficiency, the magnesium issue needs to be fixed first.
  • Depression. Magnesium deficiency is related to a variety of psychological symptoms, particularly depression. We require magnesium to turn tryptophan into serotonin, an important neurotransmitter for our mood and mental health.
  • High blood pressure. Low magnesium levels contribute to calcification in your veins. There is evidence that fixing a magnesium deficiency could help people better manage their blood pressure.
  • Migraines. Headaches and migraines are common in people with severe magnesium deficits.
  • Osteoporosis. Magnesium is necessary for us to metabolise vitamin D. This vitamin facilitates calcium’s absorption and metabolism. As such, low magnesium can make our bones more fragile, which in turn increases our risk of osteoporosis.
  • Behavioural problems. Abnormal levels of certain electrolytes in our bloodstream, including magnesium, can affect our neurons. This may give rise to a wide range of behavioural problems.
boy in low mood
Magnesium deficiency is related to a variety of psychological symptoms, particularly depression. (Source: Cferdo: 6x2ikgi6spu/ Unsplash.com)

What Causes Magnesium Deficiency?

First of all, the causes don’t always have to do with your magnesium intake. Rather, these symptoms are often linked to the nutrient being lost through the stomach, kidneys, or skin. Let’s look at how this can happen:

  • Intestinal problems. Magnesium deficiency is often seen in people with alcoholism – an addiction which leads to problems with nutrition and difficulty absorbing the nutrients in food. Low magnesium also appears in severely malnourished people. Diarrhoea, coeliac disease, and bypass surgery can also hinder the body from absorbing this nutrient.
  • Loss of magnesium through the skin. This condition, called hypomagnesemia, can appear after intense workouts which lead to a lot of sweating. It’s also common in people with serious burns.
  • Kidney problems. Magnesium loss can be a consequence of diabetes (which damages the kidneys) or hereditary diseases.

What’s the Daily Recommended Dose of Magnesium?

Adults’ recommended magnesium intake stands at around 300 to 400 milligrams a day. To be more precise, it depends greatly on your age and gender. Let’s check the table (14, 15):

Magnesium RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance)
Development StageAgeWomen (mg/day)Men (mg/day)
Infants0-6 months40 40
Infants7-12 months75 75
Children1-3 years8585
Children4-5 years120120
Children6-9 years170170
Children10-13 years250850
Adolescents14-18 years300350
Adults19-30 years300350
Adults31 and up300350
Pregnant Women18 and under300
Pregnant Women19-30 years300
Pregnant Women31 and up300
Breastfeeding Women18 and under300
Breastfeeding Women19-30 years300
Breastfeeding Women31 and up300

Who’s at Risk for Magnesium Deficiency?

Almost all of us could suffer from magnesium deficits without knowing it. However, keep in mind that the groups most prone to magnesium deficiency are (8, 10):

  • People with type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes can increase the amount of magnesium lost through urine.
  • Older adults. In general, older people’s diets contain less magnesium than younger adults. Plus, the intestines’ ability to absorb magnesium lessens with age, and the amount lost through urine increases. Older adults are also more prone to chronic illness, as well as to taking medications which alter their magnesium balance and increase risk of deficiency.
  • People with intestinal conditions. These problems can also lead to vitamin D deficiency. The chronic diarrhoea and malabsorption of nutrients caused by Crohn’s disease, coeliac disease, and any other intestinal condition can lead to low magnesium over time. The same phenomenon occurs in people who have undergone surgeries which remove parts of the intestines.
  • People with alcohol dependency. Magnesium deficiency is common in people with alcoholism. This group generally has poor nutrition and tends to suffer gastrointestinal problems like vomiting, diarrhoea, or difficulty going to the toilet. Alcohol addiction also leads to kidney problems and excessive loss of magnesium through urine. If it also manifests as liver disease, the magnesium deficiency may become even worse.

How Can I Prevent Magnesium Deficiency?

There’s a wide range of causes which might lead you to low magnesium, from unhealthy diet to problems absorbing nutrients – or even day-to-day stress! The best ways to avoid deficiency are always changing your diet or taking supplements. Are you familiar with liposomal supplements? First, let’s take a look at how to prevent magnesium deficiency (14).

magnesium rich food
Many foods contain magnesium, but their consumption has fallen significantly in recent decades as our eating habits change. (Source: Milling: qc2eprqhv5c/ Unsplash.com)

Foods High in Magnesium

Many foods contain magnesium, but their consumption has fallen significantly in recent decades as our eating habits change.

