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Magnesium deficiency symptoms in females

The short answer:

Magnesium is an essential mineral that plays a vital role in numerous biological functions. Thus, magnesium deficiency in females is associated with a wide range of disorders such as the increased risk of depression, hypertension, osteoporosis, preeclampsia, polycystic ovary syndrome, and others. Find more about magnesium deficiency symptoms in females in this article.

Key facts:

  • Magnesium is an essential mineral that plays a vital role in numerous biological functions.
  • It is essential for the synthesis of some hormones such as progesterone, and estrogen.
  • A low blood level of magnesium is known as hypomagnesemia.
  • A low magnesium intake increases the risk of depression in women higher than in men.
  • Hypomagnesemia increases the risk of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women.
  • For pregnant women, hypomagnesemia increases the risk of preeclampsia and premature birth.
  • Also, hypomagnesemia increases the risk of inflammation.
  • It also increases the risk of hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases.
  • Magnesium supplements could decrease the duration and intensity of the menopause period.


Importance of magnesium for women’s health

Magnesium deficiency in females

Symptoms of magnesium deficiency in females

What is the effect of magnesium deficiency on women’s health?


Importance of magnesium for women’s health

Women’s nutritional needs are changeable in response to physiological modifications throughout their lifespan.

  • For women’s health, magnesium is associated with different health conditions and a normal blood magnesium level is critical for preventing a wide variety of pathological conditions.
  • Magnesium is essential for synthesizing hormones such as progesterone, and estrogen.
  • It improves the post-menopause symptoms that could affect the mood, and improve the ability to cope with stress.
  • During pregnancy, magnesium helps in building and repairing your body’s tissues

In addition, magnesium is important for both men and women for the following reasons:

  • Magnesium helps in mood regulation.
  • it is important for a healthy normal heartbeat.
  • It supports sleep.
  • It is important for muscle and nerve functions

Magnesium deficiency in females

The low blood level of magnesium is defined as hypomagnesemia. It occurs when the magnesium blood level is lower than less than 1.46 mg/dL. However, symptoms appear only when the magnesium blood level is less than 1.2 mg/dL (0.5 mmol/L) (Ref).

Lower magnesium levels may be common throughout women’s lives and are associated with adverse health outcomes and reduced quality of life.

The prevalence of magnesium deficiency is between 2.5% and 15% in overall healthy women. In young women (aged 18–22) with an approximately 20% incidence (Ref).

Women are at a high risk to develop magnesium deficiency due to inadequate magnesium intake and frequent loss of magnesium during food refining.

The recommended daily intake of magnesium for women is equal to 240 mg/day in adolescents and adults (Ref).

Symptoms of magnesium deficiency

A low magnesium level is associated with the following symptoms (Ref):

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • General fatigue
  • Muscle weakness
  • Tingling
  • Muscle spasms and cramps
  • Seizures
  • Cardiac arrhythmia
  • Coronary spasms

How does magnesium deficiency affect women’s health?

The low magnesium level (Hypomagnesemia) in females is associated with numerous health conditions including the following:

  1. Affect the Premenstrual syndrome
  2. Increase the risk of polycystic ovary syndrome
  3. Affect pregnancy and could lead to the development of preeclampsia and premature birth
  4. It Plays a role in the symptoms during the menopause period
  5. Increase the risk of depression
  6. Decrease bone density and increase the risk of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women.
  7. Increase the risk of hypertension in postmenopausal women.
  8. Increase the risk of inflammation

Effect of low magnesium blood levels on the Premenstrual syndrome

  • Premenstrual syndrome has a wide variety of signs and symptoms, including mood swings, tender breasts, food cravings, fatigue, feeling upset, anxious or irritable, trouble sleeping, and depression.
  • A study showed that:
    • Women with Premenstrual syndrome have a lower magnesium blood level than women without premenstrual syndrome.
    • Thus, magnesium supplementations have therefore been proposed as a preventive and therapeutic approach to Premenstrual syndrome.

How does magnesium deficiency affect Polycystic Ovary Syndrome?

  • Polycystic ovary syndrome is one of the most common endocrine disorders affecting women’s fertility.
  • What is the link between Polycystic ovary syndrome and low magnesium levels?
    • Systemic insulin resistance is likely to be the main point in the pathophysiology of the development of polycystic ovary syndrome.
    • Low magnesium level has a critical role in the development of insulin resistance. So low magnesium levels play a role in the development of polycystic ovary syndrome through the induction of insulin resistance (Ref).

Magnesium deficiency and pregnancy

Does a low magnesium level affect pregnancy?

Yes, low magnesium blood levels could negatively affcet the pregnancy.

Magnesium deficiency is associated with uterine hyperexcitability, preterm labor, and intrauterine growth retardation (Ref).

A study reported that magnesium deficiency might be the causative factor in the development of preeclampsia (a serious blood pressure condition that develops during pregnancy). women with preeclampsia often have high blood pressure and high levels of protein in the urine (proteinuria), Preeclampsia typically develops after the 20th week of pregnancy).

