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Magnesium for cramps?

Do I get enough calcium?

1 method of assessing your calcium standing is to simply contact your Health care provider and request detailed calcium testing. Yet magnesium assessment is typically done with blood serum testing, and these tests can be misleading. Just 1% of calcium in the body is in fact found in blood, and only.3% is found in blood serum, so clinical blood serum testing might not successfully identify calcium deficiency.

How to proceed?


Fortunately, it's possible to get a sense of where your ingestion may lie |} By simply asking yourself a few questions about the way you live, and watching for certain signs and signs of low sodium levels.

Learn how to read your signs below, and Learn What you can do to ensure Magnesium balance and decent health. If you answer yes to any of the following questions, you might be at risk for low magnesium intake. |} {

|} Do you drink carbonated beverages on a regular basis?

Most dark colored sodas contain phosphates. These chemicals actually bind With calcium inside the digestive tract, which makes it inaccessible to the body. Thus, even when you're eating a balanced diet plan, by drinking soda along with your foods you're flushing out magnesium out of your system. 4 6

The average consumption of carbonated beverages now is greater than ten times What it was in 1940. 7 This skyrocketing increase is accountable for both reduced calcium and magnesium availability within the body. {8 9

|} Do you eat pastries, cakes, desserts, candies or other sweet foods?

Refined sugar Isn't only a zero calcium product but in Addition, It causes the Body to excrete magnesium throughout the kidneys. The process of producing refined sugar from sugar cane removes molasses, stripping the calcium content completely. |}

And glucose does not just function to reduce calcium levels. Sweet foods are Known by nutritionists as"anti-nutrients". |} Anti-nutrients like candies are foods that replace whole nutritious foods in the diet, nevertheless actually consume nutrients when digested, causing a net loss. Because all foods need vitamins and minerals to be consumed in order to power the process of nourishment, it's important to choose foods that"put back" vital nourishment, and then some.

The more sweet foods and processed baked products you have in your diet, the More likely you're deficient in calcium and other vital nutrients. {

|} Do you experience a lot of anxiety in your life, or have you recently had a significant medical procedure such as surgery?

Both physical and psychological stress can be a cause of magnesium deficiency.


Anxiety can be a cause of magnesium deficiency, and a lack of magnesium tends |} To magnify the stress response, worsening the problem. In studies, adrenaline and cortisol, byproducts of the"flight or fight" reaction associated with tension and anxiety, were correlated with magnesium. 10

Because stressful conditions demand more calcium use by the body, all Such conditions can cause lack, including both psychological and physical forms of stress such as wounds, surgery, and chronic disease. {

|} Do you drink tea, coffee, or other carbonated beverages daily?

Magnesium levels are regulated in the body in large part from the kidneys, Which filter and excrete excess magnesium and other nutritional supplements. But caffeine causes the kidneys to release additional magnesium regardless of body position.

If you drink caffeinated beverages such as coffee, soda and tea frequently, Your risk for magnesium deficiency is raised. |} {

|} {Do you take a diuretic, heart medicine, asthma medication, birth control pills or estrogen replacement therapy? |}

The effects of certain drugs have been shown to reduce magnesium levels in The body by raising magnesium loss through excretion from the kidneys.

See also:

For an entire list of the particular drugs which can influence calcium levels, read our post, Causes of a Lack of Magnesium. {
|} {Do you drink more than seven alcoholic beverages per week? |}

The Impact of alcohol on calcium levels is similar to the effect of Diuretics: it enhances magnesium available to the cells by increasing the excretion of calcium from the kidneys. In research, the clinical magnesium deficiency was found in 30% of alcoholics. 11

Higher alcohol intake also results in decreased efficiency of the Digestive system, in addition to vitamin D deficiency, both of which can contribute to low calcium levels. {12

|} Do you take calcium supplements with no magnesium or calcium supplements with calcium in under a 1:1 ratio?

Studies show that if magnesium intake is low, calcium Supplementation can reduce calcium absorption and retention. 13 14 15 And, whereas calcium supplementation can have negative consequences on calcium levels, magnesium supplementation actually boosts the body's use of calcium. 16


Though many reports suggest carrying calcium to magnesium in a 2:1 ratio, this |} Figure is mostly random. The ideal ratio for any person will vary based on current conditions in addition to risk factors for deficiency.

However, several researchers today support a 1:1 calcium to calcium ratio For improved bone support and reduced risk of disorder. That is due not only to the higher signs pointing to widespread magnesium deficiency, but also concerns over the risk of cardiovascular calcification when low calcium stores are coupled with high calcium intake.

