10 Signs You May Have a Magnesium Deficiency

Anxiety or Fatigue Could Be Caused By a Magnesium Deficiency: 10 Signs You Have One

Magnesium is a mineral that’s usually available in large amounts in the body. It gives your bones strength, normalizes blood pressure, prevents kidney stones, decreases insulin resistance, and decreases cholesterol in the body. It’s an ever-important mineral and when you have a deficiency, you can count on a host of side effects. Not sleeping well? Irritable for no good reason? You might have a magnesium deficiency.

A magnesium deficiency can be caused by alcohol abuse, drinking coffee on a regular basis, medications, and high levels of stress. If you think you might be deficient, talk to your doctor and consider taking a blood test to find out for sure.

Symptoms of a Magnesium Deficiency:

1. Loss of appetite

2. Fatigue

3. Insomnia

4. Anxiety, depression and restlessness

5. Infertility

6. Personality changes

7. Body odor

8. Difficulty concentrating

9. Carbohydrate cravings

10. Thyroid problems

Magnesium in your diet is associated with foods that contain a lot of fiber including almonds, spinach, cashews, peanuts, soy milk, black beans, whole wheat bread, avocado, brown rice, yogurt, oatmeal, kidney beans, salmon, halibut, raisons, beef, broccoli, apple, and carrots. While it’s relatively easy to get in your diet, you may still find that you’re deficient. People in the U.S. are more likely than other countries to be deficient, likely as a result of a diet high in processed foods. What’s more, there are concerns that our soil is so depleted, that foods which once contained the nutrient, are today depleted as well. It can also be a question of the body’s inability to absorb magnesium into the body for one reason or another.

Talk to your healthcare provider and find out if you’re actually deficient before supplementing your diet because there are health risks to having excessive magnesium in the body. These include hypotension, nausea, vomiting, facial flushing, and retention of urine. But if you’re over 19 years of age, you likely require about 350 mg of magnesium per day, which can usually be found in your diet.

You may also want to consider topical supplementation like Epsom salts. Epsom salt baths are likely my favorite method of supplementing magnesium. To do this, every few days, pour two cups of Epsom salts into warm running water and soak for about 20 minutes. Epsom salts are not actually salt, rather, they are a compound of magnesium and sulfate and while the magnesium helps to deal with any deficiencies, the sulfate helps with the absorption of the mineral into the body. Plus, Epsom salts are an inexpensive way of getting high quality magnesium into the body, helping to ease stress in the mind and body and to relieve tension in the muscles. Apart from that, it helps to eliminate toxins from the body. And who can resist a nice long soak in a hot bath after a stressful day? Not me.

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Sara Novak
Sara Novak

Sara Novak is an independent journalist who reports on health, science, yoga, and travel. She was a writer for Discovery Communications from 2006-2013 and her work has been featured on Discovery Health, Popular Science, TLC, Animal Planet, What to Expect, TreeHugger, and many more. She’s also a certified yoga teacher. When she's not churning away on her laptop, she can be found atop her yoga mat or walking the beach with her husband, baby boy, and two lovable cocker spaniels.