May 2014 Home › Magnesium nutrition › Nutritional diseases › Mineral deficiency symptoms › Magnesium deficiency diseases - Magnesium deficiency symptomsMagnesium deficiency diseases occur when there is dietary insufficiency of the mineral. Magnesium depletion symptoms also occur due to certain physiological and health conditions.
AdvertisementsDeficiency caused early symptoms include loss of appetite, nausea and weakness. With the worsening of the depletion, hypomagnesemia sets in giving rise to neuromuscular, neuropsychological and cardiovascular diseases. Untreated chronic magnesium depletion can disrupt mineral homeostasis and result in symptoms of hypocalcemia or hypokalemia.
Magnesium is essential for the synthesis of glutathione, a vital endogenous antioxidant produced by the cells.
Daily magnesium requirement for a man between 19-51+ years is about 400-420 mg and for a woman between 19-50+ years is 310-320 mg. Chronic shortfall may result in the development of adverse symptoms. There is increased requirement during pregnancy and lactation. Most of our magnesium requirement is met from our diet. Green leafy vegetables, kelp, legumes, whole grains and seeds are magnesium food sources. Several cereal foods, fruit juices and beverages are being fortified with magnesium supplements.
Causes of magnesium deficiencyThere are several causes for developing deficiency. The foremost cause is dietary inadequacy. The symptoms of marginal insufficiency are not observed as the kidneys limit urinary excretion of this mineral. However, alcoholism, use of certain medications and diuretic pills can result in insufficiency symptoms. The amount of elemental mineral absorbed and its bioavailability is dependent upon the type of the compound and its solubility. Very high doses of zinc supplements can disrupt Magnesium absorption. Some of the causes of deficiency are listed below.
- malnutrition and malabsorption
- insufficiency in the diet
- consumption of caffeine
- consumption of sugar
- increased urinary magnesium excretion
- food high in tannins, oxalates, and phytic acid
- old age
- fluoride in drinking water
- gastrointestinal diseases
- chronic alcoholism
- chronic diarrhea
- Crohn’s disease
- celiac disease
- type 2 diabetes
- certain antibiotics
- birth control pills
Symptoms of magnesium deficiencyShort term insufficiency does not produce any symptoms as urinary loss is controlled by the kidneys. Early symptoms include:
- loss of appetite
- muscle cramps
- poor nail growth
- personality changes
- coronary spasms
Diseases of magnesium deficiencyInadequate serum levels of the mineral cause cardiovascular diseases, hypomagnesemia and migraine headaches. Excess blood levels cause diseases like hypermagnesemia.
Of the total quantity of this mineral in the body less than 1% is in the blood serum and the concentration is tightly controlled between 0.75 and 0.95 millimoles (mmol)/L. Magnesium balance is mostly controlled by urinary excretion. When the serum level of the mineral falls below 0.75 mmol/L, many adverse symptoms appear and the disease is known as hypomagnesemia. Dietary surveys conducted in the United States indicate that average American's intake of the mineral is lower than the recommended dietary allowance by the Food and Nutrition Board.
What is hypermagnesemia
Generally magnesium overdose does not occur as any excess of the mineral is excreted into urine. Only about 30% to 40% of this dietary mineral is absorbed by the body. In persons with decreased urine output or renal failure, there is increased level of the magnesium ions in the blood and results in hypermagnesemia. Severe hypermagnesemia can result in extreme hypotension, retention of urine, irregular heartbeat and cardiac arrest. Side effects of magnesium supplements include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, decreasing the absorption of oral bisphosphonates and binding to certain antibiotics.
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