Plus, remember that experts estimate the mineral content of vegetables has fallen by up to 80 or 90% in the last century.

As if that weren’t enough, processing food removes magnesium, which also contributes to the lower amounts we absorb nowadays. In any case, let’s look at the foods with high magnesium content, starting with the richest sources (5, 14, 15, 16):

FoodMilligrams (mg) Per 100-Gram Serving
Sunflower seeds387
Almonds (without shell)258
Hazelnuts (without shell)258
Chickpeas, white beans, and pinto beans160
Calamari, octopus, etc.139
Dark chocolate (sugar added)107
Whole wheat bread91

Liposomal Supplements

Has your doctor told you that a magnesium supplement could do you some good? Have they not suggested a specific product, and you’re not sure what to take? This may be the ideal moment to examine the supplement market, because the latest technology lies in innovative liposomal supplements. Never heard of them? No worries – we’ll explain!

There are various types of magnesium supplements on the market, but sadly the traditional pills and tablets tend to cause indigestion and even diarrhoea (14). These disagreeable side effects don’t occur with liposomal supplements due to their formulation in drops.

But it goes far beyond that! Liposomal supplements are a genuine revolution in the world of nutrition. Why? Let’s examine the benefits (17, 18, 19)!

  • Why are liposomal supplements more effective than traditional ones? Because they travel through your bloodstream enveloped inside liposomes. We’ll explain more about these tiny friends as we go.
  • What happens when magnesium is packaged inside a liposome? We’re talking about nothing more or less than nanomedicine. Liposomes are nanoparticles which serve as ‘wrapping’ or ‘packaging’ around magnesium. They allow the macromineral to travel through the bloodstream without causing the dreaded indigestion of conventional supplements.
  • How do liposomal supplements provide more magnesium to the body more quickly? With greater bioavailability. In other words, liposomes manage to increase the nutrients our body can actually absorb when compared to traditional supplements.
  • What are the other advantages of liposomal supplements? Cost-effectiveness. The cost-to-performance ratio is unbeatable, because with smaller amounts of the supplement, your body receives more of the nutrient.

Our Conclusions

Do you need more magnesium? Are you a physically active person, or someone with a diet less healthy than you might like thanks to your hectic lifestyle? As we’ve just discussed, it’s quite easy to develop magnesium deficiency, but the symptoms are not always easily identifiable.

Have you been hearing about liposomal supplements? If you need more magnesium, they provide the best, most reliable formula. You can bid farewell to nasty tablets and hard-to-swallow capsules. Liposomal drops can be added to your everyday diet without you even noticing, and your body will enjoy the benefits of this vital nutrient. Plus, they’re sugar-free, gluten-free, and GMO-free. You’ll love them!

If you enjoyed this article, feel free to share it so that others can learn about liposomal technology. Or leave us a comment – we’ll get back to you right away!

References (19)

1. C. Sales Hermes, D. Azevedo Nascimento, AC Queiroz Medeiros, K. Costa Lima, LF. Campos Pedrosa and C. Colli, “There is a chronic latent magnesium deficiency in apparently healthy university students”, Nutricion Hospitalaria, vol. 30, no. 1, pp. 200–204, 2014.
Source

2. A. Moshfegh, J. Goldman, and L. Cleveland, What we eat in America, NHANES 2001–2002: Usual Nutrient Intakes from Foods Compared to Dietary Reference Intakes, USDA Department of Agricultural Research, 2005.
Source

3. DE King, AG Mainous III, ME Geesey and RF Woolson, “Dietary Levels of Magnesium and C-Reactive Protein,” The Journal of the American College of Nutrition, vol. 24, no. 3, pp. 166-171, 2005.
Source

4. The importance of magnesium in clinical healthcareGerry K. Schwalfenberg and Stephen J. Genuis. Department of Family Medicine, University of Alberta, No. 301, 9509-156 Street, Edmonton, AB, Canada. College of Medicine, University of Alberta, 2935-66 Street, Edmonton, AB, Canada. University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada.
Source

