8 Causes of Magnesium Deficiency and How to Fix It

· January 26, 2017
Magnesium is a fundamental mineral for your body, so you must consume the right kind of foods to avoid a dangerous magnesium deficiency.

Magnesium is a mineral that’s essential for your health because it helps regulate your nervous system, promote relaxation, and facilitate muscle contractions – along with 300 other chemical reactions in your body.

There are experts who believe that almost all diseases are associated with magnesium deficiency.

In addition to being necessary for balancing your body’s electrical levels, it’s one of the most difficult minerals to absorb because your kidneys excrete a significant amount.

Memory problems, learning difficulties, and constant muscle cramps are some of the signs of a decrease in or lack of this mineral.

Although it might seem normal at first, it’s best to try to identify the cause and intervene in a timely manner.

That’s why today we want to present eight of the reasons that your magnesium could be low, along with what foods contain it.

1. Causes of magnesium deficiency: limited dietary consumption

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One of the most common causes of a magnesium deficiency is the low consumption of foods that provide it naturally.

An unbalanced diet with lots of unhealthy foods make it hard to absorb adequate magnesium levels.

Also read: 6 remedies for acid reflux

2. Intestinal problems

Disorders that affect your intestinal health or that of your entire digestive system can also be responsible for magnesium deficiency.


When your body has difficulty carrying out digestive processes and absorbing nutrients properly, you eventually lose magnesium.

3. Consumption of alcohol and laxatives

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The toxins that build up in your body due to excessive alcohol consumption, as well as the alterations that laxatives cause, can also prevent the absorption of magnesium.

Alcohol alters the way your kidneys function and can also be guilty of depleting stores of this mineral from your body’s tissues.

4. Poor kidney health

Having a deficiency in magnesium is one of the signs of kidney failure. It’s rarely detected in a timely manner, however, because doctors don’t typically include its measurement during an exam.

Nevertheless, if you’ve been diagnosed with any type of renal failure it’s time for you to increase your consumption of this mineral.

5. Certain medications

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Medications such as cisplatin and certain antibiotics can alter your kidney function and keep you from absorbing magnesium.

This is a more common problem among patients who are undergoing a treatment that requires them to take these medicates for prolonged periods of time.

6. Endocrine disorders

Problems with your endocrine system, including dysfunction of the thyroid gland, the parathyroid, and diabetes can hinder your absorption of this nutrient.

Hormone problems can lead you to lose magnesium in even greater amounts, contributing to the remarkable decrease.

7. Physical overexertion

It is well known that magnesium is an essential mineral when it comes to having good physical and mental performance.

When you overwork yourself, however, it’s common to see your magnesium levels drop.

8. Abuse of diuretics

Something that’s important to know about magnesium is that it is eliminated through the urine. That’s why you might be deficient in it if you’re taking lots of diuretics.

It doesn’t matter if they are natural or commercial diuretics: their excessive use can be harmful to your health.

Visit this article: 7 warning signs of kidney disease

How to remedy a magnesium deficiency

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The recommended daily amount of magnesium for men is 350 mg, and for women it’s 330 mg.

You can obtain magnesium through supplements, salt baths, and special lotions, but the best way to get it is by eating healthy foods.

The ones we mention below are some of the most highly recommended. All the portions listed below are for every 100 g.

  • Cocoa or dark chocolate: 420 mg
  • Brazil nuts: 410 mg
  • Soybean flour: 230 mg
  • Almonds: 230 mg
  • Peanuts: 180 mg
  • Walnuts: 180 mg
  • Hazelnuts: 180 mg
  • Beans: 60 mg
  • Pistachios: 160 mg
  • Ginger: 130 mg
  • Legumes: 120 mg
  • Whole grains: 120 mg
  • Sunflower seeds: 420 mg
  • Dried seaweed: 770 mg
  • Wheat bran: 611 mg
  • Caviar: 300 mg
  • Table salt: 290 mg
  • Dried oregano: 270 mg

Keep in mind that the quantities we mentioned above are approximations, and actual amounts may vary according to the quality of the food.

Also, note that these amounts correspond to every 100 grams, and not all of these foods should be ingested at these levels.

Try to keep a balanced diet and incorporate several of the food items that contribute significant amounts.