muscle cramps and weakness, cold extremities, and PMS.
Genetic factors, absorption issues, stress, alcohol, and diets low in magnesium-rich foods may also contribute to magnesium deficiency.
If you spot any of these symptoms, it is important to notify your doctor so that he or she can run a blood test or check your calcium and potassium levels.
If a magnesium deficiency goes untreated, you are at risk of developing symptoms such as numbness and tingling, personality changes, abnormal heart rhythms and seizures.
Fortunately, you can increase your magnesium intake through diet and/or supplements.
If you are heading to the grocery store, try stocking up on these magnesium-packed foods:
- Dark green leafy vegetables (cooked spinach, Swiss chard)
- Nuts (almonds, cashews, peanuts)
- Whole grains (brown rice)
- Fortified cereals
- Dairy products
Need to get your magnesium in supplement form? You will need to decide between chelated and non-chelated forms.
“The chelated forms are better absorbed, but are typically more expensive. Magnesium glycinate, gluconate and aspartate are examples of chelated forms, but some people do fine with magnesium oxide, citrate and chloride, which are non-chelated,” Dr, Crystal says.
The recommended dose for migraine prevention is 400 mg daily. However, if you are concerned about gastrointestinal side effects, Dr. Cyrstal recommends starting with 200 mg daily.
If you absorb oral magnesium well, you may benefit from regular IV infusions of magnesium.
Is magnesium right for you?
Magnesium is safe for most people, but if you are concerned about how it may affect you, ask your doctor if there is any reason for you to avoid magnesium, based on your medical conditions and/or medications.
Diarrhea is a side effect of magnesium, particularly with the less easily absorbed forms, including magnesium oxide.
You should also avoid magnesium if you have kidney disease, unless it is approved by your doctor.
Magnesium may be just what you need to prevent those migraines from taking over your life and even if you don’t have migraines, magnesium can be beneficial.
“Magnesium can help people with high blood pressure, osteoporosis and diabetes. Studies have demonstrated that people with (genetically) higher levels of magnesium are at lower risk for certain types of stroke,” Dr. Crystal says.