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Magnesium for cramps?

Can I get enough magnesium?

One method of assessing your magnesium status is to simply touch with your Health care provider and ask detailed magnesium testing. Yet magnesium evaluation is typically done using blood serum testing, and these tests may be misleading. Only 1% of magnesium from the body is in fact found in blood, and just.3% is found in blood serum, therefore clinical blood serum testing may not successfully identify magnesium deficiency.

What to do?


Fortunately, it's likely to get a sense of where your intake may lie |} Simply by asking yourself a few questions about the way you live, and watching for certain signs and signals of low magnesium levels.

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

|} Can you drink carbonated drinks on a regular basis?

These substances really bind With magnesium inside the digestive tract, rendering it unavailable to the body. Thus, even when you're eating a balanced diet plan, by drinking soda along with your foods you're flushing magnesium out of your system. 4 6

The average consumption of carbonated drinks now is more than ten times What it was in 1940. 7 This skyrocketing increase is accountable for the two decreased calcium and magnesium availability in the body. {8 9

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

Refined sugar Isn't only a zero magnesium product but it also causes the Body to excrete magnesium throughout the kidneys. practice of producing refined sugar from sugar cane eliminates molasses, stripping the magnesium content completely. |}

And sugar does not simply serve to reduce magnesium levels. Sweet foods are Called nutritionists as"anti-nutrients". |} Anti-nutrients like candies are foods which replace whole nutritious foods from the diet, nevertheless really consume nutrients when digested, causing a net loss. Because all foods need vitamins and minerals to be consumed as a way to power the process of digestion, it is important to select foods which"put back" vital nourishment, and then some.

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

|} Do you experience a great deal of anxiety on your daily life, or maybe you have recently had a major 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 pressure reaction, worsening the problem. In studies, adrenaline and cortisol, byproducts of this"flight or fight" reaction associated with stress and stress, were associated with decreased magnesium. 10

Because stressful conditions require more magnesium use by the body, all Such conditions may lead to lack, including both physical and psychological forms of stress such as wounds, surgery, and chronic disease. {

|} Can you drink tea, coffee, or other caffeinated drinks daily?

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

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

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

The effects of certain medications have been shown to Decrease magnesium levels in The entire body by increasing magnesium reduction through excretion by the kidneys.

See also:

For a complete list of the specific drugs that can influence magnesium levels, read our post, Causes of a Lack of Magnesium. {
|} {Can you drink more than seven alcoholic drinks per week? |}

The effect of alcohol on magnesium levels is similar to the impact of Diuretics: it lowers magnesium available to the cells by increasing the excretion of magnesium by the kidneys. In research, the clinical calcium deficiency has been found in 30 percent of alcoholics. 11

Increased alcohol intake also contributes to diminished efficiency of this Digestive system, in addition to vitamin D deficiency, each of which may give rise to low magnesium levels. {12

|} Can you take calcium supplements without calcium or magnesium supplements with magnesium in under a 1:1 ratio?

Studies have shown that when magnesium intake is low, calcium Supplementation can reduce magnesium absorption and retention. 13 14 15 And, whereas calcium supplementation may have negative consequences on magnesium amounts, magnesium supplementation really improves the body's utilization 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 individual will vary based on current conditions in addition to risk factors for deficiency.

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However, several researchers today support a 1:1 calcium to magnesium ratio For improved bone support and decreased risk of disorder. This is due not just to the increased evidence pointing to widespread magnesium deficiency, but also concerns over the danger of cardiovascular calcification when low magnesium stores are coupled with higher calcium intake.


As stated by noted magnesium researcher Mildred Seelig:|}

The body will keep calcium when in a magnesium-deficient condition. Extra Calcium intake in such a time could result in an abnormal rise of calcium levels inside the cells, including the cells of the heart and blood vessels... Considering that the delicate balance necessary between calcium and magnesium in the cells, it is best to be certain magnesium is sufficient if you're taking calcium supplements." {17

|} Can you experience any of these:

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

The above symptoms could be neurological signs of magnesium deficiency. Adequate magnesium is essential for nerve conduction and can also be associated with electrolyte imbalances which affect the nervous system. Low magnesium is also connected with character changes and sometimes depression.

Read more:

For a complete list of these signs of magnesium deficiency, read our post, Symptoms of Vitamin . {
|} {Can you experience any of these:

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

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

Without magnesium, our muscles are in a continuous state of contraction.

Magnesium is a required element of muscular relaxation, and without it our Muscles are in a continuous state of contraction. Calcium, on the other hand, signals muscles to contract. |} As noted in the publication The Magnesium Factor, both minerals are"either side of a physiological coin; they have activities that oppose one another, yet they function as a team." 18


Chvostek's Sign and Trousseau's Sign are both clinical evaluations for involuntary |} Muscle moves, and both may indicate either calcium or magnesium deficiency, or both. In reality, magnesium deficiency may actually appear as calcium deficiency in analyzing, and one of the initial recommendations upon receiving low calcium test results is magnesium supplementation.

