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Do I get enough calcium?

One method of assessing your calcium standing is to simply touch with your Healthcare provider and ask detailed calcium testing. Yet magnesium evaluation is typically done with blood chemical testing, and such tests can be misleading. Just 1 percent of calcium from 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 intake may lie |} By simply asking yourself a few questions about the way you live, and watching for certain signs and signals of low magnesium levels.

Learn how to read your signs below, and find out what you can do to guarantee Magnesium balance and decent health. If you answer yes to any of the following questions, you might be at risk for low calcium consumption. |} {

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

Most dark colored sodas contain phosphates. These chemicals actually bind With magnesium inside the digestive tract, which makes it inaccessible to the body. Thus, even when you are eating a balanced diet plan, by drinking soda with your meals you are flushing out magnesium out of your system. 4 5 6

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

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

Processed sugar is not only a zero calcium merchandise but it also causes the Body to excrete magnesium through the kidneys. The process of producing refined sugar from sugar cane eliminates molasses, stripping the calcium content completely. |}

And sugar does not just function to decrease calcium levels. Sweet foods are Called nutritionists as"anti-nutrients". |} Anti-nutrients like sweets are foods that replace entire nutritious foods from the diet, nevertheless actually consume nutrients when digested, resulting in a net loss. Because all foods need minerals and vitamins to be consumed in order to power the process of digestion, it is important to select foods that"put back" vital nourishment, and then a few.

The more sweet foods and processed baked goods you've got on your diet, the More likely you are deficient in calcium and other vital nutrients. {

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

Both physical and emotional stress may be cause of magnesium deficiency.


Stress may be cause of magnesium deficiency, and a lack of magnesium tends |} To magnify the stress reaction, worsening the problem. In studies, adrenaline and cortisol, byproducts of the"flight or fight" reaction related to stress and anxiety, were associated with decreased magnesium. 10

Because stressful conditions demand more calcium usage by your system, all Such conditions can lead to deficiency, including both physical and psychological forms of stress such as surgery, burns, and chronic illness. {

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

Magnesium levels are controlled in the body in large part by the kidneys, Which filter and excrete excess magnesium and other minerals. But caffeine causes the pancreas to release additional magnesium regardless of body status.

If you drink caffeinated beverages such as coffee, soda and tea frequently, has been increased. |} {

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

The effects of certain drugs have been demonstrated to Decrease magnesium levels in The entire body by raising magnesium loss through excretion by the kidneys.

See also:

For a complete list of the particular drugs which could 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 readily available to the cells by increasing the excretion of calcium by the kidneys. In research, the clinical calcium deficiency has been found in 30 percent of alcoholics. 11

Higher alcohol intake also contributes to decreased efficiency of this Digestive system, as well as Vitamin D deficiency, both of which can contribute to low calcium levels. {12

|} Do you take calcium supplements without magnesium or calcium supplements with calcium in less than a 1:1 ratio?

Studies show that if magnesium intake is reduced, calcium Supplementation may decrease calcium absorption and retention. 13 14 15 And, whereas calcium supplementation can have adverse consequences on calcium amounts, magnesium supplementation actually improves the body's utilization of calcium. 16


Though many reports suggest carrying calcium to magnesium in a 2:1 ratio, this |} Figure is largely arbitrary. The ideal ratio for any individual will vary depending on current conditions as well as risk factors for deficiency.

However, several researchers now support a 1:1 calcium to calcium ratio For enhanced bone support and reduced risk of disease. This is due not only to the higher signs pointing to widespread magnesium deficiency, but also concerns over the risk of arterial calcification when low calcium stores are coupled with higher calcium consumption.

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As stated by noted magnesium researcher Mildred Seelig:|}

The body will retain calcium when in a magnesium-deficient state. Extra Calcium intake in this time can cause an abnormal rise of calcium levels inside the cells, including the cells of the heart and blood vessels... Given the delicate balance necessary between calcium and calcium in the cells, so it's best to make certain magnesium is adequate if you are taking calcium supplements." {17

|} Do you encounter any of these:

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

The above symptoms may be neurological signs of calcium deficiency. Adequate magnesium is necessary for nerve conduction and can also be associated with electrolyte imbalances that affect the nervous system. Low magnesium can also be associated with character changes and sometimes depression.

Read more:

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

Painful muscle spasms? |} {
Muscle cramping?
|} {
Cosmetic 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 a required element of muscular relaxation, and with no our Muscles are in a constant state of contraction. Calcium, on the other hand, signals muscles to contract. |} As noted in the publication 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 both clinical tests for involuntary |} Muscle moves, 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 evaluation results is calcium supplementation.

Read more:

For a complete list of those conditions associated with calcium deficiency, read our post, Symptoms of Vitamin .
To learn more about the role of magnesium in muscle function, visit How 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's Been shown that aging, stress and illness all contribute to increasing magnesium needs, yet most older adults actually take in less calcium from food sources compared to if they were younger.

