Magnesium Deficiency Test

Mg glassHow many of you have gone to the doctor and been told you should have a Magnesium (Mg) deficiency test?  Not many I bet.

So out of those of you that’s had a test, how many were given the Total Serum Mg Test?  All of you I suspect.

And of those of you who had the serum test, how many of you were found to be Mg deficient?  One, two, none?

So, you’re not Mg deficient, the test says so.  What else could it be.  Perhaps you are..uhm..calcium deficient.  There’s a couple of clinical tests for that and if you are unfortunate enough to be one of those that reacts to these tests, your doctor could come to the conclusion that you are in fact calcium deficient.

A clinical test

So lets look at the common Mg testing procedures in the UK and the US.    There are a number of tests that can be used for Mg deficiency and 2 common clinical tests that can be done in the doctor’s surgery.  The problem with these clinical tests is they indicate either a Ca or Mg deficiency.  Because the tests cannot distinguish between which mineral is deficient and Mg deficiency is deemed to be rareCa:Mg ratio, if the test is positive, it is Ca deficiency that will be presumed and a suitable supplement or diet plan prescribed.  As a result, a Mg deficiency, which is more likely to be the case, is overlooked, exacerbated and depleted even lower, causing more problems and symptoms.

For those interested, the two clinical tests are
  1. Chvostek’s sign which is a twitching of facial muscles as a response to tapping a facial nerve in front of the ear.
  2. Trousseau’s sign which causes spasm in hand muscles after applying a blood pressure cuff to the forearm below the elbow for 3 minutes, at a level above systolic pressure.
The totally useless total serum Mg test

This is the most commonly used Mg test in the UK and the US.  Unfortunately, it is next to useless and invariably gives a false positive result.

serum testIt’s no wonder that most doctors think it is very rare to be Mg deficient.  They get this duff information from the results of serum tests.  The tests comes back normal and patients’ records are updated to reflect this result.

This is what happens when dogma and an inability to change, encumbers the medical profession, making a profound difference to a patient’s diagnosis!  This mis-diagnosis could cause incalculable distress and misery for a patient that may have a simple Mg deficiency.  So patients are told that Mg levels are normal and they dismiss the fact that a Mg deficiency could be the cause of their condition.

So why is this?

Less than 1% of our body’s total Mg can be measured in blood serum.  Most of our Mg is found in bones – around 60% and inside muscle and other cells – around 40%.  If magnesium drops in the extracellular fluids, there’s a danger of a heart event.  Thus, the body makes sure that the amount of Mg in blood fluids is stable at all times, even when bodywide levels are low.  This means, even if you are deficient in this mineral, your body will keep your blood serum magnesium level normal.  So the antiquated blood serum test has no value in showing your real Mg levels. In fact, it is positively dangerous because it gives false information and consequently the wrong diagnosis can result, with the wrong treatment and possible improper use of prescription drugs.

red blood cellsThe RBC (red blood cell) test

Every cell in our body contains Mg and that includes red blood cells.  About 40% of Mg is found in our cells so using red blood cells is deemed to be a more accurate measuring procedure. Even so, it’s still not testing the whole of the body’s Mg levels.  Despite this not being an ideal method, it is marginally better than the serum test.  Why the rbc test is not done in favour of the serum test, is a mystery.  By the way, you can request a test from  RequestATest.com if you want to get yourself tested, but don’t rely too much on the result!

Educate your doctor?

Your doctor could arrange a rbc test for you if you can convince him of the folly of a serum test.  This could be a tricky conversation as many doctors seem to get tetchy if questioned or informed of something they don’t know already.  Many patients are nervous about questioning their doctor but this is your health and you have a right to query your treatment and any aspect of your diagnosis.  Some doctors though, are grateful for the facts and are genuinly pleased when patients take an interest in their own health.

The EXATest

The third test I want to talk about is the EXATest.  This is a test devised by IntraCellular Diagnostics and is used to identify certain minerals within a cell.  The test is very expensive so check your insurance or Medicare and see if they cover it.

EXATestHow it works

This test uses cells scraped from the inside of your mouth.  Not in the usual place like for DNA testing ie. the inside of the cheek, but rather from under the tongue close to the bottom teeth.  It is called a ‘buccal cell smear test’.  Sampling kits are sent to your doctor’s surgery and he then takes a smear using a wooden spatula.  It takes no longer than a minute.  The scraping is carefully placed onto a microscope slide, left to dry and sent back to the EXATest company.  The problem with the EXATest is not many doctor’s even know about it, let alone offer it.

