Magnesium is one of the most important minerals in the body – especially for those with fibromyalgia.It is responsible for proper enzyme activity and transmission of muscle and nerve impulses, and it aids in maintaining a proper pH balance. It helps metabolize carbohydrates, proteins, and fats into energy. Magnesium also helps synthesize the genetic material in cells and helps to remove toxic substances, such as aluminum and ammonia, from the body. Magnesium and calcium help keep the heart beating; magnesium relaxes the heart, and calcium activates it. A deficiency of magnesium, then, may increase the risk of heart disease.
Magnesium also plays a significant role in regulating the neurotransmitters.
A deficiency can cause muscle pain, joint pain, headache, fatigue, depression, leg cramps, high blood pressure, heart disease and arrhythmia, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, insomnia, hair loss, confusion, personality disorders, swollen gums, and loss of appetite. High intake of calcium may reduce magnesium absorption. Simple sugars and/or stress can deplete magnesium.
Magnesium is a natural sedative and can be used to treat muscle spasm, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and constipation. It is also a potent antidepressant. It helps with intermittent claudication, a condition caused by a restriction of blood flow to the legs. It’s effective in relieving some of the symptoms associated with PMS, and women suffering from PMS are usually deficient in it. New studies are validating what many nutrition-oriented physicians have known for years: a magnesium deficiency can trigger migraine headaches.
Magnesium also helps relax constricted bronchial tubes associated with asthma. In fact, a combination of vitamin B6 and magnesium, along with avoidance of wheat and dairy products, has helped many of my young asthmatic patients.
Unfortunately, dietary magnesium intake in this country is steadily declining. It has been consistently depleted in our soils and further depleted in plants by the use of potassium- and phosphorus containing fertilizers, which reduce a plant’s ability to uptake magnesium. Food processing also removes magnesium, while high-carbohydrate and high-fat diets increase the body’s need for it. Diuretic medications further deplete total body magnesium.
It is estimated that up to 80% of those with FMS/CFS are deficient in magnesium.
What are some risk factors for magnesium deficiency?
1) Excessive stress in your life whether from physical, emotional, or psychological stressors. Stressful conditions cause the body to use more magnesium and a lack of magnesium tends to make stress responses more severe. The hormones associated with stress, adrenaline and cortisol, were also associated with magnesium deficiency.
2) Eating or drinking highly sugary products including those with artificial sugar. Refined sugar has no magnesium and actually causes your body to excrete magnesium through the kidneys. In addition, these products also strip your body of many other highly essential nutrients and can leave you at risk for many health problems.
3) Drinking alcoholic beverages. Alcohol also increases kidney excretion of magnesium. Alcohol also tends to lower the efficiency of your digestive tract and lower Vitamin D levels, which can further lower magnesium levels.
4) Drinking caffeinated beverages. Caffeine works similarly to refined sugar in that it causes the kidneys to excrete magnesium.
5) Taking diuretics, heart medications, asthma medication, birth control pills, or estrogen replacement therapy. These medications increase magnesium excretion through the kidneys and can lead to deficiency.
6) Drinking dark colored carbonated beverages. The phosphates contained in dark beverages bind with magnesium in the body to reduce your magnesium levels.
In the “old days,” when I used to own and oversee my medical practice we would have patients come into the clinic for high dose vitamin and mineral IV therapy. These IVs had large doses of magnesium, as well as other vitamins and minerals and patients usually felt tremendously better after receiving them each week. The IVs weren’t without fault-they were expensive, $75-$90 a treatment, required one and half hours to be administered and their results were short lived.
Realizing the shortcomings of these IVs, I set out to create a “pack” of easy to take high dose supplements that could be taken in a pill and capsule form. This is where my CFS/Fibromyalgia Formula was created.
The CFS/Fibro Formula is loaded with the high doses of the essential nutrients including all the vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, amino acids, malic acid, and extra magnesium (680mg).
The Amino acids are what make our brain chemicals. They help restore normal brain function, increase mental clarity, reduce depression, anxiety, and fatigue. The Essential Fatty Acids reduce pain, inflammation, depression, anxiety, allow brain cells to communicate with one another, increase mental clarity, and boosts energy. The Formula contains all the high dose vitamins and minerals based on The Optimal Daily Allowance according to Orthomolecular Medicine.
For anyone with fibromyalgia I recommend taking an Optimal Daily high dose multivitamin with a minimum of 600mg of magnesium, preferably magnesium citrate or chelate (has best absorption, won’t irritate the stomach). You can also add magnesium in 150mg doses-take until loose bowel movement then reduce dose until have normal bowel movement (remember magnesium is a natural muscle relaxant and will relax the colon as well-great for IBS and constipation as well as stiff achy muscles.