9 Signs You Have Magnesium Deficiency and How to Treat It

Magnesium deficiency signs and symptoms title

Magnesium is arguably the most important mineral in the body, which is why magnesium deficiency can be such an issue.

According to Norman Shealy, MD, Ph.D, an American neurosurgeon and a pioneer in pain medicine, “Every known illness is associated with a magnesium deficiency and it’s the missing cure to many diseases.” Not only does magnesium help regulate calcium, potassium and sodium, but it’s essential for cellular health and a critical component of over 300 biochemical functions in the body.

Even glutathione, your body’s most powerful antioxidant that has even been called “the master antioxidant,” requires magnesium for its synthesis. Unfortunately, most people are not aware of this, and millions suffer daily from magnesium deficiency without even knowing it.


Causes of Magnesium Deficiency

Once thought to be relatively rare, magnesium deficiency is more common than most physicians believe. Here’s why:

  • Soil depletion, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and the chemicals in our food have created a recipe for disaster. As minerals are removed, stripped away or no longer available in the soil, the percentage of magnesium present in food has decreased.
  • Digestive diseases, like leaky gut, can cause malabsorption of minerals, including magnesium. Today, there are hundreds of millions of people who aren’t absorbing their nutrients. Also, as we age, our mineral absorption tends to decrease, so the probability of having a deficiency increases across the board.
  • Chronic disease and medication use is at an all-time high. Most chronic illness is associated with magnesium deficiency and lack of mineral absorption. Medications damage the gut, which is responsible for absorbing magnesium from our food.

Should you worry about magnesium deficiency?

It all depends on your risk factors and presenting symptoms (see below). Also, approximately 80 percent of people have low levels of magnesium, so the chances are that you’re probably deficient.

Take note: Only 1 percent of magnesium in your body is in your bloodstream, so often you can have a deficiency, and it would not even be discovered by a common blood test.


Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms 

Many people may be magnesium deficient and not even know it. Here are some key symptoms to look out for that could indicate if you are deficient:

1. Leg Cramps

Seventy percent of adults and 7 percent of children experience leg cramps on a regular basis. Turns out, leg cramps can more than a nuisance — they can also be downright excruciating! Because of magnesium’s role in neuromuscular signals and muscle contraction, researchers have observed that magnesium deficiency is often to blame. (12)

More and more health care professionals are prescribing magnesium supplements to help their patients. Restless leg syndrome is another warning sign of a magnesium deficiency. To overcome both leg cramps and restless leg syndrome, you will want to increase your intake of both magnesium and potassium.

2. Insomnia

Magnesium deficiency is often a precursor to sleep disorders, such as anxiety, hyperactivity and restlessness. It’s been suggested that this is because magnesium is vital for GABA function, an inhibitory neurotransmitter known to “calm” the brain and promote relaxation. (3)

Taking around 400 milligrams of magnesium before bed or with dinner is the best time of day to take the supplement. Also, adding in magnesium-rich foods during dinner — like nutrition-packed spinach — may help.

 

 

3. Muscle Pain/Fibromyalgia

A study published in Magnesium Research examined the role magnesium plays in fibromyalgia symptoms, and it uncovered that increasing magnesium consumption reduced pain and tenderness and also improved immune blood markers. (4)

Oftentimes linked to autoimmune disorders, this research should encourage fibromyalgia patients because it highlights the systemic effects that magnesium supplements have on the body.

4. Anxiety

As magnesium deficiency can affect the central nervous system, more specifically the GABA cycle in the body, its side effects can include irritability and nervousness. As the deficiency worsens, it causes high levels of anxiety and, in severe cases, depression and hallucinations.

In fact, magnesium has been shown to help calm the body, the muscles and help improve mood. It’s a vital mineral for overall mood. One of the things I’ve recommended to patients over time with anxiety is taking magnesium on a daily basis, and they’ve seen great results. (5)

Magnesium is needed for every cell function from the gut to the brain, so it’s no wonder that it affects so many systems.

5. High Blood Pressure

Magnesium works partnered with calcium to support proper blood pressure and protect the heart. So when you are magnesium-deficient, often you are also low in calcium and tend toward hypertension or high blood pressure.

A study with 241,378 participants published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition uncovered that a diet high in magnesium foods could reduce the risk of a stroke by 8 percent. (6) This is profound considering that hypertension causes 50 percent of ischemic strokes in the world.

6. Type II Diabetes

One of the four main causes of magnesium deficiency is type II diabetes, but it’s also a common symptom. U.K. researchers, for example, uncovered that of the 1,452 adults they examined, low magnesium levels were 10 times more common with new diabetics and 8.6 times more common with known diabetics. (7)

As expected from this data, diets rich in magnesium has been shown to significantly lower the risk of type 2 diabetes because of magnesium’s role in sugar metabolism. Another study discovered that the simple addition of magnesium supplementation (100 milligrams/day) lowered the risk of diabetes by 15 percent! (8)

7. Fatigue

Low energy, weakness and fatigue are common symptoms of magnesium deficiency. Most chronic fatigue syndrome patients are also magnesium-deficient. The University of Maryland Medical Center reports that 300–1,000 milligrams of magnesium per day can help, but you do also want to be careful, as too much magnesium can also cause diarrhea. (9)

If you experience this side effect, you can simply reduce your dosage a little until the side effect subsides.

8. Migraine Headaches 

Magnesium deficiency has been linked to migraine headaches due to its importance in balancing neurotransmitters in the body. Double-blind, placebo-controlled studies have shown that 360–600 milligrams of magnesium daily can reduce the frequency of migraine headaches by up to 42 percent. (10)

9. Osteoporosis

The National Institute of Health reports that, “The average person’s body contains about 25 grams of magnesium, and about half of that is in the bones.” (11) This is important to realize, especially for the elderly, who are at risk of bone weakening.

Thankfully, there’s hope! A study published in Biology Trace Element Research uncovered that supplementing with magnesium slowed the development of osteoporosis “significantly” after just 30 days. In addition to taking magnesium supplement, you will also want to consider getting more vitamin D3 and K2 to naturally build bone density. (12)


Are You at Risk?  

So, who is most susceptible to a magnesium deficiency? According to the National Institute of Health, not everyone is created equal in regard to metabolizing and assimilating magnesium. In fact, certain people are inherently at a greater risk of developing a magnesium deficiency.

Magnesium deficiency can be inherited genetically as an inability to absorb this important mineral. Also, a diet low in high magnesium foods or even emotional or work stress can drain magnesium from the body. Whether inherited, through a deficient diet or even stress, a magnesium deficiency can lead to side effects of migraines, diabetes, fatigue and more.

The four most prominent at-risk groups include: (13)

  • People with gastrointestinal complaints — It really all starts in the gut. Since most magnesium is absorbed in the small intestines, issues like celiac disease, Crohn’s disease and regional enteritis all have a tendency to cause magnesium deficiency. Also, people who elect for surgeries involving the gut, such as resection or bypass of the small intestines, leave themselves vulnerable for magnesium deficiency.
  • People with type II diabetes — Partly due to increased urination, type II diabetics and people suffering from insulin resistance are known to struggle with proper magnesium absorption. Lowering glucose concentrations in the kidneys through natural diet changes can be extremely helpful for these patients.
  • The elderly — For several reasons, as people age their magnesium levels drop. First and foremost, studies have shown that the elderly simply don’t eat magnesium-rich foods as they did when they were younger. This is relatively easy to correct. The uncontrollable risk factor, however, is that as we age we naturally experience reduced magnesium intestinal absorption, reduced magnesium bone stores and excess urinary loss. (14)
  • People struggling with alcohol dependence — Alcoholics often experience magnesium deficiency because of a combination of the reasons above. The easiest way to understanding this is to see alcohol as an “antinutrient.” It literally sucks the nutrients out of your cells and prevents proper absorption/utilization of the vitamins and minerals that you consume. I would even go one step further and suggest that regular recreational alcohol use, not just alcohol dependence, can lead to magnesium problems. Consuming one to two glasses of wine a week is fine for most people, but much more than that is highly taxing on your liver. Alcohol can also deplete the minerals in your body because it causes dehydration, gut floral imbalance, immune system compromise, disturbed sleep patterns and premature aging.

 

 


Soil Depletion Affects Magnesium Intake

What if you don’t fit in any of these buckets, and you’re young, vibrant and seemingly healthy? Does this mean that you’re off the hook? Not exactly.

Magnesium used to be abundantly present in most foods. However, in recent years, food has less and less magnesium due to the farming practices and changes in growing cycles over the last century.

In the Bible, farmers harvested crops according to a Sabbath cycle: six years on, one year off. This helps preserve the nutritional quality of the soil, which is transferred to the foods that we eat.

