Feeling stressed? You could do with some magnesium

By naturopath Margaret Jasinska

Magnesium insufficiency is a growing concern in many parts of the world. The magnesium content of our food is declining, while certain dietary and lifestyle habits can cause you to lose excessive amounts of magnesium from your body.

Not getting enough magnesium can reduce your quality of life. It can impair your ability to handle stress. When you are stressed, your adrenal glands release the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol into your bloodstream. Cortisol can cause magnesium depletion through urine. This means that anyone who has experienced long term stress will probably end up lacking magnesium.

If you aren’t getting enough magnesium, minor annoyances can feel overwhelming. Everyday life can start to feel like a chore.

What increases magnesium deficiency?

  • Stress
  • Impaired mineral absorption
  • High levels of salt, caffeine and soft drinks in the diet
  • Profuse sweating, such as through intense exercise or extreme heat
  • The oral contraceptive pill
  • Diets low in vegetables, nuts, and seeds

What are the symptoms of magnesium insufficiency?

Most of the magnesium in your body is stored in your skeleton.  This means blood tests are not a reliable way to check for magnesium deficiency. The following symptoms are the most common manifestations of magnesium deficiency:

  • Muscle spasms, twitches or cramps
  • Sleep problems such as not being able to sleep or having restless sleep
  • Premenstrual tension
  • Headaches

Magnesium supplements

Magnesium is found in green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds.  Most people don’t eat enough of these foods to obtain sufficient magnesium, and due to modern farming practices, the magnesium content of all foods has declined.  A magnesium supplement may be necessary to help you feel your best.  Magnesium is available as Magnesium Complete tablets and Magnesium Ultra Potent powder.

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