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As stated by mentioned magnesium researcher Mildred Seelig:|}

The body will keep calcium when within an magnesium-deficient condition. Extra Calcium intake at this time can cause an abnormal growth of calcium levels inside the cells, including the cells of the heart and blood vessels... Considering that the delicate balance necessary between calcium and calcium in the cells, it is ideal to make certain magnesium is adequate if you're taking calcium supplements" {17

|} Do you encounter any of the following:

Stress? {
Times of hyperactivity?
|} {
Difficulty getting to sleep?
|} {
Difficulty staying asleep?

The above symptoms could be neurological signs of calcium deficiency. Adequate magnesium is essential for nerve conduction and is also associated with electrolyte imbalances that affect the nervous system. Low magnesium is also associated with personality changes and sometimes melancholy.

Read more:

For a complete list of the Symptoms of calcium deficiency, read our post, Symptoms of Vitamin . {
|} {Do you encounter any of the following:

Painful muscle spasms? |} {
Muscle cramping?
|} {
Facial tics? {
Eye twitches, or involuntary eye movements?
|} {

Neuromuscular symptoms such as these are among the classic signs of a |} Potential magnesium shortage.

Without calcium, our muscles are in a constant state of contraction.

Magnesium is an essential element of muscle relaxation, and with no our Muscles are in a constant state of contraction. deal with. |} As mentioned in the book The Magnesium Factor, both minerals are"two sides of a real life coin; they've activities that oppose one another, yet they serve as a group." 18


Chvostek's Sign and Trousseau's Sign are equally clinical tests for involuntary |} Muscle movements, and both can indicate either calcium or magnesium deficiency, or both. In reality, magnesium deficiency might actually seem like calcium deficiency in analyzing, and one of the initial recommendations upon getting low calcium test results is calcium supplementation.

Read more:

For a complete list of the ailments associated with calcium deficiency, read our post, Symptoms of Vitamin .
To Find out More about the role of magnesium in muscle function, visit The Way Magnesium Works in the Body. {
|} Did you answer yes to any of the above questions and are also age 55 or older? |}

especially vulnerable to low magnesium status. |} It has Been shown that aging, stress and disease all contribute to increasing magnesium requires, yet most elderly adults actually take in less calcium from food sources compared to if they were younger.

In addition, magnesium metabolism may be less efficient as we grow old, as Changes the GI tract and kidneys bring about elderly adults consuming less and retaining less calcium. 19

If you are above 55 and additionally showing lifestyle signals or symptoms associated with Low magnesium, it's especially important that you work to boost your magnesium intake. When body stores of calcium run low, risks of overt hypomagnesaemia (magnesium deficiency) grow appreciably.

How do you know for certain if you have a lack? {

Magnesium's effect is so crucial and far reaching that symptoms of its own |} Absence reverberate through the human body's systems. {This makes signals of its lack hard to pin down with absolute precision, even for cutting edge researchers. |} Physicians Pilar Aranda and Elena Planells noted that this difficulty within their report in the International Magnesium Symposium of 2007:


The clinical manifestations of magnesium deficiency are difficult to specify |} Because depletion of the cation is associated with significant abnormalities in the metabolism of several elements and enzymes. If prolonged, insufficient magnesium intake might be responsible for symptoms attributed to other ailments, or whose causes are unknown."

Among investigators, magnesium deficiency is known as the silent epidemic of Our times, and it's widely recognized that definitive proof for deficiency remains elusive. {Judy Driskell, Professor, Nutrition and Health Sciences in the University of Nebraska, describes the"invisible deficiency" as chronic latent magnesium deficiency, also clarifies:


Normal serum and plasma magnesium concentrations have been found in People with low magnesium in [red blood cells] and cells. |} Yet efforts to discover an indicator of subclinical magnesium standing haven't yielded a cheap one that's been well supported." 20

However while the identification of calcium deficiency may be unclear, its Significance is undeniable.


Magnesium triggers over 300 enzyme reactions in the body, translating to |} Thousands of biochemical reactions occurring on a constant basis daily. Magnesium is crucial to nerve transmission, muscle contraction, blood coagulation, energy generation, nutrient metabolism and bone and cell formation. |}

Contemplating these varied and all-encompassing consequences, not to mention the Cascading effect magnesium levels have on other important minerals such as potassium and calcium, 1 thing is clear -- long term low magnesium intake is something to be prevented.

What do you do to increase calcium intake?

The longer your intake remains low, the greater likelihood your bodily stores Will be diminished, leaving you vulnerable to a number of the more troubling side effects of long term deficiency. According to Dr. Carolyn Dean, M.D., N.D., and specialist on magnesium therapy, adequate magnesium can improve heart health, prevent stroke and obesity, and improve memory and mood.

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If you answered no to All the above questions, you may be able to rely on High food sources of calcium, such as those described in our post on Magnesium in the Diet.