Studies have shown, for example, that the produce we eat today is a shadow of the nutritional quality of just 60 years ago.

According to a 2011 report published in Scientific American: (15)

The Organic Consumers Association cites several other studies with similar findings: A Kushi Institute analysis of nutrient data from 1975 to 1997 found that average calcium levels in 12 fresh vegetables dropped 27 percent; iron levels 37 percent; vitamin A levels 21 percent, and vitamin C levels 30 percent.

A similar study of British nutrient data from 1930 to 1980, published in the British Food Journal, found that in 20 vegetables the average calcium content had declined 19 percent, iron 22 percent and potassium 14 percent. Yet another study concluded that one would have to eat eight oranges today to derive the same amount of vitamin A as our grandparents would have gotten from one.

The bottom line is that even if you eat a completely organic, non-GMO raw food diet, you’re still at risk because of soil depletion and our current capitalistic farming practices.

Even with this, you still want to make sure you are getting plenty of high magnesium foods in your diet.


Best Magnesium Supplements

If you think you might be more severely magnesium deficient and you want to improve your levels more quickly, you may consider taking an all-natural supplement.

I recommended taking one of the following magnesium supplements:

  1. Magnesium Chelate — a form of magnesium that bonds to multiple amino acids and is in the same state as the food we consume and highly absorbable by the body.
  2. Magnesium Citrate — is magnesium with citric acid, which has laxative properties and is often taken for constipation.
  3. Magnesium Glycinate — is a chelated form of magnesium that tends to provide high levels of absorption and bioavailability and is typically considered ideal for those who are trying to correct a deficiency.
  4. Magnesium Threonate — is a newer, emerging type of magnesium supplement that appears promising, primarily due to its superior ability to penetrate the mitochondrial membrane, and may be the best magnesium supplement on the market.
  5. Magnesium Chloride Oil — this form of magnesium is in oil form. It can pass through the skin and into the body. For those who struggle with digestive issues like malabsorption, this is the best form of magnesium to take.

Magnesium Side Effects

Just as a reminder, when taking 600 milligrams or more of magnesium, 20 percent of people taking magnesium as a supplement can experience diarrhea.

My recommendation is to hover around the 300–400 milligrams amount and consult your natural health physician if you experience any disturbances in your GI tract.


Final Thoughts on Magnesium Deficiency

  • Magnesium a vital mineral for the body, and according to research, a magnesium deficiency is associated with just about every illness.
  • Causes of magnesium deficiency include soil depletion, GMOs, digestive diseases and chronic disease.
  • Magnesium deficiency symptoms include cramps, insomnia, muscle pain, anxiety, high blood pressure, diabetes, fatigue, migraines and osteoporosis.
  • People with GI complaints, diabetes and alcohol dependence, along with the elderly, are at greater risk of becoming magnesium-deficient.

Read Next: Should You Be Taking Magnesium Supplements?


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  1. Marie says:

    I noticed something completely off with my very athletic 15 yr old son. Again a athletic kid but a poor diet, when not at home.He is currently playing football and during off season he was working with a conditioning coach. I started my own research and came to the conclusion he was Mg deficient. I purchased a pure Mg oil that he has now been rubbing in every night for the last week and the improvement is insane!! I’m not talking just me noticing, his coach has noticed and my son has noticed himself! His garbage binge eating has stopped, as if his body is no longer craving it! Wow, something so simple but so important!!

  2. Audrina @ Mindfully Audrina says:

    Never thought anxiety, muscle cramps, and migraines could be a sign of magnesium deficiency! Thanks for the helpful info, definitely going to increase my magnesium now.

  3. Catie S. says:

    Two signs I’ve noticed when mine is low is that my eyelids twitch almost constantly, and I become very sensitive to sudden loud noises such as a door slam, a child squealing, or a dog barking. Also end up with a short fuse.

  4. Nancy says:

    I have had horrible restless legs for most of my adult life. I take 4mg Ropinirole before bed, as well as 200mg magnesium twice a day. Still have restless legs. Tried stopping caffeine and it only made it worse. How would I use the magnesium oil? Thank you

  5. Lisa Bloomquist says:

    Fluoroquinolone antibiotics – cipro/ciprofloxacin, levaquin/levofloxacin, avelox/moxifloxacin and floxin/ofloxacin – chelate magnesium from cells. They deplete intracellular magnesium and lead to Fluoroquinolone Toxicity – a chronic illness with all of the symptoms of magnesium deficiency that you mentioned, and more. Additionally, fluoroquinolones deplete mitochondrial DNA and the chelation of magnesium is just one part of the puzzle of fluoroquinolone toxicity.

    The depletion of magnesium by fluoroquinolones is leading to many chronic illnesses, including diabetes. This article connects diabetes to fluoroquinolone use (via magnesium depletion) –

  6. Andrew Thomas says:

    This is a note to Nancy…. There are two ways of trying magnesium through the skin. Using the Oil as you say, apply 5-10 sprays before retiring. i apply it after a shower, spraying it onto wet skin (shoulders, upper arms are good but legs are a must – I used to get cramp in my right calf). Leave for 5 minutes or so and towel dry. More can be applied if you wake up with cramp. The other way is a magnesium-rich bath using Magnesium Flakes. Both the Oil and Flakes use magnesium chloride and a 15 minute bath before bed is amazing! Spraying Oil is a daily thing… not as and when because our levels seem to drop pretty quickly.

    • leslie bauer says:

      Great suggestions but i have found that it SO burns my sensitive skin! I have bought this lotion from ‘Ancient Minerals’ off the Radiant Life site. It was somewhat pricey but it is all organic oils along with NO SCENT! They also on the RLsite, have a recipe for making your own lotion; great people own this company and well worth seeking out this product! It is the “ULTRA” formula 8 oz. bottle. Good LUCK!!!

      • Lynn Curlett says:

        This is a great product – I have a bottle by the TV, my bed and my work desk – when cramps start, I apply and they go away within about 15 minutes. And you are right – the company is a delight to deal with directly.

    • Nancy says:

      Thank you for the suggestions everybody. I will give some of these a try.

  7. Laurie Gelfand says:

    There is a product called Calm, which dissolves in hot water and 2 tsp. are 325 mg. I usually take a tbls. at bedtime and it helps me sleep. also relieves arthritis symptoms. It is awesome stuff!!

  8. Laura says:

    Dr. Axe
    My multi vitamin contains 2.3 mg of magnesium in it. It says it is 110% of USRDA. Is that sufficient? Also, what do you recommend as far as a good multi to reduce so many pills…..
    Thanks!

  9. Karen says:

    I have been taking Magnesium Malate for years, although I do not see it on your list. Is it not recommended? It has helped me neurologically; however, I still fit many of the conditions you’ve enumerated. I do have GI complaints and am wondering, too, if using the magnesium oil on my skin might generate greater absorption.

  10. Jessy says:

    Should you take magnesium coupled with calcium, or take them separately?

  11. Cindy says:

    I have know people who get crazy itchy or burning with the oil. How much and how often if I were just talking epsom salt baths?

  12. Carol says:

    I’ve had symptoms of magnesium deficiency for years including at one time a diagnosis of fibromyalgia. I have taken many different forms of mag in high doses for extended periods of time and noticed NO improvement. Suggestions? My story is a long one beginning at birth and I’m now 65 and although I have seen positive results from many things I’ve done (like green smoothies) I have not gotten well. Thanks for all you do. BLESSINGS

  13. gena says:

    I have almost all of the symptoms mentioned, but my doctor does blood work and doesn’t find anything…I am in pain everyday…not just with migraines that I have had since my teens, but the she thinks I might have fibromyalgia….I told her I get insomnia with anxiety in the middle of the night and I always have leg and feet cramps, mostly while I am sleeping….I have taken Magnesium in the past but I think I should start again….but how long can this go on before the doctor takes it seriously, it has been years???

    • I’m so sorry to hear that! I would try supplementing with at least 400 mg of magnesium each day. I would also start following protocols mentioned in these articles:
      https://draxe.com/3-steps-to-cure-insomnia-without-drugs/
      https://draxe.com/muscle-ache-treatment-causes-remedies/

    • TED says:

      gena: In the article above it says, “Take note of this… only 1% of magnesium in your body is in your bloodstream, so often you can have deficiency and it would not even be discovered by a common blood test.” Some doctors assume too much based on a blood test. A good doctor will also consider the patient’s symptoms.

      If I had a doctor that had not taken my condition seriously for years I would find a new doctor. I might also look for a specialist that could help with the specific problem or condition. I think that it is important to be your own health advocate. Personally I do not feel the need to have a doctor’s approval to take a supplement. (This is just my opinion. I am not a doctor.)

