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Magnesium – The Most Essential Mineral

Written by Kasey Boorman, our resident Admin Team Member, and Nutritionist

Magnesium is so important, and I recommend everyone gets it in their diet or through supplementation if needed.

 

Magnesium is one of the most essential minerals in your body. Magnesium helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function, keeps heart rhythm steady, supports a healthy immune system, and keeps bones strong. Magnesium also helps regulate blood sugar levels, promotes normal blood pressure, and is known to be involved in energy metabolism and protein synthesis. As magnesium is a relaxant it can also help with sleep, aches and pains, constipation and period pain. There is an increased interest in the role of magnesium in preventing and managing disorders such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.

 

What foods provide magnesium?
Green vegetables such as spinach are good sources of magnesium as the centre of the chlorophyll molecule (which gives green vegetables their colour) contains magnesium. Some legumes (beans and peas), nuts and seeds, and whole, unrefined grains are also good sources of magnesium. Refined grains are generally low in magnesium.

 

Signs of Magnesium Deficiency
Early signs of magnesium deficiency include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and weakness. As magnesium deficiency worsens, numbness, tingling, muscle contractions and cramps, seizures (sudden changes in behaviours caused by excessive electrical activity in the brain), personality changes, abnormal heart rhythms, and coronary spasms can occur. Severe magnesium deficiency can result in low levels of calcium in the blood (hypocalcaemia). Magnesium deficiency is also associated with low levels of potassium in the blood (hypokalaemia). Many of these symptoms are general and can result from a variety of medical conditions other than magnesium deficiency. It is important to see a practitioner to determine the cause of your symptoms.


Who is at risk of Magnesium Deficiency?

• Some medicines may result in magnesium deficiency, including certain diuretics, antibiotics, and medications used to treat cancer (anti-neoplastic medication).
• Individuals with poorly-controlled diabetes may benefit from magnesium supplements because of increased magnesium loss in urine associated with hyperglycaemia.
• Magnesium supplementation may be indicated for persons with alcoholism. Low blood levels of magnesium occur in 30% to 60% of alcoholics, and in nearly 90% of patients experiencing alcohol withdrawal. Anyone who substitutes alcohol for food will usually have significantly lower magnesium intakes.
• Individuals with chronic malabsorptive problems such as Crohn’s disease, gluten sensitive enteropathy, regional enteritis, and intestinal surgery may lose magnesium through diarrhea and fat malabsorption.
• Individuals with chronically low blood levels of potassium and calcium may have an underlying problem with magnesium deficiency.
• Older adults are at increased risk for magnesium deficiency. Magnesium absorption decreases and renal excretion of magnesium increases in older adults. Seniors are also more likely to be taking drugs that interact with magnesium. This combination of factors places older adults at risk for magnesium deficiency. It is very important for older adults to get recommended amounts of dietary magnesium.
• Athletes use magnesium stores at a high rate. Magnesium supplementation is often used to increase energy and endurance.

Magnesium is essential to good health so try to include magnesium rich foods in most meals. If you choose to take a supplement, powder form is preferable as it absorbs into the blood stream faster than tablet form. Who doesn’t want to feel more relaxed?!

Book in for a magnesium bath soak. Only $5 when booked with a Standard treatment! The Magnesium Soak must be booked in advance so call 5522 1230 now to pamper yourself at your next appointment!

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