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11 Warning Signs and symptoms Of Magnesium Deficiency”

Magnesium is the second most abundant mineral micronutrient present in our cell and intracellular fluids. And Mg is the fourth most abundant mineral in our body as a whole. Read on for in-depth information on the causes and symptoms of Magnesium deficiency along with 11 warning signs of Magnesium Deficiency.

Most people don’t realize that magnesium is, directly and indirectly, engaged in hundreds of biochemical reactions in our body cells. When these reactions are hindered-either because you’ve lost a substantial amount of magnesium from your diet or from other causes. Your body’s ability to process carbohydrates, protein, and fat is often compromised, which can lead to serious metabolic deficiencies or other health problems.

11 warning Signs of Magnesium Deficiency
Magnesium Deficiency: Signs & Symptoms

Lack of Magnesium or hypomagnesemia can lead to a variety of health disorders. So why isn’t magnesium deficiency more well-known? And what can you do to get enough magnesium from your diet? To find out about how to ensure getting sufficient magnesium from Magnesium Rich foods look out for these 11 warning signs of Magnesium deficiency.

Fatigue and Weakness:

Do you feel weak, lethargic, and fatigued? be aware it is the earliest sign of Magnesium deficiency.

Magnesium is involved in energy production and the generation of ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) in Mitochondria. Synthesis of ATP is done by an enzyme known as ATP synthase, Mg plays a pivotal role as a coenzyme to form a transition state complex of Mg+ ATP synthase. And facilitates the formation of ATP from ADP and inorganic Phosphate. ATP is known as the energy currency of a cell, as it powers almost all biochemical metabolic activities. A deficiency in magnesium impacts the production of ATP in the cell and body as a whole, hence a deficiency can lead to fatigue and weakness.

Muscle Cramps and Spasms

Having frequent Muscle Cramps and spasms in your daily life? It is the second most important sign to consider Mg deficiency out of 11 warning signs of Magnesium Deficiency.

Magnesium (Mg2+ cation) plays a crucial role in muscle contraction and relaxation through its role in maintaining homeostasis in cells and intracellular fluids. Mg2+ maintains flows of Ca2+ in and out of the cell as well as maintains pH.

For the contraction and relaxation of muscle, Calcium plays a direct role. The influx of Ca2+ increases in the muscle cell during contraction and its binds with troponin in actin filaments of muscle fiber. Binding of Calcium brings structural changes in the filament which causes contraction. Meanwhile, after muscle contraction, the Ca2+ needs to be removed from muscle cells.

Mg2+ as a competitor of Ca2+ for membrane-bound transporting Channels/ proteins helps in the removal of Calcium from the muscle cell. In the absence of Magnesium, Ca2+ removal gets slowed down which hampers muscle relaxation after every contraction. Not being able to drain out Calcium from the contracted muscle is the primary cause of muscle cramps and spasms.

Various studies have confirmed that in the presence of Magnesium, the transport of Ca2+ increases by 1.6 times. So a deficiency of Magnesium is associated with muscle cramps and spasms. Magnesium helps to relax muscles.

Abnormal Heart Rhythms and Cardiovascular Problems

A lack of magnesium can cause abnormal heart rhythms. Evidence is pointing out that lack of magnesium plays a significant gamble factor in the endurance of Congestive Heart Failure. Magnesium has been demonstrated to be engaged with a few stages of the atherosclerotic cycle and, Mg2+ assumes a critical part in CHF and different cardiovascular arrhythmias.

Persistent cardiovascular sicknesses, including hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and hyperlipidemia. Intravenous magnesium has been utilized remedially in basic circumstances.

High blood pressure is another remarkable Warning Sign of Magnesium Deficiency.

Magnesium helps to regulate blood pressure, so a deficiency can lead to high blood pressure.

Studies have shown an inverse correlation between magnesium levels and blood pressure. Dietary Magnesium intake of 500 mg/d to 700mg/d has shown to reduce blood pressure (BP) as much as 5.6/2.8 mm in adults. More importantly, Magnesium’s role in relaxing blood vessels and muscles is considered a factor to contribute in lowering blood pressure as well as its role in maintaining ionic intracellular homeostasis.