  14. Kristen says:

    I personally like using ancient minerals magnesium lotion and Minerlifeonline liquid minerals are awesome! Very easy for the body to absorb for those with compromised guts. I noticed a huge difference when taking all the trace minerals along with magnesium.

  15. janice says:

    Hi. As I’ve got older, I am not too well. I am very grateful for all the health tips, and am working on improving my lifestyle. Not in a happy place, but finding the strength at last to put little ME first for a change. It feels strange but right. Love j

  16. Dedra says:

    I did not see any mention of Magnesium Lactate. I’ve been taking it for several years now and love the benefits of sleep, reduced fatigue and sore muscles.

  17. Camille says:

    Hello…..I have been taking a Magnesium in liquid form along with a liquid trace minerals and tried using mag oil on my feet and body and I’m either not taking enough, I need something more or it’s just not plain working….but, I do not feel any better. I don’t like the oil on my skin, it makes me itch something aweful. I have been suffering from anxiety, depression, body aches pretty much all over; but, mostly in my joints, tired all the time and don’t sleep well at all. Have done a lot of research and thought I would try magnesium…any suggestions?
    Thank you for your time!!

  18. Miranda says:

    My daughter has suffered from awful leg pains since she was 2 1/2. It started just after she was toilet trained and she went through the night. She would night wake with excruciating leg pains, would go for a wee and they would go… But only after a leg rub and nurofen. I don’t know if ther is a bladder link at all. We noticed a link to her diet and she was wheat and gluten free for 9 months. The leg pains went down dramatically.her eczema disappeared and she was less tired. We then had to put her back on wheat for 6 weeks to do the coeliac test- it came back negative. We have been giving her wheat in small amounts and she is ok, but whenever she has bread the leg pains come back. We have been told there is a link to yeast and wheat and we have tried to take out yeast and minimise sugar as her candida levels were high. I have started using Epsom salts to help. Is there anything else you would recommend or supplements she can take – she is 6, or do you suggest just increasing the magnesium rich foods. No one has ever suggested a magnesium deficiency. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  19. Elodie Crews says:

    My 12yo son always complains of severe leg cramps, most often at night or after an active day. I broke down and started giving Motrin to relieve the pain when warm Epsom salt baths and massaging didn’t help. He is very small for his age- he just barely broke 60lbs. Is the dosage your recommending ok to try for him or should I cut it in half?

  20. judy says:

    Leg cramps

  21. Donna Rudofski says:

    Dr. Axe, I can’t find your Axe Naturals multi on your web page? Does this have 400 mg of magnesium ?

  22. Robbin Bobbitt says:

    What about mag Oxide or Stearate?

  23. Kindra says:

    I had been taking magonate for 3 months, seen a great relief of general muscle pain/fatigue. (2qam/2qhs)
    Came off for 4-6 weeks, forget to order it, and have had a relapse in whatever is going on with me. So I e recently started the liquid form of it. Thought since I’d had some GI issues it would be more available to my stressed system.
    Do you or are you, familiar with this brand?

  24. Tammy Floyd says:

    Thank you for all of the info Dr. Axe! Thanks to everyone for sharing in the comments as well. I’m off to take some mag! :)

  25. amanda says:

    Can magnesium supplements be taken while pregnant?

  26. India says:

    Dr. Axe, I am age 79 and have recently been diagnosed with Essential Tremors and Peripheral Neuropathy. I am very conscientious about what I put into my body and eat only organic foods and nothing processed. I have also been on a complete nutritional program for 12 years that includes protein meal replacement shakes and periodic nutritional cellular cleasing along with supplements from Isagenix, International, a company in Phoenix, Az. I would appreciate any info you can give me for the Tremors and Neuropathy.

    • I would make sure you are consuming plenty of healthy fats and eliminating grains and sugar. Then consider looking into vitamin B12, vitamin D3, magnesium and vetiver essential oil.

  27. Audrey says:

    What form of magnesium will your product be? Citrate, theonate,glycinate? thanks !

  28. Cassandra says:

    I have frequent migraines, body aches all over, and very slow digestion/nutrient absorption…. all stuff I’m way too young for. Which magnesium supplement would be the best to use?

  29. cappy says:

    Dr. Axe, What are your thoughts about sipping tonic water for leg cramps. This worked for me when I was training for a half ironman. An older GP recommended. Are there any bad effects?

  30. A Martin says:

    I have several of these symptoms. Chronic digestive disorder, insomnia, muscle aches, fatigue, anxiety… in addition to early menopause (started at 35, I am now 39). Do you think it could be magnesium deficiency?

  31. Barbara Ledford says:

    I have a 19 yr old daughter with
    Downs syndrome. She has been suffering with insomnia for quite some time now. We are now trying Kroger brand Sleep Aid which is basically benadryl. She still isnt sleeping through the nite. She had a large bloot clot in her left leg in Jan of 2013 and it was removed by Vanderbilt Childrens Hospital. She took blood thinners for 6 months and she is now on 1/2 aspirin a day. She has muscle jerks all through
    The nite. She weighs 83 lbs. we have an appt with a sleep disorder clinic this week but after reading this I am just wondering if I should try magnesium first. She is also losing her hair. She has had recent bloodtests and everything looks normal with the thyroid, she takes vitamin D supplements everyday because that drops when we quit taking them. Does magnesium affect clotting ln any way? She does not have celiac or a heart problem. Thank you

  32. Tania says:

    Hi, I have been given a diagnosis of fibromyalgia and a plethora of other issues ex. Hormone imbalance. I take a tsp and a half of mag citrate nightly. But I’m not feeling like its enough. Thoughts? Thank you.

  33. Brenda says:

    Hi Dr. Axe,
    I get leg cramps, I have this smell through my nose, I’ve lost smell sensations, fir 2.5yrs 24/7 smell no dr can find what’s wring with me. The smell is often pungent, follows by headaches, now my eyes burn from the smell, smell of smoke, I don’t smoke, amonia even horrible taste in the mornings and it’s at night. Starts by spitting up flem and the good thing no one smells it but me! I want it to stop!! I’ve had MRI, cat scan, ENT, allergist, dental removal of silver fillings, my question is will the magnesium help?
    Thank you, Brenda im desperate need of help!

    • It’s really hard to say. I would seek out a doctor of functional medicine in your area and have them see you. You have been going the conventional medical route which only treats the symptoms and they aren’t doing the right testing.

  34. Sally Widener says:

    Just found out I am Vit d Deficient, Dr Says Vit D3. I am taking 2,000 a Day with Calcium. Now i Get Results of Dexascan that has been 3 ys since i have had done. He says there is a big change Need More calcium. I have Severe Leg Cramps and was Wondering if I need Magnesium. Trying to decide if i need that too. Calcium Seems to make me not be able to go Poop. Do you think There are Some medications that Cause a Depletion of these Vitamins? Wondering if i should take a Multivitamin as Well. Just need advice been Reading to many Articles. Also Having Trouble with my Eyes too.. But on Computer alot. Thinking i need all of the Above. I dont eat Right Sometimes. Just need Opinion. Thanks for Advice

  35. Kim says:

    What about magnesium aspartate complex with potassium aspartate complex?

  36. Josephine says:

    I did not know there are different kinds of magnesium. I take 99mg of potassium a.m. and 500mg of mag p.m. The mag is Oxide Magnesium. Ever hear of it.
    Lately I have been experiencing diarrhea. Any suggestions. Thank You. Josephine

  37. Angela Arness says:

    Thanks for for the info! I take mag phos (magnesia phosphate) dissolving tabs from the health food store. Is that the same as the magnesium that you are talking about?

  38. Margaret says:

    We now have magnesiaum tablets….and I must take them regular I seem to sleep so much better

  39. Joann Halverson says:

    Dear Dr. Axe
    I am a type 2 diabetic. I recently suffered from skipped heartbeats due to a magnesium deficiency.
    I take an isotonic magnesium supplement. It has a great delivery system with 95 to 97% viability.
    Great for people who have trouble taking pills. I am currently taking 400mg. twice a day.

  40. Stacy Morton says:

    I have severe leg and foot cramps nightly, often I feel like the muscle is going to snap my ankle. My Doctor subscribed Slow Mag/Mag 64. I haven’t had any relief. What type magnesium supplement might help me?

  41. Steven Allen says:

    Dr Axe.. ..Sincerely..
    Three years ago I had emergency open heart surgery,.. 5 by passes.

    I have chronic constipation to this day.
    Been taking RX Mag-Ox 400 mg; tried other RX Meds and I do not have/had a normal BM to date..

