Magnesium is an essential mineral and electrolyte that helps your body with a variety of bodily functions. There are a number of root causes of magnesium deficiency, and once you’ve been diagnosed, you can take steps to correct your magnesium deficiency. Keep reading to learn how to correct magnesium deficiency as options for treatment for magnesium deficiency.
What is Magnesium Deficiency?
As a vital mineral for the body, magnesium helps your body regulate muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure. It also helps make protein, bone, and DNA. Simply put, without magnesium, your body doesn’t function properly, and you’ll quickly begin to experience a variety of unpleasant symptoms like nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, fatigue, weakness, cramps, and muscle contractions, and more.
The most common way to find out your magnesium levels is to visit your doctor. They can administer a blood test called the total serum magnesium test that can tell you if you have a magnesium deficiency. After that, you can work through how to correct magnesium deficiency together.
How to Correct Magnesium Deficiency
If you want to correct your magnesium deficiency, then you can go three routes.
Improve your body’s absorption of magnesium
Certain nutrients and conditions impact how much magnesium a person is able to absorb. If you and your doctor discover that your body is having trouble absorbing magnesium for one reason or another, you can take certain actions to help your body improve. This includes…
- Treating a vitamin D deficiency
- Eating raw vegetables instead of cooking them
- Quitting smoking
- Avoiding high-dose zinc supplements
- Reducing/avoiding calcium-rich foods two hours before AND after eating magnesium-rich foods
Eat Magnesium-Rich Foods
Depending on your test results, your doctor may suggest that you increase the amount of magnesium through your diet. For most people, this is a simple way that they can address the magnesium deficiency. In fact, some of your favorite foods may be packed with magnesium without you even knowing it. Here are 10 foods you can use to get that extra boost of magnesium you need to feel your best.
- Dark chocolate: 64 mg of magnesium in a 1-ounce serving
- Avocados: 58 mg of magnesium in 1 medium avocado
- Cashews: 82 mg of magnesium in a 1-ounce serving
- Black beans: 120 mg of magnesium in 1-cup of cooked black beans
- Tofu: 53 mg of magnesium in 3.5 ounce serving
- Pumpkin seeds: 150 mg in 1-ounce serving
- Whole grains: 65 mg of magnesium in 1-ounce serving of dry buckwheat
- Salmon: 53 mg of magnesium in half a fillet
- Bananas: 37 mg of magnesium in 1 large banana
- Spinach: 157 mg of magnesium in 1 cup of cooked spinach
As a benchmark, most adults need around 400 mg of magnesium per day, so integrating more of these foods into your daily diet can help you reach that goal without having to drastically change your behavior. It’s an easy treatment for magnesium deficiency.
Take a magnesium supplement
If you have poor magnesium absorption, your doctor may recommend that you begin taking a supplement. This is especially common in people over 60 years of age as magnesium absorption decreases over time. If you suspect you have a magnesium deficiency, it’s always best to talk to your doctor first. Magnesium supplements can interfere with existing medications that you’re taking or be harmful when unnecessary. If you exceed the recommended daily dose, you can suffer from symptoms like diarrhea, cramping, nausea, etc.
Furthermore, there are different types of magnesium supplements you can take such as magnesium oxide, magnesium citrate, and magnesium chloride. Treatment for magnesium deficiency can vary based on your needs, and often the body absorbs the citrate and chloride forms of magnesium much easier and more efficiently than the oxide.
There are also topical blends and liquids of Magnesium that is an easier, more convenient way to get your daily amount of Magnesium. To learn more about the topical application of Magnesium and its benefits, check out our blog post, Why You Should Be Using Topical Magnesium for Pain!
Studies have shown that the vast majority of Americans do not get enough magnesium from their diet alone. Treatment for magnesium deficiency is fairly simple, and your doctor can recommend the best course of treatment after diagnosis.
If you’re still in the diagnosis stage, check out our blog on Causes of Magnesium Deficiency (and How To Avoid Them). This can help guide you on how to correct magnesium deficiency most effectively.