Maybe it’s your magnesium.
Have you ever had a long day and felt like your eyes are twitching, your muscles tight or even cramping, or feel restless at bedtime? Maybe you’re sitting on the sofa watching TV and your heart starts jumping around a little, like it’s off beat…
Magnesium is so vital for your body; it has over 300 known functions. Working in synergy with so many other vitamins and minerals, (23 other vitally important ones in fact) magnesium has an important role in energy production in cells as well as aiding in the production of proteins for cellular replacement and repair. It’s well known effects on the nerves and muscles is reason enough to get more of this magnificent mineral every day, but over half of the Western population is deficient. This is creating much of the health concerns we see with everything from chronic inflammation to blood sugar imbalances, depression, cognitive decline and cardiovascular disease, just to name a few.
Magnesium plays a central role in helping the immune system to process and manage stress. Cortisol (the body’s main stress hormone) is tamed by magnesium’s ability to help reduce the release of stress hormones that trigger the adrenal glands to increase your adrenal response. It also helps to regulate your blood pressure and keep cholesterol in check. Its action on nerves and muscles can be “felt” with supplementation if you are deficient, as many people will describe feeling more relaxed, sleeping better and less “frazzled” after taking magnesium. As a supplement, it is widely used for many of these deficiency symptoms:
- Irregular heart beat
- Muscle spasm and cramping
- Sleeplessness and sleep disorders
- Blood glucose irregularities and insulin resistance
- Weakness and fatigue that is unexplainable
- Headaches and memory problems
- Symptoms of thyroid disorders (including hyper and hypo-thyroidism)
- Weak bones and osteoporosis
- Attention, cognitive disorders including inability to focus/concentrate and depression
- Cardiovascular symptoms and diseases
Paired with zinc, it is vital in the role of testosterone production in men. Magnesium and it’s buddy zinc work synergistically to help each other with absorption and regulation of your body’s levels of these minerals. If your magnesium is low, likely your zinc is also low.
For women, magnesium deficiency comes in even higher than men with over 70% of women having deficiency. Enter achy body, menstrual cramping, sore/tender breasts, sugar cravings, anxiety, migraines, nervousness, agitation and symptoms of depression.
In kids, magnesium deficiency can show up in difficulty with attention and focus, constipation and gastrointestinal symptoms, sleep disturbances and behavioural issues.
Do I have the flu?
Head aches, muscle fatigue, nausea, poor appetite, weakness and even breathing difficulties are all linked to magnesium deficiency. These symptoms are similar to flu, only with magnesium deficiency, you just might feel like this all the time.
Poor immunity is directly associated with magnesium deficiency as this powerful mineral is used for so many cellular functions. Magnesium plays a major role in both acquired and innate immunity. So, at all levels of immune defense – we need magnesium.
Athletes are particularly prone to magnesium deficiency due to extensive muscle use and the need for glucose to move rapidly into muscle cells for energy and power. Lactic acid build up and it’s associated pain and stiffness can be a sign of magnesium deficiency.
Where do I get it?
Increasing your magnesium levels begins in the kitchen. Stock up on dark leafy greens, which have a perfect blend of magnesium and it’s cofactors to help it function, including calcium, vitamin D, boron, phosphorous and vitamin K2. Kinda the perfect package to maximize it’s benefits. Nuts and seeds like sunflower and pumpkin, oats, as well as lean meats, legumes, avocado, coffee and delicious dark chocolate are excellent sources of magnesium that are easy to incorporate into your daily nutrition.
If you’re still deficient, ask your doctor to check your magnesium levels and consider these symptoms. Then, consult with a Nutritionist or natural health practitioner to see what your best sources and supplemental needs of magnesium might be. It’s not a one-size-fits-all solution as you may have other factors contributing to a deficiency.
Consider if your symptoms may indicate a magnesium deficiency and then make an investment into your health. It’s your journey – let’s go!