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Magnesium for cramps?

Do I get enough calcium?

One method of assessing your calcium standing is to simply contact your Healthcare provider and ask detailed calcium testing. Yet magnesium assessment is typically done using blood serum testing, and these tests can be misleading. Only 1% of calcium in the body is actually found in blood, and just.3% is found in blood serum, so clinical blood serum testing might not successfully identify calcium deficiency.

What to do?


Fortunately, it's possible to get a sense of where your intake may lie |} By simply asking yourself a few questions about your lifestyle, and watching for specific signs and signs of low sodium levels.

Learn how to read your signs below, and find out what you can do to ensure Magnesium balance and good health. these questions, you might be at risk for low magnesium intake. |} {

|} Do you drink carbonated drinks 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 if you're eating a balanced diet plan, by drinking soda with your foods you're flushing out magnesium out of your system. 4 6

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

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

Processed sugar Isn't only a zero calcium merchandise but in Addition, It induces the Body to excrete magnesium through the kidneys. The process of producing refined sugar from sugar cane eliminates molasses, stripping the calcium content entirely. |}

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

The sweet foods and processed baked goods you have in your diet, the More likely you're deficient in calcium and other nutrients that are essential. {

|} Do you experience a great deal of stress in your daily life, or maybe you have recently had a major medical procedure such as surgery?

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


Anxiety may be cause of magnesium deficiency, and a lack of magnesium tends |} To magnify the stress response, worsening the problem. In studies, cortisol and adrenaline, byproducts of the"fight or flight" 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 illness. {

|} Do you drink coffee, tea, or other caffeinated drinks every day?

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

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

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

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

See also:

For an entire list of the particular drugs which could affect calcium levels, read our article, Causes of a Lack of Magnesium. {
|} {Do you drink more than seven alcoholic drinks each week? |}

The Impact of alcohol on calcium levels is like 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 magnesium deficiency was found in 30% of alcoholics. 11

Increased alcohol intake also results in decreased efficiency of the Digestive system, as well as vitamin D deficiency, each 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 have shown that when magnesium intake is reduced, calcium Supplementation may decrease calcium absorption and retention. 13 14 15 And, whereas calcium supplementation can have negative consequences on calcium amounts, magnesium supplementation actually boosts the body's use of calcium. 16


Though many reports suggest taking calcium to magnesium in a 2:1 ratio, this |} Figure is mostly random. The perfect ratio for any individual will vary based on current conditions as well as risk factors for lack .

However, several researchers now support a 1:1 calcium to calcium ratio For improved bone support and reduced risk of disease. This is due not just to the higher evidence pointing to widespread magnesium deficiency, but also concerns over the danger 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 tends to retain calcium when within an magnesium-deficient condition. Extra Calcium intake at such a 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, it's best to be sure magnesium is adequate if you're taking calcium supplements" {17

|} Do you encounter any of these:

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 can also be associated with electrolyte imbalances that affect the nervous system. Low magnesium can also be associated with character changes and sometimes melancholy.

Read more:

For a complete list of the Symptoms of calcium deficiency, read our article, 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 |} Possible magnesium deficit.

Without calcium, our muscles would be in a continuous state of contraction.

Magnesium is an essential element of muscle relaxation, and without it our Muscles are in a continuous state of regeneration. Calcium, on the other hand, signals muscles to contract. |} As mentioned in the publication The Magnesium Factor, the two minerals are"either side of a physiological coin; they've actions that oppose one another, yet they serve as a team." 18


Chvostek's Sign and Trousseau's Sign are equally clinical tests for involuntary |} Muscle moves, and both may indicate either magnesium or calcium deficiency, or both. In fact, magnesium deficiency might actually seem like calcium deficiency in analyzing, and among the initial recommendations upon getting low calcium evaluation results is calcium supplementation.

Read more:

For a complete list of the conditions associated with calcium deficiency, read our article, Symptoms of Vitamin .
To Find out More about the role of magnesium in muscle function, see The Way Magnesium Functions 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 proven that aging, stress and illness all contribute to growing magnesium needs, yet most elderly adults actually take in less calcium from food sources than when they were younger.

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

If you are above 55 and also showing lifestyle signals or symptoms related to Low magnesium, it is particularly important that you work to improve your magnesium intake. When body stores of calcium run low, risks of overt hypomagnesaemia (magnesium deficiency) grow appreciably.

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

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


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

Among researchers, magnesium deficiency is Called the silent epidemic of Our instances, and it is widely acknowledged 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, and explains:


Normal serum and plasma concentrations have been found in Individuals with low magnesium in [red blood cells] and cells. |} Yet attempts to find an index of subclinical magnesium standing have not yielded a cost-effective one that's been well supported." 20

However although the identification of calcium deficiency may be uncertain, its Importance is undeniable.


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

Considering these diverse and sour consequences, and of course the Cascading effect magnesium levels have on other vital minerals like potassium and calcium, one thing is clear -- long duration low magnesium intake is something to be avoided.

What can you do to increase calcium intake?

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

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If you answered no to all of the above questions, then you may Have the Ability to rely on High food sources of calcium, like those described in our article on Magnesium in the Diet.

