Magnesium Deficiency

Learn about the symptoms of magnesium deficiency, such as tetany and tight muscles. Discover how to combat this issue with diet and supplements.


Did you know that magnesium deficiency is more common than you might think? Up to 88% of people are low in this essential mineral, which can lead to symptoms like tetany, tight muscles, insomnia, anxiety, fatigue, migraines, and kidney stones. It can be challenging to test for magnesium deficiency, as only 1% of magnesium is found in the blood, so increasing your intake of magnesium-rich foods and supplementing with magnesium glycinate can help combat this issue.

To reverse a magnesium deficiency, it’s vital to understand the symptoms and causes, such as diet, gut inflammation, diabetes, excessive sugar consumption, and certain medications. Increasing your magnesium intake through foods like sea kelp, almonds, nutritional yeast, and leafy greens, as well as supplementing with 800mg of magnesium glycinate, can improve your magnesium levels over time.

While chronic magnesium deficiency may take up to a year to fix, many individuals experience an improvement in their symptoms within weeks or months, ultimately leading to better overall health and well-being.

Overview of Magnesium Deficiency

Magnesium deficiency is a common issue, with up to 88% of people being low in this essential mineral. However, testing for magnesium deficiency can be challenging since only 1% of magnesium is found in the blood. Factors contributing to magnesium deficiency include dietary choices, gut inflammation, diabetes, excessive sugar consumption, and certain medications.

Causes of Magnesium Deficiency

Dietary factors

Your magnesium levels can be influenced by your diet. Consuming foods low in magnesium or having poor absorption of magnesium-rich foods can lead to deficiency.

Gut inflammation

Inflammation in the gut can impair the absorption of magnesium from the foods you eat, contributing to a deficiency over time.


Individuals with diabetes may have an increased risk of magnesium deficiency due to altered metabolism and excretion of magnesium in the body.

Excessive sugar consumption

High sugar intake can impact magnesium levels by promoting urinary excretion and impairing magnesium absorption in the gut.

Certain medications

Some medications, such as antibiotics, proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), antacids, and diuretics, can interfere with magnesium absorption or increase excretion, leading to a deficiency.

Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency: Tetany, Tight Muscles, and More

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Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency


Low levels of magnesium can cause muscle spasms, twitches, or cramps known as tetany.

Tight muscles

Muscle tightness or stiffness can be a symptom of magnesium deficiency, as magnesium plays a crucial role in muscle relaxation.


Magnesium deficiency may contribute to sleep disturbances, including difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.


Low magnesium levels can affect neurotransmitter function, potentially leading to symptoms of anxiety or heightened stress.


Magnesium is essential for energy production in the body. Deficiency can result in feelings of fatigue or low energy levels.


Individuals with magnesium deficiency may experience more frequent or severe migraines due to magnesium’s role in neurotransmitter regulation.

Kidney stones

Magnesium deficiency can contribute to the formation of kidney stones, as magnesium helps prevent the accumulation of calcium in the kidneys.

Foods High in Magnesium

Sea kelp

Sea kelp is a rich source of magnesium, providing 760mg per 100 grams.


Almonds are a nutrient-dense snack that offers 490mg of magnesium per 100 grams.

Nutritional yeast

Nutritional yeast is a vegan-friendly option high in magnesium, with 231mg per 100 grams.


Pecans are a tasty nut that contains 142mg of magnesium per 100 grams.

Leafy greens

Leafy greens like spinach and kale are packed with magnesium, offering around 100mg per 100 grams.

Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate is not only delicious but also a good source of magnesium, providing 165mg per 100 grams.

Pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds are a convenient snack packed with 265mg of magnesium per 100 grams.


Meat, such as beef or chicken, contains smaller amounts of magnesium, ranging from 25 to 35mg per 100 grams.


Fish like salmon or mackerel also contain magnesium, with similar amounts to meat at around 25 to 35mg per 100 grams.

Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency: Tetany, Tight Muscles, and More

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Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of Magnesium

The recommended daily intake of magnesium ranges from 300 to 420mg. However, studies indicate that the average person only consumes about 215 mg of magnesium daily.

Strategies to Combat Magnesium Deficiency

Increase intake of magnesium-rich foods

Boosting your consumption of magnesium-rich foods can help replenish and maintain adequate levels of magnesium in your body.

Supplementation with 800 mg of magnesium glycinate

Taking a magnesium glycinate supplement at a dosage of 800 mg daily can support your magnesium levels, especially if you have a deficiency.

Maintenance of the diet after supplementation

After addressing a magnesium deficiency with supplementation, it’s crucial to continue consuming magnesium-rich foods to maintain optimal levels in the long term.

Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency: Tetany, Tight Muscles, and More

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Reversing Chronic Magnesium Deficiency

Chronic magnesium deficiency may take up to a year to fully rectify, but improvements in symptoms can be experienced within weeks or months. It is essential to follow a consistent approach to replenishing magnesium levels to ensure long-term health benefits.

Timeline for improvement

The timeline for improvement in magnesium deficiency symptoms may vary among individuals, with some experiencing relief sooner than others. Consistent supplementation and dietary changes are key to reversing chronic deficiency.

Dr. Eric Berg DC’s recommendations

Dr. Eric Berg DC suggests supplementing with magnesium glycinate at a dose of 800mg daily to combat magnesium deficiency. Following supplementation, maintaining adequate magnesium levels with a balanced diet is crucial for long-term health.


Recognizing and addressing magnesium deficiency is vital for overall health. By understanding the causes, symptoms, and strategies to combat magnesium deficiency, individuals can take proactive steps to improve their well-being.

Whether through dietary changes, supplementation, or long-term maintenance, managing magnesium levels can contribute to alleviating symptoms and enhancing overall health and vitality. Remember, prioritizing your magnesium intake can make a significant difference in how you feel and function on a daily basis.

Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency: Tetany, Tight Muscles, and More

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