Many Americans do not understand the importance of magnesium in the
same way they understand calcium or iron, for instance. Nonetheless,
adequate magnesium levels are crucial for brain, cardiac and muscle
function and it is needed, along with silica and Vitamins D and K to
promote bone health. Magnesium deficiency is more common than many
people suspect, and below are 5 warning signs that could indicate a
deficiency in this important mineral.
1. Ringing in the Ears or Hearing Loss
Tinnitus, or a constant, high-pitched ringing in the ears is common
symtom of magnesium deficiency, as is hearing loss. There are have been a
number of studies done on the relationship between ear health and
sufficient magnesium levels. In one Chinese study, it was found that
magnesium in sufficient quantities will prevent the formation of the
free radicals that can lead to hearing loss. In a study at the Mayo
Clinic, it was found that treating patients who had experienced hearing
loss with magnesium supplementation often helped restore that loss
within three months.
2. Muscle Cramps or Tremors
Magnesium is crucial to optimim muscle function. Without it, the body
would be in a state of convulsion, because it is this mineral that
allows the muscles to relax. That is why, for instance, a magnesium
oxide drip is used to ease women in labor and why magnesium is found in
so many sleep-inducing supplements. A lack of sufficient magnesium,
therefore, can lead to facial tics, muscle cramping and twitching or
cramping of the feet while trying to sleep.
The link between low magnesium levels and depression was understood over
a century ago, when doctors would use it to treat this mental health
disorder. Modern science has backed this up, with a study at a
psychiatric hospital in Croatia finding that many attempted suicide
patients had severely low levels of this important mineral. One
advantage of magnesium over traditional antidepressants is the lack of
side effects sometimes associated with these medications.
4. Abnormal Heart Function
As previously discussed, low magnesium levels can have an effect on
muscles throughout the body and this includes the heart muscles.
Insufficient magnesium can induce a condition known as a cardiac
arrhythmia, in which the heart fails to beat regularly and this, in
turn, can cause a greater risk for complications like heart attacks and
strokes. That is why, for instance, doctors at the Henry Low Heart
Center in Connecticut treat their arrhythmia patients with a medication
which contains magnesium.
5. Kidney Stones
Many people believe that kidney stones are caused by an excess of
calcium, but in fact it is a lack of magnesium that is the culprit.
Magnesium prevents the formation of these stones by inhibiting the
binding of calcium with oxalate, the two compounds which make up these
stones. Kidney stones can be excruciatingly painful, so it is good to
know that something as simple as magnesium supplementation can prevent
If experiecing any of these symptoms, consulting with a healthcare
practitioner is a good idea. It is also wise to follow a diet which
includes foods like okra, sunflower or pumpkin seeds, almonds, soy or
black beans, cashews and spinach as these are all natural magnesium