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What are the risks of magnesium deficiency?

What happens to you if you have a magnesium deficiency? I'm kind of a health nut, and the more I measure, the more I think that I'm probably not getting my daily calcium. So now I wonder if this could be the cause of some of my general physical ailments. What's the first thing to go wrong if you are magnesium-deficient?
Questions about daily nutrition are best addressed with your primary care physician. Depending upon the circumstances, a nutritionist may also be a part of this conversation. Magnesium is itself important for normal health and wellness, and it can also influence the absorption of other key trace elements such as calcium. Magnesium helps regulate energy stores and metabolism of carbohydrates; is a part of keeping various electrolytes in the blood at the appropriate level; helps regulate bone strength; is part of normal muscle and nerve function; and is required for appropriate cardiac function. Symptoms of magnesium deficiency can range from the mild to the severe. In the early stages, low magnesium can cause weakness, loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting. With worsening magnesium deficits, other symptoms may develop such as muscle abnormalities (tingling, numbness, weakness, and spasms), abnormal heart rhythms, and even personality changes. Low magnesium can also affect the regulation of both calcium and potassium, causing hypocalcemia and hypokalemia. Magnesium is found in many different commonly eaten foods, including fish, nuts, some vegetables, beans, dairy products, and many different kinds of grains. Overall, the best way to determine if you are getting enough magnesium and other nutrients in your diet is to be evaluated by a primary care physician who can discuss your eating habits and perform a physical exam and any bloodwork that would be needed to evaluate your nutritional status.
This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.

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