Magnesium Deficiency: Symptoms, Causes & Remedies


A Magnesium deficiency will show up as a host of symptoms ranging from muscle weakness and poor bone strength, to irritability, seizures and insomnia.

Magnesium is a vital nutrient that is concentrated in a number of plant wholefoods.

So, what exactly is Magnesium, what causes deficiency and what should you do about it? 

Read on...

What is Magnesium?

Magnesium is a ‘Master’ mineral abundant in nature and essential for the proper functioning of many of your body’s physiological processes.

Its importance to your health can be attributed to the role it plays in regulating calcium, potassium and salt levels, as well as being vital to the healthy functioning of your cells and numerous other biochemical processes in your body.

Why is Magnesium Important for the Body?

Magnesium plays an important role in just about every process in the body some of the most vital include:

  • Energy production
  • Formation of bones
  • Powering enzymes
  • Protecting DNA
  • Regulating electrolyte balance 
  • Replenishing depleted soft tissues

Magnesium also serves by regulating nerve impulses and aids in the formation of neurotransmitters.

What are the symptoms of magnesium deficiency?

Magnesium deficiency often occurs in chronic alcoholics, in persons taking diuretic drugs and in those suffering from severe and prolonged diarrhoea.

It tends to occur with the same conditions that provoke deficiencies in sodium and potassium and can lead to:

  • Anxiety & Depression
  • Confusion
  • Cramps
  • Fibromyalgia
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Muscle Spasms
  • Rapid Heartbeat
  • Seizures
  • Sleeping Issues

What causes magnesium deficiency?

Dietary Intake

Over the past generation or so people in most developed countries have been eating fewer and fewer untainted whole foods many of which are naturally magnesium-rich, which is a good thing.

On the flip side, the consumption of processed foods high in fat, sugar, salt, synthetic vitamins, phosphates and protein increases the body’s need for magnesium!


Unfortunately, most municipal water supplies are full of toxic chemicals such as chlorine and fluoride. Magnesium will bind to substances like these, making it less available for your body to absorb.

Too Much Calcium

Many processed foods such as dairy products and fruit ‘drinks’ have calcium artificially added to them.

Additionally, many supplements and prescription medications have high levels of calcium as ingredients. If the body’s calcium levels become too elevated this can lead to ‘calcification’. This is a problem because your cells have a sodium/potassium mechanism that serves to balance mineral levels from within and without.

If your body is deficient in magnesium this regulating mechanism doesn’t function properly and too much calcium gets inside cells, exacerbating the problem. 

The best way to strengthen your bones is not to eat more calcium, but rather, more nature-made salt as salt in the body ionises into calcium.

Stress, Illness & Ageing

Anything that causes increased stress on the body also increases the body’s need for magnesium. Additionally, stress can reduce the levels of acidity in the stomach making it less effective at breaking down and fermenting foods which leads to a reduction in how much magnesium can actually get absorbed.

Supplementing with Magnesium

Many people succumb to the consumption of magnesium pills and capsules, thinking that these will fix the problem.

However, these typically contain 'binders' and or other additives that can be irritating to the gut and unrecognisable by your cells!

Far better to choose whole food sources that are electrically charged and which your cells can identify with. 

Whole Foods

A diet that includes foods high in magnesium can help reduce systematic bodily stress, prevent depression, dizziness, muscle weakness and twitching.

The largest quantities of manganese are found in:

  • Apples
  • Apricots
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Black-eyed peas
  • Blueberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Figs
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Garlic
  • Grapefruit
  • Legumes
  • Lemons
  • Nuts
  • Peaches
  • Peas
  • Pineapple
  • Seeds
  • Whole grains

Magnesium Oil

Most commonly referred to as an oil, Magnesium Oil is actually a highly concentrated solution of Magnesium Chloride in water. Using magnesium oil on the skin, called transdermal magnesium therapy, is a simple and quick way of restoring depleted magnesium stores in the body. 

It also works to increase circulation, promote the removal of toxins and helps draw out inflammation, as well as relieve body aches and cramps, including period pain and is also an excellent muscle relaxant.

Magnesium Mineral Flakes

Dry flakes of pure Magnesium Chloride can assist in the relief of general skin conditions and is suitable for use with children to help calm them down or boost their immune systems.

Epsom Salt

Although not as concentrated as pure Magnesium Chloride, Magnesium Sulfate, commonly known as Epsom Salt, is a natural mineral compound made up of tiny clear crystals providing similar benefits to whole food and mineral sources of magnesium.

Learn more in my blog: Epsom Salt: The Top 9 Uses for Body, Health & Home 

How to Get More Magnesium into your Body

Apart from increasing your intake of whole foods high in this vital mineral, due to its nature, as mentioned above, Magnesium can also be readily absorbed into your body via your skin. 

This is why hot bath soaks containing magnesium can be very effective.

Your skin is cytophylactic, meaning that it's absorbent like a sponge and it's also the largest organ of elimination, releasing toxic waste.

Magnesium Chloride and Magnesium Suflate are both effectively absorbed through your skin when dissolved in warm water or applied topically. 

Bath Soak

Soaking in a warm or hot bath mixed with either pure Magnesium Bath  Flakes, Magnesium Oil or Epsom Salt is a great way for your body to absorb magnesium through your skin. If you don't have a bathtub, you can add a tablespoon into a foot bath to reap the benefits.

Soaking in magnesium not only relaxes muscles, hydrates the skin, aids the healing of wounds and reduces inflammation, but can also help with headaches and migraines, sleeplessness, as well as improve your general wellbeing.

Mix 1-3 cups of Magnesium Bath Flakes or Epsom Salt into a warm, but not hot bath and soak for 30 minutes or more.


By using a Magnesium Oil Spray, you can deliver magnesium directly through your skin where it becomes available to the muscular systems that require magnesium to function. 

Dispense 1-3 sprays into a cupped hand, then rub into the skin thoroughly. Repeat to cover arms, legs, and any areas needing special attention.

When adding Magnesium to your bath water or massaging it into the skin, aside from its healing benefits, it's also particularly useful for relieving sore muscles and joints. 


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