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What is the effect of excess magnesium on the body?

Q: I got a magnesium test done and the value of it came out to be 3.7 mg/dl. What effect can this excess magnesium have on me? I have been suffering from Agrophobia, tremors and nausea and vomiting. Gastroscopy and MRI brain, spine are all normal. Thyroid is also normal. Should I get tested for any other mineral?

A:Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body and is essential to good health. Approximately 50% of total body magnesium is found in bone. The other half is found predominantly inside cells of body tissues and organs. Only 1% of magnesium is found in blood and its normal levels are 1.8 to 3.0 mg/dL. Magnesium is involved in more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body and is an important electrolyte needed for proper muscle, nerve, and enzyme function. It also helps regulate energy production in cells and is needed to move other electrolytes (potassium and sodium) into and out of cells. It also helps regulate blood sugar levels, promotes normal blood pressure, and is involved in energy metabolism and protein synthesis. Dietary magnesium is absorbed in the small intestines and is excreted through the kidneys. Occasionally, an increased blood level of magnesium can be caused by problems with the thyroid or parathyroid gland. Too much magnesium in the blood can cause low blood pressure, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, dizziness, muscle weakness, and slurred speech. Very high levels of magnesium in the blood can lead to heart problems or an inability to breathe, especially in people with kidney disease. Green vegetables such as spinach are good sources of magnesium because the canter of the chlorophyll molecule (which gives green vegetables their colour) contains magnesium. Some legumes (beans and peas), nuts and seeds, and whole, unrefined grains are also good sources of magnesium. Hard water contains more magnesium than soft water. Eating a variety of whole grains, legumes, and vegetables (especially dark-green, leafy vegetables) every day will help provide recommended intakes of magnesium and maintain normal storage levels of this mineral. The health status of the digestive system and the kidneys significantly influence magnesium status. Gastrointestinal disorders that impair absorption such as Crohns disease can limit the body's ability to absorb magnesium. These disorders can deplete the body's stores of magnesium and in extreme cases may result in magnesium deficiency. Chronic or excessive vomiting and diarrhoea may also result in magnesium depletion. A large number of drugs are known to cause magnesium depletion. Early signs of magnesium deficiency include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and weakness. As magnesium deficiency worsens, numbness, tingling, muscle contractions and cramps, seizures, personality changes, abnormal heart rhythms, and coronary spasms can occur. Severe magnesium deficiency can result in low levels of calcium in the blood (hypoglycaemia). Magnesium deficiency is also associated with low levels of potassium in the blood (hypokalaemia). Many of these symptoms are general and can result from a variety of medical conditions other than magnesium deficiency. It is important to have a physician evaluate health complaints and problems so that appropriate care can be given. Your Mg++ levels are on the higher side and your doctor needs to examine you. Please get blood sodium, potassium, calcium and bicarbonate levels done. A kidney disease needs to be ruled out.

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