Why Magnesium Deficiency is Often Undiagnosed


Magnesium Basics

1. Symptoms are incredibly broad and thus misleading

Magnesium is an essential mineral that our bodies need for proper functioning and health. However, magnesium deficiency can occur, leading to a wide range of symptoms that can be difficult to pin down due to their diverse nature. As this mineral is critical for the functioning of all our vital organs, muscles and nerves, a lack of it can lead to an array of problems throughout the body. 

Minor discomforts such as headaches and fatigue may be the initial signs of magnesium deficiency, but if left untreated these issues can become more severe and start impacting more areas of your body. Muscle spasms and cramps, irregular heartbeat, insomnia, anxiety or depression, digestive problems such as constipation or bloating, low blood pressure and general feelings of weakness are all potential signs that you may have a magnesium deficiency. Additionally, having a poor diet or taking certain medications can also make you prone to developing deficiencies in this mineral. 

It is important to recognize the signs of magnesium deficiency in order to prevent any further complications from arising. However, it’s precisely this diverse set of symptoms, that makes magnesium deficiency so hard to pinpoint. We can easily attribute them to other conditions. It is highly recommended that if you experience any symptoms associated with a lack of magnesium that you seek medical advice so that you can identify the underlying cause and take steps to resolve it. This could involve making dietary changes or taking supplements but ultimately it will depend on what your doctor recommends based on their assessment of your condition.

2. Standard Magnesium Tests are Not Reliable:

The modern medical curriculum does not emphasize the key roles that magnesium plays in all bodily systems. As a result, medical doctors who have not obtained additional education specific to magnesium and the human body, have not been given the knowledge of its central roles in all our body parts and systems. 

This often leads to misdiagnosing people, sometimes prescribing pharmaceuticals which can ironically further deplete the body's magnesium stores. To make matters worse, the standard magnesium test used in the west (The Serum Magnesium Blood test) is an inadequate method of testing for magnesium deficiency because it shows much delayed data - which you can learn more about on our article about magnesium deficiency testing. Basically, this test only measures one tiny fraction of total body magnesium levels and ignores the much larger pool existing inside cells and soft tissues, which is much more important. There are also the body’s regulatory magnesium systems that muddy the results.

The magnitude of this issue has become increasingly clear as various medical experts continue to point out how common this deficiency is in our society today; numerous studies now exist which demonstrate how deficient levels of magnesium arevery common among both women and men.[2] Therefore, it is essential for healthcare professionals to become familiar with the various signs and symptoms associated with this condition in order to detect it at early stages and provide appropriate treatment options. It is also crucial for us to understand which laboratory tests are most effective at accurately detecting low concentrations of the mineral in order to ensure accurate diagnosis and successful treatments. Again, you can learn more about that in our article about magnesium testing.

Posted By

Janelle Van Driesen

Janelle is one of our passionate writers that loves helping people understand health and nutrition.