Magnesium Could Help Your Low Thyroid

Magnesium is as close to a wonder mineral as you can get. Some of the benefits of magnesium are that it helps increase energy, it calms nerves & anxiety, it helps with digestion by relieving constipation, it relieves muscle aches and spasms, it protects heart health, prevents migraine headaches, balances hormones, and much more.

Now, we are learning that magnesium is also vitally important for normal thyroid function and increasing magnesium intake can sometimes improve symptoms of low thyroid.

Why is it Important to Know if You have a Magnesium Deficiency?

A lack of magnesium causes a variety of symptoms, but one of the most common ones is improper thyroid function.

Magnesium deficiencies lead to hypothyroidism that can make it hard for your body to lose weight or keep off excess weight, and regulate body temperature.

Magnesium and thyroid function are a delicate dance of proper interaction.

Magnesium deficiencies do not directly cause hypothyroid disease. Rather, a lack of magnesium impacts the thyroid in a rather round-about way. It synergizes the function of the parathyroid which regulates vitamin c and magnesium absorption.

Magnesium is also very important to bone structure, and can lead to weak bones and osteoporosis. Magnesium deficiencies also impact the normal absorption of sugars and fats.

Symptoms of a Magnesium Deficiency

Magnesium deficiencies can cause muscle cramps, and slowed heart rhythm. Other symptoms mimic thyroid disorder symptoms or happen because of a decreased thyroid function including:

  • Disorientation
  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Excessive perspiration
  • Appetite loss
  • Headaches and Migraines
  • Muscle spasms
  • Increased asthma or wheezing
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Tremors
  • Stomach disorders
  • Anxiety

Longer term symptoms of magnesium deficiencies include swollen gums, alopecia, hallucinations, calcium deficiency, eye and facial twitches, lesions of the gums.

When to Worry about taking Magnesium

If you have a kidney condition caused by disease or other conditions magnesium can be very harmful, even fatal.

Any time you are taking prescription medications you should consult with a physician before adding magnesium supplements to your diet.
– via www.progressivehealth.com

Could You Be Deficient In Magnesium?

If you aren’t sure whether or not you would benefit from adding magensium to your diet or taking magnesium supplements, here is some information that may help you.

According to the Institute of Functional Medicine, the following symptoms, family history and health conditions are reasons to suspect magnesium deficiency:

  • Depression or poor mood
  • Irritability or anxiety
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Family history of autism
  • Anxiety
  • Frequent headaches or migraines
  • Family or personal history of diabetes
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Acid reflux
  • Sensitivity to loud noises
  • Fatigue
  • Family history of asthma
  • Constipation (fewer than two bowel movements a day)
  • Excess stress
  • Trouble falling and/or staying asleep
  • Muscle twitching
  • Premenstrual syndrome
  • Leg or hand cramps
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Heart flutters, skipped beats, or palpitations
  • Family or personal history of kidney stones
  • Family or personal history of heart disease or heart failure
  • Family or personal history of mitral valve prolapse
  • Low intake of kelp, wheat bran or germ, almonds, cashews, buckwheat, or dark-green leafy vegetables

I’d like to add joint pain, leg cramps, menstrual cramps and thyroid disorders ARE ALWAYS A REASON TO SUSPECT magnesium deficiency, from my experience.

How common is magnesium deficiency?

There are two types of deficiencies that can occur with respect to nutrients. There are overt deficiencies, that can lead to low serum calcium or potassium levels, due to disturbed balance of minerals in the body. This is a serious condition that can present with numbness, muscle contractions/cramps, seizures, personality changes, abnormal heart rhythm and other types of serious reaction. This is relatively rare, as in times of low intake, the kidneys kick in to prevent the excretion of magnesium, holding onto it to prevent this.

There are also subclinical deficiencies, which will not be seen on standard blood tests, but may manifest with the symptoms I listed above.

The recommended daily value of magnesium is 400 mg per day, and most adults eating the Standard American Diet are getting less than 300 mg per day. Populations at increased risk for deficiency include:

  • People with Type 2 Diabetes
  • People with a history of alcoholism – among other mechanisms, alcohol can double, even quadruple our excretion of magnesium
  • People with diarrhea (such as in celiac disease, IBS, Crohn’s)
  • People with Crohn’s disease
  • Older adults, as their ability to absorb magnesium in the gut is reduced as they age, and their excretion of magnesium through the kidney increases
  • People taking certain medications that can result in a magnesium depletion, the most common ones are proton pump inhibitors like Nexium, Prilosec, Omeprazole, Protonix
  • People with hypothyroidism – yes, a lack of thyroid hormones can lead to low magnesium levels
  • Americans! In 2009, the World Health Organization released a report that stated up to 75% of Americans were not receiving adequate amounts of magnesium!

Food sources of magnesium include: green leafy veggies (like spinach and kale), whole grains, nuts, beans, legumes and seeds. Some processed foods like breakfast cereals may also be fortified with magnesium. As we know, excluding grains and processed foods is often beneficial for people with Hashimoto’s, some people with Hashimoto’s may inadvertently become deficient. If they are following a diet like the autoimmune Paleo diet, which excludes nuts, seeds, beans and legumes, their risk of deficiency will go up even more.

Of course green leafy vegetables are an appropriate option for most people with Hashimoto’s. However, it’s not always realistic to eat enough of them… One-half cup of boiled spinach will provide us with just 20% of the recommended daily allowance of magnesium.

Caffeine, stress, and toxins like fluoride and alcohol, are everyday things that can deplete us of magnesium…

Magnesium and Thyroid Meds

Magnesium can impair the absorption of thyroid medications, so please space out magnesium by 4 hours from your thyroid medications. For most conditions, I generally recommend taking magnesium at bedtime.
– via Thyroid Pharmacist

Do you have any of the symptoms of magnesium deficiency?