5. Challenges in the diagnosis of magnesium statusJayme L. Workinger, Robert. P. Doyle, Jonathan Bortz Nutrients 2018 Sep; 10 (9): 1202. Published online September 1, 2018. Doi: 10.3390 / nu10091202 PMCID: PMC6163803.
Source

6. Smogorzewski MJ, Stubbs JR, Yu ASL. Trastornos del equilibrio de calcio, magnesio y fosfato. En: Skorecki K, Chertow GM, Marsden PA, Taal MW, Yu ASL, eds. Brenner y Rector’s The Kidney . 10ª ed. Filadelfia, PA: Elsevier; 2016: capítulo 19.
Source

7. Magnesium deficiency. NIH U.S. National Library of Medicine.
Source

8. Subclinical Magnesium Deficiency: A Major Driver of Cardiovascular Disease and a Public Health Crisis. James J DiNicolantonio, James H O’Keefeand, William Wilson.
Source

9. Magnesium. Linus Pauling Institute » Micronutrient Information Center (MIC). Oregon State University.
Source

10. Magnesium. NIH U.S. National Library of Medicine. Disponible online
Source

11. Siwek M, Wróbel A, Dudek D et al. . [The role of copper and magnesium in the pathogenesis and treatment of affective disorders]. Psychiatr Pol 2005; 39: 911-20. [PubMed] [Google Scholar].
Source

12. Short-Term Oral Magnesium Supplementation Suppresses Bone Turnover in Postmenopausal Osteoporotic Women Hasan Aydın, Oğuzhan Deyneli, Dilek Yavuz, Hülya Gözü, Nilgün Mutlu, Işık Kaygusuz & Sema Akalın Biological Trace Element Research.
Source

13. Delirium. Juebin Huang , MD, PhD, Memory Impairment and Neurodegenerative Dementia (MIND) Center, University of Mississippi Medical Center.
Source

14. Magnesium: Are We Getting Enough? Mohammed S. Razzaque Nutrients 2018 Dec; 10 (12): 1863. Published online December 2, 2018. Doi: 10.3390 / u10121863 PMCID: PMC6316205.
Source

15. informe del Comité Científico de la Agencia Española de Seguridad Alimentaria y Nutrición (AESAN) sobre Ingestas Nutricionales de Referencia para la población española.
Source

16. Institute of Medicine (IOM). Food and Nutrition Board. Dietary Reference Intakes: Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Vitamin D, and Fluoride external link disclaimer. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1997.
Source

17. Liposomal-encapsulated Ascorbic Acid: Influence on Vitamin C Bioavailability and Capacity to Protect Against Ischemia–Reperfusion Injury. Janelle L. Davis, Hunter L. Paris, Joseph W. Beals, Scott E. Binns, Gregory R. Giordano, Rebecca L. Scalzo, Melani M. Schweder, Emek Blair and Christopher Bell. Journal ListNutr Metab Insightsv.9; 2016PMC4915787
Source

18. Liposomes for Enhanced Bioavailability of Water-Insoluble Drugs: In Vivo Evidence and Recent Approaches. Mi-Kyung Lee. Pharmaceutics. 2020 Mar; 12(3): 264. Published online 2020 Mar 13. doi: 10.3390/pharmaceutics12030264 PMCID: PMC7151102 ArticlePubReaderPDF–2.9MCitation.
Source

19. Allen TM, Cullis PR Liposomal Drug Delivery Systems: From Concept to Clinical Applications. Adv. Drug Deliv. Rev. 2013; 65: 36–48. doi: 10.1016 / .addr.2012.09.037. [PubMed] [CrossRef] [Google Scholar].
Source

