Magnesium is important. It is the fourth most abundant mineral in our body and is needed for over 300 chemical reactions in the body. Magnesium is also needed to help other minerals do their job. Without magnesium, these other minerals, such as Calcium and Chromium, do not work as efficiently.
Personally, I try to 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 also use a Magnesium lotion that I use on my legs and elbows, and sometimes also have Epsom Salts baths that are made up of Magnesium Sulphate.
Do you think you may have 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:
abnormal heart rhythms
During 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!
Here is a factsheet if you would like to read more about Magnesium and Magnesium Deficiency.
What does Magnesium do for the body?
Magnesium helps with hundreds of enzyme systems that regulate reactions in the body:
1. Relaxes muscles and stops cramping
Magnesium regulates muscle contractions and allows muscles to relax, by counteracting the contracting effects of calcium. Both minerals work together to contract and relax the muscles in your body, including your heart.
If there is a Magnesium deficiency you may get restless legs.
2. Balances your blood glucose levels
Magnesium prevents sugar cravings and diabetes by balancing your blood sugar levels. Magnesium is needed to get sugar into your cells quickly so your body can do what it needs to do.
Low levels of Magnesium are associated with insulin resistance. A Magnesium deficiency is often seen in people with Type 2 Diabetes.
3. Prevents migraines
Women who suffer from migraines tend to have low Magnesium levels.
Low Magnesium levels, cause the arteries to the brain to contract. Chemicals are released into the blood, and this causes a sensitivity to pain.
4. Improves your energy levels
Magnesium creates energy by activating ATP, which are units of energy, in cells. Magnesium with B vitamins and CoQ10, work together to produce energy.
5. Makes your bones strong and healthy, by contributing to bone development
Magnesium influences the types of cells the body needs for bone growth and repair. It activates calcium and Vitamin D, working with them to grow and repair bones.
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 on 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.
Did you know that there are a number of homeopathic remedies made with Magnesium?
Is homeopathy for you?
Homeopathy is used all over the world for so many health issues. 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.
If you would like to speak to me about how homeopathy may help I offer a free 30 minute discovery call. During this call, we talk about you, your symptoms, and how they are affecting you. I will ask you some questions to see if homeopathy may be beneficial to you.
I am always happy to hear from you.