Magnesium is a major mineral, meaning you need it in higher amounts than trace minerals, such as zinc or iron.  The importance of this mineral in your body cannot be under looked- it’s a cofactor for more than 300 enzymatic actions in the body. Magnesium supports DNA-RNA synthesis (by making proteins for appropriate functions in the body), maintains cell growth and function, helps with energy production and storage, maintains normal nerve and muscle function, and facilitates bone growth and strength. It assists in getting both calcium and Vitamin D into the cell, making it important in preventing osteoporosis and maintaining strong bones. More recently, magnesium has been recognized in decreasing inflammation in the body by assisting certain cells called cytokines, proteins that decrease inflammation. Inflammation is greatly recognized as driving many chronic conditions and symptoms. Magnesium is important in cardiac conditions, as arrhythmias and atrial fibrillation have a strong association with magnesium deficiency. 

According to World Health Organization statistics, as much as ¾ of the US adult population does not meet the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s recommended daily intake of magnesium, which is 420 mg per day. 

So why are we so deficient? The first and most apparent reason is that we simply don’t eat enough plants, which are rich in this mineral. Another reason is that our soil is becoming more and more deficient in minerals like magnesium, therefore making our food more deficient. Glyphosate, or Round Up, has increased this soil depletion issue. So even if you’re eating the recommended 7-8 servings of vegetables a day (what I recommend for my patients), you STILL could be deficient! Individuals that are more at risk for this deficiency include diabetics (and pre-diabetics, or those with insulin resistance), the elderly, those with IBS, colitis, Crohn’s, or celiac disease, individuals who consume a fair to large amount of alcohol, milk, carbonated drinks and coffee, or those that use diuretics, birth control pills, PPIs (such as omeprazole, or Prilosec), or asthma medications.  

Common signs of low magnesium can include constipation, muscle cramping or pain, headaches, fatigue, brain fog, depression, anxiety, mood disorders, PMS, insomnia, tinnitus, high blood pressure, numbness or tingling, TMJ, or ADHD. Other symptoms have also been reported. 

Foods rich in magnesium include pumpkin seeds, brazil nuts, almonds, spinach, swiss chard, cashews, peanuts, black beans, edamame, molasses, hazelnuts, avocado, and brown rice. Your body can best utilize magnesium from food, so eat up! Many of my patients also need to supplement with different forms of magnesium, depending on their symptoms and underlying condition. To decrease gastrointestinal side effects, I recommend taking magnesium with food.  

Written By:

Amber Warren, PA-C
Adult Functional Practitioner

 

  1. Bergman G, Fan T, McFetridge J, Sen S. Efficacy of vitamin D3 supplementation in preventing fractures in elderly women: a meta-analysis. Curr Med Res Opin 2010;26(5):1193-1201.
  2. Institute of Medicine, Food and Nutrition Board. Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 2010. 
  3. Forrest K, Stuhldreher W. Prevalence and correlates of vitamin D deficiency in US adults. Nutr Res 2011;31(1):48-54.

Stephanie Ritari, PA-C

Stephanie Ritari is a board-certified Physician Assistant who offers primary care for adults at the Functional Medicine of Idaho Meridian Wellness Center. She specializes in Internal Medicine and has spent the majority of her career in the field of cardiovascular disorders.

Stephanie has more than 15 years experience as a Physician Assistant in a variety of medical areas, including cardiology and electrophysiology. Holistic practices have long been a part of Stephanie’s lifestyle, with a particular focus on clean living and nutrition. She has embedded functional principles into her conventional medicine practice throughout her career. After watching family members struggle to find answers for their chronic illnesses, Stephanie became more interested in finding ways to take a root cause approach in her own practice. Wanting to provide a proactive, comprehensive, and preventative scope of care for her patients, Stephanie began studying functional medicine. In 2021, she joined Functional Medicine of Idaho, where she is able to provide evidence based, root cause medicine.

Stephanie earned her Bachelor's of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Montana and her masters in Physician Assistant Studies from Rocky Mountain College. She is currently working towards her certification with The Institute for Functional Medicine. 

In her spare time, Stephanie enjoys spending time with her husband, son, and dog doing outdoor activities including biking, hiking, and skiing. She also loves interior design and traveling, and is hoping to start her own garden in the near future.

Dr. David Musnick, MD, IFMCP

David Musnick is a board-certified medical doctor who offers in-person and telemedicine care from the Functional Medicine of Idaho Eagle clinic (coming soon). Dr. Musnick offers Functional Medicine, Sports Medicine, Functional Immunology, and Primary Care for adults and teenagers. He specializes in sports medicine, internal medicine, frequency specific microcurrent (FSM), scars, homeopathy, prolotherapy, and low-level laser treatments. 

