Magnesium is a highly beneficial mineral for the human body. It is linked to over 400 bodily functions, from cell repair to the formation of DNA and RNA. Magnesium is also vital for the brain and central nervous system as it is directly linked to stress response and recovery. Stress and magnesium are tied together in a delicate balancing act – stress depletes magnesium in the body but the mineral can inhibit the onset of stress.
This means that magnesium supplementation may be necessary for people who are under ongoing stress or suffer from mild depression. High levels of stress for a prolonged period of time can lead to magnesium deficiency. This deficiency can result in more stress, which uses up more magnesium and so on. To counteract this, additional magnesium will need to be ingested in the form of supplements or an increased uptake of magnesium-rich foods.
Magnesium is a neuroprotector – it helps to maintain the central nervous system and allows the cells to produce and utilise energy. The central nervous system is integral to stress response. In addition, the adrenal glands produce adrenaline, the heart rate increases, the respiration rate increases and the cells start to use energy in readiness for a fight or flight response.
A lack of magnesium means that all of these processes can occur to small stressors, such as a loud noise or a mild inconvenience. Without magnesium, the body creates a disproportionate response to stress and floods the nervous system with hormones. If you feel stressed and under severe, ongoing pressure, then magnesium supplements may allow you to cope better.
Stress and magnesium deficiency have similar symptoms
Many of the signs of stress are very similar to the symptoms of magnesium deficiency. These include nausea, weakness, lack of appetite, headaches, dizziness, dry mouth and sweating. Low magnesium levels hinder muscular response to dress, causing spasms and cramps when blood pressure rises. This can lead to hypertension and more serious conditions if left unmanaged.
In addition, stress causes blood sugar levels to rise and, without magnesium, the body’s cells cannot process the additional glucose. This increases the risk of developing diabetes. Pay attention to your symptoms and consult a doctor about magnesium supplements if you are worried about stress and anxiety. Note that blood tests are not a reliable indicator of magnesium deficiency.
Prevent stress from using up all of your magnesium
A recent clinical study showed that magnesium supplementation can help to improve moderate anxiety and the body’s response to stress. Once you are aware of the cyclical nature of this mineral and life’s worries, you can begin to manage your symptoms. Try exercising for at least 30 minutes a day or set aside time to relax every evening after work. Physical health promotes mental well-being and having a balanced lifestyle will improve your ability to handle stress.
Take up a hobby or listen to calming music when you’re under pressure. If you are going through prolonged periods of worry, consider buying magnesium supplements or eat more spinach, nuts, avocado, beans, wholegrain cereals and salmon. By recognising your stress and symptoms, you can counteract it with magnesium in order to start living a happier, healthier life.
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