MAGNESIUM deficiency causes sweet craving and stress eating
OCT 25, 2018 3PM
Magnesium is one of the essential macro-mineral that the body needs to maintain optimal health.
Apart from its role as an enabler of healthy enzyme function, it helps in energy production, regulates calcium, potassium and other essential minerals throughout the body in order that the muscles and nerves, including the heart function properly.
In addition to these benefits, it regulates blood pressure, cholesterol production and blood glucose levels, helps in bone development as well as maintaining bone density and fluid balance.
As opposed to its benefits, magnesium deficiency, also known as hypomagnesaemia has been linked to a number of health conditions.
The deficiency may be caused by several factors; decreased dietary magnesium intake, stress, high levels of alcohol consumption and inherited renal magnesium transport disorders or endocrine diseases such as diabetes mellitus and metabolic syndrome. It could also occur as a result of medically prescribed agents such as diuretics, proton-pump inhibitors, cardiac glycosides, epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitors, calcineurin inhibitors, aminoglycoside antibiotics, amphotericin B, cisplatin, pentamidine and cyclosporine.
"As a result, they may suffer from insomnia," says
Dato Dr Rajbans Singh (pix), consultant physician and geriatrician from Pantai Hospital Kuala Lumpur.
"People with low magnesium often experience restless sleep and are prone to waking up frequently during the night. Maintaining healthy magnesium levels can improve sleep quality leading to deeper, more sound sleep."
Another frequent symptom of magnesium deficiency, he said, is emotional eating or stress eating, in order to deal with uncomfortable emotions.
"It could also manifest with craving sweets and unhealthy snacks when stressed although you are not physically hungry. If stress is causing your hunger than magnesium would relax and calm you down, while reducing blood pressure."
500 mg of magnesium per day can help prevent cramps, aid in heart protection and help with muscles. Magnesium could also be obtained by consuming magnesium-rich foods such as dark leafy greens, seeds and nuts including sesame seeds, cashews and almonds, broccoli, legumes, dairy products, meat, unprocessed whole grains, chocolate and coffee.
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