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The signs of a magnesium deficiency

What is Magnesium

Magnesium is the 4th most abundant mineral in the body and is used as a co-factor in more than 300 enzyme systems within the body. Helping to regulate diverse chemical reactions the main being protein synthesis, muscle repair and regeneration, blood glucose control and blood pressure regulation. It is also very important for normal bone structure and bone building early on in life.

Some of the main signs of deficiency include:

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1. Insulin resistance and hyperglycemia

A severe magnesium deficiency increases your risk of insulin resistance. Many studies have been conducted to look at the relationship of Magnesium to Diabetes and Insulin resistance. Research has revealed that Insulin receptors of the pancreas depend on Magnesium to function properly and correctly respond to the signal that insulin is needed. They have also discovered that high levels of insulin in the body cause an excess in urinary magnesium to be excreted from the kidneys, there by reducing the body's stores.

2. Muscle twitches and cramps especially at night

Many twitches, tremors and muscle cramps are a sign of magnesium deficiency with some excess cases even causing seizures or convulsions. While supplements can help people who are deficient, there can be many reasons for muscle cramps and if deficiency is not the cause of the cramps, then it has been shown that supplementation with magnesium will not help to reduce the cramping or twitches.

3. Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is characterised as having weak bones and an increased risk of bone fractures. The risk of getting osteoporosis is greatly increased in older age, in postmenopausal women due to oestrogen lowering, people who don't do significant amounts of resistance exercise to help build their bone and muscle strength. As a deficiency in Magnesium lowers the blood levels of calcium, the main building block of bones, this also directly weakens and affects bones. In people who have a family history of Osteoporosis, post menopausal women or people who are higher risk, ensuring that you do resistance exercise a few times a week and have adequate calcium and magnesium in your diet on a daily basis are going to be critical to make sure that you don't develop osteoporosis in later life.

4. Asthma

In many case studies a deficiency in magnesium has been observed in patients with severe cases of asthma. Clinicians believe that a distinct lack of magnesium has been shown to cause a buildup of calcium in the muscles lining the airways of the lungs, making breathing significantly more difficult and causing the onset of an attack. Inhalers with Magnesium sulfate in them are often given to people with severe asthma to help relax and expand the airways.

5. Depression

While low level evidence has shown that magnesium deficiency might promote and increase anxiety, there have been no studies that explicitly proven this. Although studies have shown that it can lead to apathy, which is a mental numbness or lack of emotion toward things that otherwise used to cause joy and happiness.

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