How do you know if you have a magnesium deficiency? There are tests the doctor can order but they are not always accurate. A better method is to assess your symptoms and your lifestyle. The symptoms include:
- Muscle cramps
- Sleep issues
- Chronic pain
- Eye twitches
If you have symptoms, your next step is to asses your lifestyle. The following things can contribute to a magnesium deficiency:
- High soda consumption
- High alcohol consumption
- High caffeine consumption
- High levels of stress
- Birth control pills or hormone therapy
- Taking a calcium supplement
- Taking a Vitamin D supplement
- Increased age (55+)
If you suspect that you have a deficiency, there are things you can do to rectify the problem. The first is to consume foods that contain magnesium on a daily basis. These include:
- Dark leafy greens
- Nuts and seeds
- Dried fruit
- Dark chocolate
- Pink Himalayan salt
Another thing you can do is to take an epsom salt bath at least 3 times a week. Fill the tub with hot water and a cup of epsom salts and soak for 20 minutes. This is my favorite method because it fights stress as well. I light candles, put on soothing music, and do some deep breathing exercises in the tub.
Of course, you can also take a magnesium supplement and there are many affordable options on the market. I do want to caution you, though, that these can lead to digestive issues like diarrhea. If you opt for a supplement then start with a small dose It should match the amount of calcium you are taking per day and should be taken in the evening, away from your Vitamin D supplement.
FYI - magnesium, Vitamin D, and calcium all work together. You need magnesium to activate D, which can only carry calcium one it is activated. Calcium is needed for most bodily functions, especially those related to the heart, muscles, nerves, and bones. Thus you need all 3 to function.
Nutrition is a young science and we are learning more and more each day. A healthy diet is your best defense!