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Autism Spectrum
Disorder and Limb Pain

Some parents complain about limb pain and cramping in children with autism. A common reason for this is magnesium deficiency, which can cause the muscles to over-contract.

supplements for autism

The truth is that magnesium—an important mineral—is key to muscle relaxation, including the relaxation of the heart, skeletal, and smooth muscles. This is why a magnesium deficiency will directly cause the muscles to over-contract, potentially resulting in pain among children with autism.

Magnesium deficiency in children with autism

Magnesium Deficiency in Children with Autism

Magnesium is very important for muscle movement. This is why a long-term magnesium deficiency can yield multiple complications, including:

  • Convulsions

These occur when the muscle relax and contract at a rapid rate, causing the person to lose control over their body. It may seem as though the body is shaking in this situation.

  • Chronic Fatigue

Breaking down ATP requires minerals such as magnesium. This means if the body is deficient in minerals—including magnesium—the patient may experience chronic fatigue.

  • Constipation

Magnesium ions help to control peristalsis, or the involuntary constriction and relaxation of the intestines. As such, a magnesium deficiency can cause peristaltic movement issues.

  • Sleep Disorders

Magnesium is crucial to 5methoxy-N-acetyltryptamine development, which oversees biological systems like the sleep cycle. A chronic deficiency can result in complications.

  • Hyperactivity

The hormones dopamine and epinephrine help the mind focus and are used in the central and peripheral nervous system. As such, a magnesium deficiency can lead to hyperactivity.

  • Sensitivity and Nervousness

Fail to consume enough magnesium, and children may become more sensitive to light and noise. Magnesium also oversees serotonin production, which induces feelings of calmness.

Sometimes children experience a magnesium deficiency because they do not consume a balanced diet. Many children steer clear of magnesium-rich ingredients like legumes, almonds, dark chocolate, avocados, nuts, green vegetables, bananas, and sweet potatoes.

In some cases, absorption disorders may be at play, preventing key minerals from being absorbed in the body. For instance, conditions like inflammatory bowel disease, diarrhea, continuous vomiting, and other complications may be present. These could also be symptoms of celiac disease.

Moreover, the growth of Candida albicans can also cause infections and inhibit magnesium absorption. It’s also important to note that anxiety-inducing situations tend to require more magnesium, causing high-pressure situations to potentially result in a deficiency. This could become especially problematic if creatine and its derivatives Attent and Concerta are used.

Detecting Magnesium Deficiency in Children on the Spectrum

Laboratory tests are an ideal way to identify a magnesium deficiency. While it is a common practice to check the patient’s magnesium levels via blood serum in Israel, magnesium is an intracellular mineral—and therefore, we should check it via the red blood cells instead.

If the above laboratory tests find the body is in fact mineral-deficient, magnesium should be added to the diet in the form of malts, citrates, and gluconate—or, you may also use a combination of magnesium and calcium.

Most importantly, doctors recommend taking an adequate dose to compensate for the magnesium deficiency before going to sleep at night, as this can help to relax the muscles.

Note: Those suffering from arrhythmias or a kidney impairment should not take magnesium supplements. This is because they can result in increased toxicity among these patients specifically, as well as other potential complications such as low blood pressure, severe fatigue, and even cardiac arrest.


In short, all patients who complain about limb pains should have their red blood cell concentration evaluated by a professional.

While the muscle pain the patient experiences might not dissipate right away, underlying issues such as sleep disruptions, frustration, and hyperactivity would certainly improve.

The information mentioned above is written solely for the purpose of increasing patient understanding. It does not serve as a substitute for medical advice.

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