Read more:

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

Older adults are particularly vulnerable to low magnesium status. |} It's Been proven that aging, stress and disease all contribute to growing magnesium needs, yet most older adults really take in less magnesium from food sources than when they were younger.

Additionally, magnesium metabolism may be less effective as we grow older, as Affects the GI tract and kidneys bring about older adults consuming less and keeping less magnesium. 19

If You're above 55 and additionally showing lifestyle signs or symptoms associated with Low magnesium, it is particularly important that you work to improve your calcium consumption. When body stores of magnesium operate low, dangers of overt hypomagnesaemia (magnesium deficiency) grow appreciably.

How do you know for sure if you've got a lack? {

Magnesium's impact is so crucial and far reaching that symptoms of its own |} Absence reverberate through the body's systems. {This makes signs of its lack hard to pin down with complete precision, even for cutting edge researchers. |} Physicians Pilar Aranda and Elena Planells reported 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 this cation is associated with significant abnormalities in the metabolism of several elements and enzymes. If prolonged, inadequate magnesium intake may be liable for symptoms attributed to other causes, or whose causes are unknown."

Among investigators, magnesium deficiency is known as the silent epidemic of Our instances, and it is widely acknowledged that definitive proof for lack remains elusive. {Judy Driskell, Professor, Nutrition and Health Sciences at the University of Nebraska, describes this"invisible deficiency" as chronic latent magnesium deficiency, also explains:


Normal plasma and serum magnesium concentrations have been found in Individuals with low magnesium in [red blood cells] and cells. |} Yet efforts to find an indicator of subclinical magnesium status haven't yielded a cost-effective one that has been well validated." 20

Yet although the identification of magnesium deficiency may be uncertain, its Importance is undeniable.


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

Considering these varied and all-encompassing consequences, not to mention that the Cascading effect magnesium levels have on other vital minerals like calcium and potassium, 1 thing is clear -- long duration low magnesium intake is something to be avoided.

What do you do to increase magnesium intake?

The more your intake stays low, the more likelihood your physical stores Will be diminished, leaving you vulnerable to some of the more troubling side effects of long term deficiency. Based on Dr. Carolyn Dean, M.D., N.D., and specialist on magnesium treatment, sufficient magnesium may improve heart health, prevent obesity and stroke, 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 magnesium, such as those described in our post on Magnesium at the Diet.

Yet for a Lot of People, especially individuals with diseases And symptoms associated with low magnesium, lively magnesium supplementation could be a crucial part of returning to good health.


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

I am convinced that to get enough magnesium now, You Have to take Supplements." 21

Among the Very Best ways to improve your magnesium levels would be to combine A wholesome diet using transdermal magnesium. |}

Lots of the variables that contribute to low magnesium stores Are caused by inefficiencies of their GI tract. By delivering magnesium through the skin directly to the cells, topical magnesium products skip many of the problems connected with low magnesium absorption.

In older adults, decreased gastric acid amounts in the Digestive system may be a element in decreased nutrient accessibility. Hydrochloric acid supplements may be combined with magnesium to fight this dilemma; nonetheless a simpler and less costly option is the use of magnesium supplements. Magnesium chloride has been shown to possess a high 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". |}

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


Leg cramps Are reported in up to 60 percent of adults and 7% of children.1 They are troublesome and can cause severe pain and sleep disturbance,2 and residual pain sometimes happens in the affected muscles after cramping.3 Up to 20 percent of people who complain of leg cramps have symptoms every day that are severe enough to need medical intervention.1Currently no treatments for leg cramps are clinically proven to be safe and effective1 however there's a clear demand for treatment options.

Quinine has Been commonly utilized as a treatment for leg cramps however TGA approval for this indication was withdrawn in 2004 after 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 magnesium deficiency may predispose to muscular cramps.2,5Hence magnesium supplements are often suggested to prevent cramps. Does the evidence support using magnesium for this indication?

Exercise points

Differentiating leg cramp from other ailments can be challenging, the term'cramp' may be used to describe many different pain types. {
When taking a medical history, consider factors which may 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 no evidence that magnesium supplements offer a clinical benefit besides for pregnancy-related leg cramp.
Think about the capacity for growth of hypermagnesaemia in patients using magnesium supplements, especially in older people and people with kidney disease. {
Magnesium disagrees with bisphosphonates and tetracycline antibiotics and needs to be taken 2 hours before or after these medications. |}
Do not prescribe quinine pills for leg cramps. The efficacy of quinine in preventing cramp is limited and can be outweighed by the risk of acute thrombocytopenia, which may be fatal.
Contemplate non-pharmacological interventions for cramps such as stretching.

