Magnesium is important. It is the fourth most abundant mineral in our body and is needed for hundreds of different processes.
I have a good diet that includes a lot of Magnesium-rich foods. But during these peri-menopausal years, I want to make sure that I am not Magnesium deficient.
I use a Magnesium lotion that I use on my legs and elbows to ensure that I have enough of this important mineral. I sometimes also have Epsom Salts baths that are made up of Magnesium Sulphate.
What are the symptoms of Magnesium deficiency?
Not having enough Magnesium in your diet can cause a large list of symptoms.
Some early symptoms of magnesium deficiency are:
loss of appetite
nausea / vomiting
fatigue and weakness
triggering of migraines and headaches
weakness of hair and nails
There are also emotional effects of Magnesium deficiency, such as low mood. Magnesium increases GABA (Gama Aminobutyric Acid) levels in the body, which encourages relaxation. Low GABA levels can make it difficult to relax.
As well as finding it difficult to relax, low GABA levels can interfere with sleep. People with low Magnesium levels often experience restless sleep, waking frequently during the night.
As magnesium deficiency worsens, symptoms may include:
muscle cramps / spasticity
abnormal heart rhythms
During the menopause, the symptoms of Magnesium deficiency can sometimes actually be mistaken for hormonal problems when, in fact, they are just a lack of magnesium. Once this is known, it is easy to put right - start to eat Magnesium-rich foods and bathe in Epsom Salts!
If you would like to read more about Magnesium, there is a factsheet written by the National Institute of Health.
What does Magnesium do for the body?
Magnesium helps with more than 300 enzyme systems that regulate reactions in the body, some of which are:
Muscle and nerve function
- Magnesium regulates muscle contractions and allows muscles to relax.
Blood glucose control
- low levels of Magnesium are associated with insulin resistance.
A Magnesium deficiency is often seen in people with Type 2 Diabetes.
Blood pressure regulation
- helps to prevent blood vessels from constricting and improves blood flow.
- Magnesium creates energy by activating ATP, units of energy in cells.
- If there is a Magnesium deficiency, nutrients in food will not be turned into
Contributes to bone development
- including by influencing the types of cells the body needs for bone growth and
If you would like to know more about the science of how Magnesium works within the body, you may find this article in a Physiological Journal interesting.
Which foods contain high levels of Magnesium?
Magnesium is naturally present in many foods.
Rich sources of magnesium are:
- greens, (79mg per 100g)
- avocado, (29mg per 100g)
- nuts, (229mg per 100g)
- seeds, (592mg per 100g)
- dry beans, (eg black beans 76mg in 86g)
- whole grains (eg buckwheat 56mg in 28g)
- dark chocolate (64mg in 28g)
As a bit of a chocoholic, I was very pleased to know that eating dark chocolate, with over 70% cocoa, is good for me!
How much Magnesium do you need daily?
In the UK, the daily recommended allowance is 270mg.
By eating enough of the right food to get the recommended allowance of Magnesium you can avoid supplements.
But, I find that there are some days that I eat a lot of the foods high in Magnesium, and other days I eat nowhere near the daily recommended allowance. This is why I also use Magnesium lotion and sometimes have a bath with Epsom Salts.
If you would like to discuss homeopathy and your health, feel free to book a free discovery call with me or email me.
Is homeopathy for you?
Homeopathy is used all over the world for so many health issues, including menopause. Whether you have a big health issue that is stopping you from getting on with your life, or niggly health 'annoyances', feel free to contact me if you think I may be able to help.
I am always happy to hear from you.