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Magnesium for cramps?

Can I get enough magnesium?

1 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 with blood chemical testing, and these tests may be misleading. Only 1% of magnesium in the body is in fact found in blood, and only.3percent is found in blood serum, therefore clinical blood serum testing might not successfully identify magnesium deficiency.

How to proceed?


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

Learn how to examine your hints below, and Learn What you can do to guarantee Magnesium balance and good health. these questions, you might be at risk for low magnesium intake. |} {

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

Most dark colored sodas contain phosphates. These chemicals actually bind With magnesium within the digestive tract, rendering it unavailable to the body. So 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 beverages today is greater than ten times What it had been in 1940. 7 This skyrocketing increase is responsible for the two reduced calcium and magnesium availability within the body. {8 9

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

Processed sugar Isn't only a zero magnesium merchandise but it also induces the Body to excrete magnesium through the kidneys. The process of producing refined sugar from sugar cane removes molasses, stripping the magnesium content completely. |}

And glucose does not just serve to reduce magnesium levels. Sweet foods are Known by nutritionists as"anti-nutrients". |} Anti-nutrients like sweets are foods which replace entire nutritious foods in the diet, yet actually consume nutrients when digested, resulting in a net loss. Since all foods need minerals and vitamins to be consumed as a way to power the process of digestion, it's important to select foods which"back" vital nutrients, and then some.

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

|} Do you experience a great deal of stress on 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.


Stress may be 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 tension and stress, were associated with magnesium. 10

Because stressful conditions demand more calcium usage by the body, all Such conditions can lead to deficiency, including both physical and psychological types of stress such as wounds, surgery, and chronic disease. {

|} Can 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 kidneys to release extra magnesium irrespective of body status.

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

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

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

See also:

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

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

Higher alcohol intake also contributes to decreased efficiency of the Digestive system, as well as vitamin D deficiency, each of which may contribute to low magnesium levels. {12

|} Can you take calcium supplements with no calcium or magnesium supplements with magnesium in less than a 1:1 ratio?

Studies have shown that if 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 actually improves the body's utilization of calcium. 16


Though many reports indicate carrying calcium to magnesium in a 2:1 ratio, this |} Figure is largely arbitrary. 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 magnesium ratio For enhanced bone support and reduced risk of disorder. 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 magnesium stores are coupled with higher calcium intake.

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According to mentioned magnesium researcher Mildred Seelig:|}

The body tends to keep calcium when within an magnesium-deficient condition. Extra Calcium intake in this time could cause an abnormal rise of calcium levels within 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 make sure magnesium is adequate if you're taking calcium supplements." {17

|} Can you encounter any of the following:

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

The above symptoms may be neurological signs of magnesium deficiency. Adequate magnesium is necessary for nerve conduction and can also be associated with electrolyte imbalances which affect the nervous system. Low magnesium can also be associated 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 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 deficit.

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

Magnesium is an essential element of muscular relaxation, and without it our Muscles are in a constant state of contraction. Calcium, on the other hand, signals muscles to contract. |} As mentioned in the book The Magnesium Factor, both minerals are"two sides of a real life coin; they've actions that oppose one another, yet they serve as a team." 18


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

Read more:

For a complete list of those conditions associated with magnesium 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 proven that aging, stress and disease all contribute to growing magnesium needs, yet most older adults actually take in less magnesium from food sources compared to if they were younger.

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

If You're above 55 and also showing lifestyle signs or symptoms related to Low magnesium, it's particularly important that you work to improve your magnesium intake. When body stores of magnesium operate low, dangers of overt hypomagnesaemia (magnesium deficiency) grow significantly.

How do you know for certain if you've got a deficiency? {

Magnesium's impact is indeed crucial and far reaching that symptoms of its |} 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. |} Doctors Pilar Aranda and Elena Planells reported 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 this cation is associated with considerable abnormalities in the metabolism of several enzymes and elements. If prolonged, insufficient magnesium intake might be responsible for symptoms caused by 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 in the University of Nebraska, refers to this"invisible deficiency" as chronic latent magnesium deficiency, and explains:


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

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


Magnesium activates over 300 enzyme reactions in the body, translating to |} 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. |}

Considering these varied and all-encompassing consequences, and of course the Cascading influence magnesium levels have on other important minerals such as potassium and calcium, 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 remains 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. According to Dr. Carolyn Dean, M.D., N.D., and expert on magnesium treatment, adequate magnesium may improve heart health, prevent obesity and stroke, and improve memory and mood.

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

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


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

I'm convinced that to have enough magnesium today, You Have to take Supplements." 21

Among the Very Best ways to improve your magnesium levels is to unite A healthy diet using transdermal magnesium. |}

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

In older adults, reduced gastric acid amounts in the Digestive system might be a factor in reduced mineral availability. Hydrochloric acid supplements might be combined with magnesium to fight this problem; nonetheless a more straightforward and less costly option is the usage of magnesium chloride supplements. Magnesium chloride has been shown to have a high bioavailability, while concurrently giving the chloride necessary for healthy digestion and vitamin and mineral absorption.

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

If you haven't heard much about magnesium and its importance to good health, Now is the time to learn. And when it's something you've always meant to check into, now is the time to do it!