Diagnosis: focus on treatable causes

Differentiating Leg cramps from some other conditions in older people can be challenging, the term'cramp' may be used 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 ailments.1 Consider other variables which may contribute, such as peripheral vascular disease or motor neurone disease. Possible drug causes of cramp include calcium-channel blockers, angiotensin II-receptor antagonists and diuretics.3 Lately, the calcium-channel blockers diltiazem and verapamil are evaluated for treating muscle cramp in older people, no matter how the trials were small and of inferior quality.6,7


Physical Examination rarely identifies leg cramps because they're involuntary, unpredictable, and usually occur at night. But findings on evaluation may indicate a potential underlying medical cause (i.e.peripheral cardiovascular disease).1,5

There aren't any Routine blood tests recommended for the diagnosis of muscular cramps and there's no proven association with electrolyte abnormalities.8

The third Trimester of pregnancy is often associated with leg cramps, although it is hard to distinguish 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 pills for leg cramp

Treatment With quinine was ordinary 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 period 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 such as 93 deaths since 1969.10 Despite this, off-label use still proceeds both here4 and overseas.

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Magnesium cure for leg cramps

Evidence is lacking except for pregnancy-associated cramps

The Efficacy and security of magnesium has been shown for eclampsia and pre-eclampsia, arrhythmia, acute asthma, and migraine.11 There is some evidence for efficacy of magnesium supplementation in treating leg cramps in elderly women but not to other people.2,12

A current Systematic review evaluated the impact of magnesium versus placebo for the treatment of nocturnal leg cramps and also found that the overall effect of magnesium to be insignificant.2 Seven trials were included, one evaluated magnesium infusion versus placebo and the remainder evaluated oral magnesium treatment but frequency and dose of treatment varied between all studies.

A Sub-analysis of three of the studies involving just pregnant women showed a substantial difference between the magnesium and placebo groups in the median amount of leg cramps experienced a week.2 Nevertheless the studies 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 groups. Additionally selection bias could have impacted results as participants were included in the analysis whose leg complaints may have been confused with disorders not known to be associated with magnesium deficiency (i.e. restless leg syndrome).

Another Recent systematic review assessed a further seven studies in patients with leg cramp treated with magnesium.12 The elemental magnesium dose given varied between studies. inhabitants 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 magnesium is unlikely to offer a significant benefit in reducing the frequency or seriousness of idiopathic leg cramps in older people.12 The second review also included three additional studies on pregnant girls; although a meta-analysis was not possible with them, results in the individual studies have been considered and found to be combined. One study found magnesium decreased cramp frequency and pain whereas the other two found no benefit.12 Although two of the studies were similar in design and setting,13,14 their results were different; this could have been because one of these studies lacked baseline dimension of cramp frequency. If cramp frequency before intervention was not comparable between participants in these studies, it isn't appropriate to compare the amount of cramps experienced throughout the treatment period.

Oral magnesium supplementation is well taken

Both {Meta-analyses found that magnesium 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 usually due to excessive supplemental intake of magnesium (e.g. as antacids, enemas or by intravenous infusion), most often in patients with kidney impairment. |} Be conscious of the most common clinical characteristics of moderate-to-severe hypermagnesaemia that are usually neuromuscular (e.g. reduction of deep tendon reflexes, muscular fatigue, gloomy conscious state and respiratory depression). Other signs include anorexia, nausea, skin flushing, hypotension, bradycardia/heart block and cardiac arrest.15


When Considering magnesium supplements, ensure patients choose a product containing magnesium just. Some magnesium supplements are blended with potassium and may bring about hyperkalaemia in people using ACE inhibitors or other medications that cause potassium retention.3 Consider assessing kidney function in people using medications that may interfere with or adversely affect kidney function16 and watch for signs of toxicity.15

Other remedies

Small studies Have shown some benefit from various other medications such as diltiazem, gabapentin and vitamin B complex although none may be recommended for muscular cramps because of the inadequate quality of evidence.6,17-19 Multivitamins and sodium supplementation have also shown benefit in preventing cramps in elderly women, although consider the potential risk of hypertension using sodium supplementation.9 Australian guidelines recommend calcium supplements for leg cramps in pregnant women according to case reports but also highlight there are no controlled trials to support its use.20 Paracetamol may be useful to handle residual muscle pain after cramping.3

Non-pharmacological therapy

Passive Stretch and massage of the affected muscle may relieve cramp and extending the calf muscles daily has been advocated to stop cramp.21 Though there's no clinical trial evidence to support these steps, anecdotal evidence suggests they could succeed and the risk of negative effects is low.

Advice for patients


Magnesium interacts with other medications |}


Magnesium significantly lowers the absorption of oral bisphosphonates and tetracycline antibiotics and may 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 percentage change from baseline of cramps per week: Difference = --3.93% (CI |} --21.12% to 13.26percent )