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MAGNESIUM – An Essential Nutrient


Magnesium is an essential mineral required by the body for maintaining normal muscle and nerve function, keeping a healthy immune system, maintaining heart rhythm, and building strong bones.

Magnesium is also involved in at least 300 biochemical reactions in the body.

One of the roles of magnesium is a calcium channel blocker which means it helps muscles to relax.

A deficiency in magnesium can lead to many problems but what concerns us as Physiotherapists is it can lead to muscle spasms, muscle pain, muscle fatigue, cramps, restless legs and trigger points as well as migraines and osteoporosis.

Signs of deficiency include (but are not limited to) headache, dizziness, muscle cramps, muscle weakness and fatigue. Other symptoms may include shortness of breath, PMS, heart palpitations, frequent constipation, anxiety and depression, numb/tingling skin, teeth grinding, and difficulty falling asleep.

Conversely, consuming too much magnesium typically causes diarrhoea as the body attempts to excrete the excess.

What can I eat to boost my magnesium levels

  • Green leafy vegetables (silver beet, spinach and broccoli), nuts and seeds (including brazil nuts,           cashews, almonds, hazelnuts and sunflower and sesame seeds) it is also found in grains like brown           rice, rye and wheat and fruits such as figs and apricots.

If you feel you are still not getting enough magnesium in your diet you can take supplements, use an organic magnesium spray or take a bath with Epsom salts: – 360mg daily or 5mg per kilogram of body weight, if you feel you are deficient and need to take a therapeutic dose 10mg per kilogram of body weight for 3 days.

Please speak to your doctor or pharmacist for further information.

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