It might surprise you to learn that there’s a very good chance you’re deficient in a significant mineral – and that mineral is magnesium. There’s no easy way to check your magnesium levels effectively – magnesium deficiency is often diagnosed by symptoms.
But even those symptoms (fatigue, muscle soreness, low testosterone levels, increased inflammation in your heart, and even loss of hearing) only show up in extreme cases, and, as we’ll see, may be tied to other conditions. Statistically speaking, you’re probably deficient – and you had no idea until now(1).
The Health Implications Of Magnesium Deficiency
Magnesium may be especially important for men, as there is a distinct relationship between magnesium levels and testosterone levels – a 2011 study showed that magnesium supplementation could have a positive impact on men with low testosterone levels(5).
On the flip side, there is evidence that getting enough magnesium in your system can help improve your health significantly, possibly helping to safeguard you against type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and migraine disorders(6).
If that doesn’t convince you to start taking magnesium seriously, who knows what will!
Making Sure You Get Enough Magnesium
Supplementing your diet with magnesium can be challenging, because in order to be bioavailable it must be bound to another substance. This is why 100% magnesium supplements don’t exist.
In addition to this, many magnesium supplements vary in quality, from inexpensive, low-quality products which can have a laxative effect, to higher-quality products with higher levels of absorption in the body.
According to the Dieticians Association of Canada, the best dietary sources of magnesium are nuts and seeds, as well as cooked spinach and other leafy greens(7).
Magnesium can also be absorbed through the skin – try a nice, relaxing bath with Epsom salts for not only washing away the cares of the day, but restoring your magnesium levels as well!
Just A Symptom?
Magnesium deficiency can occur on its own, but sometimes it is also a symptom of other disorders, such as malabsorption syndromes including Coeliac disease, Crohn’s disease, and steatorrhoea(8). Talk to a health professional immediately if you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms:
- Weakness and apathy
- Muscle fasciculations
- Seizures, drowsiness, and confusion
- Heart arrhythmia
As these may be early indicators of a more serious condition causing your magnesium deficiency. While not every doctor has extensive backgrounds in nutrition, they will often be able to help you determine if your magnesium deficiency is a symptom of a larger, more systemic problem.