Most people don’t even know it but they likely have a magnesium deficiency, also known as hypomagnesemia. Although only 2% of the population has a diagnosed deficiency, it is suggested that up to 75% of people are not meeting the recommended intake (1). This is due largely in part to our diet/supplement intake or chronic health problems such as diabetes, celiac disease, alcoholism, and more.
Magnesium helps convert food into energy, create proteins and help regulate the nervous system (2). On average, we should be taking in about 400 mg of Mg per day.
Magnesium deficiencies can present themselves as:
- Muscle spasms/cramps or muscle stiffness
- More serious forms of this can present as seizures
- Loss of appetite
- Depression and/or anxiety
- High blood pressure
- Researchers believe a lack of magnesium may cause the buildup of calcium in the muscles lining the airways of the lungs. This causes the airways to constrict, making breathing more difficult (3).
You can increase your Mg intake by changing your diet, taking oral supplements, applying a topical Magnesium Chloride (MgCl) solution, or by using epsom salts/ magnesium flakes in your baths. Our skin is one of the largest organs in/on our body and has some of the highest rates of absorption; do not discount what a good bath can do for you.
Foods rich in Magnesium include:
- Nuts/ Seeds
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Dark chocolate
So next time you are feeling a little tired, in a depressed mood, or have noticed some issues with your body, see if a magnesium-rich bath or some healthy food will get you out of your funk. As always, if you feel like these symptoms are serious/really impact your way of life, reach out to a doctor to confirm a diagnosis.