Why should I test my magnesium levels?
A magnesium deficiency often develops over a long time only through very vague symptoms or, in some cases, through no symptoms at all. In other words, you usually don’t notice if you have a magnesium deficiency.
Nevertheless, it can disrupt your everyday life, especially if your body permanently receives too little magnesium. You often feel tired, sluggish and depressed, suffer from headaches more often and are restless and unable to concentrate. And in the long term, a magnesium deficiency can even damage your kidneys and blood vessels.
However, if you take high doses of magnesium supplements because you suspect you may have a deficiency, this can have side effects and even be harmful to your health. Mineral supplements are only recommended if there really is a mineral deficiency.
A blood test such as the cerascreen® Magnesium Blood Test will tell you whether this is the case. The laboratory analysis shows you the state of your magnesium reserves – and whether a change in diet or supplements would make sense. The test also determines the concentration of the minerals zinc and selenium.
Who should take the Magnesium Blood Test?
Checking a possible deficiency is worthwhile for many people, as it is hard to consume enough magnesium in our diets. A magnesium deficiency test is particularly useful if you belong to one of the following risk groups for a deficiency:
– People who do intensive sports, as they lose a lot of zinc through sweat.
– Vegetarians and vegans.
– Pregnant and breastfeeding women, as they also have to supply their foetus or infant with minerals.
– People with chronic inflammatory bowel diseases.
How does the Magnesium Blood Test work?
For the Magnesium Blood Test, take a small blood sample from your fingertip using a lancet. The sample is sent in a tube via a return envelope to a specialist diagnostics laboratory.
The diagnostic laboratory then analyses the concentration of the minerals magnesium, selenium and zinc in your blood.
What does the results report tell me?
The detailed results report reveals the measured values of minerals in your blood retrieved from the laboratory analysis.
You will learn how high the concentration of the mineral magnesium is in your blood. The value is measured in milligrammes per litre (mg/l).
You will also find out how much zinc in millimoles per litre (mmol/l) and selenium in microgrammes per litre (μg/l) were detected in your blood.
You will receive the reference values – that is, the ranges of values within which your mineral concentrations should ideally be.
The report provides you with valuable information about magnesium, magnesium deficiency and the other minerals. You will learn how to optimise your diet and supplement intake to improve your magnesium levels through clear recommendations.
What is magnesium?
Magnesium is a mineral that your body needs for numerous important processes. It is involved in the following tasks:
Muscle development and function
Bone and teeth development
Heart function and heartbeat
Magnesium is an essential – that is, an indispensable mineral. This means that the body cannot produce it itself and you have to take it in through your diet. We store 60 per cent of magnesium in our bones and 25 to 30 per cent in our muscles.
What causes magnesium or mineral deficiency?
A magnesium deficiency can be caused by two factors:
1. You do not consume enough magnesium in your diet. This can be the case with an unbalanced diet, especially if you eat very little fruit and vegetables and hardly any wholegrain products.
2. Your body needs more magnesium because you consume more of the mineral or your body absorbs it less easily from food. This is the case, for example, with pregnant women, competitive athletes and people with intestinal diseases.
If you do need to increase your magnesium intake, you can make sure to consciously include magnesium-rich foods in your diet, such as magnesium-rich mineral water, wholegrain products, vegetables and nuts.
What are the symptoms of mineral deficiency?
Magnesium deficiency can lead to the following symptoms, among others:
Tiredness, exhaustion and feeling of weakness
Weakness in performance and lack of concentration
Loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting
Muscle cramps and twitching, numbness in the hands and feet
In the long term, a magnesium deficiency can cause cardiac arrhythmia and heart pain.
Which foods contain magnesium?
Magnesium is mainly found in plant-based foods, nuts, vegetables, pulses and wholemeal products. Pumpkin and sunflower seeds, quinoa and oats are also very rich in magnesium.
Meat, fish, dairy products and certain fruits such as berries and bananas also contain magnesium.
We also consume a large part of our magnesium requirement via liquids, such as mineral water, coffee and tea. Magnesium-rich mineral water is one of the main sources of magnesium in Europe.
If you have noticed a deficiency, you can also resort to nutritional supplements with magnesium.
What happens when your magnesium levels are too high?
It is possible to consume too much magnesium. But don’t worry: you won't develop a magnesium surplus from your normal diet. With food supplements, however, you can develop one, which can lead to unpleasant side effects.
For this reason, professionals recommend that you should not take more than 250 milligrams of magnesium a day in food supplements.
Symptoms of a magnesium surplus include diarrhoea and other forms of gastrointestinal discomfort. Above a dose of 2,500 milligrams, you may be at risk of magnesium poisoning, which can be accompanied by dangerous drops in blood pressure and muscle weakness.
You should generally only take mineral supplements for a longer period of time if you have confirmed a deficiency of the mineral through a test.
Who should NOT take the Magnesium Blood Test?
The Magnesium Blood Test is not or only partially suitable for certain groups of people:
People with infectious diseases, like hepatitis and HIV, may not use the Magnesium Blood Test.
People with haemophilia should not take the test.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women should only take the Magnesium Blood Test under medical supervision. The given reference ranges and recommendations do not apply to people in this group; consult your medical professional for advice concerning your test results.
The Magnesium Blood Test is not intended for children under 18 years of age.
The test is not intended for diagnosing illnesses or disease. For example, if you suffer from depression or are in physical pain, consult a doctor.