Do I Get Enough Magnesium Daily?
Do you drink carbonated beverages on a regular basis?
Most dark colored sodas contain phosphates which bind with magnesium inside the digestive tract, rendering it unavailable to the body. Drinking soda flushes magnesium out of your system.
Do you regularly eat pastries, cakes, desserts, candies or other sweet foods?
Sweet foods are known as “anti-nutrients”. Anti-nutrients are foods in the diet, yet actually consume nutrients when digested, resulting in a net loss. Because all foods require vitamins and minerals to be consumed in order to power the process of digestion, it’s important to choose foods that “put back” vital nutrients, and then some.
The more sweet foods and processed baked goods you have in your diet, the more likely you are deficient in magnesium and other vital nutrients.
Do you experience a lot of stress in your life, or have you recently had a major medical procedure such as surgery?
Stress can be a cause of magnesium deficiency, and a lack of magnesium tends to magnify the stress reaction, worsening the problem.
Do you drink coffee, tea or other caffeinated drinks daily?
Caffeine causes the kidneys to release extra magnesium regardless of body status.
If you drink caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea and soda regularly, your risk for magnesium deficiency is increased.
Do you take a diuretic, heart medication, asthma medication, birth control pills, or estrogen replacement therapy?
The effects of certain drugs have been shown to reduce magnesium levels in the body by increasing magnesium loss through excretion by the kidneys.
Do you drink more than seven alcoholic beverages per week?
The effect of alcohol on magnesium levels is similar to the effect of diuretics: it lowers magnesium available to the cells by increasing the excretion of magnesium by the kidneys. In studies, clinical magnesium deficiency was found in 30% of alcoholics.
Increased alcohol intake also contributes to decreased efficiency of the digestive system, as well as Vitamin D deficiency, both of which can contribute to low magnesium levels.
Do you take calcium supplements without magnesium, or calcium supplements with magnesium in less than a 1:1 ratio.
Studies have shown that when magnesium intake is low, calcium supplementation may reduce magnesium absorption and retention. And, whereas calcium supplementation can have negative effects on magnesium levels, magnesium supplementation actually improves the body’s use of calcium.
Several researchers now support a 1:1 calcium to magnesium ratio for improved bone support and reduced risk of disease.
Do you experience any of the following:
Times of hyperactivity
Difficulty getting to sleep
Painful muscle spasms
Eye twitches, or involuntary eye movements.
The above symptoms may be neurological signs of magnesium deficiency. Adequate magnesium is necessary for nerve conduction and is also associated with electrolyte imbalances that affect the nervous system. Low magnesium is also associated with personality changes and sometimes depression. Neuromuscular symptoms are among the classic signs of a potential magnesium deficit
Did you answer yes to any of the above questions and are also age 55 or older?
Older adults are particularly vulnerable to low magnesium status. It has been shown that aging, stress and disease all contribute to increasing magnesium needs, yet most older adults actually take in less magnesium from food sources than when they were younger.
In addition, magnesium metabolism may be less efficient as we grow older, as changes the GI tract and kidneys contribute to older adults absorbing less and retaining less magnesium.
If you are above 55 and also showing lifestyle signs or symptoms related to low magnesium, it’s particularly important that you work to improve your magnesium intake. When body stores of magnesium run low, risks of overt hypomagnesaemia (magnesium deficiency) increase significantly.