7 Signs and Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency

Magnesium deficiency, also known as hypomagnesemia, is an often-overlooked health problem.

In some cases, deficiency may be underdiagnosed since the obvious signs commonly don’t appear until your levels become severely low.

The causes of magnesium deficiency vary. They range from inadequate dietary intake to loss of magnesium from the body.

Health problems associated with magnesium loss include diabetes, poor absorption, chronic diarrhea, celiac disease, and hungry bone syndrome.

Signs of Magnesium Deficiency

Muscle Twitches & Cramps

One of the most common signs of magnesium deficiency includes muscle twitches, tremors, and cramps.  In worst case scenarios, deficiency may even cause seizures or convulsions.

Poor Mental Health

Mental health disorders are another possible consequence of magnesium deficiency.

These include apathy, which is characterized by mental numbness or lack of emotion. Additionally, observational studies have associated low magnesium levels with an increased risk of depression.

Scientists have also speculated that magnesium deficiency might promote anxiety, but direct evidence is still lacking.


Osteoporosis is a disorder characterized by weak bones and an increased risk of bone fractures. Magnesium deficiency may increase the risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures, though many factors influence this risk, such as:

  • aging
  • lack of exercise
  • poor dietary intake of vitamins D and K

Fatigue & Muscle Weakness

Fatigue, a condition characterized by physical or mental exhaustion or weakness, is another symptom of magnesium deficiency. Scientists believe the weakness is caused by the loss of potassium in muscle cells, a condition associated with magnesium deficiency.

High Blood Pressure

Evidence suggests magnesium deficiency may raise blood pressure. At the same time, magnesium supplements may also benefit people with high blood pressure. The strongest evidence for the benefits of magnesium comes from controlled studies.


Magnesium deficiency is sometimes seen in people with severe asthma. Researchers believe a lack of magnesium may cause the buildup of calcium in the muscles lining the airways of the lungs. This causes the airways to constrict, making breathing more difficult.

Irregular Heart Beat

Heart arrhythmia, or irregular heartbeat, is among the most serious symptoms of magnesium deficiency. The symptoms of arrhythmia are mild in most cases. Often, it has no symptoms at all. However, in some people, it may cause heart palpitations, which are pauses between heartbeats.

How To Increase Magnesium Intake Naturally

Although many people don’t reach the recommended daily intake for magnesium, there are plenty of magnesium-rich foods to choose from.

It is widely found in both plants and animal-sourced foods. The richest sources are seeds and nuts, but whole grains, beans, and leafy green vegetables are also relatively rich sources. Magnesium is also added to many breakfast cereals and other processed foods.

Other great sources of magnesium include:

  • flaxseeds
  • sunflower seeds
  • chia seeds
  • cocoa
  • coffee
  • cashews
  • hazelnuts
  • oats

If you believe you may have a magnesium deficiency, you should speak with your doctor about it, and to rule out other possible health problems.

Article Source: Healthline.com