All my spoons are in all the right places, if you know what I'm talkin' about...
Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in our bodies and is incredibly essential to our health. Not many people get the recommended daily value of magnesium, but at the same time it takes quite a lot before we start showing signs of deficiency. And our bodies will work extra hard to keep the stuff on supply. But for people with Lupus or other Chronic Illness, you may be more at risk.
The health status of the digestive system and the kidneys significantly influence magnesium status.
People with Lupus, I’m lookin’ at you. Like I’ve mentioned early, our kidneys have a high risk of malfunction and so many deficiencies are more likely. Magnesium is one to look out for. You are more at risk of a deficiency if you have been vomiting, dehydrated or on antibiotics for an extended period of time. Also if you drink a lot of alcohol (which I hear is a common side effect of Lupus) you could increase your risk of deficiency.
Early signs of magnesium deficiency include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and weakness. As magnesium deficiency worsens, numbness, tingling, muscle contractions and cramps, seizures (sudden changes in behaviors caused by excessive electrical activity in the brain), personality changes, abnormal heart rhythms, and coronary spasms can occur [1,3-4]. Severe magnesium deficiency can result in low levels of calcium in the blood (hypocalcemia). Magnesium deficiency is also associated with low levels of potassium in the blood (hypokalemia) [1,19-20].
In addition, low magnesium is linked directly to high blood pressure, so if you are prone to that I would take extra care in your magnesium intake.
So if you feel like you don’t get enough magnesium in your diet, what should you be eating?? Well, magnesium is found in a pretty random assortment of foods, some leafy greens, some fish, some nuts, some dairy…Here’s a lovely chart from the lovely people at the National Institute of Health.
If you’re having trouble still though, many health food stores and vitamin shops will carry a magnesium supplement. I’d recommend one with calcium in it as well. And for those of you with Chronic Anxiety issues, there is available a Magnesium supplement powder that you can make into the worlds most relaxing tea. I kid you not.