Symptoms of low magnesium
If you aren’t familiar with something, it doesn’t mean you have to overlook it. It can be something serious. Some of you may or may not have yet encountered the term Hypomagnesemia – magnesium deficiency. You won’t notice the symptoms of low magnesium unless levels are extremely low.
Uncommon as it may sound, but it’s something you need to be aware of. It can lead to some serious health conditions if left untreated. Having symptoms of low magnesium is not a serious condition if you have it checked early on. Your doctor may order you for a serum magnesium test if you’re suspecting of magnesium deficiency.
Before we dig deeper into magnesium deficiency, let’s learn more about magnesium and why your body needs the average dietary intake level. Magnesium is an important mineral to maintain a normal bone structure in the body.
You can get it from your daily food intake as long as you include magnesium-rich foods in your diet. Although if you have low magnesium levels, you need to take magnesium supplements. Aside from maintaining your bone structure, here are the other bodily functions that magnesium carries out.
- Nerve functions
- Protein synthesis
- Energy production
- Teeth structure
- Muscle functions
- DNA reproduction
Even if you have magnesium in your diet, your body can’t easily absorb magnesium.
Certain factors can alter it.
- existing kidney problems
- taking certain medicines
- celiac disease
- digestive problems
- Drinking too much alcohol
What are the signs of low magnesium in the body?
According to a National Institutes of Health study, 50% of Americans have lower than the average level of required magnesium intake. Suffice to say that half of the US population has low magnesium levels. You might want to get yours checked through a blood test before it turns to other health issues.
If you’re not feeling anything unusual, chances are your magnesium level is at par. It can also be low, just not low enough for your body to develop symptoms. To further understand if you are experiencing the symptoms, here is the list of signs to watch for magnesium deficiency.
1. Irregular heartbeat
If you are experiencing irregular heartbeat or arrhythmia, you need to have your magnesium levels checked as they can be seriously low.
However, it’s always on a case-to-case basis. Some may experience heart palpitations, while some may have none at all. With vibrations, you might notice a sudden pause in between your heartbeats.
With an arrhythmia, you might also experience:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Fainting – in severe cases
Low levels of magnesium can be the culprit to these abnormal heart rhythms. It is also medically reviewed that there’s another factor affecting your low magnesium level, your potassium level. Thus, leading to this symptom or other condition.
2. Muscle Spasms and Cramps
Magnesium is vital in muscle relaxation and improving muscle contractions. These are very common nowadays as the hype for fitness goals continues. If you’re working out, all the more that you need to include magnesium in your diets.
Taking magnesium supplements can help aid your muscle cramps and spasms. For older adults, these symptoms differ as they might experience more discomfort that even magnesium supplements can’t suppress.
If worse comes to worst, magnesium deficiency can cause convulsions and seizures. However, there are some other factors to look at that cause your spasms. It can also be caused by too much caffeine intake and stress.
3. High blood pressure
If you want to avoid heart disease, you better watch out for low magnesium levels. Magnesium deficiency can raise your blood pressure that can then possibly affect your heart.
There are studies and tests conducted on animals that imply how magnesium can affect your blood pressure. On the other hand, magnesium supplement intake can help lower blood pressure, as a study shows.
It’s given that magnesium maintains a healthy bone structure, so its lack will surely lead to this bone disorder. Osteoporosis can make your bones weak and prone to fractures.
Ironically, as you know, calcium to be the main component of your bones. Magnesium can lower calcium levels. Moderation is key.
Simply put, calcium and potassium are your bone essentials. Other factors can lead to osteoporosis – lack of vitamin D and K, aging, and lack of exercise.
5. Fatigue and weakness
Are you feeling exhausted and sometimes weak? This is another symptom of low magnesium. Yes, it’s normal to feel tired, especially after a long day’s work. But if you’re experiencing constant fatigue, you might want to consult a health care professional for other health conditions.
If there’s fatigue, likely, you’re also feeling weak. Poor dietary intake of magnesium can cause myasthenia or muscle weakness. When your magnesium levels are low, potassium levels in your muscles will drop, leading to muscle weakness.
What happens if your magnesium is low?
Whenever you aren’t feeling normal, chances are there might be inadequacy in some vitamins and minerals. It’s your body telling you to pause and assess yourself. Take, for example, if you have low magnesium levels, it increases the risk of type 2 diabetes and can also affect your body.
Here’s what happens when your magnesium is low
- You experience a loss of appetite.
Have you ever sat down at a table full of delicious food and felt nothing? Then you may be having the first sign of magnesium deficiency.
- You are vomiting and nauseous.
This is the partner of poor appetite, the one mentioned above. You might think that it might just be the last food you ate. But if it comes with a loss of appetite, it can be a low magnesium level.
Watch out if you are feeling sick to your stomach or nauseous. Consult a health professional to be sure.
- There’s a lack of emotion.
If most of the time your mind’s blacking out and you’re feeling low to no emotions at all, this is apathy. It’s a condition caused by low magnesium levels. Lack of this mineral can also lead to depression and anxiety.
- You have Asthma
Studies show that if you have acute asthma, there’s a high tendency that your magnesium levels are also low. Those with asthma tend to have lower levels compared to those who don’t have it.
When in doubt, have it checked. If you have ticked most of the checklist above, don’t panic. Getting your magnesium back to a normal level isn’t hard to do. Your doctor knows best, so with the right supplements and correct dietary intake.