If you have high blood pressure consistently, then you should see a doctor as it could be a warning sign of Magnesium deficiency.

Decreases Glucose Metabolism and Increases Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

Magnesium deficiency (hypomagnesemia) have observed with a high risk for diabetes complications and shows a faster disease progression. Clinical studies demonstrate that Type 2Diabetes Mellitus patients with hypomagnesemia have lower pancreatic β-cell functioning and have high insulin-resistant properties. Mg2+ plays a direct role in the development of insulin resistance. The insulin receptor proteins are dependent on the concentration of Mg.2+.  Insulin helps in the homeostasis of Mg. So both magnesium deficiency and type 2 Diabetes are in interlinked in a vicious cycle of interdependence, either of its deficiency can cause the other and so on.

Kidney stones are one of the Important Warning Signs to look out for.

Homeostasis of Magnesium level as well its reabsorption is done by the kidney. Magnesium reabsorption and amount of Mg excreted through urines depend on the health of the kidney and its function. Lower level of dietary and serum Mg induces imbalances in Calcium assimilation in the kidney. Consequently hinders its reabsorption as well excretion. As a result of which calcium deposition in the form of stones in the kidney may occur. Further, numerous studies implies that the concentration of serum Mg is inversely proportional to the prevalence of kidney stones.

Bone Density Depletion and Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis (bone becoming less dense in minerals, becoming weak and brittle). Osteoporosis is a major health concern of old age people and is more prevalent in women with 50 plus age. Much systematic research has indicated that higher dietary Mg intake has been demonstrated by higher Bone mineral density. Mg deficiency/ hypomagnesemia infers low bone density and osteoporosis.

Mg deficiency is associated with higher concentrations of para Thyroid Hormone and deoxypyridinoline. More ever, both collectively resulting in a systemic reduction in bone mineral density and more specifically bone loss. It occurs more frequently in women with old age, after menopause.

Osteoporosis is one of the most important of the 11 warning signs of Magnesium deficiency.

Anxiety and Irritability

Anxiety and irritability are common neuropsychiatric and mental disorders prevalent in Europe and US, Several studies on mice have shown, that altered Mg homeostasis and hypomagnesemia have induced anxiety and depression-related behavior in mice. It has been well evident that Mg.2+ concentration affects the release of adrenal corticotrophin hormone (ACTH) I from the pituitary into the blood serum which, stimulates the secretion of corticosterone, which is further involved in the generation of many different autonomic, hormonal, and behavioral changes regulating stress and anxiety.

Depression and stress

The mood-enhancing capability of magnesium compounds has been affirmed by the after-effects of various pre-clinical and clinical investigations. It appears to be that magnesium supplementation is very much endured and improves the viability of traditional stimulant medicines, and as such could be an important expansion to the standard medicines for depression

Difficulty in sleeping

Studies have confirmed that Magnesium supplement helps in improving sleep and taking Magnesium supplement has been used for insomnia-related issues. Out of the many functions of Mg, one of the crucial functions involves the stabilization of the Biological clock and biorhythms. The role of Mg in the synthesis of many neurotransmitters as well as providing supporting and antagonist roles.

Especially two neurotransmitters have been identified to affect sleep 1. N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) plays a role in the synaptic process, memory, and learning. And another one is 2. γ-amino butyric acid (GABA) which has an inhibitory effect on neuromodulators.

The NMDA has been identified for sleep disruption, and increased activity of NMDA receptors is associated with heightened excitability, awake-ness, and insomnia. Magnesium acts as an antagonist to NMDA receptors and decreases the activity of NMDA which leads to the promotion of sleep. While Magnesium acts as an agonist with GABA receptors and promotes an inhibitory and calming effect on neuromodulators to prompt sleep.

