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Common Conditions Linked to a Magnesium Deficiency

Part Two      


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Continued from Magnesium - Part One

Many of the following conditions commonly occur in conjunction with each other and all have been linked to magnesium (Mg) deficiency. 
  • Pectus Excavatum
  • Pectus Carinatum
  • Hypermobility
  • Pes Planus (Flat feet)
  • Bowed Limbs
  • Bulging Foreheads
  • Beaded Ribs
  • Scoliosis
  • Fractures
  • Acetabuli     Malformations



Patents with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome are often found to be low in Mg.  Supplementation with malic acid and magnesium is a common treatment for fibromyalgia.  

Seventy-five percent of the people with fibromyalgia  have mitral valve prolapse. Mitral valve prolapse is thought to occur in about 10% of the population in general, so this statistically is quite significant.  Mitral valve prolapse is another disorder also closely linked to Mg deficiency. 

Hypermobility is also closely  linked to fibromyalgia.  Hypermobility is a feature of rickets which has links to Mg deficiencies. 

Women with fibromyalgia have been found to have abnormal serum levels of hyaluronic acid.  The authors of this study suggested serum hyaluronic levels may be used to diagnose fibromyalgia.  But are elevated serum hyaluronic acid levels an indicator of fibromyalgia, or are they yet another symptom of a Mg deficiency?  

Interestingly, people with Down syndrome have elevated serum hyaluronic acid levels, too.  What are some common links between Down syndrome and fibromyalgia?  Both groups have mitral valve prolapse and hypermobility at rates much higher rates than controls, and Down syndrome patients have been found to be low in magnesium, among other trace elements. 

Fibromyalgia, hypermobility and mitral valve prolapse are closely linked to each other, all may be linked to magnesium deficiency and all are features of many chronic disorders, and  virtually all hereditary connective tissue disorders, especially Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.  All three conditions are also features of Down syndrome, which has many overlaps with connective tissue disorders. All of these individual features and syndromes are linked to hyaluronic acid abnormalities, and hyaluronic acid is dependent upon Mg for its synthesis. 

Magnesium deficiency, and perhaps other elements that affect hyaluronic acid levels, are a common thread  to connective tissue disorders and disorders with overlapping features like Down syndrome. If these disorders all had an underlying biochemical deficiency such a magnesium deficit, then all of these interesting associations between mitral valve prolapse, fibromyalgia, hyaluronic acid, magnesium, Down syndrome and connective tissue disorders would have perfectly logical explanations. 

Click here to go to my fibromaylagia diet page.

Also see my separate section on mitral valve prolapse for information on why studies show a strong link between fibromyalgia and MVP.
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Hearing Loss 

Mg supplementation has been found to prevent noise induced hearing loss in humans. 

Guinea pigs fed magnesium rich diets suffered less hearing loss  than controls when exposed to loud noises.  Similar results held true for studies on rats fed Mg rich diets

Rats fed Mg reduced diets suffered hearing losses, and these losses were corrected by adding magnesium back into the diet. 

Mg deficiency may responsible for irreversible inner ear damage. 

Hearing loss is a symptom of osteogenesis imperfecta, Ehlers-Danlos and Down syndromes - all disorders with many other symptoms also known to be caused by Mg deficits.

Also see my section on magnesium deficiency and sound sensitivity.
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Mg supplementation has been shown to reduce hypercalciuria. 

Hypercalciuria is a finding in sponge kidney.  Sponge kidney is associated with calcification of the kidney which is also linked to magnesium deficits.  Sponge kidney is a feature of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. 

People with EDS and osteogenesis imperfecta also often have many conditions associated with magnesium deficiency, such as keratoconus, hearing loss and mitral valve prolapse.  Hypercalciuria is a common finding in osteogenesis imperfecta.  

Hypercalciuria has also been linked to vitamin K deficiency.
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Researchers in Argentina found that patients with keratoconus were more likely to be deficient in magnesium than controls.   (Interestingly, one of the researchers from this study also noticed the links between Mg deficits, keratoconus and Marfan and Down syndromes.) 

Patients with keratoconus are about 8 times more likely to have mitral valve prolapse than controls. Patients with mitral valve prolapse are also usually magnesium deficient.  Mg is the common link between the two conditions.  Keratoconus, like mitral valve prolapse,  is a feature found in many connective tissue disorders. 

Patients with keratoconus are 5 times more likely than controls to exhibit hypermobility of selected joints.  Hypermobility is also closely linked to  mitral valve prolapse, too.  Like mitral valve prolapse, hypermobility may also result from magnesium deficits.  All three conditions are linked to connective tissue disorders.