The serum versus the EXATest

Quite by accident, I came across a site about AF (atrial fibrillation).  It is run by Travis who suffers from AF.  He already knows about the benefits of Mg and that most AFibbers are deficient and asked his doctor for a test, done in early 2013. The test result was normal.  He then returned to be tested again in early 2015.  The test came back normal, again.

doctorHe had heard of the EXATest in 2014 and decided to get it done.  After much searching, he found a naturopath that offered the test.  The total fee, was a little over $700 but I understand that the cost has come down markedly since then.  The result of his test, done just two months after the 2nd serum test, showed him to be Mg deficient, well below the normal range, despite the serum test showing twice that he was in the middle of the normal range.

Other tests?

There are a couple more tests that can be done ie. The Challenge Test and the Blood Ionized Mg Test but the challenge test is inconvenient and needs constant monitoring and the ionizing test is limited to the inventors, the Alturas’ laboratory and for research purposes, at the present time.

So what’s the answer?

Are these false positive results of the serum test the reason why the medical profession think this deficiency is rare?  Could it be that physicians are so used to the same old, same old that they are missing something vital to the health of us all?  Is this lack of knowledge actually compromising accurate diagnoses and treatments?

grass tetanyIn my mind, it would be better not to test at all and just give the patient some good quality Mg.  Why is the medical profession not listening to the research that has proven that a large majority of the population is Mg deficient.  After all it is not a drug, it is a natural mineral that we all need; us, all other animals and all plant life.  Even our farm animals are treated better than us with respect to Mg.  Ever heard of ‘grass tetany’?

Why are we not informed?

If the whole population was informed about the indispensable need for Mg it could alleviate a plethora of symptoms, illnesses and cardiovascular problems!  It could also save tax payers lives, tax payers money and tax payers misery!

How would you feel without it?

Here are just a few symptoms of Mg deficiency.  Remember, everyone is different and each of us will suffer different symptoms in varying degrees of severity.  All the conditions listed below have been endured and tolerated by countless sufferers in varying degrees over decades.  Mg is vital for recovery from any illness and condition and guards against further disease.  The majority of the conditions listed below are not induced by genetics.

Mg testsADHD, anxiety, arrhythmia, asthma, atherosclerosis, atrial fibrillation, brain fog, chronic fatigue syndrome, confusion, constipation, cystitis, depression, diabetes, fibrositis, fibromyalgia, headaches, heart disease, high blood pressure, hyperactivity, hypoglycemia, insomnia, irritable bowel syndrome, kidney disease, liver disease, memory loss, migraines, mitral valve prolapse, muscle spasms, muscle weakness, nerve problems, numb hands and feet, osteoporosis, polycystic ovarian disease, preeclampsia, raynaud’s syndrome, restless legs syndrome, shortness of breath, seizures, stroke, syndrome X, tooth decay, tremor, twitches and tics, vertigo.
Perhaps it’s because…

Well, there’s one big drawback with using Mg.  It won’t help Big Pharma’s coffers!!  Businesses are not interested in a product that doesn’t make money and Mg is a cheap mineral that can’t be patented.  Profits will be in jeopardy if patients start getting well and recovering from diseases.  If you think Big Pharma’s prime concern is the welfare of its paying customers, think again.  Money comes first!  Therefore, Mg will not be in widespread use anytime soon from those medics controlled by the pharmaceutical industry.

Ches PowerTake control

There’s only one answer.  Take control.  Do your own research.  A good start would be replete your body with Mg.

 

 

 

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Magnesium Deficiency Test
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Magnesium Deficiency Test
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How many of you have gone to the doctor and been told you should have a Magnesium (Mg) deficiency test? Not many I bet.... So out of those of you that's had a test, how many were given the Total Serum Mg Test? All of you I suspect....And of those of you who had the serum test, how many of you were found to be Mg deficient? One, two, none?
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23 thoughts on “Magnesium Deficiency Test

  1. Oddly, Mg makes me giddy.
    I sleep better with Mg supplement. It also improves my stable angina symptoms… which allows me to play tennis. Oddly, the Mg makes me giddy to the point of being less focused on the game… or driving for that matter.

    What’s up with that? Any concern? Does it suggest some other factor?

    As a Myeloma cancer patient in remission, I receive CMP and CBC testing monthly. Everything is normal. Mg however is not tested.