A lack of magnesium can make it difficult to fall asleep and stay awake. It is found that Magnesium and Melatonin promote sleep.  However, for long-term use, Magnesium supplements may have an advantage over Melatonin.  Jiangsu Nutrition Study has revealed that dietary magnesium admission of 332.5 mg/d prompts 5.3% of the subjects to report daytime nodding off, 13.2% revealed daytime lethargy and sleepiness, and 35.7% revealed wheezing and snoring during deep sleep.

Do you find it difficult to fall asleep early? Having anxiety and stress in your daily life? Then you should check with your doctor and get your Magnesium test for its deficiency. It is the most important sign to consider out of the 11 warning signs of Magnesium Deficiency

Headaches and migraines

Hypomagnesaemia is often linked to headaches and migraines on and off. Investigations have ascertained that individuals who have headaches and migraine generally have lower levels of magnesium than individuals who don’t get cerebral pains. A few researchers accept that magnesium blocks signals in the brain. As Magnesium’s role in smooth muscle relaxation, lowering blood pressure, and acting as a Calcium antagonist explains the role of low magnesium in acute headaches and migraine. As well as many studies with patients taking Mg supplements from the diet have shown less occurrence of migraines.

Loss of appetite, Nausea, and vomiting

A lack of magnesium can lead to a loss of appetite or an aversion to certain foods with acute vomiting and nausea, These are the earliest symptoms of Mg deficiency often not got diagnosed as nausea and vomiting is associated with many disorders, so you have to check whether your diet is lacking magnesium and providing you with sufficient Mg or not.

Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency

The signs and symptoms of Magnesium deficiency can be difficult to detect because they can vary from person to person. Some people may experience symptoms while others may not show any symptoms at all.

Though Magnesium plays an array of diverse roles in the body, it’s still considered a forgotten and orphaned mineral, because lacking in the amount of awareness of the dietary intake of Mg. A short-term and long-term deficiency in magnesium has been shown to cause many short-term (Acute) symptoms as well as long-term (Chronic) effects.

Acute Magnesium deficiency symptoms

Acute diseases are short-term (last for less than 3 months) and sudden, Ex, such as fatigue, weakness, loss of appetite, diarrhea, vomiting, muscle cramps, muscle spasms and seizure, Heart attack, anxiety, and mood swing.

Chronic Magnesium deficiency symptoms

Chronic diseases last over 3 months, and can only be controlled but can’t be cured. Long-term Magnesium deficiency has been shown to be responsible for, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, Asthma, hypertension, chronic mental disorder, kidney stones, and kidney malfunctions, sleep disorder.

Further Magnesium deficiency symptoms can be characterized by the manifestation of its effect on the body i.e. either it can be physiological symptoms or a mental disorder.

Physiological Disorder of Magnesium Deficiency

Those diseases express and manifest themselves through physiological disorders. As Mg is involved in the regulation of ions homeostasis, and the regulation of hundreds of enzymatic processes in metabolism, the primary Mg deficiency symptoms are expressed in the form of physiological disorders like Type 2 Diabetes, osteoporosis, muscle contraction, relaxation disorder, kidney malfunction, development of kidney stone.

Mental Disorder of Magnesium Deficiency

Magnesium deficiency leads to many disorders expressed as mental disorders like hypertension, anxiety, mood swing, stress, insomnia, etc.

Organs affected by Magnesium Deficiency

  • Kidney
  • Heart
  • Brain
  • Muscle
  • Pancreas
  • Bone

And Almost the whole body and cell

What are the Causes of Magnesium Deficiency?

As you have seen the 11 warning signs of Magnesium deficiency along with the prevailing symptoms, let us discuss, what are the causes of Magnesium Deficiency.

The 7 most common and prevalent causes of Magnesium deficiency.

Not getting enough dietary Magnesium.

You may not know it, but magnesium deficiency in diets is incredibly common and it is the prime cause of Magnesium deficiency. In fact, it’s estimated that over 80% of Americans are deficient in this important mineral. Though the role of Magnesium as an essential micronutrient with enormous amounts of functions in living organisms is well established, still Magnesium is quite neglected. Awareness about its dietary intake is not quite encouraging. As evident by the survey done by the National Health and Nutrition Examination (NHANES) of 2013-2016, it is found that on average 48% of Americans consume 35 % to 45% less Magnesium intake from foods and diets. Their diets don’t provide the minimum amount of Magnesium needed for the body for males 400 to 450 mg and for females, it’s 300 to 350 mg.

