Magnesium Deficiency: Symptoms, Causes, and Solutions

natural_magnesium_deficiencyBy Ali Wetherbee

Did you know that according to the World Health Organization, 75% of adults are deficient in dietary magnesium? Soil depletion is a major culprit in this widespread magnesium deficiency. Even the healthiest of diets may not contain adequate magnesium, since many of the plants we eat are grown in soil lacking this mineral. Municipal water supplies have lower levels of magnesium than the rivers and streams we historically relied upon for drinking water, which also contributes to magnesium deficiency. Add to that the malabsorption problems caused by issues such as leaky gut and excess calcium intake, and it’s no wonder most of us are suffering from magnesium deficiency!

Magnesium deficiency can cause a variety of symptoms, including:

  • irritability, anxiety
  • behavioral problems, memory problems
  • poor appetite, nausea, vomiting
  • lethargy
  • seizures
  • tics, spasms, tremors,
  • muscle cramps, weakness
  • poor coordination
  • trouble swallowing
  • involuntary eye movements, vertigo
  • hyperglycemia
  • increase in intracellular calcium
  • calcium deficiency, potassium deficiency
  • irregular heartbeat, rapid heartrate, coronary spasms
  • in children, poor growth (failure to thrive)

In addition, chronic low magnesium levels and sub-clinical magnesium deficiency have been linked to many disorders and diseases, such as depression, ADHD, epilepsy, chronic fatigue syndrome, Parkinson’s disease, migraines and cluster headaches, sleep problems, PMS, asthma, osteoporosis, heart disease, hypertension, and Type II diabetes.

Correct magnesium deficiency with diet changes and transdermal magnesium

If you or your doctor believe that you may be suffering from magnesium deficiency, there are several steps you can take to correct the problem and start to feel better. First, switch to organic groceries if you haven’t already. Because organic produce is grown following better agricultural practices, the soil is less depleted than that which conventional produce is grown on. Choose magnesium-rich foods, which include seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, flax), spinach, black beans, brown rice, nuts (almonds, cashews), and dark chocolate. Yes, magnesium deficiency is a great excuse to eat more chocolate! Next, check your calcium to magnesium ratio. While most Americans consume a ratio nearing 5:1 calcium to magnesium, many experts are now suggesting that a 1:1 or 1:2 ratio may be optimal to avoid magnesium deficiency, and that we should be careful not to exceed 2:1 calcium to magnesium. Finally, start taking a high-quality, natural magnesium supplement to get those magnesium levels back up to where they should be.

Oral magnesium sAncient_Minerals_Magnesium_MEDupplements may be ineffective in correcting magnesium deficiency for those with malabsorption problems such as leaky gut, and can also lead to digestive distress (diarrhea). Intravenous magnesium can be costly, inconvenient, and painful. That’s why Ancient Minerals has created a line of transdermal (topical) magnesium supplements. Transdermal magnesium supplements deliver magnesium straight to the cells that need it most, bypassing the digestive tract completely. Ancient Minerals Magnesium oils, lotions, and gels can be applied easily at home for faster restoration of magnesium levels. According to American Holistic Medical Association founder Dr. Norman Shealy, M.D. Ph.D., “The problem is magnesium absorption, as well as magnesium deficiency in our diets. The soil in every country in the world except Egypt has been farmed to a point of magnesium depletion… Furthermore, magnesium salts are laxatives so that all of them may lead to a more rapid gut transit time. Magnesium needs to travel through the intestinal system slowly, so if the gut transit time is less than twelve hours, one is not likely to absorb the magnesium well.”

Dr. Shealy found that nearly all of his patients who used transdermal magnesium chloride bath flakes daily alongside a daily application of magnesium oil greatly improved their intracellular magnesium levels after only one month. Transdermal magnesium supplementation can correct magnesium deficiency and may lead to whole-body benefits including:

  • improved sleep
  • fewer muscle aches, pains, cramps, and spasms
  • healthier skin, including an improvement in skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis
  • better mood and a more relaxed, less stressed outlook
  • more energy
  • better athletic performance

Ancient Minerals Transdermal Magnesium Regular vs. Ultra for Magnesium Deficiency

Ancient Minerals transdermal magnesium is available in regular and Ultra lines. Both product lines offer concentrated magnesium oil, lotion, and gel, which are ideal for correcting magnesium deficiency. The difference in the Ultra line has added MSM. Although the MSM in supplements is identical to naturally-occurring MSM, if you wish to avoid all synthetics, stick with the regular Ancient Minerals line. MSM, or methylsulfonylmethane, is a natural sulfur compound which has become popular for pain control, as many people suffering from arthritis, bursitis, tendonitis, or gout have found it relieves their chronic pain. MSM is anti-inflammatory and reduces soreness and stiffness as well as increases magnesium uptake and absorption. Magnesium and MSM work in tandem in Ancient Minerals Magnesium Ultra to provide maximum benefits from each, giving you the best shot at correcting magnesium deficiency.

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