Keratoconus, mitral valve prolapse, hypermobility and fibromyalgia are all also all linked to hyaluronic acid abnormalities.  Hyaluronic acid synthesis is Mg dependent. 

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Menstrual Cramps

In a 1992 study, researchers at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Parma, found found that Mg administration was a reliable therapy of primary dysmenorrhea (menstrual cramps).

In a 1990 study, researchers in Germany found that magnesium "had a therapeutic effect on both back pain and lower abdominal pain on the second and the third day of the cycle."

In another study from Germany, 50 women suffering from primary dysmenorrhea were treated with magnesium. After a six-month period, 21 out of 25 women showed a decline of symptoms.

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This link has been moved to it's own page at:
Magnesium - Migraine

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Mitral valve prolapse 

Many studies show that most people (60 - 85%, depending on the study) with mitral valve prolapse are low in Mg.   Not surprisingly, magnesium supplementation has been shown to alleviate the symptoms of mitral valve prolapse.  

Heart valves with mitral valve prolapse show abnormalities of hyaluronic acid.  People with many chronic disorders, especially the connective tissue disorders, commonly have mitral valve prolapse and studies show they always have hyaluronic acid abnormalities.  Hyaluronic acid depends upon Mg for its synthesis. 

A review of the studies on Medline shows that hyaluronic acid is linked to mitral valve prolapse, mitral valve prolapse is linked to a wide variety of disorders, especially connective tissue disorders, and most connective tissue disorders are linked to anomalies of hyaluronic acid. 

If you put these events into a logical sequence, then you can come up with a theory that low Mg levels impacting hyaluronic acid, especially mitral valve prolapse, are are a common link in many of the disorders in which mitral valve prolapse occurs. 

People with mitral valve prolapse have been found to have higher instances than normal of anxiety related disorders.  This is thought to be because of higher adrenaline levels, as measured by increased catecholamine (a by-product of adrenaline) levels in their urine.  Not surprisingly, elevated adrenaline levels and increased urinary catecholamines are also caused by low magnesium levels.  

People who have mitral valve prolapse are hypermobile at a higher rate than controls.  People who are hypermobile have been found to be anxiety prone.  In fact, people who have anxiety disorders are 16 times more likely to have joint laxity than controls.  Hypermobility is a feature of rickets, which can also be caused by a magnesium deficit. 

Mitral valve prolapse, anxiety disorders and hypermobility all frequently occur together, whether they occur as isolated conditions, or as a part of many connective tissue disorders such as mitral valve prolapse syndrome, Marfan syndrome and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.  

Some people with mitral valve prolapse have a characteristic body habitus that includes pectus excavatum, hypermobility, pectus carinatum, scoliosis, bowed limbs and other distinctive features.  These conditions are called rachitic skeletal features, which can also be caused by a magnesium deficiency. 

Many studies have noted associations between mitral valve prolapse and migraines, another disorder closely linked to Mg deficits. 

People with mitral valve prolapse also have significantly higher rates of keratoconus, another disorder that has also been linked to low magnesium levels, hyaluronic acid abnormalities and hypermobility.

Also see my sections on -

Mitral Valve Prolapse and MVP syndrome

Heart Palpitations

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Muscle Contractures and Cramps 

Tight, painful muscles are a primary factor in fibromyalgia. 

Magnesium is needed to release muscle contractions. Without Mg, tensed muscles stay in a contracted state. 

Mg supplementation is an established treatment for muscle cramps, as well as an established treatment for fibromyalgia. 

Mg requirements rise during pregnancy.  Many women experience pregnancy induced leg cramps.  These cramps have been shown to be alleviated by magnesium therapy. 

Also see my section on fibromyalgia diet.

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Altered levels of magnesium and other biochemicals have been found in patients with progressive myopia and other eye disorders. 

Zinc has recently been found to be a treatment for myopia in some cases. See my section on zinc for more on this topic.

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Click here to read my web page regarding nystagmus and nutritional deficiencies.

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Osteoporosis and Osteopenia 

Mg deficiency has been linked to osteoporosis

Mg deficiency induced in rats results in reduced bone growth, osteopenia (an underlying feature of rickets) and an increase in bone fragility.  

Mg supplementation has been shown to reduce bone turnover, a condition associated with osteoporosis. 

Women with osteoporosis have been found to be Mg deficient. 

