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Magnesium Deficiency & the Thyroid Gland

author image Linda Ray
Linda Ray is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years reporting experience. She's covered business for newspapers and magazines, including the "Greenville News," "Success Magazine" and "American City Business Journals." Ray holds a journalism degree and teaches writing, career development and an FDIC course called "Money Smart."
Magnesium Deficiency & the Thyroid Gland
A close-up of a senior man's hands eating a banana. Photo Credit: Ingram Publishing/Ingram Publishing/Getty Images

Four tiny parathyroid glands are located around the thyroid in the throat. These glands are part of the endocrine system. They make a hormone called PTH, which regulates the amounts of magnesium, calcium and phosphorous that enter your blood and your bones. In addition to adequate calcium and phosphorous nutrients, you need sufficient magnesium to build bone density and healthy cell production.


Magnesium deficiency is rare because it is abundant in many foods including whole grains, tofu, legumes, cashews, green leafy vegetables, almonds, black walnuts and pumpkin seeds are rich sources of magnesium. Other foods that contain significant amounts of magnesium include peanuts, potatoes with the skin intact, oatmeal, bananas, bran cereal and chocolate. Magnesium often is included in antacids and usually is an ingredient in multivitamins. You should check with your doctor before taking magnesium supplements.


Various medical conditions can cause depletion of magnesium, which can interrupt thyroid function. A virus or illness accompanied by vomiting or diarrhea could leave you deficient in the nutrient. Heavy menstrual cycles, excessive sweating and persistent stress can lead to a magnesium deficiency. Diseases that often result in low magnesium levels include diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome and kidney disease. Consuming excessive amounts of alcohol or caffeine can deplete magnesium stores.

Thyroid Disease

Magnesium absorption is disrupted when you develop thyroid disease, usually in the form of hyperthyroidism. An overactive thyroid gland that results in hyperthyroidism causes your gland to produce too many hormones and leads to a host of symptoms ranging from abdominal pain, back aches and muscle aches to personality changes, excessive thirst and an increased risk of bone fractures.

Side Effects

Treatment for thyroid disease usually results in a return to normal magnesium production. Other symptoms associated with magnesium deficiencies may present before you develop thyroid problems, however. You may experience abnormal heart rhythms or restless leg syndrome. Sleep disruptions, muscle spasms and poor nail growth may indicate low magnesium levels. Side effects of a magnesium deficiency may include nausea and vomiting, low blood pressure and irritability.

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