By Natasha Dunn
Magnesium deficiency has been a recent discovery of mine. To be totally honest I thought Magnesium was merely the silvery metal substance found in school science labs. I had no idea that we as humans could require this in our diet. Join me on my journey of discovery around magnesium deficiency, its symptoms and how we might prevent this affliction!
What is Magnesium?
According to the Britannica Encyclopaedia, Magnesium is defined as a ‘chemical element, one of the alkaline-earth metals of Group 2 (IIa) of the periodic table, and the lightest structural metal. Its compounds are widely used in construction and medicine, and magnesium is one of the elements essential to all cellular life’.
What seems key in this definition, is magnesium’s importance in ‘all cellular life’. Furthermore the NHS describes this element to be found in the bones and again advise that it is ‘essential to life’.
Medical News Today also chip in and explain that Magnesium has a part in bodily functions such as the production of energy and even DNA replication, among other important processes. To simplify things, we need magnesium, and this then makes deficiency of such a real issue!
What Causes Magnesium Deficiency?
You’ll probably be quite interested to know what the actual causes of this deficiency are. And the list includes diseases of the kidneys, old age, alcoholism, gastrointestinal conditions, some medications and oddly enough high consumption of soft drinks.
And in fear of stating the utterly obvious, a diet which is low in magnesium can also contribute to this disorder.
What are the Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency?
As cited in Healthline there are several symptoms of magnesium deficiency, which are inclusive of twitches and cramps in your muscles, weak bones or Osteoporosis, fatigue, asthma, an irregular heart beat and high blood pressure.
They additionally advise that mental health disorders can be linked to magnesium deficiency, which in extreme cases could cause delirium.
With symptoms that can be critical, it is important to detect the first signs which can include a lack in appetite, feeling tired and even vomiting and nausea!
How can we combat Magnesium Deficiency?
Although fairly rare, it is vital that we ensure our bodies are getting all the magnesium they require. And it’s quite simple really, as this highly important mineral can be found in many different foods such as spinach, avocados, bananas, peanuts, salmon, and that’s only to mention a few!
One foodstuff you may be particularly happy to hear contains magnesium is chocolate! Dark chocolate to be exact, but hey ho, we can’t have everything.
It is safe to say that I have learnt a lot while composing this article. And I hope you, the reader, have learnt with me! But indeed, I do not intend any fear mongering, so no panic please, just add a few more avocados and some extra spinach to your salad. And dark chocolate of course, plenty of that please!