Additionally, magnesium metabolism may be less efficient as we grow old, as Changes the GI tract and kidneys contribute to older adults absorbing less and retaining less calcium. 19

If You're above 55 and also showing lifestyle signals or symptoms related to Low magnesium, it is especially important that you work to improve your calcium consumption. When body stores of calcium operate low, risks of overt hypomagnesaemia (magnesium deficiency) grow significantly.

How can you know for sure if you've got a deficiency? {

Magnesium's impact is so crucial and far reaching that symptoms of its own |} Absence reverberate through the human body's systems. {This makes signals of its absence hard to pin down with absolute precision, even for cutting edge researchers. |} Doctors Pilar Aranda and Elena Planells noted this difficulty in their report at 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."

One of researchers, magnesium deficiency is known as the silent epidemic of Our instances, and it's widely acknowledged that definitive testing for lack remains elusive. {Judy Driskell, Professor, Nutrition and Health Sciences at the University of Nebraska, refers to the"invisible deficiency" as chronic latent magnesium deficiency, and explains:


Normal plasma and serum concentrations have been discovered in People with low magnesium in [red blood cells] and tissues. |} Yet efforts to find an index of subclinical magnesium standing haven't yielded a cheap one that's been well validated." 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 |} Tens of thousands of biochemical reactions occurring on a constant basis daily. essential to nerve transmission, muscle contraction, blood coagulation, energy production, nutrient metabolism and bone and cell formation. |}

Contemplating these varied and sour consequences, not to mention that the Cascading effect magnesium levels have on other important minerals like calcium and potassium, 1 thing is clear -- long duration low magnesium consumption is something to be prevented.

What can you do to increase calcium intake?

The more your intake stays low, the greater likelihood your bodily stores Will be diminished, leaving you exposed to a number of the more troubling side effects of long-term deficiency. Based on Dr. Carolyn Dean, M.D., N.D., and expert on magnesium treatment, adequate magnesium can improve heart health, prevent stroke and obesity, and improve mood and memory.

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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 at the Diet.

However for many people, especially those with diseases And symptoms associated with reduced magnesium, active magnesium supplementation may be a vital part of returning to good health.


In her publication, The Magnesium Miracle, Dr. Dean notes achieving |} Adequate magnesium is notoriously hard, saying:

I am convinced that to get enough calcium today, You Have to take Supplements" 21

One of the Very Best ways to improve your calcium levels would be to unite A wholesome diet with transdermal magnesium. |}

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

In older adults, reduced gastric acid amounts in the Digestive system might be a element in reduced mineral availability. Hydrochloric acid supplements might be combined with magnesium to combat this problem; nonetheless a simpler and less expensive choice is the usage of magnesium supplements. Magnesium chloride has been proven to possess a higher bioavailability, while simultaneously giving the chloride necessary for healthy digestion and vitamin and nutrient absorption.

Magnesium researcher Mildred Seelig has called magnesium"the silent Guardian of our hearts and arteries" and"necessary for life". |} complete health". |}

In Case You Haven't heard much about magnesium and its importance to good health, Now's the opportunity to learn. And when it is something you've always intended to check into, now's the time to do it!


Leg cramps Are reported in around 60 percent 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 after cramping.3 Up to 20% of individuals who complain of leg cramps have symptoms every day which are severe enough to require medical intervention.1Currently no remedies for leg cramps are proven to be secure and effective1 but there is a clear demand for treatment options.

Quinine has Been commonly used to treat leg cramps but TGA approval for this sign was removed in 2004 after reports of an increased probability of thrombocytopenia and 4 associated fatalities in Australia.4

Since Magnesium plays a role in neuromuscular transmission and muscle contraction, it has been hypothesised that calcium deficiency may predispose to muscle cramps.2,5Thus magnesium supplements are often suggested to prevent cramps. Does the evidence support utilizing magnesium for this sign?

Practice points

Differentiating leg cramp from other conditions can be challenging, the expression'cramp' can be employed to describe many different pain types. {
When choosing a medical history, think about factors that might account for leg cramp (peripheral vascular disease or motor neurone disease) as well as medication causes (calcium-channel blockers, angiotensin II-receptor antagonists and diuretics). |}
Whilst magnesium deficiency has been proposed as a cause of leg cramps, there is not any evidence that calcium supplements offer a clinical advantage other than for pregnancy-related leg cramp.
Consider the potential for growth of hypermagnesaemia in patients taking calcium supplements, especially in older people and individuals with kidney disease. {
Magnesium interacts with bisphosphonates and tetracycline antibiotics and needs to be taken 2 hours before or after these medications. |}
Do not prescribe quinine tablets for leg cramps. The efficacy of quinine in preventing cramp is restricted and is outweighed by the risk of acute 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 older individuals can be challenging, the expression'cramp' can be employed to describe many different pain types. {Consider other causes such as restless legs syndrome, nocturnal myoclonus, myopathic and neuropathic conditions.3