However for a Lot of People, especially those with diseases And symptoms associated with low magnesium, active magnesium supplementation could be a crucial element of returning to good health.


In her book, The Magnesium Miracle, Dr. Dean notes achieving |} Adequate magnesium through foods is notoriously difficult, stating:

I am convinced that to have enough calcium now, You Have to take Supplements" 21

Among the most effective ways to improve your calcium levels would be to combine A wholesome diet with transdermal magnesium. |}

Lots of the variables which contribute to low magnesium shops Are caused by inefficiencies of their GI tract. By delivering magnesium via the skin directly into the cells, topical calcium products skip lots of the problems associated with low magnesium absorption.

In elderly adults, reduced gastric acid levels in the Digestive system might be a factor in reduced nutrient accessibility. Hydrochloric acid supplements might be combined with magnesium to fight this problem; however a simpler and less expensive choice is the use of magnesium chloride supplements. Magnesium chloride has been proven to possess a higher bioavailability, while concurrently providing the chloride necessary for healthy digestion and vitamin and mineral absorption.

Magnesium researcher Mildred Seelig has known as magnesium"the silent Ability of our hearts and arteries" and"essential for life". |} And Dr. Carolyn Dean calls it"the missing link to total health". |}

If you haven't heard much about magnesium and its significance to good health, Now's the time to learn. And when it's something you've always intended to look into, now is the time to take action!


Leg cramps Are reported in up to 60% of adults and 7% of kids.1 They're troublesome and can lead to severe pain and sleep disturbance,2 and residual pain occasionally occurs in the affected muscles following cramping.3 Up to 20 percent of individuals who complain of leg cramps have symptoms daily which are severe enough to require medical intervention.1Currently no treatments for leg cramps are clinically demonstrated to be safe and effective1 but there's a clear demand for treatment options.

Quinine has Been commonly utilized as a treatment for leg cramps but TGA approval for this indication was withdrawn in 2004 following reports of an increased risk of thrombocytopenia and 4 associated fatalities in Australia.4

Since Magnesium plays a role in neuromuscular transmission and muscle contraction, it's been hypothesised that calcium deficiency may predispose to muscular cramps.2,5Hence magnesium supplements are often recommended to prevent cramps. Does the evidence support utilizing magnesium for this indication?

Practice points

Differentiating leg cramp from different ailments can be hard, the expression'cramp' can be used to describe a variety of pain types. {
When choosing a medical history, think about factors that might account for leg cramp (peripheral vascular disease or motor neurone disease) in addition to drug causes (calcium-channel blockers, angiotensin II-receptor antagonists and diuretics). |}
Whilst magnesium deficiency has been suggested as a cause of leg cramps, there's not any evidence that calcium supplements provide a clinical advantage besides for pregnancy-related leg cramp.
Consider the potential for development of hypermagnesaemia in patients taking calcium supplements, especially in elderly people and individuals with kidney disease. {
Magnesium disagrees with bisphosphonates and tetracycline antibiotics and should be taken 2 hours before or after these medications. |}
Don't prescribe quinine pills for leg cramps. The effectiveness of quinine in preventing cramp is limited and can be outweighed by the risk of severe thrombocytopenia, which might be fatal.
Consider non-pharmacological interventions for cramps such as stretching.

Diagnosis: focus on treatable causes

Differentiating Leg cramps from other conditions in elderly individuals can be hard, the expression'cramp' can be used to describe a variety of pain types. {Consider other causes such as restless legs syndrome, nocturnal myoclonus, myopathic and neuropathic conditions.3


When taking A patient's medical background include a review of medications and medical ailments.1 Consider other variables which might contribute, such as peripheral vascular disease or motor neurone disease. Potential drug causes of cramp include calcium-channel blockers, angiotensin II-receptor antagonists and diuretics.3 Lately, the calcium-channel blockers diltiazem and verapamil have been evaluated for treating muscle cramp in elderly individuals, however the trials were small and of inferior quality.6,7


Physical Examination rarely identifies leg cramps since they are involuntary, unpredictable, and usually occur at nighttime. But findings on evaluation may indicate a potential underlying medical cause (i.e.peripheral vascular disease).1,5

There aren't any Routine blood tests recommended for the diagnosis of muscle cramps and there is not any proven association with electrolyte abnormalities.8

The third Trimester of pregnancy is often associated with leg cramps, although it is difficult to differentiate between pregnancy as the chief cause and venous insufficiency.9 Despite the high prevalence of leg cramps during pregnancy, there has been minimal research within this area.