    A month ago.. Worked 3 weeks in extreme heat.. changed shirts 3-4 times a day due to being soaked w/ perspiration. Traveled 500 miles.. worked in extreme heat several 12 hour days (again)..soaking shirts again.. Drank water.. Gatorade. Woke up on Sunday morning could hardly get out of bed due to full body cramps – neck down to toes. I have been to ER got IV fluids meds. 30 days later.. I have excruciating leg cramps day and night.. stiff whole body every morning .. PAINFUL ..
    Still .. Gastroenterologist and Doctor of Internal Medicine prescribe.. RX-Mag Ox 400 mg .. Morning and Night.
    Please HELP.. as I am only progressing 2% a day for 30 days..
    Thank you.. Dr Axe

  42. Michele Andree says:

    I found about about magnesium tonight when it was given to me by iv in the emergency room for a major asthma/pneumonia issue. Upon reading more I’m finding other things like fibromyalgia, fatigue, anxiety, insomnia, and leg cramping that are all things I have issues with. Why would my regular doctor not mention magnesium deficiency as a possibility as she is sending me to every specialist in the area? I have seen people mention Epsom salts, is it just adding some to a bath and allowing it to soak into the skin? I’m also going to look into dietary changes, and possibly a supplement to get enough.

  43. Kori says:

    Hello Dr Axe,
    I am currently taking a Ionic Magnesium that is in liquid form. I am unaware of the exact element of Mag it is, however they claim it is much more absorable than a pill. I am 35 and have Osteopenia. Your opinion is much appreciated.-Kori-

  44. Christina says:

    Hello,
    My husband has had sleep issues for years. He went in for a sleep study (around five years ago) and now uses a cpap machine. He was also given various medications for restless leg syndrome but they stop working after a few months of use and complains about leg cramps and a tiredness in the mornings after a fitfull night of sleep. He decided to take a doctors advice and have his deviated septum fix about four month ago, in the hopes it would help with his sleep. He can now breathe better but the staying asleep is still an issue. Could starting him on 400mg dose of magnesium help? I am looking for any recommendations on supplements and perhaps what he should request from his doctor, as a next step. He was on ambien about five years ago, as well when they started all of the tests the first time around. He hasn’t been on ambien for two years. I would like to try and find him some kind of natural solution that can help him stay asleep. Thank you.

  45. Roby Mitchell MD says:

    Deficiencies in magnesium,potassium,B-12,iron and a host of other nutrients is precipitated by deficient production of hydrochloric acid. A food supply deficient in magnesium would effect everyone. We see certain people deficient in magnesium. Supplement with hydrochloric acid first to assure comprehensive nutrient absorption. Deficiency on blood work will be manifest by an elevated MCV. MCV measures the size of red blood cells. As B-12 levels decline due to low hydrochloric acid,red blood cell/MCV goes up. MCV above 85 indicates declining B-12 levels.

  46. Linda Peckman says:

    Had bariatric bypass surgery in 2000 also removed gall bladder. Have experienced fatigue,leg cramps , weakness. Can’t even open bottle caps … No strength I am 67 and I have a daughter with c.p. and does not walk. I have arthritis and am having MANY issues handling my daughter’s needs.y other daughter is insisting that I try magnesium and see if there is any improvement. Tired always no get up and go . Always stiff. HELP

  47. Mario says:

    Hi, I am a hard marathon runner and I usually get wet in sweat a lot in my long runs. 20 miles a week. I started to get terrible leg cramps and decrease in energy two years ago I usullay get .body pain in my shoulders after i get up from bed. I m taking in my runs products called Saltsticks with a little Mg, Do you think a should increase my Mg

  48. Susan says:

    Early in 2014 I adopted an ancestral based whole foods diet that I still follow. I eat plenty of potassium rich foods daily: potatoes, raspberries, tomatoes, 1/2 banana, etc. I’ve reduced my nut intake (magnesium), but it’s still ~ 1-2 oz per day, usually a combo of almonds, brazils, filberts and macadamia. But I take magnesium supplements (Doctors Best 200 mg per day).

    Yet I’m still getting leg cramps (calves) and recently I began having RLS (I was recently diagnosed with SIBO/IBS, and I understand RLS can be a symptom of that also.) Migraines have been a problem for years, but have diminished in frequency, partly due to menopause is my guess.

    I drink close to my body weight in ozs of water daily, and I take digestive enzymes and Betaine HCL with all meals and heavy snacks.

    This morning I woke up with excruciating calf cramps.

    Do you have any recommendations?

  49. Francis Misantone says:

    just to be perfectly sure which supplement I should take I suffer from anxiety early in the morning and I don’t sleep that well at allwhich supplement do you recommend

  50. Roger Charlesworth says:

    No need to pay throuth nose for magnesium : Epsom Salts [magnesium sulphate] is CHEAP, BIO-AVAILABLE, and EFFECTIVE, I know, i have been taking it regularly for 20 years.

  51. Karin Dekker says:

    Maybe somebody already made this remark (and it is not all that important) but… epsomsalt is magnesiumsulfate, not magnesiumchloride. You may want to correct that.

    Greetings, Karin

  52. Marianne Dymond says:

    Does magnesium deficiency have an effect on vitamin D absorption levels?

  53. Sandra H. says:

    I was told not to take more than 500 mg of magnesium by the lady at the website that I buy my Protocel from. I have seen your website and decided to order some magnesium threonate from VitaCost. They have 2 brands which say they have 2000 mg Magtein (Magnesium L Threonate) but it also says that the 3 capsule per day dose provides 144 mg. This is confusing. Which number should I go by in order to know which one to order? What exactly is Magtein?

  54. Kathi May says:

    URGENT: My 46 year old daughter has been suffering (and I do mean suffering) from chronic constipation for over six years. She has had every test in the book and the doctors can’t find a reason for it. Motility tests come back as slow. She has been on very harsh medicines, laxatives etc. I think one of them is Cena? Anyway, the constipation problem has led to the esophogeal sphincter disintegrating until it is no longer there. So, there has been a sever GERD problem. The doctor did a procedure to create a sphincter which does help with that (though it was “too tight” and they had to “stretch” it). Still, that does not help the constipation issue and now every time she tries to eat [anything], she gets sick and feels like she needs to throw up. This is a VISCOUS chain. Now, they are talking about removing her colon entirely (they don’t want to because she is so young), but they are at their wits end (and so is she). Since Magnesium does not show up in blood tests, do you think having a severe magnesium deficiency could be the problem or at least a part of it? She also gets migrane headaches, is extremely tired and very ‘difficult’ to get along with all the time. I know part of being difficult is that she does NOT FEEL GOOD. She is 5’6″ tall and weighs 98 – 100 lbs. She’s [barely] able to maintain that weight and can not gain weight. PlLEASE tell me things we can try and if you think Magnesium would help. Her health is failing and she is way too young to have her colon removed.
    Thanks for ANY advice you can give.

  55. Bec says:

    Hi
    I’m a breast cancer survivor & ever since I had chemo I have issues with my magnesium. The level varys from not registering at all to extremely low. I take 4 supplements per day, have magnesium enriched foods & take magnesium baths. I suffer from all the sideffects listed above daily. I dont know what else to do this has been going on for 3 years. Do you have any suggestions I can take to my doctor?

  56. Laura Schindler says:

    My question is; what do you do when your fingers and toes cramp/ stick together? I will be writing then 2 fingers will cramp/stick together. I unstick them and shake my hand. Same with some 2 toes.

  57. mali says:

    Dr Axe,
    is magnesium ”hydroxide” in combination with calcium and D3 is a good preparation?

  58. Patricia Reynolds says:

    Bladder infection runs in my family and i was told by a holistic Doctor to take magnesium aspartate 300mg. I found it with 99 mg of potassium aspartate and 100mg of taurine. I take this everyday and have not had any bladder infections and feel great.
    My mother has this problem and she is now taking the Magnesium and Potassium Aspartate with the taurine and it works great for her also. I we stop for even a few days, we have the bladder infection return!

  59. Shara says:

    Dr. Axe, can you please recommend a mag supplement for my 12 year old son? He has a terrible time sleeping at night and after much research, I believe it’s a mag deficiency. Thanks!

  60. Michelle LeFauve says:

    While I admire this information for the ‘typical consumer,” one must remember never to take magnesium or any other supplements without YOUR physician’s recommendation specifically. I have a neuromuscular disorder called Myasthenia Gravis. When I began taking a supplement of magnesium because of some of the symptoms indicated (insomnia, anxiety, constipation), I unknowingly sent my neuromuscular disorder into a tailspin and ended up in the hospital with a Myasthenic Crisis, in which your lung muscles fail and you need to be intubated in order to survive. It was during that hospitalization that the pharmacists noticed I was taking Magnesium and believed that this supplement was the reason for the crisis. To this day, I have had several hospitalizations because of MG and I am on an extremely limited Magnesium diet.

