When I worked in traditional medicine we used magnesium in the emergency room to stop pre-term labor or to relax a heart that had a life threatening irregular beat. In my clinic now I use magnesium for its powerful effects on blood sugar levels, to lower blood pressure, to build bone, to treat pain and as a wonderful relaxation mineral for anxiety and boost overall health. Any part of the body that is tight or cramped, magnesium will relax. I also prescribe magnesium for fatigue as it literally is involved in the creation of energy in the body.
The bad news is that most of us are deficient in this important nutrient. Magnesium is one of the most depleted minerals in our soil so the foods of today have much less than in our grandmother’s day. Studies have shown that 30% of the population has significant magnesium deficiency. Since Magnesium is difficult to measure in the blood it is likely even higher than that.
Here are some symptoms associated with magnesium deficiency and more importantly, the FIVE ways to increase your levels and optimize your health.
A magnesium deficiency is likely if you have:
• Muscle cramps or twitches
• Chronic fatigue
• High blood pressure
*If you take diuretic for high blood pressure
If you take medication that block acid for Acid Reflux
The wonderful news is that magnesium levels are easy to restore and there are no serious side effects
Here are five ways to maximize your magnesium
Increase your consumption of magnesium rich foods.
Most dietary magnesium comes from vegetables, such as dark green, leafy vegetables. Other foods that are good sources of magnesium:
Fruits or vegetables (such as bananas, dried apricots, and avocados)
Nuts (such as almonds and cashews)
Peas and beans (legumes), seeds
Soy products (such as soy flour and tofu)
Whole grains (such as brown rice and millet)
Cut the cola.
Most dark colored sodas contain phosphates. Phosphates find magnesium in your digestive tract and bind it making it unavailable to your body. So even if you eat a wonderful meal rich in magnesium, if you wash it down with a cola your body will never receive the magnesium.
The hormones released when we are under stress have been shown to decrease magnesium. Even mild stress such as driving in traffic, getting through a day of emails, meetings or home management with children is enough to decrease our magnesium.
Take a Supplement
The most absorbable forms of oral magnesium are citrate, glycinate taurate and aspartate.
The side effect of too much magnesium is diarrhea.
Soak in Magnesium
My very favorite way to get magnesium into the body is topically. Epsom salts are Magnesium sulphate and are wonderful as a bath or foot soak in the evenings. Topical magnesium has been shown to be extremely absorbable.
All of us can benefit from this miracle mineral and relax into all it has to offer us.
Tell me if you any questions and please share. Health is contagious – pass it around!
Tami Meraglia MD
Hi Dr. Tami! I was finally diagnosed with restless legs (only at night) several years ago. Unfortunately the meds they put me on did not help, nor did they get to the root of my problem. I’m wondering if a combination of gut issues and poor absorption has caused my current low iron stores and low magnesium, thereby creating these severe sleep disruptions, and then leading to the adrenal fatigue I have? It’s a frustrating puzzle I’ve been dealing with for so long! I’m currently taking a very absorbable vit/min supplement and EFAs. I’m also going to add digestive enzymes, probiotics, and more magnesium. What else would you suggest to get my body back on track? Thanks in advance!
Hi Dr. Tami…I have frequent leg cramps at nighor early morning. My Naturopath has tried me on several forms of Magnesium but all of them cause lose stool and extreme diarrhea. Do you think that the bath idea would work?
I’m no doctor, but it sounds like you may need to balance out calcium with your magnesium….
You mention that a side effect of too much magnesium is diarrhea, however in my experience some people can’t tolerate some forms of magnesium and get diarrhea, and are deficient but do OK on other forms, eg Citrate can be irritating while a Ionic form usually isn’t.
Hello Dr.Tami, in this article you mention how bad dark cola is to the magnesium in a persons’ digestive system – if someone has been a regular ,by that I mean , daily for years a cola drinker… how soon will the body be grossly deficient in magnesium? Thank you