Kidney Diseases

Kidney daily filters and reabsorb around 95% of dietary Magnesium. The majority of (65–75%) is reabsorbed in the Loop of Henle of the Kidney. While only 15–20% of filtered magnesium is reabsorbed at the proximal tubule parts of the internal Kidney. Any kidney disease like stone in the kidney, or malfunction of the kidney result in inefficient and low Magnesium reabsorption, which leads to magnesium deficiency. Hence not maintaining a healthy kidney habit is the second most important cause of Magnesium deficiency.

Excessive Alcoholism

Excessive Alcohol consumption creates pressure on the normal functioning of the kidney and affects its reabsorption capacity. A large part of the kidney’s resources got utilized in filtering alcohol which leads to kidney failure. Hence creating magnesium deficiency. Even if you eat Magnesium rich foods, it gets unabsorbed and could not assimilate into the body. So drinking excessive Alcohol is the most abundant cause of Magnesium deficiency.

Chronic Diarrhea and vomiting

Prolonged and frequent diarrhea and vomiting can lead to magnesium deficiency and most important symptoms to look out for. As these conditions prevent normal assimilation and absorption of nutrients in our body after the digestion of foods.

Use of certain drugs like diuretics, antibiotics, and drugs used for ulcers, these medicines if taken for a longer period of time can cause magnesium deficiency in blood serum due to its interaction with the drugs.

Taking too much Vitamin D without enough Calcium

As Magnesium is mostly found in Bone around 55 to 60%. Around 35% to 40% in soluble forms either combined with different proteins or as free cations in cell and intracellular fluids.

Magnesium maintains intracellular calcium concentration by competing with calcium binding sites on the membrane, and by stimulating calcium isolation by the sarcoplasmic reticulum, hence taking too much Vitamin D without Calcium can cause Magnesium to compete and bind with the Calcium receptors in bone, which will lead to the reduction of Magnesium serum concentration and its deficiency thereof.

Mutation in TRPM6 and 7 genes

TRPM6 and 7 genes (Transient Receptor Potential Melastatin Member genes) code for membrane channels made up of proteins, these channel helps in the transportation and absorption of Magnesium and calcium ions from the intestine and kidney, any mutation in these genes leads to a reduction in the Magnesium reabsorption capacity of intestine and kidney which leads to a condition called hypomagnesemia or Magnesium deficiency.

What can be done to help with magnesium deficiency?

There are a few things that can be done to help, if you are suffering from any of the 11 warning signs of Magnesium Deficiency mentioned above. First, it is important to eat a balanced diet that includes foods rich in magnesium. This includes green leafy vegetables, nuts, and whole grains. You can also take magnesium supplements like Magnesium Glycinate, Magnesium Citrate, Magnesium Malate, Magnesium Threonate, etc. to ensure that you are getting enough of the mineral.

It is also important to get regular exercise and avoid stress. Stress can deplete the body’s magnesium stores and lead to further deficiency. Exercise helps to promote magnesium absorption and helps to reduce stress.

If you think you may have symptoms of magnesium deficiency, it is important to talk to your doctor. They can order Magnesium tests to check your Mg levels and determine the best course of treatment.


If you are experiencing any symptoms and signs out of the 11 warning signs of Magnesium Deficiency listed above, it is important to get checked out by a doctor to rule out other possible causes for Magnesium Deficiency. If your doctor does suspect magnesium deficiency, they will likely recommend supplements or dietary changes to help increase your intake of this essential mineral. Taking steps to ensure that you are getting enough magnesium can help improve your overall health and well-being.



If you have any medical questions or concerns, please talk to your healthcare provider. The articles on are underpinned by peer-reviewed research and information drawn from medical societies and governmental agencies. However, they are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The Article’s sole purpose is to provide correct and scientifically proven facts and figures to its audience and aims to empower its readers with valid information.

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