    1. Hello Carl, that is quite unusual as often a Mg deficiency can cause vertigo, but which supplement are you taking and how much? Dr Mildred Seelig wote an extensive paper on cancer and its interaction with minerals which you can find here. It’s a bit heavy going but may have some relevant information for you.
      If you wanted to get a Mg test done there is a service called ‘request a test’. This is the more accurate RBC magnesium test which is far superior than the test done by most hospitals and doctors ie. the serum magnesium test, which often gives a false positive. When I last looked it cost $49.
      I would have no concerns about taking a good quality Mg supplement. Did you suffer from any kind of dizziness before taking the supplement? The fact that your quality of sleep is better as well as your angina, is a good sign. You obviously also have more energy if you are playing tennis again.
      We are all different and that being the case, we all need to experiment with doses and depletion triggers for ourselves. Always dose in small amounts, little and often is best. Don’t use cheap supplements like Mg Oxide. As for triggers, you will deplete your Mg very quickly if you’re under any type of stress and that includes playing a game like tennis which is quite strenuous. Your electrolytes will suffer if you don’t keep your Mg levels up during exercise. Without Mg, K (Potassium) levels will appear to lower. This is because for K to work, it needs Mg so without Mg it will appear that K is deficient. How long have you been taking a Mg supplement and were you taking it before remission? Meanwhile, I will look out for dizziness associated with a Mg supplement and see if any others are having this effect.

  2. Yes, she has endometriosis (on which she had to have a surgery for 10 years ago), and usually her menstrual cycle gives her pain. this time after taking magnesium just for several days, the effects of the menstrual cycle have also been significantly reduced (she was very surprised and happy). She has chronic constipation, and for that she has been taking some herbs which helped a little. The more I think about, it seems that she may actually have a big Mg deficiency (specially with the stress of having 3 kids).
    I have been taking my MgCl2 in 3 big shots (300 mg each). I think I may just buy a water bottle, add 600mg of MgCl2 plus some sea salt (would that be ok)?

    MB

    1. Hi MB, it does indicate your wife is Mg deficient. My daughter had similar problems which she doesn’t have any more. She takes MgCl2 daily like myself. Constipation will definitely be relieved with Mg. Remember Mg is the relaxing mineral but also remember that Ca is the opposite, it tenses, contracts and causes rigidity. These 2 minerals need to be equally consumed. Problem is our modern diet has excessive amounts of Ca but little Mg. To make matter worse, women are advised to consume loads of Ca and are encouraged to take Ca supplements without balancing with equal good quality (not Mg oxide) Mg. This could be why women seem to suffer more Mg deficiency symptoms than men.
      As for your dosage, I think it’s a good idea to make up your doses for the day, putting it in a glass jug and then filling up your water bottle with it. This also keeps you well hydrated, very important for good health. Sea salt is great by the way.

  3. Ches,
    Yes the magnesium for sure has a relaxing effect. My wife wasn’t sleeping well last week, and when she took MgCl2 her sleep substantially improved, as soon as she would stop the bad sleep pattern would come back. She is also now starting to supplement with it regularly. Another question, Would taking too much magnesium, if you are deficient, cause too much of a detox effect (i.e. differential sleep pattern)?

    MB

    1. Hi MB and I’m please your wife is also taking Mg Chloride and improving her sleep. People are especially tolerant of MgCl2 as it gets into the cells easily because of its pico size. The Chloride part of the molecule detaches easily during digestion with no noticable laxative effect. This also aids digestion and any digestive problems previously experienced, usually subsides once you start taking Mg. You will soon know when you have enough in your body because the excess will be excreted, but any laxative effect is usually slow and gentle. It’s a case of know your own body. We are all different and we will experience different symptoms in differing degrees when deficient in Mg. It is very difficult to overdose on Mg, purely because the body will not hold onto excess amounts. Please make sure you both take your Mg in small doses throughout the day. Does your wife have any other symptoms? here is a list

  4. Dear Ches,
    Just want to update you and let you know that I’ve been taking Remag for 3 weeks now (~600-700 mg a day) and added magnesium rich foods.

    Results thus far: eye lid twitching has finally stopped about a week into it as well as the very annoying (and embarrassing) lip twitching (about 2 weeks into it).
    I still feel brain fogged with eye pain, but I believe this is the right route. Thinking of increasing Mg intake to perhaps 1000 mg a day.
    Thanks!!!
    MB

    1. Thanks so much for the update MB and I’m really gratified that you’ve taken steps to alleviate your own symptoms. Increase your Mg update slowly. I have a tip for you which I’ve been doing. Using an eye dropper bottle, put some neat ReMag in and then put a few drops in your tea or coffee, water or whatever you like. It gives an added boost and helps spread your intake during the day. I’ve worked out that I am taking an extra 300mg of elemental with this method. Mind you, I drink a lot of tea! The brain fog will slowly lift I’m sure and have you noticed a difference in your mood ie. more relaxed and not so stressed. Great stuff!

