Magnesium deficiency is a major public health problem and we need an urgent call to action. Open Heart reports, “subclinical magnesiumdeficiency is rampant and one of the leading causes of chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease and early mortality around the globe, and should be considered a public health crisis.”
Magnesium deficiency often goes unrecognized because few doctors are aware of the conditions caused by it and are unaware of how to properly test for magnesium deficiency. “Every known illness is associated with a magnesium deficiency and it’s the missing cure to many diseases,” according to Norman Shealy, MD, Ph.D, a neurosurgeon and pioneer in pain medicine. Magnesium is an essential mineral which means it is necessary for normal function, but cannot be made in the human body and must be obtained from outside the body. It the second most common mineral in your cells and required to activate over 300 biochemical functions. As such, a magnesium deficiency can lead to a broad range of health problems including:
Magnesium deficiency can be caused by eating foods grown in depleted soil, consuming processed foods, eating genetically modified organisms (GMOs), calcium supplements, digestive diseases, chronic stress, chronic diseases, type 1 and type 2 diabetes and many medications such as antacids, antibiotics, diuretics, estrogen, insulin and laxatives. Alcohol dependency and older age increases the risk of becoming magnesium-deficient. Research published by the National Institute of Health and World Health Organization estimate that up to 68% of people in the United States are magnesium deficient. Blood contains less than 1% of the body’s magnesium stores, and only 0.3% is in the serum. However, the most widely used test in routine laboratory evaluations is serum magnesium, which is not a reliable index of the magnesium status. Blood magnesium will only identify extremely severe magnesium deficiency and miss most mild to severe magnesium deficient cases. Normal results in blood magnesium are often misleading and can lead to a false sense of security.
The Gold Standard TestThe gold standard of testing magnesium deficiency is the Magnesium Loading Test. It is performed by giving magnesium intravenously (IV) over 1 hour and then collecting your urine for the following 24 hours. If you retain a larger fraction of magnesium than normal, you have magnesium deficiency. The degree of deficiency can then be used to know the best method of correction and may include eating foods rich in magnesium like spinach, seaweed, fish and nuts; magnesium supplements or magnesium IVs. If you have any of the listed health problems related to subclinical magnesium deficiency or have vague unexplained health problems, you may benefit from having a Magnesium Loading Test performed. At Stem Spa, we provide this gold standard test for $55 and health insurance may cover part of the testing cost. Visit StemSpa.com or click here to make an appointment for your Magnesium Loading Test.
- DiNicolantonio, J.J., J.H. O’Keefe, and W. Wilson, Subclinical magnesium deficiency: a principal driver of cardiovascular disease and a public health crisis. Open Heart, 2018. 5(1): p. e000668.
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- Watson, R.R., V.R. Preedy, and S. Zibadi, Magnesium in human health and disease. 2012: Springer Science & Business Media.
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- Rob, P., et al., Can one really measure magnesium deficiency using the short‐term magnesium loading test? Journal of internal medicine, 1999. 246(4): p. 373-378.