Magnesium deficiency is the leading cause of reduced bone growth in younger people according to the National Institutes of Health )NIH). Early symptoms of magnesium deficiency can be identified by loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and fatigue. If left unchecked, magnesium deficiency will lead to lifelong consequences.
Magnesium plays an important role in energy production and numerous biochemical processes. Adequate magnesium absorption regulates blood pressure. Magnesium content is crucial to muscle and neuron development.
Magnesium levels are a key indicator of magnesium deficiency or hypomagnesemia. A simple blood test can confirm low magnesium levels. Research has long shown that people are not getting enough magnesium.
Many dismiss issues like high blood pressure, cramping, muscle weakness, and muscle spasms as temporary or a sign of strain. These are also signs of vitamin d deficiency and low potassium levels. But the risk of magnesium deficiency is critical.
If left untreated these early signs of magnesium deficiency can worsen and lead to abnormal heart rhythms, type 2 diabetes, seizures, and personality changes. Other conditions include celiac disease, heart disease, and other chronic diseases.
A health care provider can use an erythrocyte magnesium level test to measure magnesium levels. The erythrocyte magnesium level and red blood cell tests can offer insights regarding treatment.
People who are diagnosed as magnesium deficient can increase their magnesium intake by managing dietary intake. Eating magnesium-rich foods can improve levels of magnesium for those who show an increased risk. Magnesium-rich foods include whole grains, leafy greens, cashews, green vegetables, and avocados. This form of dietary magnesium
In addition, magnesium supplements like magnesium citrate and magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt) can reduce unwanted muscle contractions or muscle cramps by raising serum magnesium. These short-term solutions do not solve long-term issues like malabsorption caused by Crohn’s disease.
In some cases, older adults may need to consider the side effects of proton pump inhibitors, diuretics, and antibiotics. The risk factors associated with these medications can lead to a lack of magnesium. In severe cases, patients can develop hypocalcemia or hypokalemia and trigger neurologic and irregular muscle contractions.
Magnesium deficiency is a manageable condition that can be treated and even corrected. If caught early enough decreased magnesium levels can be a temporary problem. Talking to a healthcare professional is important for determining the recommended daily allowances (RDA) for magnesium supplements and dietary considerations. Understanding current magnesium status is beneficial to recognize when it is important to reconsider the amount of magnesium each person needs at different stages of aging.