    I urge you to consult a physician if you have muscle cramps, twitching etc… which may seem to present as a ‘magnesium deficiency,’ yet may be much more serious.

  61. Marilyn Butler says:

    I have tried all sorts of Magnesium over the years for Fibromyalgia but with no good results . I am now having daily morning migraines & wonder if AXE magnesium would help ? Can I buy it in the uk ? Thank you .

  62. Chris says:

    Several years ago, a new Internist (long since ‘fired’) ordered blood work that included what was described as an RBC Magnesium test, that came back “High”. The test was re-done, and it also came back, “High”.
    – Prior to testing, I had been taking “Amino Acid CHELATED MAGNESIUM” – 250 mg. daily for several months. That (now former) doctor told me to “Stop taking magnesium”!
    – In searching the Internet, I found a website devoted to promoting magnesium, and wrote to the author, trying to find out: 1. if there was more than one kind of magnesium test; 2. was I given the correct test or interpretation; and 3. why might my results be considered so “High”?
    – I never got an answer to any of my questions; but I did get a scathing reply from the author saying that my doctor ought to be reported to the medical society, and that his medical license ought to be “pulled” for giving such advice!
    – Since then, I found out about, and requested (from a different doctor), a test for inter-cellular Mg that uses scrapings of buccal cells from under the tongue. I took the test, but frankly never got the results, because of that physician’s sudden involvement in a multi level marketing scheme for selling vitamins that uses readings from an ultra violet light, reflected off of one’s palm by a proprietary instrument. Not wanting to be drawn in, I quietly backed away from that practice.
    – But recently I may have answered my own questions, based on information on how ‘reference ranges’ are determined, found in a recent online seminar. Even though a test of Red Blood Cell Magnesium is not appropriate for determining Mg stores; yet that happens to be an established test (no matter it’s questionable validity); if so many people are so severely deficient in Mg, my score was probably totally out of range of their usual findings, and thus considered “High”.
    – I’m back to taking the same brand of “Amino Acid CHELATED MAGNESIUM” – 250 mg. daily. Incidentally, it’s stated ingredients: “Magnesium (from magnesium oxide, amino acid chelate)”. I find it to be far less bothersome bowel wise, than taking even 1/4 of the recommended daily dose of the brand of Mg citrate, called “CALM”.
    – Possibly, I might be needing more than 250 mg. per day now, because the slight arrhythmia that 250 mg. of Mg used to ‘smooth out’, is still there.
    – Dr. Axe, I welcome your comments. Thank you.

  63. adrielslifewithfibro.com says:

    Thank you for this. I have several of these symptoms and I will be looking into taking a magnesium supplement.

  64. Monique Johnson says:

    Hi Dr. Axe, I had weight loss surgery (sleeve) on November 25, 2014. When I went in for my post op appointment my surgeon said it was a normal reaction for me to be so tired and fatigued since I just had surgery. I don’t think that’s it. I believe I have a magnesium deficiency. I remember now when I was in the hospital for the surgery getting an IV of magnesium. Why would my surgeon not think of this?!? Anyway what can I do to boost my magnesium up ASAP??? Please help me I’m really dragging with no appetite, nausea, fatigue, and other symptoms.

  65. Ann says:

    I tried to take magnesium since I have fybromyalgia but it made me ache worse. Why is that?

  66. Milena says:

    Hi! How about magnesium malate?

  67. Lorie Brown says:

    Dr. Axe, why is it that whenever I take magnesium, I get heart palpitations? I was taking a good brand, and only 200 mg a day . And I have tried it during different times of the day…I have noticed that even if I eat magnesium rich foods such as cashews it does the same…I do take potassium with no problems. I have had blood tests and the only thing a little low was my sodium…, do you have any ideas as to why this happens?

  68. Misti says:

    Thanks so much for providing such a great article! I take magnesium and it has helped tremendously with some symptoms that I was having. I would like to know what you recommend for children? I know my 3 kids would benefit from some supplementation. I have tried to have them eat more foods with magnesium, but that is not working so well. I have searched and searched for ways to supplement kids with magnesium and tried the Natural Calm liquid for kids and they did not like it at all and refuse to take it. They are very picky with what they will take…it has to taste very good to them. No multi supplements seem to have the right kind or if they have some it is hardly any at all. I have done a magnesium salve and that did not seem to be very effective and made their skin itch so much. It has been a while since I have searched for anything, but was hoping you have a good solution. Thanks so much!

  69. Darlene White says:

    Is Magnesium Oxide safe to take?

  70. Tammy says:

    How does one know if they need to take a Magnesium supplement or any supplement for that matter? I keep reading a lot lately about the benefits of magnesium, but don’t want to take something I don’t need. P.S. Thanks for all your great info. I’ve learned a lot from you.

    • Majority of people are deficient in magnesium. The only way to know for sure is to get blood work done. Otherwise you can look at the symptoms that magnesium deficiency can cause

  71. millie walters says:

    will magnesium help with acid reflux?

  72. Silvia says:

    I make my magnesium oil from Epson Salt. I use every day as deodorant, or in my stomach and before go to sleep, on my feet. I felt it has improveded my sleep, I´m happier (before I was depressed and anxious), I´m not totally healed yet, but sure much better.
    I also make my own bath salt using the Epson, sea salt and baking soda, this is amazing for my skin.
    Thanks for sharing your knowledge!

  73. Barbara Thomason says:

    Magnesium

    Great article.
    Dr Norm Shealy also says that besides through food ingestion the other way to “take” magnesium is through application on the skin – using a lotion/ oil.
    What are your thoughts on this?

    Thank you.

  74. Melissa Osburn says:

    Dr Axe

    What levels and type of magnesium would you recommend for an average size teenager suffering with anxiety, insomnia and migraines?

    Thank you

  1. Marie says:

    I noticed something completely off with my very athletic 15 yr old son. Again a athletic kid but a poor diet, when not at home.He is currently playing football and during off season he was working with a conditioning coach. I started my own research and came to the conclusion he was Mg deficient. I purchased a pure Mg oil that he has now been rubbing in every night for the last week and the improvement is insane!! I’m not talking just me noticing, his coach has noticed and my son has noticed himself! His garbage binge eating has stopped, as if his body is no longer craving it! Wow, something so simple but so important!!

  2. Audrina @ Mindfully Audrina says:

    Never thought anxiety, muscle cramps, and migraines could be a sign of magnesium deficiency! Thanks for the helpful info, definitely going to increase my magnesium now.

  3. Catie S. says:

    Two signs I’ve noticed when mine is low is that my eyelids twitch almost constantly, and I become very sensitive to sudden loud noises such as a door slam, a child squealing, or a dog barking. Also end up with a short fuse.

  4. Nancy says:

    I have had horrible restless legs for most of my adult life. I take 4mg Ropinirole before bed, as well as 200mg magnesium twice a day. Still have restless legs. Tried stopping caffeine and it only made it worse. How would I use the magnesium oil? Thank you

  5. Lisa Bloomquist says:

    Fluoroquinolone antibiotics – cipro/ciprofloxacin, levaquin/levofloxacin, avelox/moxifloxacin and floxin/ofloxacin – chelate magnesium from cells. They deplete intracellular magnesium and lead to Fluoroquinolone Toxicity – a chronic illness with all of the symptoms of magnesium deficiency that you mentioned, and more. Additionally, fluoroquinolones deplete mitochondrial DNA and the chelation of magnesium is just one part of the puzzle of fluoroquinolone toxicity.

    The depletion of magnesium by fluoroquinolones is leading to many chronic illnesses, including diabetes. This article connects diabetes to fluoroquinolone use (via magnesium depletion) –

  6. Andrew Thomas says:

    This is a note to Nancy…. There are two ways of trying magnesium through the skin. Using the Oil as you say, apply 5-10 sprays before retiring. i apply it after a shower, spraying it onto wet skin (shoulders, upper arms are good but legs are a must – I used to get cramp in my right calf). Leave for 5 minutes or so and towel dry. More can be applied if you wake up with cramp. The other way is a magnesium-rich bath using Magnesium Flakes. Both the Oil and Flakes use magnesium chloride and a 15 minute bath before bed is amazing! Spraying Oil is a daily thing… not as and when because our levels seem to drop pretty quickly.

    • leslie bauer says:

      Great suggestions but i have found that it SO burns my sensitive skin! I have bought this lotion from ‘Ancient Minerals’ off the Radiant Life site. It was somewhat pricey but it is all organic oils along with NO SCENT! They also on the RLsite, have a recipe for making your own lotion; great people own this company and well worth seeking out this product! It is the “ULTRA” formula 8 oz. bottle. Good LUCK!!!

