10 Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms You Should Not Ignore


Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms

Magnesium deficiency symptoms are quite common and can have some unpleasant but avoidable side effects.

But what is magnesium, and why do we need it?

Magnesium is one of the most abundant minerals in the human body.

As a result, the deficiency of this mineral can give rise to a wide range of health issues.

According to Norman Shealy, an American neurosurgeon, almost every disease is related to a deficiency of magnesium.

Lack of magnesium cause some of the following symptoms:

  • poor absorption
  • diabetes
  • celiac disease
  • nausia and chronic diarrhea.

What follows is a list of some of the common signs of magnesium deficiency in the body.

Following the magnesium deficiency symptoms, we will look at how to treat them.

Poor Cognitive Processing

If you have been suffering from:

  • constant memory problems
  • lack of concentration
  • brain fog

it might be the result of magnesium deficiency.

Mitochondria are the structure present in the body cells which produce energy.

The brain consists of the highest concentration of mitochondria in the body.

Mitochondria heavily depend upon magnesium for producing energy.

A deficiency of this mineral can hamper the performance of the brain.

Magnesium Deficiency Leg Cramps and Muscle Twitches

Magnesium deficiency symptoms may include:

  • Muscle cramps
  • tremors
  • twitches.

This is one of the more common low magnesium signs that runners will experience.

Leg cramps and muscle twitches are common among long distance runners.

The long run will use up magnesium in the body. As a result of this decrease, twitching and cramping may occur.

Unless you deal with this before the race, the twitching and cramping may continue into the race.

As a result, you may feel a twitching, or sensation early on before the cramp develops.

If you can stretch it out when you initially feel it, it may help.

Electrolyte drinks and salt sticks may also help to reduce the effects of cramp, due to the added magnesium.

Runners often supplement magnesium when training for endurance races.

Hyper-stimulation of the nerves causes twitching in the muscles.

High Blood pressure

Low magnesium may cause high blood pressure.

According to a Harvard study, people who consume magnesium supplements have healthy blood pressure.

Another study revealed that the risks of developing high blood pressure are almost seventy percent less in women who consume magnesium supplements.

Magnesium Deficiency Headaches and Migraines

Migraines can be a warning sign of magnesium deficiency.

Magnesium plays a vital role in the regulation of neurotransmitter production.

A reducing the intensity and frequency of headaches is likely with the consumption of magnesium supplements.

Magnesium also has an impact on the non-migraine headache.

Magnesium is responsible for the regulation of calcium balance in the neuronal cells.

An excessive amount of calcium can result in over-stimulation of the brain (excitotoxic effect).

A prominent factor in the formation of migraines and headaches may be a lack of magnesium.

Mental disorders

Mental disorders are another sign of a deficiency of magnesium.

It is inclusive of apathy which is characterized by the lack of emotion and mental numbness. According to several observational studies, the low level of magnesium leads to an enhanced risk of depression.

A high deficiency of magnesium might also result in delirium or coma.

Intake of magnesium supplements can help alleviate anxiety disorders.

Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms – Fatigue

Magnesium is associated with high energy production. The mitochondria, present in the cells depend on magnesium on a wide scale for producing energy. The mitochondrial function is known to determine the energy levels within the body.

Magnesium renders support to the adrenal glands which are known to play a vital role in producing energy. This mineral is associated with enzymatic processes in the body.

Magnesium deficiency may disrupt more than 300 normal bodily processes.

This can act as a chronic stressor, thereby draining energy.

Chronic fatigue may be due to lacking magnesium.

Bone health

Magnesium is more important than calcium for bone production.

Poor bone health is another warning sign of magnesium deficiency.

Magnesium is required for vitamin D for the absorption of calcium.

Hence, it is crucial to include adequate magnesium along with vitamin D.

Magnesium is required for the stimulation of hormone calcitonin.

It is known to draw the calcium from the soft tissues and muscles into the bones.

Lack of magnesium can enhance the risks of arthritis, osteoporosis, heart attacks, and kidney stones.

Irregular heartbeat

Irregular heartbeat or heart arrhythmia is another serious warning sign of deficiency of magnesium.

At times, the signs of arrhythmia are mild whereas in some cases they might not show any sign at all.

In a few people, it might lead to heart palpitations.

Other possible signs of arrhythmia are inclusive of breathlessness, feeling lightheaded, fainting, or chest pain.

In the majority of severe cases, it enhances the risks of heart failure or stroke.

Patients suffering from arrhythmia and cognitive heart failure are known to have a low level of magnesium, in comparison to healthy people.


Asthma is another sign of magnesium deficiency.

According to research, lack of this mineral might result in the building of calcium in the muscles which line the airways of the lungs. The airways may constrict, thereby resulting in shortness of breath.

Magnesium sulfate inhaler is provided to people, suffering from severe asthma for relaxing and expansion of the airways.

IBS and Constipation

Constipation and IBS are other prominent warning sign of magnesium.

Proper intake of magnesium helps in softening the stools as they draw water into the bowel.

In case the stool becomes very hard, they move through the colon slowly and this might become an issue.

Magnesium plays a vital role in the regulation of muscle contractors in the intestines.

Hence, deficiency in magnesium leads to constipation.

Taking magnesium supplements are useful in offering relief from cramping and discomfort.

Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms – Treatment

The most obvious treatment would be to take a magnesium supplement.

The following table shows the recommended daily amounts:

Birth to 6 months30 mg*30 mg*
7–12 months75 mg*75 mg*
1–3 years80 mg80 mg
4–8 years130 mg130 mg
9–13 years240 mg240 mg
14–18 years410 mg360 mg400 mg360 mg
19–30 years400 mg310 mg350 mg310 mg
31–50 years420 mg320 mg360 mg320 mg
51+ years420 mg320 mg

*Adequate Intake (AI)

Other Sources of Magnesium

There are many food sources for magnesium.

It is recommended that you also include some magnesium sources in your diet.

A combination of topical magnesium and oral magnesium is beneficial to improve the low level of magnesium.

Food sources are:

  • Dark Chocolate
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Avocado
  • Beans
  • Bananas
  • Leafy Green
  • Fish – Salmon, Mackerel

Magnesium absorption will be reduced with an increase in alcohol consumption.

Caffeine is a diuretic, and as a result will cause magnesium to leave the body, rather than be absorbed.


Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms may vary from very mild tics, to severe symptoms. Ensuring that the diet contains sufficient magnesium will help to avoid these problems. Additional supplementation for endurance athletes might be required to make up the deficit in magnesium.

In severe cases, a visit to the doctor may be required, if levels become very low. In such situations, it could be very dangerous. You are likely to have already experienced these symptoms for some time to reach that point.


High Blood Pressure

Recommended Daily Amounts Taken from: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-HealthProfessional/

Alcohol Affects Magnesium Absorption: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7836619

Caffeine Absorption Affects Magnesium Absorption: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/279923885