Magnesium is essential for every human being. Every organ in the body, especially the heart, muscles, and kidneys, needs magnesium. Magnesium activates enzymes, contributes to energy production, and helps regulate levels of calcium, copper, zinc, potassium, vitamin D, and other vital nutrients in the body. This mineral also contributes to the makeup of teeth and bones.
You can get magnesium from many foods. Foods rich in magnesium include whole grains, nuts, and green vegetables. Green leafy vegetables are excellent sources of magnesium. However, most people in South Africa probably do not get as much magnesium as they should from their diet. Although you may not get enough magnesium from your diet, it is rare to be deficient in magnesium. However, certain medical conditions can upset the body's magnesium balance. For example, an intestinal virus that causes vomiting or diarrhoea can cause a temporary magnesium deficiency. Some health conditions can lead to deficiencies, including:
Gastrointestinal diseases, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and ulcerative colitis
Hyperthyroidism (high thyroid hormone levels)
Other factors that can lower magnesium levels include:
Drinking too much coffee, soda, or alcohol
Overeating sodium (salt)
Heavy menstrual periods
Symptoms of magnesium deficiency may include:
Agitation and anxiety
Restless leg syndrome (RLS)
Nausea and vomiting
Abnormal heart rhythms
Low blood pressure
Muscle spasms and weakness
Poor nail growth
Getting enough magnesium may enhance the effectiveness of conventional treatment for the following conditions:
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