  5. Hi Ches,
    Thank you for all of your efforts!
    So I am a guy who have been experiencing debilitating fatigue (feels flu like when it hits) along with other terrible symptoms that come and go (insomnia for one, muscle pain) for over 2 years now that all started after an intense workout session. Lifting weights causes these symptoms to really go bad and my stamina is horrible.

    This is accompanied by many times strong eyelid twitching and now recently involuntary twitching around my lips. I am still not sure what is going on but when I checked RBC mag a about 1.5 years ago after I even supplemented with it it was at (4.7 mg/dL), with blood calcium levels that are always on the high-normal range (10-10.4).
    I’ve went back and forth with magnesium supplementation (citrate, chloride, glycinate) for about a month or so at a time and although I didn’t feel worse I didn’t really notice significant differences, but i do notice sometimes that sleep gets better.

    I wonder if magnesium is my problem, if it would take MONTHS of intense supplementation and dietary changes for me to feel normal again.

    1. Hi there MB and I’m so sorry you have been suffering for so long with this condition. You certainly do seem to have many of the symptoms of a Mg deficiency and quite often it can start with an episode after excessive exercise.

      I had many of the symptoms you describe including insomnia, twitching of the eyelids and face, fatigue, along with constipation, debilitating muscle spasms, pains in my legs, brain fog, the list is long! I now take Mg Chloride solution (much the same as Dr Dean’s ReMag) which we make up ourselves. I put a days worth of solution (10ml for me, which gives 600mg of 100% bioavailable Mg) into a litre of water and sip it throughout the day. Spreading doses throughout the day is the best way.

      I think you already know the answer to your question. It will take a long time to get replete in Mg, especially as your Ca levels appear to be high. If you have excess Ca you will be Mg deficient by default. The ideal Ca to Mg ratio should be 1:1 but that’s almost impossible with our modern diet which is rife with Ca.

      Mg Chloride is one of the best ways to get Mg into your body. It is 100% bioavailable and your 37.2 trillion cells need copious amounts of it. Athletes need loads of Mg because their body is under stress and they lose much water and electrolytes from their system. Sudden Cardiac Arrest syndrome is something you need to be aware of if you do strenuous exercise. The downside of Mg Chloride is its taste which some find very salty and bitter. Hubby takes Mg Chloride too but he laces it with a little bit of Lime cordial (Roses). Choose a cordial without aspartame in it, that will only deplete your Mg levels further. Remember stress is the biggest depleter of Mg and we are stressed every day.

      If you are Mg deficient you will need to supplement it every day, probably for life. I know if I haven’t had enough, my symtptoms return, the first sign being heart arrhythmia. It’s a case of finding the right level for you and only you can guage it and you will know when you’re not getting enough, your symptoms will tell you.

      I sincerely hope you start taking Mg Chloride. Also, keep an eye on your Ca intake. Dr Carolyn Dean’s book The Magnesium Miracle is really worth reading, she’s just bought out a new addition. Good luck

  6. I have a lot of health problems and not once have I heard any of my doctors mention my magnesium levels. Not to mention finding out hoe important magnesium is for stress I am a bit surprised that doctors are not more concerned with keeping up with these levels in certain people. Your site has opened my eye to something I have never been exposed to before. You have a very detailed post I appreciate the time you took to put this post together. I appreciate it and I am going to mention this to my doctor.

    1. Hi there and thanks for reading the article.  Unfortunately, doctors are not taught nutrition, vitamins and minerals in medical school.  They are taught about diseases and conditions and what drugs to prescribe to control them.  It is a fact that the pharmaceutical industry control much of our medical fraternity and their highest priority is profit.  Good luck with your doctor, I hope that he/she is willing to listen to what you have learnt and researched, they certainly don’t have the time to do so.  

      A good compromise with allopathic medicine is to have a medical doctor who also practices naturopathic medicine.  These doctors are few and far between but MDs are increasingly recognising the benefit of getting to the root of a diseases which are nearly always to do with nutrition and lack of basic vitamins and minerals.  Very few drugs will cure, most just control and burden the body with extra toxins.

  7. Very informative site you have. I’m sure there are people everywhere wondering what magnesium levels mean, and what to do if they are to high or low. Great explanation. I am sure a lot of people will gain clarity from this. Beautiful layout as well. Looks like you invested a lot of time.

