Magnesium: an indispensable mineral

Magnesium is very important for our body. Literally participates in hundreds of cell functions. It is one of the 6 essential minerals of the organism that must be obtained from the diet . Magnesium is crucial for more than 300 biochemical reactions that depend on enzymes that occur in the body constantly. Here we describe the symptoms of the lack of magnesium, how it is treated, and about magnesium supplements.

Our body, as well as the environment that surrounds us, are created and work with chemical compounds. The minerals are part of this game and they all interact in balance. One of these minerals is magnesium, which is present in large quantities within us.

It is estimated that a person, on average, has more or less 25 grams of magnesium in the body, of which half is in our bones.

We need it so that the bones grow and stay healthy and so that the nerves and muscles are in good condition; in the stomach, it neutralizes stomach acids and causes our intestines to discard what does not serve them.

But it also regulates the constant beats of our heart and helps our immune system protect us well. This means that it plays a fundamental role in more than 300 chemical reactions that make our body work.

But if a person abuses diuretics or certain antacids or if their diet is deficient (happens frequently among the elderly) the amounts of magnesium in their body can go down (hypomagnesemia).

How can you tell if your magnesium is low ?

Generally the symptoms of someone with hypomagnesemia are:

  • fatigue
  • spasms or cramps
  • muscular weakness
  • numbness

and in extreme conditions: continuous muscle contractions and even convulsions.

Low amounts of magnesium in the blood are often accompanied by low levels of potassium, in fact, in pregnant women is used when suffering from cramps .

It is important that before you take a magnesium supplement, if you have doubts, if you have any of these symptoms or think you might have low magnesium, consult your doctor to examine you and do exams. Some are blood or urine to know your levels of magnesium and potassium, others can be complete metabolic exams or even an electrocardiogram.

 How is it treated ?

If you do have low magnesium (hypomagnasemia), it is important that, first of all, your diet is better. Eat lots of nuts (nuts) , grains, seeds, green leafy vegetables ( kale ), spinach, lettuce, arugula (arugula) or watercress, any food that has a lot of fiber and beans (beans), broccoli, dairy, meat, chocolate or coffee.

Take into account that if you eat high amounts of fats, these can block your absorption of magnesium or if you cook too much the food could also cause this mineral to lose or lower its concentration.

Depending on what your doctor tells you or what kind of problem you have, I might recommend that you also take magnesium supplements, either prescribed or from those found in vitamin stores and food supplements. It is best to take magnesium supplements with food to prevent them from causing diarrhea .

Is it safe to take magnesium supplements ?

Normally it is safe for adults if they consume less than 350 mg a day (although it depends on the body of each one or what condition it has). If taken in high amounts it may not be safe, it could accumulate in the body and produce irregular heartbeats, lower blood pressure , cause confusion, decrease breathing and even cause coma or death.

These are extreme cases, but for those who are very sensitive can also general stomach discomfort, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, even in the controlled doses recommended by doctors.

Under the supervision of your gynecologist you can take magnesium if you are pregnant or lactating. Several studies of the World Health Organization say that magnesium sulfate in very high doses is used in extreme cases for women with preeclampsia (high blood pressure during the gestation period) and eclampsia (when seizures are already present). Administer this medicine may reduce the risk of seizures that could be fatal.

Remember that high doses are only recommended in special cases and always under medical supervision because they can damage the heart and cause arrhythmias such as ventricular fibrillation .

In fact, when people already have heart problems or kidney failure should be careful about the doses of magnesium they take, and even if you have kidney problems, some specialists suggest not taking it.

Also be careful with your magnesium intake if you are taking some types of antibiotics, medications for high blood pressure, muscle relaxants, or supplements such as zinc, vitamin D, or calcium.

More about him magnesium

It is known that magnesium is involved in the production of energy and proteins and there is research being carried out to know how it could help prevent and control hypertension or attention deficit disorder (ADHD) , although the latter still has not conclusions still.

As it also helps to level blood glucose levels and is essential for the body to process, low magnesium in the blood may increase the risk of diabetes. However, there is still no clinical evidence that magnesium helps control diabetes when the patient already has it.

Researchers have conducted studies that suggest that people with lower amounts of magnesium in their diet have a higher risk of developing diabetes and those who are fed more fiber and cereals, or food with high amounts of magnesium, have a lower risk of developing diabetes type 2, for example. This is an important fact in case you have a family history or risk of diabetes.

In the case of asthma , there are also studies supported by the National Center for Alternative and Complementary Medicine (NCAAM) that associate low magnesium consumption with the development of this respiratory disease and also found evidence that adults who have mild or moderate asthma benefit from taking supplements of this mineral.

Always consume medications or supplements carefully and under the supervision of a health expert.

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