If you find yourself tossing and turning at night, getting only six hours or less of sleep instead of the normal eight or nine hours that your body needs, you may be suffering from magnesium deficiency & maybe consider a functional medicine in Tampa, FL.
While we often think of magnesium as being an essential mineral that’s needed for normal bone development, it is also a cofactor in more than 300 enzyme systems that regulate biochemical reactions in the body. These include protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, and the regulation of blood pressure and glucose.
For example, magnesium is required for energy production, oxidative phosphorylation (a process for harnessing energy), and glycolysis (a first step in the breakdown of glucose for the purpose of extracting energy for cellular metabolism). It is required to synthesize DNA, RNA, and glutathione — a powerful antioxidant.
Magnesium also plays a role in the transportation of calcium and potassium ions across cell membranes (a process that’s important for conducting nerve impulses, relaxing muscles, and regulating heart rhythm). And it supports deep, restorative sleep by maintaining health levels of GABA, which is a neurotransmitter that promotes sleep.
Unfortunately, according to an analysis of data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 48 percent of Americans of all ages consume less magnesium from food and beverages than their respective estimated average requirement (EAR). That’s not surprising given the fact that most Americans have adopted the Standard American Diet (SAD), which is packed with processed foods having little nutritional value. But even if you eat a healthy diet, you may not be getting enough magnesium to reap its many health benefits.
Magnesium’s Many Health Benefits
Magnesium delivers a long list of health benefits, including the following:
- Improves restorative sleep
- Supports healthy bowel movements
- Regulates blood glucose levels
- Maintains strong bones
- Supports cognitive function
- Relaxes tight, aching muscles
- Maintains steady blood pressure
- Promotes heart health
- Supports immune system health and function
- Facilitates muscle and nerve function
Causes of Low Magnesium
As a result of modern farming practices, poor water quality, and poor diet, many of us aren’t consuming enough magnesium. In addition, several factors can result in poor absorption of magnesium and increased elimination of it from the body, including the following:
- Overly pure water — water softeners and various methods of purifying water remove minerals, and this minerally-depleted water absorbs nutrients, including magnesium, as it passes through the body
- Calcium supplements — taking too much calcium can deplete magnesium
- Prescription and over-the-counter medications, including certain antibiotics, corticosteroids, diuretics, some heart medications, and certain asthma medications
- Alcohol — excess alcohol consumption impairs the absorption of many nutrients while flushing others out of the system
- Food sensitivities and digestive disorders that cause chronic diarrhea and malabsorption of nutrients, including Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, and gluten sensitivity
- Type 2 diabetes, resulting in increased urination, which depletes electrolytes, including magnesium
- Exercising without replenishing electrolytes, which are lost in sweat
- Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) can lead to malabsorption of minerals, including magnesium
- Kidney disease — kidneys play a vital role in regulating electrolytes, including magnesium
- Hungry bone syndrome (if you’ve had your thyroid removed)
Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency
If your body has low levels of magnesium, you may experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- Abnormal heart rhythms
- Anxiety or depression
- Brain fog, inability to concentrate
- Craving for stimulants, such as sugar and caffeine
- High blood pressure
- Loss of appetite
- Muscle spasms or cramps
- Muscle weakness
- Nausea, vomiting
- Numbness or tingling, especially in the extremities (hands and feet)
- Poor sleep or sleepiness
How Magnesium Impacts Sleep
Magnesium supports your body’s parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for dialing down your stress response, as opposed to your sympathetic nervous system, which regulates your body’s fight-or-flight response. If your body were a car, your sympathetic nervous system would be the accelerator, and your parasympathetic nervous system would be the brake pedal.
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Sleep is how your body rests, recharges its batteries, and eliminates toxic waste. When you sleep, your body and brain switch from operational mode to maintenance mode — repairing any damage, detoxing, and processing the information you gathered throughout the day to create memories. If you’re not sleeping well, these vital maintenance processes are impaired.
Magnesium regulates rest in two ways:
- First, it signals to body to release the hormone melatonin, which promotes sleep and wake cycles in your body.
- Then, magnesium binds to GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) receptors, which are responsible for tamping down nerve activity.
Getting a better night’s sleep improves your overall health in numerous ways, including the following:
- Regulates your body’s stress response
- Improves memory and cognition
- Supports immune system health and function
- Reduces inflammation
- Strengthens your heart
- Improves your mood
- Enhances your metabolism
- Increases productivity
- Supports the growth of protein molecules
Getting Enough Magnesium
In integrative healthcare and functional medicine, we use ODI (Optimal Daily Intake) as a guideline for the amount of magnesium you need to consume daily to provide for your body’s needs. The ideal range of magnesium is 400 mg to 1,000 mg daily.
You can increase your daily intake of magnesium through diet and supplementation. Magnesium-rich foods include the following:
- Almonds: 1 oz.
- Avocado: ½ cup
- Banana (1 banana has approximately 32 mg of magnesium)
- lack beans, cooked: ½ cup
- Cashews, dry roasted: 1 oz.
- Chia seeds: 1 oz.
- Grass-fed beef: 3 oz.
- Peanuts, oil roasted: ¼ cup
- Potatoes, baked with skin: 3.5 oz
- Pumpkin seeds, kernels: 1 oz.
- Soy milk, plain or vanilla:1 cup
- Spinach: 1 oz.
- Wild-caught salmon: 3 oz.
While you may be eating foods high in magnesium, you may not be getting enough magnesium through diet alone. If you aren’t supplementing with a physician-recommended magnesium supplement, chances are you’re not getting enough magnesium in your daily diet.
For an instant boost to your magnesium level, we recommend BD Brain Boost — a medically supervised intravenous (IV) drip that delivers magnesium, along with numerous additional vitamins and minerals that work together to optimize its effectiveness. Here’s a complete list of the ingredients in BD Brain Boost:
- Vitamin C
- Calcium Gluconate
- Potassium Chloride
- Sodium Bicarbonate
- B Complex
- Lactated Ringer’s Solution
We often recommend BD Brain Boost for the following conditions:
- Magnesium deficiency (shown in a blood test)
- Sleep deficiency
- Brain fog or difficulty concentrating
- Memory or cognitive impairment
- High blood pressure
- Cardiac arrythmias
- Osteoporosis or osteopenia
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Neurological conditions (seizures, muscle twitching, tremors, spasms, weakness)
- Physical exertion due to sports or infection
- Increased exposure to heat or sun
- Dehydration from alcohol use
If you suspect that you may be suffering from a magnesium deficiency, we encourage you to consult a functional and integrative medicine practitioner at BioDesign Wellness Center for examination and testing.
Too much magnesium in your system can be just as bad as not enough. A comprehensive examination and testing can help identify the root cause(s) of the symptoms you’re experiencing and ensure that you receive the treatments you need to take the first step on your path to recovery.
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Disclaimer: The information in this blog post about magnesium is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect current medical thinking or practices. No information contained in this post should be construed as medical advice from the medical staff at BioDesign Wellness Center, Inc., nor is this post intended to be a substitute for medical counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this post without seeking the appropriate medical advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a licensed medical professional in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.