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7 Signs You May Be Deficient in Magnesium


Element Magnesium is by far one of the most important minerals in the human body. In fact, researchers have detected over 3,000 different magnesium binding sites on human proteins, which means that magnesium’s role in human health and disease processes may have been vastly underestimated.

It’s estimated that approximately 80 percent of Americans are deficient in magnesium. The reason why? Well its simple, most Americans eat a highly processed refined diet that contains little to no magnesium.

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In addition to our poor diets, many of our lifestyle factors actually decrease our body’s magnesium levels. Alcohol, salt, coffee, phosphoric acid in sodas, profuse sweating, chronic stress, diuretics, antibiotics and other drugs can all deplete magnesium stores. This is all further complicated by the fact that magnesium is often poorly absorbed from our diet. To properly absorb magnesium, we need adequate amounts of vitamin B6, vitamin D and selenium.

There are many symptoms and conditions associated with magnesium deficiencies, but if you suffer from one or more of the seven signs listed below you are in need of some extra magnesium!

 1. Muscle cramps and spasms

Think of magnesium as the “relaxation” mineral. Anything that is tight, irritable, cramped or stiff is a sign of magnesium deficiency. It has been suggested that many individuals with muscle cramps, twitches or restless legs have low levels of magnesium.

2. Insomnia

Much like with our muscles, a magnesium deficiency can leave our minds unable to properly relax. Magnesium is also responsible for the release and binding of adequate amounts of serotonin and GABA in the brain, both of which are essential for proper sleep.

3. Anxiety

As with insomnia, anxiety can be a sign that the body does not have enough magnesium to regulate neurotransmitters like serotonin or GABA. Taking a magnesium supplement can often alleviate anxious thoughts or feelings.

4. Fatigue

Our body’s main energy currency exists in a molecule called ATP (adenosine triphosphate). This omnipresent energy source must be bound to a magnesium ion in order to be biologically active. Thus, if a body is deficient in magnesium, it literally cannot produce energy! Now, fatigue is a common symptom that could be caused by many other conditions, but taking a magnesium supplement is a surefire way to make sure that it is not due to a magnesium deficiency!

5. Chocolate cravings

Chocolate contains high levels of magnesium so when you crave chocolate, your body is actually craving magnesium! Instead of reaching for a piece of chocolate try eating foods like a handful of nuts or an avocado – the magnesium levels in these foods should help control those chocolate cravings.

6. Sensitivity to being tickled

Being extremely ticklish can also be a sign of a magnesium deficiency. Without adequate magnesium, sensory receptors on our skin can become hyper-excitable, leading to sensitivities to certain types of touch.

7. Claustrophobia

Strangely enough, if you feel anxious when you are tight spaces (or if you have anxiety in general) it may be a sign you have a magnesium deficiency.

If you’re looking for a good magnesium supplement, click here.

Dr. Passero completed four years of post-graduate medical education at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon after receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Biology from the University of Colorado. Dr. Passero has trained with some of the nation’s leading doctors in the field of natural medicine. In his practice, Dr. Passero focuses on restoring harmony to both the body and mind using advanced protocols that incorporate herbal therapy, homeopathy, vitamin therapy and nutritional programs. Through education and guidance patients are able to unlock the natural healing power contained within each one of us. For more information, visit his website, Green Healing Wellness, or follow him on Facebook.

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14 responses to “7 Signs You May Be Deficient in Magnesium”

  1. TONY says:

    What type of magnesium ?

  2. TONY says:

    What type of magnesium?

    • Patricia Wall says:

      I understand from all these online doctors, and Joshua Corn, that liquid spray-on Magnesium is the best! I have used Magnesium Oil and magnesium citrate with great success. Thanks. When Joshua Corn answers you, let’s see what he says.

      • Carolyn Banach, MS, RD says:

        Using topical magnesium oil is an alternative to taking it in oral supplement form. However, there hasn’t been any research done to determine which method results in the best absorption of the nutrient. Clinical research uses injections or oral supplements, usually as magnesium citrate or in a complex.

      • Pat Martin says:

        I ordered a large amount of topical magnesium a year ago and I only used a small amount. The rest has gone to waste. It can be quite uncomfortable to have on your skin but the worst effect is that you need to apply it all over and it leaves a greasy residue which gets into your clothes. It doesn’t soak in fully. Not OK unless you have a lot of time to walk around naked!

    • Cathi says:

      Patricia, where can you buy the spray-on Magnesium?
      Tony, let me know also, what reponse you get from you question.

  3. Sue says:

    I didn’t realize chocolate cravings were tied to a deficiency in magnesium. I thought I was taking enough. Good to know.

  4. Linda Carta says:

    I love free helpful hints that make my life better, but I cannot express how much I despise those offers that sound like they are going to let you in on helpful information and then take up your time for what feels like for ever, drawing pictures and talking endlessly, then end in wanting you to pay money to find out what you thought was going to be free. For Pete’s sake be up front. Tell us what it is going to cost for the info., if we want it, and be brief. Most of us don’t have all day to listen to endless jargon.

    • Linda, I agree with you wholeheartedly. I really get tired of the long drawings . Please get to the point.

    • Carolyn Banach, MS, RD says:


      Thank you for the comment and we are glad that you enjoyed the article. Be sure to read other articles by Dr. Passero, his posts are always full of helpful hints!

  5. Joan says:

    I have 6 of those 7 issues and chronic headaches. My doctor recommended Magnesium and Vitamin D to help stop the headaches. It worked well. It also did stop by leg and foot cramps.
    I agree with Linda about the ridiculous videos. Please just provide me with information that I can read. I don’t need anyone to draw pictures for me and make me listen endlessly to sales pitches when the information is not forthcoming without a credit card. This is a great article.

  6. Bob Greene says:

    Magnesium deficiency can cause pronounced edema of feet and ankles.

    Tissue edema in this region can originate from long periods of sedentary desk work. Swollen ankles and feet is a serious concern, particularly for air travelers.

    An assured maintenance dose of only 200mg daily of magnesium citrate can correct the condition. In even the more advanced cases, healing response occurs in as few as 24 hours.

  7. Mary says:

    A chiro told me that Magnesium sulfate has the best absorption…can anyone confirm or correct this?

    • Segen Tekle says:

      Hi Mary,
      The most absorbable forms are magnesium citrate, glycinate taurate, or aspartate. Avoid magnesium carbonate, sulfate, gluconate, and oxide. They are poorly absorbed (and the cheapest and most common forms found in supplements).
      I hope this clears things up!

      Best wishes :)