    1. Thanks for your kind comments Amanda. Yes, I sincerely hope this does clarify what Mg levels are and how important it is, for your general health, to keep them replete. Ches

  8. Hey

    Very interesting information about magnesium levels in the body and how it often gets confused with calcium levels, leading to false results in tests for magnesium levels. Magnesium as you have said is important for the heart and it is crucial for us to get accurate results when tested. I’m just a bit skeptical about the teaching your doctor part. As you said many would probably have a negative reaction to a test that does not fall in line with their own. Do you think that their lackluster testing according to you, is because of a lack of knowledge or do you think that their hesitance to use your method is more sinister? There are theories which suggest that doctors in order to make more money, keep us on drugs which keep diseases dormant rather than curing them. Do you think that that’s part of the reason they don’t open up to your testing method? Or is it that they need a general approval of such a testing method before being able to apply it?

    1. Hi there Dean, I think a lot of the problem is that the pharmaceutical industry is somewhat in control of our medical profession. Of course, Magnesium (Mg) is not a money spinner and producing and marketing a drug to control a disease is much more luctrative and keeps the coffers full. A cure for a disease would not be in the best interests of Big Pharma. Many medics are given ‘incentives’ to try new drugs. These incentives could very well sway the medical practioner to using a particular drug in favour of other treatments.

      There have been many stories where doctors have actually been reprimanded for prescribing natural medications and treatments. Doctors who practice naturopathy sometimes have a difficult time from allopathic professionals, with words like quackery bandied about. This kind of attack, especially if it’s from a well known medical professional or organisation, can be devastating for a doctor, so I think many protect themselves by keeping with the status quo and not rocking the boat.

      As for Mg testing, the problem perhaps stems from dogma and lack of education in the realms of diagnostic procedures. Also new tests cost money and who wants to spend money on a patient, that’s the wrong way round!

      Regarding the theories that doctors keep us on drugs to keep diseases dormant. If only that were true, at least then we wouldn’t get any worse. These drugs, that are continually bombarding the body, can only do harm, especially after taking them year in year out. Medical error is the third biggest cause of death according to a recent article by the Guardian!

      Ches

  9. This is a great article spelling out the risks involved with low intake of magnesium and diet. The article goes into great depth of symptoms, however, I would like to learn about prevention and what foods we should be eating to prevent such a shortage.
    What about natural foods to add magnesium into our diets like organic green leafy vegetables like spinach & chard. Also, add yogurt, almonds, black beans avocado, figs, bananas AND dark chocolate.

    1. Hi Karen and thanks for your comments. Foods With High Magnesium will give you a list of foods with the highest amount of Mg. It can be quite a task to get all your Mg needs just from food, especially in this day and age and with the soil destructive agriculatural practices of today. Some food with high Mg have higher Ca in them which tips the balance in favour of Ca. Yoghurt, spinach and figs are good examples. Almonds have an equal amount of Mg and Ca which makes them a good balanced food for both these alkaline minerals. Bananas and dark chocolate (70%+) have much more Mg than Ca which will help with the balance. Balancing Ca and Mg 1:1 is the trick! Ca is much more prevalent in our food than Mg, especially with foods fortified with Ca that food manufacturers insist on producing. It makes it so complex for the public to know what to eat for the best! Ches

  10. Very informative site and well designed with good positioning of related images including the amazon links. When people visit your they will be delighted on how much information you have put together on this subject, Magnesium Deficiency . I agree that people should be made aware and know what to do about it.
    Keep up the good work.
    marcel

  11. Very informative site and well designed with good positioning of related images including the amazon links. When people visit your they will be delighted on how much information you have put together on this subject, Magnesium Deficiency . I agree that people should be made aware and know what to do about it.
    Keep up the good work.
    marcel

  12. This is a very enlightening article. It’s too bad the most common test doesn’t necessarily help determine magnesium deficiency. Do you think any of these tests you described will become the norm in the future? It sounds like doctors need to keep up with what is out there to help their patients.

    1. Thanks Kevin, for your input. I think the trouble is, the medical profession find it difficult to change old habits. The serum test has been done for years. It produces a result, so why change it. The fact that it produces the wrong result seems to have eluded them. In time, when enough doctors become au fait with naturopathic medicine as well as allopathic and we all start to realize that we do better being in control of our own health, modern tests will take precedence. When Big Pharma has been put in its place and the public start taking charge, we will all be better off health wise and financially! Ches

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