Do you have trouble with chronic headaches? Muscle spasms & cramps? Heart palpitations?
When I was in my late teens and early 20s I suffered from AWFUL muscle cramps and “Charlie Horses” in my calf muscles pretty regularly…At that point I was not studying nutrition yet, and had always heard that Charlie Horses were caused by a potassium deficiency. So, at the time I was eating A LOT of bananas, yet was still suffering from muscle cramps. Around this time I was also dealing with some of the worst migraines I have every experienced, these migraines were accompanied by nausea and dizziness….little did I know then, that these were all connected.
If you do a little research on Magnesium deficiency, you would be SHOCKED at how many issues a magnesium deficiency can cause. Magnesium deficiency can cause: anxiety, panic attacks, bowel diseases, constipation, detoxification, heart disease, insomnia, migraines, PMS, infertility, preeclampsia, tooth decay, asthma, cystitis, diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease, muscle cramping, pain, osteoporosis, blood clots, depression, fatigue, hypoglycemia, liver disease, nerve problems, numbness, tingling, abnormal heart rhythms, seizures, etc. That’s a lot of symptoms! Now, not everyone will experience all of those, but many will experience a combination. I saw a statistic the other day that said that over 75% of the population is magnesium deficient! That’s a lot of people. You’re probably wondering why there isn’t more discussion about magnesium deficiency…well, that’s because it’s actually hard to diagnose.
When you have blood drawn for a Complete Blood Count (CBC), what shows up on the test is the amount of magnesium freely floating in your blood stream. The amount floating in your blood stream is only about 1% of the total magnesium actually stored in the body. Magnesium is mostly stored in the bones, muscles, and organs because it is used for so many different things in the body (obviously, from the wide range of symptoms listed above! LOL). One article I’ve read dubbed Magnesium “the invisible deficiency” because it is hard to actually diagnose it, via a blood test.
There are some decent food sources of magnesium, such as: seaweeds, spinach, chard, beans, nuts, seeds, and avocados…the problem with trying to get your magnesium through food sources, it our soil is now depleted too. Because of the amount of food we farm, we have depleted our soil of a lot of the naturally occurring nutrients in our soil. So, the best way to raise your magnesium levels? Supplement it. And not all magnesium supplements are the same.
If you go to the store and start flipping over bottles and looking at the nutrition label on the bottles of magnesium, you will find that there’s magnesium citrate, magnesium oxide, magnesium chelate, or a blend of different forms of magnesium. So how do you know which one is the best? Well, the answer is magnesium citrate.
Magnesium citrate is one of the best absorbing forms of magnesium because of how quickly is can assimilate into the body. I’ve tried many different brands, and the one that I prefer is by a company called Natural Vitality (no, I am not sponsored by them. I just really like their magnesium!). Theirs comes in a powder form. It can be mixed with water or juice, and they do offer multiple flavors…(if you have trouble finding it, you can always contact us and we can ship it to you! It’s so popular, that sometimes it can be challenging to get a hold of)
You might also be wondering, besides our foods not providing as much magnesium anymore, how one might end up with a deficiency. There are a few environmental/lifestyle factors that can cause deficiencies…excessive consumption of caffeine or soda (more than 2 servings per day), menopause, old age, certain medications (antacids, diuretics, certain antibiotics, corticosteroids, and insulin. If you have one or multiples of these factors in your life and are experiencing chronic headaches, muscle cramps, constipation, or any of other symptoms listed above…you may have a deficiency.
As with any supplement you should do your research, and consult your doctor if you have any concerns. Just keep in mind that if they run a blood panel, you magnesium will likely come back normal because it is hard to pick up the deficiency in a blood panel.
If you’d like to read further, check out this article here.