Scientific Article
C. Sales Hermes, D. Azevedo Nascimento, AC Queiroz Medeiros, K. Costa Lima, LF. Campos Pedrosa and C. Colli, “There is a chronic latent magnesium deficiency in apparently healthy university students”, Nutricion Hospitalaria, vol. 30, no. 1, pp. 200–204, 2014.
Go to source
Scientific Article
A. Moshfegh, J. Goldman, and L. Cleveland, What we eat in America, NHANES 2001–2002: Usual Nutrient Intakes from Foods Compared to Dietary Reference Intakes, USDA Department of Agricultural Research, 2005.
Go to source
Scientific Article
DE King, AG Mainous III, ME Geesey and RF Woolson, “Dietary Levels of Magnesium and C-Reactive Protein,” The Journal of the American College of Nutrition, vol. 24, no. 3, pp. 166-171, 2005.
Go to source
Scientific Article
The importance of magnesium in clinical healthcareGerry K. Schwalfenberg and Stephen J. Genuis. Department of Family Medicine, University of Alberta, No. 301, 9509-156 Street, Edmonton, AB, Canada. College of Medicine, University of Alberta, 2935-66 Street, Edmonton, AB, Canada. University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada.
Go to source
Scientific Article
Challenges in the diagnosis of magnesium statusJayme L. Workinger, Robert. P. Doyle, Jonathan Bortz Nutrients 2018 Sep; 10 (9): 1202. Published online September 1, 2018. Doi: 10.3390 / nu10091202 PMCID: PMC6163803.
Go to source
Scientific Article
Smogorzewski MJ, Stubbs JR, Yu ASL. Trastornos del equilibrio de calcio, magnesio y fosfato. En: Skorecki K, Chertow GM, Marsden PA, Taal MW, Yu ASL, eds. Brenner y Rector’s The Kidney . 10ª ed. Filadelfia, PA: Elsevier; 2016: capítulo 19.
Go to source
Website
Magnesium deficiency. NIH U.S. National Library of Medicine.
Go to source
Academic Article
Subclinical Magnesium Deficiency: A Major Driver of Cardiovascular Disease and a Public Health Crisis. James J DiNicolantonio, James H O’Keefeand, William Wilson.
Go to source
Official Website
Magnesium. Linus Pauling Institute » Micronutrient Information Center (MIC). Oregon State University.
Go to source
Official Website
Magnesium. NIH U.S. National Library of Medicine. Disponible online
Go to source
Academic Article
Siwek M, Wróbel A, Dudek D et al. . [The role of copper and magnesium in the pathogenesis and treatment of affective disorders]. Psychiatr Pol 2005; 39: 911-20. [PubMed] [Google Scholar].
Go to source
Academic Article
Short-Term Oral Magnesium Supplementation Suppresses Bone Turnover in Postmenopausal Osteoporotic Women Hasan Aydın, Oğuzhan Deyneli, Dilek Yavuz, Hülya Gözü, Nilgün Mutlu, Işık Kaygusuz & Sema Akalın Biological Trace Element Research.
Go to source
Official Website
Delirium. Juebin Huang , MD, PhD, Memory Impairment and Neurodegenerative Dementia (MIND) Center, University of Mississippi Medical Center.
Go to source
Academic Article
Magnesium: Are We Getting Enough? Mohammed S. Razzaque Nutrients 2018 Dec; 10 (12): 1863. Published online December 2, 2018. Doi: 10.3390 / u10121863 PMCID: PMC6316205.
Go to source
Official document
informe del Comité Científico de la Agencia Española de Seguridad Alimentaria y Nutrición (AESAN) sobre Ingestas Nutricionales de Referencia para la población española.
Go to source
Website
Institute of Medicine (IOM). Food and Nutrition Board. Dietary Reference Intakes: Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Vitamin D, and Fluoride external link disclaimer. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1997.
Go to source
Academic Document
Liposomal-encapsulated Ascorbic Acid: Influence on Vitamin C Bioavailability and Capacity to Protect Against Ischemia–Reperfusion Injury. Janelle L. Davis, Hunter L. Paris, Joseph W. Beals, Scott E. Binns, Gregory R. Giordano, Rebecca L. Scalzo, Melani M. Schweder, Emek Blair and Christopher Bell. Journal ListNutr Metab Insightsv.9; 2016PMC4915787
Go to source
Academic Document
Liposomes for Enhanced Bioavailability of Water-Insoluble Drugs: In Vivo Evidence and Recent Approaches. Mi-Kyung Lee. Pharmaceutics. 2020 Mar; 12(3): 264. Published online 2020 Mar 13. doi: 10.3390/pharmaceutics12030264 PMCID: PMC7151102 ArticlePubReaderPDF–2.9MCitation.
Go to source
Scientific Document
Allen TM, Cullis PR Liposomal Drug Delivery Systems: From Concept to Clinical Applications. Adv. Drug Deliv. Rev. 2013; 65: 36–48. doi: 10.1016 / .addr.2012.09.037. [PubMed] [CrossRef] [Google Scholar].
Go to source
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