Mitral valve prolapse is associated with scoliosis and pectus deformities, conditions that are known to occur in some cases as a result of Mg deficiencies.

Lowered bone densities, including osteoporosis, are a common finding Marfan syndrome, osteogenesis imperfecta, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.  All of these disorders have many other features associated with Mg deficiencies. 
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Premature Birth 

Maternal magnesium requirements rise during pregnancy.
This would make it easier for mothers to develop a magnesium shortage during pregnancy, especially if they were low on magnesium before they became pregnant. 

Magnesium sulfate is commonly administered to prevent preterm labor.  Perhaps magnesium sulfate works to prevent preterm labor because a shortage of maternal Mg is what is causing the early labor in the first place.  

Standard medical treatments for preterm birth, asthma and migraines are all magnesium sulfate.  Mg supplementation is a common treatment for mitral valve prolapse.  These condition often appear together in many chronic disorders.  Mg is a common link.

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Rachitic Skeletal Features

When test animals are fed diets deficient in magnesium, skeletal abnormalities resembling bone diseases (including osteoporosis) occur.

Betty Kamen and Si Kamen, writing in Osteoporosis: What it is, How to Prevent it, How to Stop it

Rachitic skeletal features are features that are associated with rickets or ricket-like conditions.  Rickets is a disorder that causes bones to soften due to a lack of calcification.  It has multiple causes, but it is most often attributed to a lack of calcium or vitamin D.  A lack of sunshine is a common cause of rickets, because our bodies make vitamin D when the sun shines on our skin. 

Mg is a needed co-factor for vitamin D utilization, meaning that a lack of Mg can cause vitamin D to be unavailable to the body.  The result is that a Mg deficit could, in turn, cause vitamin D deficiency symptoms. Magnesium supplementation is sometimes needed to treat rickets that have not been responsive to vitamin D or calcium treatment. 

A lack of Mg would provide a logical explanation of why mitral valve prolapse, pectus excavatum, scoliosis and other rachitic skeletal features commonly appear together.  

Mg deficiency induced in beagles resulted in abnormal changes in their joint cartilage.  The magnesium deficient beagles all had weakness in their legs and one dog's legs hyperextended to a 90 degree angle.  Hyperextended joints are a sign of several connective tissue disorders including Ehlers-Danlos and Marfan syndromes. 

Pectus excavatum occurs in less than 1% of the population as a whole, but occurs in 20% of the patients with mitral valve prolapse, or at more the 20 times the expected rate if there was no underlying linkage.  Scoliosis has a strong connection to mitral valve prolapse as well, occurring in an estimated 2- 8% of the population as a whole, but in 55% of those with mitral valve prolapse.  My theory is that these conditions appear frequently together because they have the same underlying biochemical causes, and at least one of these causes is a Mg deficiency.  

Pectus excavatum and mitral valve prolapse frequently appear together, both in a wide variety of defined genetic syndromes, such as Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and Marfan syndrome, and as isolated features not linked to any genetic disorder. 

Also see my sections on:

Pectus Excavatum And Rickets
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Scar Formation 

Increased levels of Mg, along with other nutrients, has been found to improve the formation of scars

Fetuses do not scar because of the high hyaluronic acid content of the amniotic fluid in the womb.  Hyaluronic acid is Mg dependent. 
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A link between panic disorders, mitral valve prolapse and seizures has been noted.  All three conditions are closely linked to Mg deficits.  All of these conditions have also been linked to connective tissue and many other chronic disorders. 

Links have also been noted between migraines and epilepsy. Migraines are closely linked to Mg deficiencies. 

In a study in Saudi Arabia, children with low serum Mg levels were found to have a high frequency of seizures.  

Researchers in Belgium note that magnesium depletion can cause a marked irritability of the nervous system, eventually resulting in epileptic seizures

Researchers in Australia observed that sheep fed low Mg diets developed epileptic convulsions. 

Often, when researcher want to study epilepsy, they use Mg deficient rats as models. 

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Click here to read my web page regarding TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder)


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  Other Conditions Linked to Magnesium Deficiency

Premature ejaculation

Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)

Muscle weakness

Leg movements-related insomnia


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Also see my recommended book list for other books I found helpful.

Food Sources of Magnesium

High Fiber Diets and Mineral Deficiencies - why high fiber, low fat diets may not be the best choice for everyone.

Calcium Deposits

Magnesium Migraine

Sensitivity to Sounds

Health Conditions Linked to Vitamin K Deficiency

Zinc Deficiency

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