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Magnesium is a chemical element symbolized by the letters Mg. This abundantly found alkaline metal, comprises about 2% of the Earth's crust. Besides its critical role in the environmental makeup, magnesium is also important in maintaining body's health. Magnesium is a very valuable element in the human body as its compounds manipulate the DNA, ATP and the RNA for harmonious functions of the body. Thus, our body requires magnanimous amounts of magnesium. Low levels of magnesium can cause several problems and prolonged ailments. Excessive vomiting and diarrhea are some of the causes of magnesium deficiency.
Low Magnesium Symptoms
Low Energy Levels
Magnesium plays an important role in converting food into energy. Higher levels of magnesium in the body allow it to absorb glucose better, and convert it into required energy. Lower levels of magnesium in the body makes simple activities seem harder, thus causing additional exertion. This makes the body demand more oxygen and energy, which leads to low energy levels.
Irritability and Depression
Our body uses magnesium in several chemical processes. Deficiency of plasma magnesium is known to cause depression. Taking oral supplements and making dietary changes by consulting a doctor can help one alleviate irritability, depression and nervousness. If these go unnoticed for a long time, they can result in life-threatening seizures.
Frequent headaches or migraines are also caused due to lack of magnesium in the body. Antibiotics, diuretics and excessive consumption of alcohol can lower your levels of magnesium in the body. Building up your levels of magnesium is the only way of keeping headaches at bay.
Muscle Tension, Spasms and Cramps
Magnesium is known to keep the nervous system calm and relaxed. It ensures smooth blood circulation and strengthens bones too. Depletion in the level of this important element makes the body's health plummet into a serious muscle tension, fatigue, spasms and cramps.
Insomnia is one commonly witnessed symptom. Magnesium assists in sleeping and helps in staying asleep all night long. Thus, disturbed sleep patterns or inability to fall asleep are both attributable to low magnesium.
The other symptoms of magnesium deficiency are difficulty in swallowing, constipation, urinary spasms, menstrual cramps, photophobia, chest tightness, neck pain, jaw joint dysfunction and breast tenderness. Thus it is the primary case of hyperactivity, restlessness, panic attacks and premenstrual irritability. The symptoms arising out of peripheral effect on nervous system are numbness and tingling. Low levels of magnesium also affects the heart. Palpitations, heart arrhythmias, high blood pressure and mitral valve prolapse are the common symptoms of magnesium deficiency. A desperate urge to binge on chocolates is also seen as one of the signs of magnesium deficiency in the body.
Detection of Low Magnesium Level
The best test for detecting magnesium deficiency is magnesium loading test. The level of the element is measured through the urine that is collected in a day. If the level is found to be low, the patient is given an injection of adequate quantity of magnesium and the level is measured again. If the magnesium is retained, then it is concluded that the body requires magnesium and needs treatment. The other method of diagnosing magnesium level is by laboratory tests.
Sources of Magnesium
It is evident that all that is green and edible is a source of magnesium. The reason for this is because, the element plays a key role in 'coordinating ion in the chlorophyll molecule'. Hence, all the green leafy vegetables that are generally disliked for its taste have to be consumed for a hale and hearty lifestyle. A lot of whole wheat and white sugar in the diet is not good either as it leads to loss of magnesium. Replace your meal with green and fresh veggies. Fried food too, cause damage beyond repair at times. Refined and processed food stuffs such as cheese and white bread should be avoided by patients dealing with magnesium deficiency.
Treatment for Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency
People suffering from magnesium deficiency can take oral supplements or injections. The cheapest way of dealing with this problem is to eat a lot of vegetables that are grown in natural soil. However, before you take any kind of medication do consult a doctor.
Symptoms of magnesium deficiency indicate malnutrition. These signs are caused due to continuous deprivation of healthy food and excessive workload. Thus, one needs to make certain dietary changes to keep these signs and symptoms at bay. After all, eating right and healthy is the only way of acquiring a fit body for a lifetime!
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