Magnesium, Red Blood Cell (RBC) Content

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magnesium
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A Magnesium RBC test can provide an earlier indicator of magnesium deficiency that a standard magnesium blood test. When levels are low, the body will pull magnesium from the cells to keep blood levels normal. In this case, a magnesium blood test may show normal levels while a magnesium RBC test will give a more accurate result.

RBC Magnesium Test - Everything You Want To Know

If you ever encountered symptoms like cramps, nausea, vomiting, feeling not hungry without being able to justify those events, these may be signs of a magnesium deficiency.

We all hear here and there about mineral deficiencies, the most well-known being calcium. However, another crucial element that sometimes gets neglected despite its importance is magnesium. 

Magnesium participates in all the metabolic processes that underlie the formation of energy in the body. It is a mineral component of the body especially found in the structure of the bone marrow and teeth structure. It is also essential for DNA replication, ARN,  and protein synthesis.

It is also found in the nervous and muscular tissues, in the blood plasma, and in the blood cells. Inside the cells, magnesium lies in the mitochondria and nucleus, having an important role in cellular functional processes.

Magnesium is an activator of over 300 enzymes involved in carbohydrate metabolism, protein synthesis, and nucleic acids. It regulates neuromuscular excitability and coagulation mechanisms.

This article will have a debated subject, the importance of the RBC magnesium test. The following points will better explain why we should care about RBC magnesium and why it is more important than any other magnesium test.

What is an RBC Magnesium Test

Oftentimes people are asking how they can know they have a magnesium deficiency or what tests are to be performed to find out whether there is a deficit or not in their bodies.

As stated before, magnesium can be found in bones, tissues, plasma, and red cells. Out of the total magnesium from the body, 60-70% is stored in bones, the rest is found in soft tissues, and a bit less than 1% floats freely in the blood.

The most usual test people do to test magnesium levels is the serum magnesium levels which measure the magnesium in that 1% from our blood. This test can be found on every list of general analyses.

However, this test is far from being the most accurate way of testing magnesium levels. For instance, a result showing an increase in serum magnesium may make you think that you have consumed too much magnesium, and now you should stop doing it.

The truth, though is that the test can indicate that the body is not absorbing the magnesium into the bones and tissue where the body most needs it. To have a more clear image, more in-depth testing is performed, the RBC magnesium test.

The difference between serum magnesium and RBC magnesium is that the former can measure how much magnesium is getting absorbed by bones and tissues and, even more importantly, can indicate the moment when you start to become magnesium deficient.

If the RBC magnesium test revealed a decrease in magnesium levels, then this is an indication of an overall decrease of magnesium in the body.

The RBC magnesium test can offer a more complex picture of the total magnesium in the organism. Therefore, eventual complications can be avoided in time.

Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency

  • Headache
  • Nervousness, irritability
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Intestinal issues (diarrhea, constipation)
  • Anxiety, depression
  • Circulatory disorders
  • Cramps and muscular spasms
  • Arrhythmia
  • Cardiac heresy (a modification that affects the heart rate provoking tachycardia, exertional dyspnea, and chest tightness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unexplained weakness

Causes for Low Levels of Magnesium (Hypomagnesemia)

Many factors can lead to low levels of Magnesium. However, the one over which people have full control is their lifestyle. Alimentation is a crucial factor when it comes to mineral levels inside the organism.

Hence, a diet based on hyper-processed foods and low in vegetables and greens can lead to an acute deficit of magnesium. Other factors can be:

  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Stress
  • Lack of rest
  • Gastrointestinal disorders as Celiac diseases or Crohn disease
  • Renal or liver disorders
  • Pancreatitis
  • Diabetes
  • Regular usage for diuretics, laxatives, and purgatives

Causes for High Levels of Magnesium (Hypermagnesemia)

  • Supplementing calcium without magnesium intake
  • Use too many laxatives or antacids
  • Overall, muscle tone decreases
  • Depression
  • Heart diseases, especially heart attack
  • Kidney disorders
  • Addison disease

Complications of Magnesium Deficiency

  • Cardiovascular disorders, subsite cardiac death
  • Recurrent or persistent bacterial infections of the sinus, vaginal infections, lungs, throat, or of the median ear because of the insufficient nitrogen oxide from the body
  • Peroxynitrites-related conditions, such as migraines, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, and Alzheimer's disease
  • Liver and kidney disease
  • Elevated levels of insulin in the blood, common to those suffering from insulin resistance, also lead to loss of magnesium
  • Premenstrual syndrome, sudden mood swings, aggression, anxiety, and depression (because magnesium acts as a catalyst for neurotransmitters such as serotonin)

Foods Rich in Magnesium To Add to the Daily Diet

Specialists recommend for adults a daily intake of magnesium of 300-400 mg/day. However, every person should be aware that the absorption of magnesium depends on consumption and also on the total amount of magnesium in the body.

To make sure the body receives magnesium daily, you can consider adding foods rich in this mineral such as almonds, peanuts, nuts, peanut butter, sesame seeds, sunflower, flax, spinach, broccoli, mushrooms, whole wheat bread and flour products, whole wheat bread, and flour products, oats, soya milk, black beans, potatoes, brown rice, chicken breast, halibut, salmon, yogurt, tofu, ground beef, flaxseed or cashews.

Normal Magnesium Levels

For the RBC magnesium test, a normal value is considered to be between 4.2 mg/dL and 6.8 mg/dL. Unfortunately,  the insufficiency of magnesium is widespread among people all around the world. According to statistics, 92% of youngsters between the ages 14 and 18 don't have a diet to assure them the necessary daily magnesium amount. Most likely, this occurs because they avoid raw vegetables in favor of processed foods.

 

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