Don't use quinine pills for leg cramp

Treatment With quinine was common until its withdrawal as a sign in 2004. The withdrawal was an outcome of 198 reports of thrombocytopenia associated with quinine use (since 1972), including 4 deaths.4 Quinine was withdrawn at a similar time in america and subsequently, in 2006, the US FDA Federal Register alerted consumers to the issues surrounding off-label use, reporting 665 serious adverse events including 93 deaths because 1969.10 Despite this, off-label use still proceeds both here4 and abroad.

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Magnesium treatment for leg cramps

Proof is lacking except for pregnancy-associated cramps

The Effectiveness and security of magnesium has been established for eclampsia and pre-eclampsia, arrhythmia, severe asthma, and migraine.11 There's some evidence for effectiveness of calcium supplementation in treating leg cramps in elderly women but not to different people.2,12

A recent Systematic review assessed the effect of magnesium versus placebo for the treatment of nocturnal leg cramps and also found the general effect of calcium to be insignificant.2 Seven trials were included, one evaluated calcium extract versus placebo along with the rest evaluated oral calcium therapy but dose and frequency of therapy varied between all studies.

A Sub-analysis of three of the research involving only pregnant women revealed a substantial difference between the calcium and placebo groups at the median amount of leg cramps experienced per week.2 Nevertheless the research simply contained a small number of participants (n=361 in total and n=198 in the subgroup analysis), and therefore was underpowered to detect meaningful differences between groups. In addition selection bias could have impacted results as participants had been included in the study whose leg complaints might have been confused with ailments not known to be associated with calcium deficiency (i.e. restless leg syndrome).

Another Recent systematic review evaluated a further seven research in patients with leg cramp treated with calcium.12 The elemental calcium dose given varied between research. inhabitants included 322 mostly elderly patients and 202 women with pregnancy-associated leg cramps. |} After four weeks of treatment, differences in percent change from baseline of cramps per week between magnesium and placebo groups were modest and not statistically significant.

The authors Concluded that calcium is unlikely to provide a meaningful benefit in reducing the frequency or seriousness of idiopathic leg cramps at elderly people.12 The second review also included three further studies on pregnant women; while a meta-analysis was not possible with them, results from the individual research were considered and found to be more combined. 1 study discovered calcium reduced cramp frequency and pain while the other two found no advantage.12 Although 2 of the research were similar in design and setting,13,14 their outcomes were distinct; this could have been because one of the research lacked baseline measurement of cramp frequency. If cramp frequency before intervention was not equal between participants in those studies, it is not appropriate to compare the amount of cramps experienced throughout the treatment period.

Oral calcium supplementation is well taken

Both {Meta-analyses found that calcium is well taken with the most frequent adverse effects affecting the gastrointestinal system (diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, flatulence and constipation).2,12


Moderate-to-severe {And symptomatic hypermagnesaemia is usually as a result of excess supplemental intake of calcium (e.g. as antacids, enemas or by intravenous infusion), most often in patients with kidney impairment. |} Be aware of the most typical clinical characteristics of moderate-to-severe hypermagnesaemia which are usually neuromuscular (e.g. loss of deep tendon reflexes, muscle paralysis, depressed alert state and respiratory depression). Other signs include anorexia, nausea, skin flushing, hypotension, bradycardia/heart block and cardiac arrest.15


When Contemplating magnesium supplements, ensure patients take a product containing magnesium only. Some magnesium supplements are blended with potassium and may bring about hyperkalaemia in people taking ACE inhibitors or other medications which cause potassium retention.3 Consider assessing kidney function in people using medications which could impair or adversely affect kidney function16 and watch for signs of toxicity.15

Other remedies

Small research Have shown some benefit from various other medications including diltiazem, gabapentin and vitamin B complex although none can be recommended for muscle cramps due to the inadequate quality of evidence.6,17-19 Multivitamins and sodium supplementation also have shown benefit in preventing cramps in elderly women, although think about the potential threat of hypertension with sodium supplementation.9 Australian guidelines recommend calcium supplements for leg cramps at elderly women according to case reports but also highlight there are no controlled trials to support its use.20 Paracetamol can be handy to handle residual muscle pain following cramping.3

Non-pharmacological treatment

Passive Stretch and massage of the affected muscle can relieve cramp and stretching the calf muscles daily has been advocated to stop cramp.21 Although there is not any clinical trial evidence to support these steps, anecdotal evidence suggests they could be effective and the risk of adverse effects is low.

Information for patients


Magnesium interacts with other medications |}


Magnesium significantly lowers the absorption of oral bisphosphonates and tetracycline antibiotics and might reduce their activity. |} {
Advise patients to ensure they take these medications at least 2 hours before or after taking a magnesium supplement.22 |}

Median Number of leg cramps experienced per week: Difference = 0.807 (CI 0.015 to 1.207)
Difference In percent change from baseline of cramps per week: Difference = --3.93% (CI |} --21.12% to 13.26percent )