      • Lynn Curlett says:

        This is a great product – I have a bottle by the TV, my bed and my work desk – when cramps start, I apply and they go away within about 15 minutes. And you are right – the company is a delight to deal with directly.

    • Nancy says:

      Thank you for the suggestions everybody. I will give some of these a try.

  7. Laurie Gelfand says:

    There is a product called Calm, which dissolves in hot water and 2 tsp. are 325 mg. I usually take a tbls. at bedtime and it helps me sleep. also relieves arthritis symptoms. It is awesome stuff!!

  8. Laura says:

    Dr. Axe
    My multi vitamin contains 2.3 mg of magnesium in it. It says it is 110% of USRDA. Is that sufficient? Also, what do you recommend as far as a good multi to reduce so many pills…..
    Thanks!

  9. Karen says:

    I have been taking Magnesium Malate for years, although I do not see it on your list. Is it not recommended? It has helped me neurologically; however, I still fit many of the conditions you’ve enumerated. I do have GI complaints and am wondering, too, if using the magnesium oil on my skin might generate greater absorption.

  10. Jessy says:

    Should you take magnesium coupled with calcium, or take them separately?

  11. Cindy says:

    I have know people who get crazy itchy or burning with the oil. How much and how often if I were just talking epsom salt baths?

  12. Carol says:

    I’ve had symptoms of magnesium deficiency for years including at one time a diagnosis of fibromyalgia. I have taken many different forms of mag in high doses for extended periods of time and noticed NO improvement. Suggestions? My story is a long one beginning at birth and I’m now 65 and although I have seen positive results from many things I’ve done (like green smoothies) I have not gotten well. Thanks for all you do. BLESSINGS

  13. gena says:

    I have almost all of the symptoms mentioned, but my doctor does blood work and doesn’t find anything…I am in pain everyday…not just with migraines that I have had since my teens, but the she thinks I might have fibromyalgia….I told her I get insomnia with anxiety in the middle of the night and I always have leg and feet cramps, mostly while I am sleeping….I have taken Magnesium in the past but I think I should start again….but how long can this go on before the doctor takes it seriously, it has been years???

    • I’m so sorry to hear that! I would try supplementing with at least 400 mg of magnesium each day. I would also start following protocols mentioned in these articles:
      https://draxe.com/3-steps-to-cure-insomnia-without-drugs/
      https://draxe.com/muscle-ache-treatment-causes-remedies/

    • TED says:

      gena: In the article above it says, “Take note of this… only 1% of magnesium in your body is in your bloodstream, so often you can have deficiency and it would not even be discovered by a common blood test.” Some doctors assume too much based on a blood test. A good doctor will also consider the patient’s symptoms.

      If I had a doctor that had not taken my condition seriously for years I would find a new doctor. I might also look for a specialist that could help with the specific problem or condition. I think that it is important to be your own health advocate. Personally I do not feel the need to have a doctor’s approval to take a supplement. (This is just my opinion. I am not a doctor.)

  14. Kristen says:

    I personally like using ancient minerals magnesium lotion and Minerlifeonline liquid minerals are awesome! Very easy for the body to absorb for those with compromised guts. I noticed a huge difference when taking all the trace minerals along with magnesium.

  15. janice says:

    Hi. As I’ve got older, I am not too well. I am very grateful for all the health tips, and am working on improving my lifestyle. Not in a happy place, but finding the strength at last to put little ME first for a change. It feels strange but right. Love j

  16. Dedra says:

    I did not see any mention of Magnesium Lactate. I’ve been taking it for several years now and love the benefits of sleep, reduced fatigue and sore muscles.

  17. Camille says:

    Hello…..I have been taking a Magnesium in liquid form along with a liquid trace minerals and tried using mag oil on my feet and body and I’m either not taking enough, I need something more or it’s just not plain working….but, I do not feel any better. I don’t like the oil on my skin, it makes me itch something aweful. I have been suffering from anxiety, depression, body aches pretty much all over; but, mostly in my joints, tired all the time and don’t sleep well at all. Have done a lot of research and thought I would try magnesium…any suggestions?
    Thank you for your time!!

  18. Miranda says:

    My daughter has suffered from awful leg pains since she was 2 1/2. It started just after she was toilet trained and she went through the night. She would night wake with excruciating leg pains, would go for a wee and they would go… But only after a leg rub and nurofen. I don’t know if ther is a bladder link at all. We noticed a link to her diet and she was wheat and gluten free for 9 months. The leg pains went down dramatically.her eczema disappeared and she was less tired. We then had to put her back on wheat for 6 weeks to do the coeliac test- it came back negative. We have been giving her wheat in small amounts and she is ok, but whenever she has bread the leg pains come back. We have been told there is a link to yeast and wheat and we have tried to take out yeast and minimise sugar as her candida levels were high. I have started using Epsom salts to help. Is there anything else you would recommend or supplements she can take – she is 6, or do you suggest just increasing the magnesium rich foods. No one has ever suggested a magnesium deficiency. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  19. Elodie Crews says:

    My 12yo son always complains of severe leg cramps, most often at night or after an active day. I broke down and started giving Motrin to relieve the pain when warm Epsom salt baths and massaging didn’t help. He is very small for his age- he just barely broke 60lbs. Is the dosage your recommending ok to try for him or should I cut it in half?

  20. judy says:

    Leg cramps

  21. Donna Rudofski says:

    Dr. Axe, I can’t find your Axe Naturals multi on your web page? Does this have 400 mg of magnesium ?

  22. Robbin Bobbitt says:

    What about mag Oxide or Stearate?

  23. Kindra says:

    I had been taking magonate for 3 months, seen a great relief of general muscle pain/fatigue. (2qam/2qhs)
    Came off for 4-6 weeks, forget to order it, and have had a relapse in whatever is going on with me. So I e recently started the liquid form of it. Thought since I’d had some GI issues it would be more available to my stressed system.
    Do you or are you, familiar with this brand?

  24. Tammy Floyd says:

    Thank you for all of the info Dr. Axe! Thanks to everyone for sharing in the comments as well. I’m off to take some mag! :)

  25. amanda says:

    Can magnesium supplements be taken while pregnant?

  26. India says:

    Dr. Axe, I am age 79 and have recently been diagnosed with Essential Tremors and Peripheral Neuropathy. I am very conscientious about what I put into my body and eat only organic foods and nothing processed. I have also been on a complete nutritional program for 12 years that includes protein meal replacement shakes and periodic nutritional cellular cleasing along with supplements from Isagenix, International, a company in Phoenix, Az. I would appreciate any info you can give me for the Tremors and Neuropathy.

    • I would make sure you are consuming plenty of healthy fats and eliminating grains and sugar. Then consider looking into vitamin B12, vitamin D3, magnesium and vetiver essential oil.

  27. Audrey says:

    What form of magnesium will your product be? Citrate, theonate,glycinate? thanks !

  28. Cassandra says:

    I have frequent migraines, body aches all over, and very slow digestion/nutrient absorption…. all stuff I’m way too young for. Which magnesium supplement would be the best to use?

  29. cappy says:

    Dr. Axe, What are your thoughts about sipping tonic water for leg cramps. This worked for me when I was training for a half ironman. An older GP recommended. Are there any bad effects?

  30. A Martin says:

    I have several of these symptoms. Chronic digestive disorder, insomnia, muscle aches, fatigue, anxiety… in addition to early menopause (started at 35, I am now 39). Do you think it could be magnesium deficiency?

  31. Barbara Ledford says:

    I have a 19 yr old daughter with
    Downs syndrome. She has been suffering with insomnia for quite some time now. We are now trying Kroger brand Sleep Aid which is basically benadryl. She still isnt sleeping through the nite. She had a large bloot clot in her left leg in Jan of 2013 and it was removed by Vanderbilt Childrens Hospital. She took blood thinners for 6 months and she is now on 1/2 aspirin a day. She has muscle jerks all through
    The nite. She weighs 83 lbs. we have an appt with a sleep disorder clinic this week but after reading this I am just wondering if I should try magnesium first. She is also losing her hair. She has had recent bloodtests and everything looks normal with the thyroid, she takes vitamin D supplements everyday because that drops when we quit taking them. Does magnesium affect clotting ln any way? She does not have celiac or a heart problem. Thank you

  32. Tania says:

    Hi, I have been given a diagnosis of fibromyalgia and a plethora of other issues ex. Hormone imbalance. I take a tsp and a half of mag citrate nightly. But I’m not feeling like its enough. Thoughts? Thank you.

