Palpitations, sore tongue, painful periods, constipation, headaches, persistent dry cough, insomnia, chronic pain (eg migraines, fibromyalgia), raised blood pressure, muscle cramps, fatigue...just to name a few. Have you guessed yet?
Did I hear you say MAGNESIUM? Then you would be spot on.
Approximately 60% of magnesium is found in bone (in complexes with calcium and phosphate), 26% in muscle, and the remainder is in soft tissue and body fluids.
High levels of magnesium can be found in pumpkin seeds, rice bran, almonds, cashews, millet, buckwheat, Brazil nuts (which are a good source of the mineral boron, also an essential bone nutrient), dark rye, rolled oats, dried figs, pumpkin, legumes, kelp, miso, and cocoa. However, as with most nutrients, the magnesium content will always depend on the magnesium levels in the soil where the food is grown.
Magnesium balance can be thrown out by: alcohol, coffee, profuse sweating, pregnancy, HRT, diuretics, prolonged stress, the oral contraceptive pill, and certain heart drugs such as beta blockers.
Supplementally, avoid the more poorly absorbed oxide forms and go for the orotate (esp in heart disease), or amino acid chelate, or the citrate form, these last three are better absorbed.
"It is highly regrettable that the deficiency of such an inexpensive, low-toxicity nutrient results in diseases that cause incalculable suffering and expense...the range of pathologies associated with magnesium deficiency is staggering..." (Johnson, S. The multifaceted and widespread pathology of magnesium deficiency. Med Hypotheses 2001).
While food is always my "go to" for nutrients, if you have increased requirements for magnesium due to a health issue, or you have compromised levels due to medications or alcohol intake, then a supplement may be a good option.