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Magnesium deficiency is commonly misdiagnosed let alone even acknowledged because it does not show up in blood tests – only 1% of the body's magnesium is stored in the blood so most General Practitioners and laboratories don't even include magnesium status in routine blood tests. Therefore, most doctors don't know when their patients are deficient in magnesium,even though studies show that the majority of Western world population are deficient in magnesium and it is by far the most important mineral in the body.
Few people are even aware of the profound role magnesium plays. After oxygen, water, and basic food, magnesium may be the most important vitally functional element required by our bodies. It regulates calcium, potassium and sodium and millions suffer daily from symptoms of magnesium deficiency without even knowing it.
Thirst can mean not only lack of water but it can also mean that one is not getting enough nutrients and electrolytes. Magnesium, Potassium, Bicarbonate, Chloride and Sodium are some principle examples and that is one of the reasons magnesium chloride is so useful.
In fact, there happens to be a relationship between what we perceive as thirst and deficiencies in electrolytes. I remember a person asking, "Why am I dehydrated and thirsty when I drink so much water?" Thirst can mean not only lack of water but it can also mean that one is not getting enough nutrients and electrolytes. Magnesium, Potassium, Bicarbonate, Chloride and Sodium are some principle examples and that is one of the reasons magnesium chloride is so useful.
Dr Clyde Norman Shealy, M.D., Ph.D. is an American neurosurgeon and a pioneer in pain medicine.'s he states -"Every known illness is associated with a magnesium deficiency" and that, "magnesium is the most critical mineral required for electrical stability of every cell in the body. A magnesium deficiency may be responsible for more diseases than any other nutrient."
This exposes a gaping hole in modern medicine that explains a good deal. Because magnesium deficiency is largely overlooked, many are having their symptoms treated with expensive drugs when their conditions could be resolved simply with a quality magnesium supplementation.
Magnesium is needed by every cell in the body including those of the brain. It is one of the most important minerals when considering supplementation because of its vital role in hundreds of enzyme systems and functions related to reactions in cell metabolism, as well as being essential for the synthesis of proteins, for the utilization of fats and carbohydrates. Magnesium is needed not only for the production of specific detoxification enzymes but is also important for energy production related to cell detoxification. A magnesium deficiency can affect virtually every system of the body.
One has to recognize the signs of magnesium on their own since it is not widely recognised as a condition. Excessive thirst or hunger is one example. There is a relationship between what we perceive as thirst and deficiencies in electrolytes. Patients ask "Why am I dehydrated and thirsty when I drink so much water?" Thirst can mean not only lack of water but it can also mean that one is not getting enough nutrients and electrolytes. Magnesium, Bicarbonate, Potassium, Chloride and Sodium are some examples.
It is a torment to be magnesium deficient on one level or another. Even the fit sports professional will find athletic performance down - magnesium deficiency will disturb sleep and background stress levels and a host of other things
Main Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency
The first symptoms of deficiency can be subtle – as most magnesium is stored in the tissues, leg cramps, foot pain, restless or muscle 'twitches' can be the first sign. Other early signs of deficiency include loss of appetite, thirst, hunger, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and weakness. As magnesium deficiency worsens, numbness, tingling, seizures, personality changes, abnormal heart rhythms, and coronary spasms can occur.
Dr. Sidney Baker MD. "Magnesium deficiency can affect virtually every organ system of the body. With regard to skeletal muscle, one may experience twitches, cramps, muscle tension, muscle soreness, including back aches, neck pain, tension headaches and jaw joint (or TMJ) dysfunction. One may also experience chest tightness or a peculiar sensation that he can't take a deep breath. Sometimes a person may sigh a lot. Symptoms also include involving impaired contraction of smooth muscles include constipation; urinary spasms; menstrual cramps; difficulty swallowing or a lump in the throat-especially provoked by eating sugar; photophobia, especially difficulty adjusting to oncoming bright headlights in the absence of eye disease; and loud noise sensitivity from muscle tension in the ear…Insomnia, anxiety, hyperactivity, panic attacks, agoraphobia, and premenstrual irritability. Magnesium deficiency symptoms involving the peripheral nervous system include numbness, tingling, and other abnormal sensations, such as zips, zaps and vibratory sensations. Symptoms or signs of the cardiovascular system include palpitations, heart arrhythmias, and angina due to spasms of the coronary arteries, high blood pressure and mitral valve prolapse.People with magnesium deficiency often seem to be "uptight." Other general symptoms include a salt craving, both carbohydrate craving and carbohydrate intolerance, especially of chocolate, and breast tenderness."
One of the principle reasons doctors write millions of prescriptions for tranquilizers each year is the nervousness, irritability, and jitters largely brought on by inadequate diets lacking magnesium. Persons only slightly deficient in magnesium become irritable, highly-strung, and sensitive to noise, hyper-excitable, apprehensive and belligerent. If the deficiency is more severe or prolonged, they may develop twitching, tremors, irregular pulse, insomnia, muscle weakness, jerkiness and leg and foot cramps.
If magnesium is severely deficient, the brain is particularly affected. Clouded thinking, confusion, disorientation, marked depression and even the terrifying hallucinations of delirium are largely brought on by a lack of this nutrient and remedied when magnesium is given. Because large amounts of calcium are lost in the urine when magnesium is under supplied, the lack of this nutrient indirectly becomes responsible for much rampant tooth decay, poor bone development, osteoporosis and slow healing of broken bones and fractures. With vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), magnesium helps to reduce and dissolve calcium phosphate kidney stones.
Magnesium deficiency may be a common factor associated with insulin resistance. Symptoms of MS that are also symptoms of magnesium deficiency include muscle spasms, weakness, twitching, muscle atrophy, an inability to control the bladder, nystagmus (rapid eye movements), hearing loss, and osteoporosis. People with MS have higher rates of epilepsy than controls. Epilepsy has also been linked to magnesium deficiencies.
Clyde Norman Shealy, M.D., Ph.D. is an American neurosurgeon and a pioneer in pain medicine. He is credited with the invention of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator, spinal cord stimulator, and radiofrequency ablation for back pain arising from facet arthropathy.
Dr. Michael B. Schachter, M.D. has been the director of the SchachterCenter and at the forefront of Complementary, Alternative and Integrative Medicine (CAIM) for over 35 years.