Dr. Musnick is interested in getting to the root of underlying causes and factors that affect healing, including diet, sleep, exercise, stress, GI health, brain region health, toxins, hormones, infections, and electromagnetic fields (EMF). In medical school, Dr. Musnick spent a year studying nutrition. He has always been interested in the complex interrelationships of different systems of the body. Taking on challenges in the past, he created new treatment programs to heal the brain after concussion, treat chronic pain, arthritis, and tough SIBO and IBS cases. Dr. Musnick wants to help his patients achieve the highest level of health, vitality and function. 

After his internal medicine residency in Seattle, Dr. Musnick completed a fellowship in sports medicine where he became interested in helping patients get back to optimal musculoskeletal health and eventually back to their favorite activities. He quickly learned that many areas of the body were interrelated and started learning more about nutrition, supplements, and other facets of functional medicine. Dr. Musnick has more than 24 years of experience in Functional Medicine and achieved a very high level of both experience and expertise with many health conditions. He is also the author of the book, Conditioning for Outdoor Fitness, and helped in writing textbook chapters on arthritis and concussions.

Dr. Musnick received his Doctorate of Medicine from the University of California, San Francisco. He is certified through the Institute for Functional Medicine as an IFMCP. He also studied in the French school of Homeopathy. He is uniquely rare in that he teaches Frequency Specific Microcurrent (FSM) and how to integrate it with functional medicine. 

In his spare time, Dr. Musnick enjoys hiking, nature photography, cooking healthy food, mountain biking, and skiing.

IFM Certified Practitioner

Aaron Dykstra, DNP, FNP-C

Aaron Dykstra is a board certified Family Nurse Practitioner with a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. He offers pediatric primary care, including well-child checks and acute visits, in the Pediatric Department of the Functional Medicine of Idaho Meridian Wellness Center.

Functional and alternative therapies were a part of Aaron’s life from a young age, and he has implemented these principles into his conventional medicine practice throughout his career. Aaron has more than 8 years of experience in a variety of medical disciplines, including pediatrics, obstetrics, mental health, and nutrition. He has practiced in rural health clinics in California and Oregon. For the last 5 years, Aaron has had a passion for working with children and implementing positive change through the family unit. Aaron joined the Functional Medicine of Idaho Pediatric Team in 2021. His enthusiasm for educating children and parents about living a healthy lifestyle allows him to provide preventative and acute care for infants, children, and adolescents. 

Aaron obtained his Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Brigham Young University. He earned both his Master’s of Science in Nursing and Doctor of Nursing Practice through the University of Arizona. He has obtained a Family Herbalist and Family Nutritionist certifications through The School of Natural Healing by Dr. Christopher. He is currently working towards his certification with The Institute for Functional Medicine.

Outside of work, you will find Aaron spending time with his wife and 5 kids, mountain biking, running, or camping in the backyard. Aaron is a big fan of Master Chef and enjoys cooking.

Nadia Kravchuk, DNP, FNP-C

Nadia Kravchuk is a board certified Family Nurse Practitioner with a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. She offers functional pediatric primary care, including well-child checks and acute visits, in the Pediatric Department of the Functional Medicine of Idaho Meridian Wellness Center.

Nadia and her family immigrated to the United States in 1989 where they first settled in Oregon and then moved to Idaho in 2001. Complementary medicine practices were embedded into her lifestyle at a young age, and she has implemented these principles into her conventional medicine practice throughout her career. She has more than 15 years experience in a variety of medical environments, including emergency room, intensive care unit, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, family practice, and aesthetics.

Nadia joined Functional Medicine of Idaho so that she can combine functional principles with the foundations of conventional medicine to address the underlying causes of disease and promote optimal wellness. As an avid gardener, beekeeper, and sustainable living enthusiast, she understands the importance and role of optimizing nutrition, sleep, physical, spiritual, and emotional well-being. She has a passion for pediatric functional medicine and understands that early recognition and interventions can correct imbalances, prevent chronic illness, and improve overall outcomes for children.

Nadia obtained her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Northwest Nazarene University. She earned both her Master’s of Science in Nursing and Doctor of Nursing Practice through Frontier Nursing University. In 2017, she was the recipient of the HCA Excellence in Nursing Award. She is currently working towards her certification with The Institute for Functional Medicine.

Outside of work, you will find Nadia working on her urban homestead, hiking, foraging, camping, snowboarding, and spending time with her husband and her dog, Wolfy. She is also fluent in both English and Russian.