The title of this post is somewhat misleading, as it doesn’t have a lot to do with having a chocolate obsession. What I’d like to talk about in this post is a common deficiency many people have, which can actually lead to a strong craving of chocolate, and can cause a lot of different health issues. This is a magnesium deficiency, and this mineral has many important functions in the body, some of which are critical to thyroid health.
With regards to thyroid health, a magnesium deficiency can affect the production of thyroid hormone, thus leading to hypothyroidism. It can also play a role in hyperthyroidism, as well as autoimmune thyroid conditions. When I was diagnosed with Graves’ Disease, I took magnesium to help with the absorption of the iodine I was taking. I actually still take magnesium supplements daily. Besides being important for thyroid health, magnesium also plays an important role in the reactions involving numerous enzymes, and has many other functions.
A magnesium deficiency can actually lead to a progesterone deficiency. I’ve spoken in the past about estrogen dominance, and how in most cases this condition involves a deficiency in progesterone. I’m not suggesting that a magnesium deficiency is the primary cause of estrogen dominance, but I just want to make you aware of how important this mineral is to your overall health, which is why I decided to dedicate a separate post to this topic.
How Can You Tell If You’re Magnesium Deficient?
One way to tell if you’re magnesium deficient is by the symptoms you experience. Some of the common symptoms of magnesium deficiency include fatigue, anxiety, constipation, and muscle spasms. The problem is that other mineral and nutritional deficiencies can cause some of the same symptoms. As a result, the more accurate method of determining whether you have a magnesium deficiency is through testing. You can receive a blood test to diagnose such a deficiency. Another option is to have a hair mineral analysis performed, which not only can identify if you have a magnesium deficiency, but can also help to identify other mineral deficiencies as well, such as calcium, potassium, sodium, copper, and numerous other minerals.
I don’t see any reason why your medical doctor wouldn’t cooperate with your wishes to obtain a magnesium blood test. But if there are any problems with your doctor ordering this test, you can visit a website such as www.DirectLabs.com and order it yourself, and then visit your nearest Lab Corp to have the blood drawn. As for a hair analysis, there are some labs that might let you order a test kit on your own, but you need to be extremely careful, as not all labs have a good reputation. I recommend Analytical Research Labs, as they have been doing this for many years and will do a good job.
How To Address A Magnesium Deficiency
While you might be able to obtain a sufficient amount of magnesium by eating a good diet consisting of green leafy vegetables, raw nuts, kelp, and some other foods, it’s a good idea to take magnesium supplements, at least until you correct such a deficiency. Once you have raised the magnesium levels you then could rely on diet if you want to. But while you have a magnesium deficiency I strongly recommend to take about 400 mg of magnesium daily. I would split the dosage up, taking 200 mg in the morning, and another 200 mg in the late afternoon or evening.
As usual, the quality of the supplement is important. I use the Magnesium Lactate supplement from Standard Process. Of course there are other companies which provide quality supplements as well, but anyone who has read my posts and articles for awhile has heard me bring up this company in the past, as Standard Process provides high quality products.
Since chocolate contains magnesium, can one simply eat chocolate daily to fulfill the daily requirements? Being someone who loves chocolate, I wish this were the case. And while having some occasional dark chocolate is fine for most people, chocolate is high in caffeine, and therefore taking too much chocolate can actually cause problems with the adrenal glands. So unfortunately, you can’t just consume chocolate to correct a magnesium deficiency, or to maintain adequate magnesium levels once you have corrected such a deficiency.
In summary, if you have a strong craving for chocolate, then it’s quite possible that you have a magnesium deficiency. But even if you don’t have a “chocolate obsession”, there still is a good chance you might have such a deficiency. As a result, it’s a good idea to get tested to see if you have such a deficiency, and then if you find out you are deficient in magnesium, make sure you take high quality supplements and eat magnesium-rich foods in order to correct this deficiency.