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


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

I'm convinced that to have enough calcium today, you need to take Supplements" 21

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

Many of the variables which contribute to reduced magnesium stores Are brought on by inefficiencies of the GI tract. By providing magnesium via the skin directly into the cells, topical calcium products bypass lots of the problems associated with reduced magnesium absorption.

In elderly adults, reduced gastric acid amounts in the Digestive system might be a factor in reduced mineral availability. Hydrochloric acid supplements might be used with magnesium to fight this problem; nonetheless a more straightforward and less costly choice is the use of magnesium supplements. Magnesium chloride was proven to possess a high bioavailability, while simultaneously providing the chloride necessary for healthy digestion and vitamin and mineral absorption.

Magnesium researcher Mildred Seelig has known as magnesium"the quiet Guardian 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 if it is something you've always intended to look into, now's the time to do it!


Leg cramps Are reported in up to 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 sometimes occurs in the affected muscles after cramping.3 Up to 20% 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 proven to be safe and effective1 however there's a clear demand for treatment choices.

Quinine has Been commonly used as a treatment for leg cramps however TGA approval for this sign was withdrawn 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 muscular cramps.2,5Thus magnesium supplements are usually recommended to prevent cramps. Does the evidence support utilizing magnesium for this sign?

Exercise points

Differentiating leg cramp from different conditions can be challenging, the expression'cramp' can be used to describe a variety of pain types. {
When taking a medical history, consider factors which may account for leg cramp (peripheral vascular disease or motor neurone disease) as well as 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 calcium supplements offer a clinical advantage besides for pregnancy-related leg cramp.
Think about the capacity for growth of hypermagnesaemia in patients using 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 medicines. |}
Don't prescribe quinine pills 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 states in elderly individuals can be challenging, 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 history include a review of medicines and medical conditions.1 Consider other variables which might 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 the treatment of muscle cramp in elderly individuals, no matter how the trials were small and of poor quality.6,7


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

There are no Routine blood tests recommended for the identification of muscle cramps and there's no proven association with electrolyte abnormalities.8

The third Trimester of pregnancy is frequently associated with leg cramps, though it's hard to distinguish between pregnancy as the chief cause and venous insufficiency.9 Despite the high incidence of leg cramps during pregnancy, there has been minimal research in this region.

Don't use quinine pills for leg cramp

Treatment With quinine was common before its withdrawal as an indication 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 afterwards, in 2006, the US FDA Federal Register alerted users to the problems surrounding off-label use, reporting 665 serious adverse events including 93 deaths because 1969.10 Despite this, off-label use still continues both here4 and overseas.

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Magnesium treatment for leg cramps

Proof is missing except for pregnancy-associated cramps

The Effectiveness and security of magnesium was shown for eclampsia and pre-eclampsia, arrhythmia, acute asthma, and migraine.11 There's some evidence for efficacy of calcium supplementation in treatment of leg cramps in elderly women but not to different people.2,12

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

A Sub-analysis of three of the studies involving just pregnant women showed a substantial difference between the calcium and placebo groups in the median number of leg cramps experienced per week.2 Nevertheless the studies only contained a small number of participants (n=361 in total and n=198 in the subgroup analysis), and therefore was underpowered to detect significant differences between groups. In addition selection bias could have impacted results as participants had been included in the analysis 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 studies in patients with leg cramp treated with calcium.12 The elemental calcium dose given varied between studies. The populations 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 each week between magnesium and placebo groups were modest and not statistically significant.

The authors Concluded that calcium is unlikely to offer a significant benefit in reducing the frequency or severity of idiopathic leg cramps in elderly people.12 The second review also included three further studies on pregnant women; although a meta-analysis was not possible with these, results from the individual studies have been considered and found to be combined. One study discovered calcium reduced cramp frequency and pain whereas another two found no advantage.12 Although two of the studies were comparable in design and setting,13,14 their results were distinct; this could have been because one of the studies lacked baseline dimension of cramp frequency. If cramp frequency before intervention was not comparable between participants in these studies, it is not appropriate to compare the number of cramps experienced throughout the treatment period.

Oral calcium supplementation is well tolerated

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


Moderate-to-severe {And symptomatic hypermagnesaemia is generally as a result of 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 typical clinical features of moderate-to-severe hypermagnesaemia which are usually neuromuscular (e.g. reduction of deep tendon reflexes, muscle fatigue, depressed alert 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 combined with potassium and may bring about hyperkalaemia in people using ACE inhibitors or other medicines which cause potassium retention.3 Consider assessing kidney function in people using medicines which could interfere with or adversely affect kidney function16 and observe for signs of toxicity.15

Other therapies

Small studies Have shown some benefit from other medications including diltiazem, gabapentin and vitamin B complex although none can be recommended for muscle 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 threat of hypertension with sodium supplementation.9 Australian guidelines recommend calcium supplements for leg cramps in pregnant women based on 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 treatment

Passive Stretch and massage of the affected muscle may relieve cramp and stretching the calf muscles every day has been recommended to stop cramp.21 Although there's no clinical trial evidence to support these measures, anecdotal evidence indicates they could be effective and the probability of adverse effects is reduced.

Information for patients


Magnesium interacts with other medicines|}


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

Median Amount 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 13.26%)