Interestingly, pregnancy-induced hypertension is characterized by elevated blood pressure and increased neuromuscular irritability and these symptoms are also attributable to magnesium deficiency in non-pregnant women.

Another study has found that magnesium supplementation decreases the risk of Preeclampsia (one of the most common causes of maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality)

Another study evaluated the magnesium blood level in women with preeclampsia. The results revealed that:

  • There was a significant decrease in magnesium blood levels in women with severe preeclampsia.
  • Results indicate that a reduction in serum levels of magnesium during pregnancy might be a possible contributor to preeclampsia and magnesium supplementation as a diet or drugs may be of value to prevent preeclampsia.

A recent systemic review studied the role of magnesium blood levels in preterm birth. The author concluded that adequate magnesium intake during pregnancy may help reduce the incidence of preterm birth

Magnesium’s role in the menopause period

During this period women experience climacteric symptoms, which may significantly impair their quality of life. These symptoms including the following:

  • Vasomotor symptoms (hot flashes, and vaginal dryness).
  • Changes in mood
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Sexual problems such as loss of libido

Interestingly, recent evidence suggested that magnesium supplementation plays a role in reducing the duration and intensity of those unpleasant manifestations, as well as typical risk factors (Ref).

Magnesium deficiency and depression in women

There is an inverse relationship between dietary magnesium intake and the risk of depression, especially in women

A 2019 study examined the effect of dietary magnesium intake and the risk of depression. The results showed that:

  • Dietary magnesium intake was inversely associated with depression among 17,730 US adults.
  • The dietary magnesium intake was inversely associated with depression among women whereas no association was found among men.
  • The author recommended foods rich in magnesium such as nuts, green vegetables, and whole grains for the prevention of depression.

A study showed that magnesium is involved in the pathophysiology of some psychological disorders such as depression. In the majority of studies, a significant relationship has been observed between magnesium deficiency and depression.

Magnesium deficiency and women’s bone health

Magnesium plays a critical role in bone density and a low magnesium blood level could harmfully affect your bone

Magnesium deficiency contributes to osteoporosis by alteration of the secretion of parathyroid hormone and increasing inflammation.

Also, magnesium deficiency affects the activity of vitamin D and thus reduces calcium absorption

What is the relationship between magnesium deficiency and vitamin D and bone health?

Magnesium deficiency affects 1α-hydroxylase. This enzyme plays an important role in the synthesis and metabolism of vitamin D in its active form 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) (Ref). Thus, low magnesium blood levels could affect the activity of vitamin D and therefore, decreasing calcium absorption and then increasing the risk of osteoporosis

  • A study showed that low blood magnesium level is associated with low bone density in both pre and postmenopausal women.
  • Another study found that postmenopausal women with osteoporosis had lower magnesium blood levels compared with postmenopausal women with no osteoporosis

Magnesium deficiency and hypertension

The occurrence of hypertension was found to be higher after menopause.

Blood pressure is lower in premenopausal women than in men. However, after menopause, the prevalence of hypertension in women is higher than it is in men (Ref).

Hypertension is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease in women after menopause

The role of low magnesium blood levels in the development of hypertension is well supported

  • A meta-analysis study reported a significant inverse relationship between dietary magnesium intake and the risk of the development of hypertension.
  • A 2019 study showed that both magnesium and vitamin D deficiency has a role in developing hypertension.

Magnesium deficiency and Inflammation

The anti-inflammatory response of Mg may contribute to the beneficial effects of reducing the levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) a well-known chronic inflammation. So, low magnesium level has been proven to contribute to oxidative stress and inflammation

  • Studies showed that low magnesium level is inversely linked to C-reactive protein (inflammatory marker) (Ref).
  • A study reported that a low magnesium intake is associated with higher levels of inflammation markers such as C-reactive protein (CRP), and its precursor interleukin


1. Does low magnesium affect your period?

Yes, magnesium supplements are reported to reduce the intensity and duration of symptoms associated with the menopause period such as sleep disturbance, and mood fluctuations.

Magnesium is sometimes called a calming and relaxing mineral. it helps with the cramps and pain during the period. it helps with menstrual cramps, reduces anxiety, and reduces headaches and migraine.

2. How does magnesium affect female hormones?

Magnesium is important for the synthesis of sex hormones such as progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone. Also, magnesium is reported to regulate estrogen levels. when estrogen levels are too high or too low, magnesium help in return estrogen levels back to stable levels.

3. Can low magnesium cause acne?

Yes, low magnesium levels could cause acne

Magnesium is important to increase skin hydration, increasing skin permeability, facilitate skin proliferation and reduce inflammation. low magnesium blood levels are associated with increased inflammation and increase androgen hormones which play an important role in the pathogenesis of acne by increasing the hyperactivity of sebaceous glands (Ref).

Moreover, studies showed that magnesium blood levels are low in patients with acne, and magnesium supplementation was reported to improve acne (Ref).