Every organ in your body, including your muscles, heart and kidneys, needs magnesium to function properly. Magnesium helps regulate your body’s calcium levels and contributes to production of energy. Men need 420 milligrams of magnesium per day, while women require 320 milligrams. The mineral calcium ensures that your nerves, muscles and heart function properly. Also, getting the recommended daily amount of calcium -- 1,000 milligrams -- helps maintain strong bones and teeth. Because your body needs both calcium and magnesium for its proper functioning, their deficiency can cause certain symptoms.
Restless Legs Syndrome
Restless legs syndrome is one of the symptoms of magnesium deficiency. It is a neurological disorder that causes an overwhelming urge to move the legs. By moving your legs, you can calm the urge and unpleasant sensations that include tingling, burning, creeping, crawling, aching, pulling, electric shocks or itching. These symptoms bother you most when you are inactive or resting and are likely to be worse in the evening. Occasionally, your arms can experience these sensations, too.
Missing the mineral magnesium in your diet can lead to insomnia. Insomnia refers to an inability to get the amount of sleep a person needs to wake up fresh. Its symptoms include trouble falling asleep or getting back to sleep after waking during the night, sleepiness, low energy levels during the day, use of sleeping pills and supplements to get to sleep and waking up more often during the night. Insomnia impairs your mood, energy and ability to work during the day.
Abnormal Heart Rhythms
A deficiency in magnesium as well as in calcium can result in abnormal heart rhythms, known as arrhythmia. When you experience change in the normal sequence of electrical impulses, you are said to be having an arrhythmia. The electrical impulses may take place too quickly, too slowly or intermittently, making your heart beat too fast, too slow or intermittently. When your heart doesn't beat properly, it can't pump enough oxygen-rich blood to the rest of your body. This inability of the heart to pump blood effectively can damage your brain, lungs and other body organs.
Insufficient intakes of calcium can produce symptoms such as convulsions. When your body trembles very quickly and frantically, you may be suffering from convulsions. During convulsions, your muscles contract and relax over and over again. Other symptoms of calcium deficiency include numbness and tingling in the fingers. Furthermore, not consuming the recommended amount of calcium for a long period of time can elevate the risk of bone fractures and osteoporosis and can cause low bone mass.
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Magnesium
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Calcium
- National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: What Is Restless Legs Syndrome?
- Helpguide.org: Sleep Disorders and Sleeping Problems
- Office of Dietary Supplements: Calcium
- American Heart Association: About Arrhythmia
- MedlinePlus: Seizures