  33. Brenda says:

    Hi Dr. Axe,
    I get leg cramps, I have this smell through my nose, I’ve lost smell sensations, fir 2.5yrs 24/7 smell no dr can find what’s wring with me. The smell is often pungent, follows by headaches, now my eyes burn from the smell, smell of smoke, I don’t smoke, amonia even horrible taste in the mornings and it’s at night. Starts by spitting up flem and the good thing no one smells it but me! I want it to stop!! I’ve had MRI, cat scan, ENT, allergist, dental removal of silver fillings, my question is will the magnesium help?
    Thank you, Brenda im desperate need of help!

    • It’s really hard to say. I would seek out a doctor of functional medicine in your area and have them see you. You have been going the conventional medical route which only treats the symptoms and they aren’t doing the right testing.

  34. Sally Widener says:

    Just found out I am Vit d Deficient, Dr Says Vit D3. I am taking 2,000 a Day with Calcium. Now i Get Results of Dexascan that has been 3 ys since i have had done. He says there is a big change Need More calcium. I have Severe Leg Cramps and was Wondering if I need Magnesium. Trying to decide if i need that too. Calcium Seems to make me not be able to go Poop. Do you think There are Some medications that Cause a Depletion of these Vitamins? Wondering if i should take a Multivitamin as Well. Just need advice been Reading to many Articles. Also Having Trouble with my Eyes too.. But on Computer alot. Thinking i need all of the Above. I dont eat Right Sometimes. Just need Opinion. Thanks for Advice

  35. Kim says:

    What about magnesium aspartate complex with potassium aspartate complex?

  36. Josephine says:

    I did not know there are different kinds of magnesium. I take 99mg of potassium a.m. and 500mg of mag p.m. The mag is Oxide Magnesium. Ever hear of it.
    Lately I have been experiencing diarrhea. Any suggestions. Thank You. Josephine

  37. Angela Arness says:

    Thanks for for the info! I take mag phos (magnesia phosphate) dissolving tabs from the health food store. Is that the same as the magnesium that you are talking about?

  38. Margaret says:

    We now have magnesiaum tablets….and I must take them regular I seem to sleep so much better

  39. Joann Halverson says:

    Dear Dr. Axe
    I am a type 2 diabetic. I recently suffered from skipped heartbeats due to a magnesium deficiency.
    I take an isotonic magnesium supplement. It has a great delivery system with 95 to 97% viability.
    Great for people who have trouble taking pills. I am currently taking 400mg. twice a day.

  40. Stacy Morton says:

    I have severe leg and foot cramps nightly, often I feel like the muscle is going to snap my ankle. My Doctor subscribed Slow Mag/Mag 64. I haven’t had any relief. What type magnesium supplement might help me?

  41. Steven Allen says:

    Dr Axe.. ..Sincerely..
    Three years ago I had emergency open heart surgery,.. 5 by passes.

    I have chronic constipation to this day.
    Been taking RX Mag-Ox 400 mg; tried other RX Meds and I do not have/had a normal BM to date..

    A month ago.. Worked 3 weeks in extreme heat.. changed shirts 3-4 times a day due to being soaked w/ perspiration. Traveled 500 miles.. worked in extreme heat several 12 hour days (again)..soaking shirts again.. Drank water.. Gatorade. Woke up on Sunday morning could hardly get out of bed due to full body cramps – neck down to toes. I have been to ER got IV fluids meds. 30 days later.. I have excruciating leg cramps day and night.. stiff whole body every morning .. PAINFUL ..
    Still .. Gastroenterologist and Doctor of Internal Medicine prescribe.. RX-Mag Ox 400 mg .. Morning and Night.
    Please HELP.. as I am only progressing 2% a day for 30 days..
    Thank you.. Dr Axe

  42. Michele Andree says:

    I found about about magnesium tonight when it was given to me by iv in the emergency room for a major asthma/pneumonia issue. Upon reading more I’m finding other things like fibromyalgia, fatigue, anxiety, insomnia, and leg cramping that are all things I have issues with. Why would my regular doctor not mention magnesium deficiency as a possibility as she is sending me to every specialist in the area? I have seen people mention Epsom salts, is it just adding some to a bath and allowing it to soak into the skin? I’m also going to look into dietary changes, and possibly a supplement to get enough.

  43. Kori says:

    Hello Dr Axe,
    I am currently taking a Ionic Magnesium that is in liquid form. I am unaware of the exact element of Mag it is, however they claim it is much more absorable than a pill. I am 35 and have Osteopenia. Your opinion is much appreciated.-Kori-

  44. Christina says:

    Hello,
    My husband has had sleep issues for years. He went in for a sleep study (around five years ago) and now uses a cpap machine. He was also given various medications for restless leg syndrome but they stop working after a few months of use and complains about leg cramps and a tiredness in the mornings after a fitfull night of sleep. He decided to take a doctors advice and have his deviated septum fix about four month ago, in the hopes it would help with his sleep. He can now breathe better but the staying asleep is still an issue. Could starting him on 400mg dose of magnesium help? I am looking for any recommendations on supplements and perhaps what he should request from his doctor, as a next step. He was on ambien about five years ago, as well when they started all of the tests the first time around. He hasn’t been on ambien for two years. I would like to try and find him some kind of natural solution that can help him stay asleep. Thank you.

  45. Roby Mitchell MD says:

    Deficiencies in magnesium,potassium,B-12,iron and a host of other nutrients is precipitated by deficient production of hydrochloric acid. A food supply deficient in magnesium would effect everyone. We see certain people deficient in magnesium. Supplement with hydrochloric acid first to assure comprehensive nutrient absorption. Deficiency on blood work will be manifest by an elevated MCV. MCV measures the size of red blood cells. As B-12 levels decline due to low hydrochloric acid,red blood cell/MCV goes up. MCV above 85 indicates declining B-12 levels.

  46. Linda Peckman says:

    Had bariatric bypass surgery in 2000 also removed gall bladder. Have experienced fatigue,leg cramps , weakness. Can’t even open bottle caps … No strength I am 67 and I have a daughter with c.p. and does not walk. I have arthritis and am having MANY issues handling my daughter’s needs.y other daughter is insisting that I try magnesium and see if there is any improvement. Tired always no get up and go . Always stiff. HELP

  47. Mario says:

    Hi, I am a hard marathon runner and I usually get wet in sweat a lot in my long runs. 20 miles a week. I started to get terrible leg cramps and decrease in energy two years ago I usullay get .body pain in my shoulders after i get up from bed. I m taking in my runs products called Saltsticks with a little Mg, Do you think a should increase my Mg

  48. Susan says:

    Early in 2014 I adopted an ancestral based whole foods diet that I still follow. I eat plenty of potassium rich foods daily: potatoes, raspberries, tomatoes, 1/2 banana, etc. I’ve reduced my nut intake (magnesium), but it’s still ~ 1-2 oz per day, usually a combo of almonds, brazils, filberts and macadamia. But I take magnesium supplements (Doctors Best 200 mg per day).

    Yet I’m still getting leg cramps (calves) and recently I began having RLS (I was recently diagnosed with SIBO/IBS, and I understand RLS can be a symptom of that also.) Migraines have been a problem for years, but have diminished in frequency, partly due to menopause is my guess.

    I drink close to my body weight in ozs of water daily, and I take digestive enzymes and Betaine HCL with all meals and heavy snacks.

    This morning I woke up with excruciating calf cramps.

    Do you have any recommendations?

  49. Francis Misantone says:

    just to be perfectly sure which supplement I should take I suffer from anxiety early in the morning and I don’t sleep that well at allwhich supplement do you recommend

  50. Roger Charlesworth says:

    No need to pay throuth nose for magnesium : Epsom Salts [magnesium sulphate] is CHEAP, BIO-AVAILABLE, and EFFECTIVE, I know, i have been taking it regularly for 20 years.

  51. Karin Dekker says:

    Maybe somebody already made this remark (and it is not all that important) but… epsomsalt is magnesiumsulfate, not magnesiumchloride. You may want to correct that.

    Greetings, Karin

  52. Marianne Dymond says:

    Does magnesium deficiency have an effect on vitamin D absorption levels?

  53. Sandra H. says:

    I was told not to take more than 500 mg of magnesium by the lady at the website that I buy my Protocel from. I have seen your website and decided to order some magnesium threonate from VitaCost. They have 2 brands which say they have 2000 mg Magtein (Magnesium L Threonate) but it also says that the 3 capsule per day dose provides 144 mg. This is confusing. Which number should I go by in order to know which one to order? What exactly is Magtein?