When taking A patient's medical background comprise a review of medications and medical conditions.1 Consider other factors which might contribute, such as peripheral vascular disease or motor neurone disease. Possible medication causes of cramp include calcium-channel blockers, angiotensin II-receptor antagonists and diuretics.3 Lately, the calcium-channel blockers diltiazem and verapamil are assessed for treating muscle cramp in older individuals, however the trials were small and of poor quality.6,7


Physical Evaluation rarely identifies leg cramps because they are misaligned, irregular, and generally occur at night. But findings on examination may indicate a potential underlying medical cause (i.e.peripheral vascular disease).1,5

There aren't any Regular blood tests recommended for the diagnosis of muscular cramps and there's not any proven association with electrolyte abnormalities.8

The third Trimester of pregnancy is frequently associated with leg cramps, although it's hard to differentiate between pregnancy as the primary cause and venous insufficiency.9 Despite the high prevalence of leg cramps in pregnancy, there's been minimal research in this region.

Do not use quinine tablets for leg cramp

Remedy With quinine was common before its withdrawal as a sign in 2004. The withdrawal was a consequence of 198 reports of thrombocytopenia related to quinine usage (since 1972), including 4 deaths.4 Quinine was removed at a similar time in america and afterwards, in 2006, the US FDA Federal Register alerted consumers to the issues surrounding off-label usage, reporting 665 serious adverse events such as 93 deaths because 1969.10 Despite this, off-label usage still proceeds both here4 and overseas.

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Magnesium cure 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, acute asthma, and migraine.11 There's some evidence for efficacy of calcium supplementation in treating leg cramps in elderly women but not to other people.2,12

A current Systematic review assessed the effect of magnesium versus placebo for the treatment of nocturnal leg cramps and discovered that the general effect of calcium to be insignificant.2 Seven trials were included, one assessed calcium extract versus placebo along with the remainder assessed oral calcium treatment but dose and frequency of treatment varied involving all studies.

A Sub-analysis of three of those research involving only pregnant women showed a substantial difference between the calcium and placebo groups in the median number of leg cramps experienced a week.2 However the research simply contained a few participants (n=361 in complete and n=198 from the subgroup analysis), and consequently was underpowered to detect significant differences between classes. Additionally selection bias may have impacted results as participants had been included in the study whose leg complaints might have been confused with disorders 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. The populations included 322 mostly older patients and 202 women with pregnancy-associated leg cramps. |} Following four weeks of therapy, differences in percentage change from baseline of cramps per week involving magnesium and placebo groups were small and not statistically significant.

The writers Concluded that calcium is not likely to offer a significant benefit in reducing the frequency or seriousness of idiopathic leg cramps in older people.12 The next review also contained three additional studies on pregnant girls; while a meta-analysis wasn't possible with them, results from the individual research have been considered and found to be more mixed. One study found magnesium reduced cramp frequency and pain while the other two found no advantage.12 Although two of those research were similar in design and setting,13,14 their results were distinct; this may have been because one of the research lacked baseline dimension of cramp frequency. If cramp frequency before intervention wasn't equal between participants in these studies, it is not appropriate to evaluate the number of cramps experienced throughout the treatment period.

Oral calcium supplementation is well tolerated

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


Moderate-to-severe {And symptomatic hypermagnesaemia is generally due to excessive supplemental intake of calcium (e.g. as antacids, enemas or by intravenous infusion), most frequently in patients with kidney impairment. |} Be aware of the most common clinical features of moderate-to-severe hypermagnesaemia which are usually neuromuscular (e.g. loss of deep tendon reflexes, muscular 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, make sure patients choose a product comprising magnesium only. Some magnesium supplements have been blended with potassium and may contribute to hyperkalaemia in people taking ACE inhibitors or other medications which cause potassium retention.3 Consider assessing liver function in people using medications which could interfere with or adversely affect kidney function16 and watch for signs of toxicity.15

Other remedies

Small research Have demonstrated some benefit from various other medications such as diltiazem, gabapentin and vitamin B complex although none can be recommended for muscular cramps because of the inadequate quality of evidence.6,17-19 Multivitamins and sodium supplementation have also demonstrated 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 in elderly women according to case reports but also highlight there are no controlled trials to support its usage.20 Paracetamol can be handy to handle residual muscle pain after cramping.3

Non-pharmacological therapy

Passive Stretch and massage of the affected muscle can relieve cramp and stretching the calf muscles daily has been advocated to prevent cramp.21 Although there's not any clinical trial evidence to support these steps, anecdotal evidence indicates they may succeed and the probability of negative effects is reduced.

Advice for patients


Magnesium interacts with other medications |}


Magnesium considerably lowers the absorption of oral bisphosphonates and tetracycline antibiotics and might lower 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 )