Leg cramps Are reported in around 60% of adults and 7% of children.1 They're troublesome and can cause severe pain and sleep disturbance,2 and residual pain occasionally occurs in the affected muscles following cramping.3 Up to 20 percent of people who complain of leg cramps have symptoms daily which are severe enough to need medical intervention.1Currently no remedies for leg cramps are proven to be safe and effective1 but there's a clear need for treatment choices.

Quinine has Been commonly used to treat leg cramps but TGA approval for this indication was withdrawn in 2004 following reports of an increased risk of thrombocytopenia and 4 related deaths in Australia.4

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

Exercise points

Differentiating leg cramp from different conditions can be challenging, the expression'cramp' may be used to refer to many different pain types. {
When taking a medical history, consider 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). |}
While magnesium deficiency has been suggested as a cause of leg cramps, there's not any evidence that magnesium supplements offer a clinical benefit besides for pregnancy-related leg cramp.
Consider the potential for development of hypermagnesaemia in patients using magnesium supplements, particularly in older people and people with kidney disease. {
Magnesium interacts 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 limited and is outweighed by the chance of acute thrombocytopenia, which might be fatal.
Contemplate non-pharmacological interventions for cramps such as stretching.

Diagnosis: focus on treatable causes

Differentiating Leg cramps from some other states in older people can be challenging, the expression'cramp' may be used to refer to 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 medicines and medical conditions.1 Consider other variables which might contribute, such as peripheral vascular disease or motor neurone disease. Potential medication 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 older people, however the trials were small and of inferior quality.6,7


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

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

The third Trimester of pregnancy is often associated with leg cramps, though it is hard to distinguish between pregnancy as the chief cause and venous insufficiency.9 Despite the high incidence of leg cramps in pregnancy, there's been minimal research within 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 usage (since 1972), including 4 deaths.4 Quinine was withdrawn at a similar period in the US and afterwards, in 2006, the US FDA Federal Register alerted consumers to the problems surrounding off-label usage, reporting 665 serious adverse events including 93 deaths because 1969.10 Despite this, off-label usage still continues both here4 and abroad.

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Magnesium treatment for leg cramps

Evidence is missing except for pregnancy-associated cramps

The Efficacy and safety of magnesium has been shown for eclampsia and pre-eclampsia, arrhythmia, acute asthma, and migraine.11 There's some evidence for efficacy of magnesium supplementation in treating leg cramps in pregnant women but not for different people.2,12

A recent Systematic review evaluated the effect of magnesium versus placebo for the treatment of nocturnal leg cramps and also discovered that the general 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 dose and frequency of treatment varied between all studies.

A Sub-analysis of three of those research involving only pregnant women showed a substantial gap between the magnesium and placebo groups at the median number of leg cramps experienced a week.2 However the research only contained a small number of participants (n=361 in complete and n=198 in the subgroup analysis), and consequently was underpowered to detect meaningful differences between classes. Additionally selection bias may have impacted results as participants were included in the study whose leg ailments might have been confused with disorders not known to be associated with magnesium deficiency (i.e. restless leg syndrome).

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

The writers Concluded that magnesium is unlikely to offer a meaningful benefit in reducing the frequency or seriousness of idiopathic leg cramps at older people.12 The next review also contained three further studies on pregnant women; although a meta-analysis was not possible with these, results in the individual research were considered and found to be more combined. 1 study discovered calcium reduced cramp frequency and pain whereas the other two found no benefit.12 Although two of those research were similar in design and setting,13,14 their outcomes were distinct; this may have been because one of these research lacked baseline measurement of cramp frequency. If cramp frequency before intervention was not comparable between participants in those studies, it isn't appropriate to evaluate the number of cramps experienced during the treatment period.

Oral magnesium supplementation is well taken

Both {Meta-analyses discovered that magnesium is well tolerated with the most frequent adverse effects affecting the gastrointestinal tract (diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, flatulence and constipation).2,12


Moderate-to-severe {And symptomatic hypermagnesaemia is generally as a result of excess 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 features of moderate-to-severe hypermagnesaemia which are usually neuromuscular (e.g. loss of deep tendon reflexes, muscular paralysis, gloomy 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 take a product comprising magnesium only. Some magnesium supplements have been combined with potassium and might bring about hyperkalaemia in people using ACE inhibitors or other medicines which cause potassium retention.3 Consider assessing liver function in people using medicines that may impair or adversely affect kidney function16 and observe for signs of toxicity.15

Other therapies

Small research Have demonstrated some benefit from other medications including 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 also have demonstrated benefit in preventing cramps in pregnant women, although consider the possible risk of hypertension using sodium supplementation.9 Australian guidelines recommend calcium supplements for leg cramps at pregnant women based on case reports but also highlight there are no controlled trials to support its usage.20 Paracetamol can be handy to manage residual muscle pain following cramping.3

Non-pharmacological therapy

Passive Stretch and massage of the affected muscle can relieve cramp and extending the calf muscles daily has been advocated to prevent cramp.21 Though there's not any clinical trial evidence to support these measures, anecdotal evidence indicates they may be effective and the risk of adverse effects is low.

Advice for patients


Magnesium interacts with other medicines|}


Magnesium considerably reduces the absorption of oral bisphosphonates and tetracycline antibiotics and might lower their activity. |} {
Advise patients to ensure they take these medicines 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 = --3.93percent (CI |} --21.12percent to 13.26%)