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Symptoms Of Magnesium Deficiency

The symptoms of magnesium deficiency are subtle and may go unnoticed while leaving a person vulnerable to osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease and immune dysfunction.

The NHANES study found that substantial numbers of Americans fail to get the recommended amount of magnesium in their diets.

The U.S. Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine recommends a dietary allowance (RDA) for magnesium of 320 mg for women and 420 mg for men over the age of thirty. Slightly more is recommended for women during pregnancy. Unfortunately, data from the 1999-2000 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) suggests that substantial numbers of adults in the United States fail to get the recommended amounts of magnesium in their diets.In addition to a diet that lacks foods high in magnesium, the following conditions may also cause magnesium deficiency:

  • Gastrointestinal disorders: Prolonged diarrhea, Crohn’s disease, malabsorption syndromes, celiac disease, gastric by-pass; and intestinal inflammation due to radiation may all lead to magnesium depletion.
  • Renal disorders: Diabetes mellitus and continuous use of certain diuretics may cause an increased loss of magnesium in the urine.
  • Alcoholism: Alcoholics often have poor diets, gastrointestinal problems and increased urinary loss of magnesium.
  • Age: Magnesium absorption tends to decrease with age while loss through the urine increases.
  • Eating Disorders: Poor nutrition combined with chronic or excessive vomiting and diarrhea may result in magnesium depletion.


Early symptoms of magnesium deficiency include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and weakness. As magnesium deficiency worsens, numbness, tingling, muscle contractions and cramps, seizures, sudden changes in behaviors, abnormal heart rhythms, and coronary spasms can occur. Severe magnesium deficiency can result in low levels of calcium in the blood (hypocalcemia) which can contribute to the development of osteoporosis. Magnesium deficiency is also associated with low levels of potassium in the blood (hypokalemia) which may affect the regulation of blood pressure and heart function.

Many of these symptoms are general and can be associated with a variety of medical conditions. It is important to consult your doctor before choosing a course of action.

Puritan’s Pride Bone Care provides recommended levels of magnesium within a calcium tablet for approximately $30 for a year’s supply. The ingredients of Bone Care are as follows:

  • Calcium: 600 mg (calcium carbonate and calcium gluconate)
  • Magnesium: 150 mg (magnesium oxide and magnesium gluconate)
  • Vitamin D3: 400 IU
  • Vitamin K1: 50 mcg.

To learn how symptoms of magnesium deficiency can be addressed in an osteoporosis prevention program... visit Osteoporosis Treatment Guidelines.