Magnesium: Are you getting enough?

Magnesium is the second most abundant ion in the body. Approximately 60% of all body magnesium is found in the bone, 25% in muscle, and the remainder in soft tissues and fluids including stomach juices. Magnesium deficiency is difficult to assess as blood level measurement of magnesium tends to be a poor indicator of how much magnesium is actually present in tissues. Magnesium regulates the absorption of calcium and is involved in forming the structural integrity of bones and teeth. Magnesium also regulates the contraction of the heart muscle. Low levels of magnesium in heart tissue may predispose an individual to heart disease. Magnesium relaxes smooth muscle and therefore may be helpful in relaxing the bronchial passages and improve asthma. Furthermore, it may aid in relaxing uterine tissue and therefore decreasing the cramping associated with menstruation. Magnesium is further involved as a calcium channel blocker and thus helps the heart to pump more efficiently and in regulating blood pressure.

Symptoms of magnesium deficiency include: fatigue, irritability, weakness, muscle tightness or spasms, menstrual cramps, high blood pressure, insomnia, sugar cravings, poor nail growth and anxiety. Magnesium deficiency is very common in western countries due to the processed dietary diet consumed. Magnesium deficiency may also be caused by any condition that affects electrolyte balance such as diarrhea, diabetes, malabsorption, and pancreatitis. Magnesium is often used therapeutically in intravenous formulas in treating migraines., headaches, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. It is not recommended to supplement with magnesium without checking with your naturopathic doctor first as magnesium supplementation is not for everyone and may in fact be contraindicated in certain health conditions.

Disclaimer: The information above is intended for informational purposes only. Always consult with your health care provider if this is suitable for you.

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Alene Falomo