Causes of magnesium deficiency
DIAGNOSIS OF MAGNESIUM DEFICIENCY: ABOUT THE CAUSES
A magnesium deficiency can be caused by many things. Diet plays an important role. But chronic diseases such as diabetes and the use of certain medications can also affect our magnesium levels. And, last but not least, our requirements may be increased in certain phases of life. For example, we need more magnesium during pregnancy.
HOW DOES REDUCED MAGNESIUM INTAKE OCCUR?
Our body cannot produce magnesium on its own. We therefore need to ensure that we obtain enough of it every day. However, many of us simply do not eat enough magnesium-rich foods. People who eat an unbalanced diet and often consume unhealthy fast food or junk food are prone to undersupply of magnesium. The body can also obtain too little magnesium as a result of dieting or fasting.
HOW IS MAGNESIUM ABSORPTION IMPAIRED?
A magnesium deficiency can also occur if the absorption of the mineral from the intestine is impaired. This can be caused by various diseases or the use of certain medications. Diseases that impair magnesium absorption include diarrhoea, irritable bowel syndrome and chronic inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn's disease. Some medications also make a magnesium deficiency more likely. For example, if acid blockers such as omeprazole and pantoprazole are taken over a long period of time for acid reflux and heartburn, a severe magnesium deficiency can result. This is because they impair magnesium absorption.
WHAT CAUSES INCREASED MAGNESIUM EXCRETION?
Many things can cause our body to excrete more magnesium, such as diabetes. Type 2 diabetics often have low magnesium levels in their blood because their elevated blood sugar levels lead to altered kidney function. This in turn causes increased excretion of magnesium through the urine. The same applies to certain medications. For example, ACE inhibitors for high blood pressure and diuretics cause the body to lose more magnesium.
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