Magnesium deficiency: causes & tips for magnesium deficiency

How bad is it if you have a magnesium deficiency? This depends, among other things, on the severity of the magnesium deficiency and the complaints that cause the symptoms. Muscle cramps, fatigue and headaches can indicate a magnesium deficiency, while heart problems can develop in the longer term. You can supplement a magnesium deficiency by eating green vegetables, legumes and nuts, but also through nutritional supplements. Dietary supplements containing magnesium can quickly give your body a “boost”. What are the main causes of magnesium deficiency and what tips are useful in treating it?

What is magnesium?

Magnesium (Mg) is a mineral that is very important for the human body. Magnesium has numerous functions: the production of hormones, building muscles and bones and relaxing muscles and nerves. In addition, magnesium is a mineral that is important in the transmission of nerve impulses, regulating blood pressure, cholesterol levels and blood sugar levels. Magnesium is even important for a good night’s sleep and for mental balance. In people of advanced age, magnesium is very useful for preserving memory.

Symptoms of magnesium deficiency


Since magnesium is involved in so many different body processes, a deficiency can also lead to a wide range of complaints. But the most common and well-known symptom of a magnesium deficiency is probably cramps. These arise because the body is forced to remove this mineral from the muscles in order to function when magnesium levels are too low. This can lead to random muscle contractions, or muscle cramps. Stiff muscles can also be related to a magnesium deficiency. Cramps are mainly felt in the calves and thighs, but sometimes also in the hands and arms. Because the heart is also a hollow muscle, you may be at risk of heart problems if your body has too little magnesium.

Other symptoms

In addition to muscle cramps, fatigue, headache, physical weakness and listlessness can also occur with magnesium deficiency. Chronic magnesium deficiency can cause even more complaints, such as chronic fatigue, anxiety, nervousness, allergies, depression and osteoporosis. This shows that magnesium is an extremely important mineral for body and mind.

Causes of magnesium deficiency

A possible cause of a magnesium deficiency is primarily a diet that does not absorb enough magnesium. Anyone who has poor dietary habits can absorb a deficient amount of magnesium in the long term. For example, if you often eat white flour, you will absorb little magnesium. Other causes include exposure to stress, heavy physical labor or intensive exercise. If you exercise often, have your blood tested regularly for iron and magnesium. Certain medications such as antacids can also make the absorption of magnesium more difficult.

Magnesium deficiency treatment: tips

Power supply

First of all, you can replenish your magnesium through a healthy diet. Do not eat white bread and limit the use of sugar. Magnesium can be found in the following foods, among others:

  • soy
  • peanut butter
  • banana
  • chocolate
  • crustaceans
  • whole-wheat products
  • green vegetables: spinach, broccoli
  • legumes: beans, peas
  • dairy products: milk, cheese, eggs



During a blood analysis, your doctor may discover that you have a magnesium deficiency. Because eating magnesium-rich food sometimes only has a long-term effect, the doctor may also prescribe magnesium supplements. This allows your magnesium deficiency to be supplemented quickly and effectively, reducing the chance of a recurrence of some symptoms (including muscle cramps, fatigue). After just a few days you will notice that you are less likely to suffer from cramps, or that they even disappear completely. You will also generally feel fitter and more energetic.


If you prefer not to take the extra magnesium orally, you can also rub the muscles with magnesium oil . Magnesium is also available in the form of a cream or a spray. The advantage of this is that you can treat painful muscle cramps very locally. Applying magnesium cream is good for the blood circulation in the affected area, making your muscles quickly become more flexible.

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