Magnesium is an extremely important and valuable mineral, whose value for great health and wellbeing, is just now being re-recognized by mainstream physicians. Many of you have most likely soaked some part of your body, at some point in time, in Epsom salt due to injury.
Nearly, every function in the body requires magnesium. Magnesium is a critical co-factor in more than 300 enzymatic reactions within our system. The implications of magnesium deficiency and infertility set the stage for a very unhealthy situation. Here is a great article resource which further discusses options related to magnesium and what low levels will do to contribute to hormonal chaos in the body.
In the United States, I would guess even the world, magnesium supplementation is dramatically underutilized by practitioners and this mineral is critical in patient care for both treatment, wellness and long term recovery. There are hundreds of published clinical studies documenting the need for magnesium. While you may read articles that discuss why calcium (click here for more info.) is also important, magnesium trumps in terms of overall benefits to health and longevity. It is even used in the emergency department for cardiovascular incidents.
More and more physicians’ are beginning to recognize the benefits of magnesium supplementation. I see firsthand every day how magnesium benefits women in my practice suffering with fertility challenges related to magnesium deficiency. Additionally, advantageous improvements are often noted clinically in patients with insomnia, diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome, stress, muscle and joint/nerve pain and cancer to mention just a few.
What are the symptoms of magnesium deficiency?
Magnesium deficiency can affect almost every major function and organ system in the body. Symptoms generally include kidney disease, liver disease, tooth decay, allergies, hay-fever, headaches, pain, PMS, anxiety, fatigue, high blood pressure…the list is extensive. Folks may also experience tightness in their chest or even a sensation that you can’t take a deep breath. Depression is a huge resulting symptom of prolonged and chronic magnesium deficiency. Serotonin, a mood elevating neurotransmitter, is dependent on magnesium and when we are deficient we can easily become depressed and quickly sink into a rut of anxiety, sadness, and/or depression.
Additionally, symptoms such as impaired contraction of smooth muscles which include constipation, urinary spasms, menstrual cramps and pre-menstrual syndrome are indeed also signs of serious deficiency of magnesium and often related to a hormonal imbalance. See BHRT for more information.
How to diagnose a deficiency of magnesium?
Sans signs and symptoms of low magnesium, how can I find out if I am in a state of deficiency? Technically speaking, laboratory values are of little significance. That being said, clinically, most conventional lab values of both serum magnesium and red blood cell magnesium levels in patients are routinely either low or low normal. This alerts me to the vast number of people that are actually severely magnesium deficient. A 24 hour urine test, serum magnesium and/or red-blood cell magnesium blood levels can be run by your provider to determine a need to supplement your magnesium and to ensure you do not have any rare conditions that would make magnesium supplementation dangerous. (More information on Functional Blood Analysis).
Food Sources: Getting your vitamins and minerals from your food is the best and most optimal way to actually supplement anything your body requires. So, how can you get magnesium from your foods? The best way is to consume a variety of organic whole foods, including whole grains, nuts, seeds and vegetables. It is preferable that the food be grown on naturally composted soil. As the depletion of the minerals in the soil is a whole other article in its own right…Be on the lookout for any and all “green” veggies you can get your hands on and stuff your face! The green color is from chlorophyll, whose main component is magnesium. At all costs, avoid all refined and processed foods, especially white sugar and white flour products, as the vital “magnesium” mineral is removed or non-existent.
Oral / Trans-dermal: However, in replenishing lost stores of magnesium especially with infertility (click here for more info.) employing oral and trans-dermal routes of administration for magnesium supplements can be quite useful. Magnesium is available in a variety of forms. Most forms of magnesium are poorly absorbed and utilized in the system.
The most useful form of oral magnesium supplementation that I have found for both myself and my patients has been Innate Response Magnesium 300 Powder. Mag Powder is a blend of the elemental forms of Magnesium Citrate, Malate & Glycinate complex. This is a superior product that has a calming effect on the nervous system, and can have a strengthening effect on heart muscle as well as to assist with depression, insomnia and anxiety. Many use it routinely to keep their bowels regular. Click here to learn more about digestion assistance.
Another extremely beneficial way to get magnesium into the system is with trans-dermal magnesium. Trans-dermal is a most effective way to have this power mineral quickly and efficiently penetrate the skin and go directly into the system for maximum benefits. What do I mean by transdermal? This means taking magnesium baths and allowing the magnesium in the water to absorb directly through the skin into the body. (click here to learn more about Magnesium Baths) Notice here I said plural, “baths” as Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will one bath restore your waning levels. Bathing in large amounts of Epsom Salts or Ancient Minerals Magnesium Chloride Flakes is one of my consistent recommendations for a very effective way to get stronger concentrations of magnesium, quickly into my infertility and other patients alike.
How much should I be taking??
This is truly the million dollar question. Recommended daily allowance or RDA for magnesium is 350 milligrams. As most of us already know…the RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) is low and to get a therapeutic benefit, higher doses are usually necessary. If you want to use magnesium for fertility you are going to want way more than the RDA as that is barely enough to keep your muscles happy never mind keep your cycle healthy, happy and to replenish chronic deficiencies.
Most people do not even get the RDA of 350 mg of magnesium daily. In patients with normal kidney function, reaching a toxic level is extremely difficult. However, too much oral magnesium can result in diarrhea. Which is certain cases may not be a bad thing. Remember that milk of magnesia is a laxative containing a magnesium salt – and has been used for many years for various types of stomach complaints. Patients with acute or chronic kidney conditions MUST be more careful because their kidneys have difficulty eliminating magnesium and building up toxic levels is much easier. Toxic levels of magnesium could lead to respiratory suppression, depression of the nervous system and possibly coma and/or death. This is exceptionally rare and occurrences happen with severe kidney impairment.
Medical Conditional Benefited by the use of Supplemental Magnesium
Oral/Transdermal magnesium supplementation has been shown to be useful in a wide variety of medical conditions including (but certainly not limited to):
Magnesium for (in)fertility, high blood pressure, asthma, chest pain, coronary artery disease, cardiac arrhythmias, chronic fatigue syndrome, all types of musculoskeletal disorders, epilepsy, mitral valve prolapse, anxiety, panic disorder and other medical and psychiatric conditions. There is so much information on the benefits of magnesium that we could write volumes of information about it. As practitioners of “natural” and “integrative” medicine we look for the underlying cause of dis-ease. One thing that can be said for sure…Maintaining healthy levels of magnesium can truly help get to the root cause of many conditions that would otherwise go untreated or treated improperly.
This information is provided for educational use only. It is not provided in order to diagnose, prescribe, or treat any disease, illness, or injured condition of the body. Neither responsibility nor liability will be incurred to any person or entity with respect to any loss, damage, or injury caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly by the information contained above. Consult your health care professional if necessary or you have any specific questions or if magnesium is right for you. Please see our disclaimer.
Information is not meant to contradict that of your healthcare provider…please seek the advice of a qualified practitioner knowledgeable on the uses of magnesium. Dr. Skip is available virtually for individualized and personalized consultations. We can work together to put a plan into action to optimize your wellness. Book your appointment online today. Use the ‘Book Now’ button to schedule your consultation today.
If you would like to review additional resources pertaining to magnesium then please research two practitioners, their research and clinical expertise that I find extremely beneficial. They are Dr. Carolyn Dean and Dr. Mark Sircus, click on their respective names and enjoy their sites for some great information.