Healthy Holistic Living

The Hidden Epidemic of Magnesium Deficiency


You may know what magnesium is, but do you know how important the mineral can be for your health? Magnesium is involved with over 300 metabolic processes in our bodies, leading to the mineral being called the ‘master mineral’.  So what exactly does it mean to have a magnesium deficiency, and what are some magnesium deficiency symptoms?

16 Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms

As mentioned, magnesium is a mineral responsible for numerous bodily processes. An anti-inflammatory mineral offering protection against illnesses like arthritis and Alzheimer’s disease, magnesium has been used to remedy problems like high blood pressure, diabetes, respiratory issues, and much more. But as you may suspect, just as upping magnesium intake can solve problems, a magnesium deficiency could lead to many of those same issues and much more.

Here are 16 signs of a magnesium deficiency.

  • Calcium deficiency
  • Poor heart health
  • Weakness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Tremors
  • Nausea
  • Anxiety
  • High blood pressure
  • Type II diabetes
  • Respiratory issues
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Potassium deficiency
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Poor memory
  • Confusion

It’s important to note that while these are symptoms of a magnesium deficiency, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are definitely deficient in magnesium if you experience the above issues.

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According to Dr. Otis Woodward, MD you might also experience the following symptoms:

  • Restless legs syndrome
  • Weakness
  • Muscle twitching
  • Muscle pain and soreness
  • Shooting pains
  • Sound sensitivity
  • Light sensitivity
  • Irritability
  • Delayed recovery from exercise

Magnesium deficiency may also be a complicating factor in:

  • Congestive heart failure
  • Arrhythmias
  • Asthma
  • Migraine
  • Hypertension
  • Increased risk of death from heart attack

Dr. Otis Woodward also goes on to state there is a hidden epidemic of magnesium deficiency because:

-There is very little magnesium in food produced by agribusiness. Analysis has shown that organically grown food -has 10 times the magnesium content of agribusiness food.

-Magnesium is difficult to absorb even when taken in adequate quantities.


-Overstress causes increased loss of magnesium through the kidneys while at the same time interfering with absorption from the gut.

-Another hidden epidemic, gluten sensitivity, causes gut damage that further impairs absorption.

-Eating large quantities of sugar increases renal loss of magnesium (2).

That’s why Dr. Otis, recommends a red blood cell (RBC) test over a simple blood test to determine magnesium levels. It can look good in your blood, but if it is not in your cells you won’t get the benefits. RBC testing is not as good as white blood cell testing, but it is easier to obtain, less expensive, and sufficient.

How to Safely Supplement Magnesium

Magnesium is an area essential cofactor in 80% of the biochemical reactions that constantly go on in the body. This means that if you are magnesium deficient, 80% of your biochemistry is impaired.             

It’s almost impossible to overdose magnesium by supplementing, but consuming too much magnesium is still not a great idea. Too much of the mineral could lead to some side effects like irregular heartbeat or slowed breathing. Similar to oral ascorbic acid C, there is a bowel tolerance threshold that brings on diarrhea if exceeded. Not all magnesium supplements are easily absorbed, either.


You can find inexpensive products that feature magnesium citrate, which is among the most readily absorbed forms of magnesium supplements.

You can also apply transdermal magnesium chloride topically to be absorbed internally through the skin. Magnesium chloride is also known as magnesium oil, though not really an oil. It’s a briny solution from ancient sea beds. It is available through various online sources. Google magnesium oil products.

If you don’t want to supplement and simply want to acquire magnesium through food sources, here are a few foods that can relieve you of any magnesium deficiency symptoms:

  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Soybeans
  • Black beans
  • Cashews
  • Spinach
  • Squash
  • Sesame seeds
  • Almonds
  • Okra (1)

NOTE: Important

People with kidney and heart problems are advised against magnesium supplementation unless they consult a physician. 


(1) 16-magnesium-deficiency-symptoms-signs-low-levels/#ixzz2YY1BPils 

(2) my_weblog/2009/04/magnesium-the-master-mineral.html

(3) 026768_magnesium_food_supplement.html#ixzz2YY2mJ1qW

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Michelle Toole

Michelle Toole is the founder and head editor of Healthy Holistic Living. Learn all about her life's inspiration and journey to health and wellness.

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