Magnesium deficiency, the facts !


Man running on the beach at sunset

I thought I should talk a little bit more about the vital mineral magnesium. I get asked a lot of questions in my clinic about cramps, muscle tension, stress…. I always mention magnesium and of course Epsom salts. One of my clients said, you always mention Epsom salts, why is that ? I always hand out free Epsom salts to my clients with a heap of information on the benefits and why magnesium is so important to them.

firstly lets just mention the signs of low magnesium as we have mentioned in the last blog the benefits. Now unless you eat sea minerals, kelp or seaweed, a heap of nuts and a lot of beans and I am not talking baked beans. Then where are you getting magnesium from ?

Signs that you are low in magnesium are : weakness, fatigue, eye twitches and muscle spasms if you are deficient. blood tests can’t show us if we are low in magnesium as it is found in the organs and the bones. Early signs can be nausea, headaches, no appetite. when the magnesium levels get dangerously low you can experience, numbness, painful cramps especially in the night, contractions of the muscles, personality changes, mood swings and possibly seizures and coronary spasms.

Apart from the miracle of Epsom salts, clients do ask me, how can I get more magnesium in my diet, as I mentioned before we are all not eating seaweed in the bucket load ? other sources are swiss chard, sunflower seeds, pumpkin and sesame seeds. sadly our food is now deficient  many minerals. the only way to get an adequate amount would be to juice or magic bullet the food. Herbicides and pesticides are known to block the uptake of minerals, another reason to go organic !

Other factors that could prevent the levels of magnesium in our bodies, good old caffeine can prevent absorption. don’t drink a coffee or tea at meal times and over do the caffeine consumption. Too much sugar forces our kidneys to release magnesium, this includes eating too many sweet fruits. Our fruit is getting sweeter, as this is what we all desire now. too much of any sugar will effect our bodies, skin, digestive tract in a negative way.

Lastly there are other substances found in magnesium that effect the uptake, just to make it a little more complicated. simply magnesium citrate and magnesium theonate these penetrate the cells better. This is how you are going to reap the benefits, more energy, better memory. Magnesium sulphate will reduce inflammation and enters your body through the skin pores. This is what Epsom salts contain !!

The take home message is, Magnesium is essential to well being and better health. You need to supplement if you can honestly say you would not get enough magnesium from your diet, The more you stress your body the more you need. daily intake is around 320mg for women and 42mg for men, more is needed if you exercise regularly. When purchasing magnesium, buy a good brand not the cheapest. Talk to a naturopath and always consult your doctor before taking magnesium if you are on medication or have any health problems.

Caroline Morgan

The Bowen Clinic & Precision training

Specialising in functional movement screening, The Bowen Technique, back pain, shoulder and neck pain, postural correction.