  54. Kathi May says:

    URGENT: My 46 year old daughter has been suffering (and I do mean suffering) from chronic constipation for over six years. She has had every test in the book and the doctors can’t find a reason for it. Motility tests come back as slow. She has been on very harsh medicines, laxatives etc. I think one of them is Cena? Anyway, the constipation problem has led to the esophogeal sphincter disintegrating until it is no longer there. So, there has been a sever GERD problem. The doctor did a procedure to create a sphincter which does help with that (though it was “too tight” and they had to “stretch” it). Still, that does not help the constipation issue and now every time she tries to eat [anything], she gets sick and feels like she needs to throw up. This is a VISCOUS chain. Now, they are talking about removing her colon entirely (they don’t want to because she is so young), but they are at their wits end (and so is she). Since Magnesium does not show up in blood tests, do you think having a severe magnesium deficiency could be the problem or at least a part of it? She also gets migrane headaches, is extremely tired and very ‘difficult’ to get along with all the time. I know part of being difficult is that she does NOT FEEL GOOD. She is 5’6″ tall and weighs 98 – 100 lbs. She’s [barely] able to maintain that weight and can not gain weight. PlLEASE tell me things we can try and if you think Magnesium would help. Her health is failing and she is way too young to have her colon removed.
    Thanks for ANY advice you can give.

  55. Bec says:

    Hi
    I’m a breast cancer survivor & ever since I had chemo I have issues with my magnesium. The level varys from not registering at all to extremely low. I take 4 supplements per day, have magnesium enriched foods & take magnesium baths. I suffer from all the sideffects listed above daily. I dont know what else to do this has been going on for 3 years. Do you have any suggestions I can take to my doctor?

  56. Laura Schindler says:

    My question is; what do you do when your fingers and toes cramp/ stick together? I will be writing then 2 fingers will cramp/stick together. I unstick them and shake my hand. Same with some 2 toes.

  57. mali says:

    Dr Axe,
    is magnesium ”hydroxide” in combination with calcium and D3 is a good preparation?

  58. Patricia Reynolds says:

    Bladder infection runs in my family and i was told by a holistic Doctor to take magnesium aspartate 300mg. I found it with 99 mg of potassium aspartate and 100mg of taurine. I take this everyday and have not had any bladder infections and feel great.
    My mother has this problem and she is now taking the Magnesium and Potassium Aspartate with the taurine and it works great for her also. I we stop for even a few days, we have the bladder infection return!

  59. Shara says:

    Dr. Axe, can you please recommend a mag supplement for my 12 year old son? He has a terrible time sleeping at night and after much research, I believe it’s a mag deficiency. Thanks!

  60. Michelle LeFauve says:

    While I admire this information for the ‘typical consumer,” one must remember never to take magnesium or any other supplements without YOUR physician’s recommendation specifically. I have a neuromuscular disorder called Myasthenia Gravis. When I began taking a supplement of magnesium because of some of the symptoms indicated (insomnia, anxiety, constipation), I unknowingly sent my neuromuscular disorder into a tailspin and ended up in the hospital with a Myasthenic Crisis, in which your lung muscles fail and you need to be intubated in order to survive. It was during that hospitalization that the pharmacists noticed I was taking Magnesium and believed that this supplement was the reason for the crisis. To this day, I have had several hospitalizations because of MG and I am on an extremely limited Magnesium diet.

    I urge you to consult a physician if you have muscle cramps, twitching etc… which may seem to present as a ‘magnesium deficiency,’ yet may be much more serious.

  61. Marilyn Butler says:

    I have tried all sorts of Magnesium over the years for Fibromyalgia but with no good results . I am now having daily morning migraines & wonder if AXE magnesium would help ? Can I buy it in the uk ? Thank you .

  62. Chris says:

    Several years ago, a new Internist (long since ‘fired’) ordered blood work that included what was described as an RBC Magnesium test, that came back “High”. The test was re-done, and it also came back, “High”.
    – Prior to testing, I had been taking “Amino Acid CHELATED MAGNESIUM” – 250 mg. daily for several months. That (now former) doctor told me to “Stop taking magnesium”!
    – In searching the Internet, I found a website devoted to promoting magnesium, and wrote to the author, trying to find out: 1. if there was more than one kind of magnesium test; 2. was I given the correct test or interpretation; and 3. why might my results be considered so “High”?
    – I never got an answer to any of my questions; but I did get a scathing reply from the author saying that my doctor ought to be reported to the medical society, and that his medical license ought to be “pulled” for giving such advice!
    – Since then, I found out about, and requested (from a different doctor), a test for inter-cellular Mg that uses scrapings of buccal cells from under the tongue. I took the test, but frankly never got the results, because of that physician’s sudden involvement in a multi level marketing scheme for selling vitamins that uses readings from an ultra violet light, reflected off of one’s palm by a proprietary instrument. Not wanting to be drawn in, I quietly backed away from that practice.
    – But recently I may have answered my own questions, based on information on how ‘reference ranges’ are determined, found in a recent online seminar. Even though a test of Red Blood Cell Magnesium is not appropriate for determining Mg stores; yet that happens to be an established test (no matter it’s questionable validity); if so many people are so severely deficient in Mg, my score was probably totally out of range of their usual findings, and thus considered “High”.
    – I’m back to taking the same brand of “Amino Acid CHELATED MAGNESIUM” – 250 mg. daily. Incidentally, it’s stated ingredients: “Magnesium (from magnesium oxide, amino acid chelate)”. I find it to be far less bothersome bowel wise, than taking even 1/4 of the recommended daily dose of the brand of Mg citrate, called “CALM”.
    – Possibly, I might be needing more than 250 mg. per day now, because the slight arrhythmia that 250 mg. of Mg used to ‘smooth out’, is still there.
    – Dr. Axe, I welcome your comments. Thank you.

  63. adrielslifewithfibro.com says:

    Thank you for this. I have several of these symptoms and I will be looking into taking a magnesium supplement.

  64. Monique Johnson says:

    Hi Dr. Axe, I had weight loss surgery (sleeve) on November 25, 2014. When I went in for my post op appointment my surgeon said it was a normal reaction for me to be so tired and fatigued since I just had surgery. I don’t think that’s it. I believe I have a magnesium deficiency. I remember now when I was in the hospital for the surgery getting an IV of magnesium. Why would my surgeon not think of this?!? Anyway what can I do to boost my magnesium up ASAP??? Please help me I’m really dragging with no appetite, nausea, fatigue, and other symptoms.

  65. Ann says:

    I tried to take magnesium since I have fybromyalgia but it made me ache worse. Why is that?

  66. Milena says:

    Hi! How about magnesium malate?

  67. Lorie Brown says:

    Dr. Axe, why is it that whenever I take magnesium, I get heart palpitations? I was taking a good brand, and only 200 mg a day . And I have tried it during different times of the day…I have noticed that even if I eat magnesium rich foods such as cashews it does the same…I do take potassium with no problems. I have had blood tests and the only thing a little low was my sodium…, do you have any ideas as to why this happens?

  68. Misti says:

    Thanks so much for providing such a great article! I take magnesium and it has helped tremendously with some symptoms that I was having. I would like to know what you recommend for children? I know my 3 kids would benefit from some supplementation. I have tried to have them eat more foods with magnesium, but that is not working so well. I have searched and searched for ways to supplement kids with magnesium and tried the Natural Calm liquid for kids and they did not like it at all and refuse to take it. They are very picky with what they will take…it has to taste very good to them. No multi supplements seem to have the right kind or if they have some it is hardly any at all. I have done a magnesium salve and that did not seem to be very effective and made their skin itch so much. It has been a while since I have searched for anything, but was hoping you have a good solution. Thanks so much!

  69. Darlene White says:

    Is Magnesium Oxide safe to take?

  70. Tammy says:

    How does one know if they need to take a Magnesium supplement or any supplement for that matter? I keep reading a lot lately about the benefits of magnesium, but don’t want to take something I don’t need. P.S. Thanks for all your great info. I’ve learned a lot from you.

    • Majority of people are deficient in magnesium. The only way to know for sure is to get blood work done. Otherwise you can look at the symptoms that magnesium deficiency can cause

  71. millie walters says:

    will magnesium help with acid reflux?

  72. Silvia says:

    I make my magnesium oil from Epson Salt. I use every day as deodorant, or in my stomach and before go to sleep, on my feet. I felt it has improveded my sleep, I´m happier (before I was depressed and anxious), I´m not totally healed yet, but sure much better.
    I also make my own bath salt using the Epson, sea salt and baking soda, this is amazing for my skin.
    Thanks for sharing your knowledge!

  73. Barbara Thomason says:

    Magnesium

    Great article.
    Dr Norm Shealy also says that besides through food ingestion the other way to “take” magnesium is through application on the skin – using a lotion/ oil.
    What are your thoughts on this?

    Thank you.

  74. Melissa Osburn says:

    Dr Axe

    What levels and type of magnesium would you recommend for an average size teenager suffering with anxiety, insomnia and migraines?

    Thank you