It's pretty uncommon to find a magnesium deficiency in healthy individuals. If you're concerned with your overall health, schedule a physical examination with your physician to rule out any health-related problems. Pay attention to warnings signs of a magnesium deficiency; left untreated a deficiency can result in very poor health.
Once you make an appointment with your physician, it's important to address all of your concerns relating to a magnesium deficiency. Should you change your diet? Should you take a supplement? Are there things you should or shouldn't do? Here are 12 questions to ask your doctor about magnesium deficiency.
1. What is the cause of magnesium deficiency? In healthy individuals, it's extremely rare to find patients with low levels of magnesium. Low magnesium levels typically indicate a health-related condition. Magnesium deficiency is usually found in patients with chronic alcoholism, disease and/or advanced age.
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2. What are the effects of low magnesium levels? Early symptoms of a deficiency may present as loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, lethargy and weakness. If the deficiency is left untreated, symptoms may progress to include numbness, tingling, cramps, personality changes and abnormal heart rhythms.
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3. Is magnesium deficiency a sign of disease? Individuals with type-2 diabetes, gastrointestinal diseases and alcohol dependence typically show signs of a deficiency. Older adults may show signs of magnesium deficiency, too, as they may have chronic diseases or take medications that alter their magnesium status.
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4. Can a magnesium deficiency result in death? Because magnesium deficiency typically goes hand-in-hand with a disease or health condition, ignoring symptoms of the deficiency may result in death. Individuals can live healthy lives if they are treated for a disease and its symptoms.
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5. Can diet change the status of magnesium deficiency? If a physician determines a patient does not require magnesium supplements, he may suggest improving the quality of a daily diet. A diet rich in magnesium is essential to overall good health.
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6. Should I take magnesium supplements? Patients should not take supplements without the approval of a physician. If a physician determines a patient needs magnesium supplements, do not exceed the amount prescribed by the doctor. Too much magnesium, in the form of a supplement, can do harm to the body.
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7. Can I reverse the damage from alcohol-related magnesium deficiency? A physician can determine the course of action to take to reverse alcohol-related damage to the body. Sometimes the damage cannot be undone; however, a proper diet is essential to prevent further damage to the body. The first step to preventing alcohol-related deficiencies is to stop consuming alcohol.
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8. What foods are rich in magnesium? Leafy green vegetables, such as kale and spinach, are rich in magnesium. Sweet potatoes, black beans, nuts, raisins, brown rice, yogurt, oatmeal and whole wheat bread are all good sources of magnesium. Try to eat a balanced meal every day and incorporate magnesium-rich snacks into your diet, too.
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9. Does water have magnesium in it? Water does contain magnesium. However, water contains a very small trace of the mineral. 1 cup of water contains 2 mg of magnesium. Water is essential to your health, though, so drink up.
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10. Is milk a good source of magnesium? Both cow's milk and soymilk contain magnesium. Soymilk has 61 mg of magnesium per cup, whereas cow's milk has approximately 25 mg per cup. Drink milk to increase levels of magnesium and prevent depletion of calcium.
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11. Are there any magnesium-rich spices or dips to add to food? Ground black pepper contains 12 mg of magnesium per 1 tbsp. If you like peanut butter, spread it on vegetables and crackers for a boost of magnesium. A mere 2 tbsp. of peanut butter provides 49 mg of magnesium.
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12. What can I do to ensure I'm getting enough magnesium in my diet? Eat a wall-balanced meal of grains, fruits, vegetables and lean meats. If you feel lethargic, weak, have a loss of appetite and feel bouts of nausea, make an appointment with your physician. Your doctor can take tests to ensure you do not have a magnesium deficiency.
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