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Magnesium Deficiency in Children

Magnesium Deficiency in Children

Muscle cramps, teeth grinding, restlessness, and growing pains could all be signs of magnesium deficiency in children. With constant growth and development, children’s magnesium requirements are increased,  The Australian Bureau of Statistics says that 1 in 3 Australians over the age of 2 are not getting enough magnesium.

Magnesium is a vital nutrient for children with 50 to 60% found in the bones making it important to maintain healthy teeth and bones,  good levels of magnesium in childhood are important for healthy bone mass during adult life.

What does Magnesium do?

  1.  Maintains healthy bones and teeth
  2. Helps regulate blood sugar and insulin levels
  3. Helps convert Vitamin D to its active form
  4. Supports sleep, focus, and mood
  5. Supports the nervous system

Signs of a Magnesium Deficiency

  • Constipation
  • Growing pains
  • Muscle cramps
  • Restlessness
  • Difficulty maintaining attention, Hyperactivity
  • Sleeplessness
  • Sugar cravings
  • Stress, Anxiety and panic attacks
  • Muscle twitches
  • Fatigue
  • Sensitivity to noise (could also be a zinc deficiency)

Reasons for Magnesium Deficiency:

1. Low intake of Magnesium-rich foods

  • Picky eaters and an increase in food allergies and intolerances mean kids are often not getting enough magnesium-rich foods (there is a list of foods below) in their daily diet.
  •  The body uses magnesium for carbohydrate metabolism and insulin production, so a diet high in sugar or refined carbohydrates increases the demand for magnesium which needs to be replenished through diet or supplementation.

2. Poor absorption of Magnesium

Here are a few factors that may prevent magnesium absorption.

  • A low protein diet
  • Vitamin D deficiency
  • Medications such as antibiotics, antihistamines, corticosteroids and antacids.

3. Stress

Magnesium is needed to make adrenaline which is a stress hormone. Prolonged physical and emotional stress, anxiety, sport, and worry increase the body’s demands of magnesium and may lead to a deficiency.

4. Sweating

10 -15% of all magnesium is excreted through sweat so very active children that sweat a lot might need a little extra magnesium. Excessive sweating, especially from the head may be a sign of Vitamin D deficiency.

Good sources of magnesium

Eating magnesium-rich foods:

  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Tahini
  • Seeds – sesame and pumpkin
  • Nut and nut butter
  • Dark Chocolate (YUM)
  • Avocado
  • Oats
  • Millet
  • Beans

Epsom Salt baths

Magnesium can also be absorbed through the skin so an Epsom salt bath is a great way to increase magnesium and destress. Use a 1/2 cup of Epsom salt to 22 kg of body weight.

Supplementation

Magnesium supplementation is often required for children who are not having enough magnesium rich foods, are on medication, or are stressed. Both our formula’s Kids Sleep Tight and Kids Calm and Collected contain magnesium phosphate, which is a gentle and safe way to supplement magnesium.