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Testing, Testing 123: Phlebotomy Basics

When my mother underwent chemotherapy, we spent a lot of time visiting the phlebotomy lab for blood testing. I was always impressed by how easily the phlebotomist was able to find and puncture a vein to draw blood on the first try. I knew there had to be a method to it, and was astounded by how effortless and painless they made the process. It led me to research a lot about blood tests, from drawing to the actual screening. I've created this site to share what I've learned in the hopes of teaching others. The more you understand, the more control you can have over your own health care.


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Testing, Testing 123: Phlebotomy Basics

What Does Your Physician Want You To Know About Magnesium Deficiency?

by Francisco Arnold

Magnesium is a mineral the body needs for many of its functions. Your body usually gets magnesium from the foods you eat, but you may find that you are not getting all the nutrients that you need from your favorite foods. Doctors often see patients who do not get the magnesium they need.

You may turn to supplements as a way to increase the magnesium in the body. This might leave you wondering if your doctor wants you to take magnesium and how you should get it.

What Does Magnesium Do?

Magnesium serves several important purposes in your body. It assists your body with processes like protein synthesis, producing energy, and controlling blood sugar. Magnesium also assists with your heart rate, blood pressure, and nerve function.

Can You Overdose on Magnesium?

Magnesium can be dangerous if you take more than you need. Overdose, or hypermagnesemia, can occur with some health conditions but is more common from taking too much of a medicine or magnesium supplement.

For most people, an overdose is eliminated through urine. If somebody is unable to eliminate the excess, it can lead to health issues like diarrhea, cramps, and nausea. It is important to watch your intake if you take supplements.

What Happens If You Don't Have Enough Magnesium?

If you do not have enough magnesium in your system, you may experience side effects. You may experience muscle twitches, muscle weakness, and fatigue. Some people experience an irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, and even osteoporosis because of a lack of magnesium.

Physicians often check for magnesium deficiency early on if you complain about these types of symptoms. They may be able to pinpoint the issue based on what you are experiencing.

Which Foods Contain Magnesium?

You will find magnesium in foods like spinach, nuts, wheat bread, soymilk, black beans, wheat cereal, and peanut butter. You can incorporate these foods into your diet to make sure you meet the necessary magnesium requirements.

Doctors typically recommend increasing your intake of these foods rather than trying to take supplements. In some cases, they may realize that supplements are not avoidable. You need to discuss this matter with a professional.

What Can You Do About Your Magnesium Intake?

If you are unsure how much magnesium you are getting, you should track the foods you eat. If you are unsure why your magnesium intake isn't sufficient, you should speak with a physician who understands the health challenges a magnesium deficiency can create.

For more information, contact a local physician.