Magnesium Deficiency

Magnesium is found in a whole range of different foods, so severe deficiency is quite rare. The following are the only people who may be deficient in magnesium:

  • Alcoholics
    Most people with alcoholism have poor diets that are too low in magnesium as well as other nutrients.
  • People that have diabetes
    People that have diabetes may be excreting a lot of magnesium that is absorbed from food in the urine.
  • People taking diuretic drugs
    People taking anti-diuretic medications will be eliminating a lot more urine than normal, so can become deficient not just in magnesium but also in the other electrolytes too (chloride, potassium, phosphorus and sodium).
  • People that have a chronic wasting disease
    People that have a chronic wasting disease (such as cancer, AIDS) may be deficient not just in magnesium, but many other nutrients too, due to the very nature of the their health condition causing the wastage of muscle and other body tissues, which need magnesium and other nutrients to function properly.
  • People that have been vomiting or have severe diarrhoea
    Magnesium is an electrolyte and so it exists in the body fluids, especially within the cells. When a person has been vomiting a great deal or has severe diarrhoea, then they will eliminate a lot of fluids from the body, resulting in a loss of the electrolytes, of which magnesium is one. The other electrolytes are:chloride, potassium, phosphorus and sodium.
  • People under a great deal of stress
    People who are under a great deal of stress, especially if it is chronic and on-going could be at risk of depleting their magnesium and become deficient. Since magnesium is required by the all the muscles in the body to help them relax and prevent spasms, people who are always stressed could be assisted with magnesium supplementation.
  • People with eating disorders
    People with eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia are either not consuming enough food in the first place, or the food they are consuming is being expelled too quickly after meals through induced vomiting so the nutrients (including magnesium) are not being absorbed.
People who are under a great deal of stress, especially if it is chronic and on-going could be at risk of depleting their magnesium and become deficient
  • People with kidney disease
    People that have kidney disease may not be eliminating fluids from the body appropriately and may have difficulty maintaining correct ratios of the electrolytes, with magnesium being deficient. Magnesium is very important in kidney health, as it ensures that the kidneys function properly in their fluid elimination and absorption processes.
  • People with restless legs syndrome
    People who have restless legs syndrome may be deficient in not just magnesium, but also a number of other nutrients, particularly the B vitamins.
  • People who are malnourished
    People who are malnourished are not eating enough of any foods, so may become deficient not just in magnesium but in all the minerals and vitamins.
  • People who have recently undergone surgery
    Due to the stressful nature of major medical surgery, people that have recently undergone any type of surgery could become deficient in magnesium and supplementation may be beneficial to help their body recover from the surgery more quickly.
  • People using various medications
    People using a whole range of medications may be at risk of magnesium deficiency due to the effect of the medication on magnesium, causing malabsorption and ineffective activity.
  • Women taking oral contraceptives
    Women who take oral contraceptives may have low blood serum levels of magnesium, which could be a contributing factor in the higher rate of thrombosis (blood clots in the lower extremities especially) in women who take the contraceptive Pill, as adequate magnesium prevents the clotting of blood (and therefore thrombosis).
  • Women with PMS
    Women with pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) could be deficient in magnesium and in fact several studies have shown an improvement in PMS symptoms (irritability, breast swelling, breast tenderness and headaches) once magnesium is supplemented.


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