Written by Dr. Taz Bhatia, MD
Magnesium is an abundant mineral in the body needed for many physiologic functions. It is critical for healthy digestion, good bone density, proper nerve and muscle function and prenatal health.
Since this mineral is so indispensable, it’s no surprise that magnesium deficiency can be a root issue of several chronic health problems.
We’ve been talking about magnesium deficiency for quite some time now. Although awareness has been raised, the problem isn’t going away. The modern lifestyle lends itself to magnesium depletion so, in reality, magnesium therapy should be an ongoing process for many of us.
How Can Magnesium Become Depleted?
Magnesium can become depleted in those with:
- Prolonged periods of stress
- High intake of fat or calcium in the diet
- Certain allergic or inflammatory bowel diseases like celiac disease or Crohn’s disease
- Kidney problems
- Thyroid issues
- Advanced age
- Overconsuming alcohol
- Severe burns
- Certain antibiotics, diuretics and reflux medications
Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency
New patients often come to me with symptoms of magnesium deficiency as part of their health puzzle–muscle cramps and twitches, constipation, sleeplessness and anxiety. Eating magnesium-rich foods and supplementation usually helps. But if the patient is dealing with nonoptimal mineral absorption from food, oral magnesium intake may not be enough.
Epsom Salt Baths Can Boost Magnesium Levels
Epsom salt is named for a town in England where magnesium sulfate was once extracted from local mineral springs.
For centuries, Epsom salt baths have been used therapeutically and many who are dealing with magnesium deficiency notice an improvement in symptoms when they soak in the mineral-rich water.
Every few days, I pour 2 cups of Dr. Teal’s Epsom salts into warm running water and soak for twenty minutes. It’s a restorative pause in my busy schedule.