You may have heard of the mineral magnesium, but if you have headaches, depression or anxiety you really need to pay attention.
Magnesium is needed for your body to properly transmit muscle and nerve impulses and regulate proper enzyme activity. Your body also receives help from magnesium to maintain a proper pH balance. Magnesium helps you process your food and helps carbohydrates, proteins, and fat, converting them into energy. In fact, magnesium is so important it’s one of the first things medical doctors reach for when someone is in the middle of a heart attack.
If you don’t have enough magnesium, these processes don’t work properly.
What else can magnesium do for you? Well, it’s a natural sedative, so it can help with insomnia, depression, and anxiety. You can also use it for muscle spasms, and to help with intermittent claudication (which is an achy and burning sensation in the legs caused by a restriction of blood flow).
Magnesium will also deliver relief for women with PMS who experience severe symptoms. Very often women suffering from PMD (dysmenorrhea or painful periods) and infertility are deficient in magnesium. It’s so powerful, it also helps relax the constricted bronchial tubes that occur in asthma, and many have found that using Vitamin B6, magnesium and avoiding dairy and wheat has helped tremendously! In your body, magnesium helps your neurotransmitters communicate properly with each other.
What can happen when you have a deficiency?
Consider this list of symptoms: headache, fatigue, leg cramps, joint pain, IBS, insomnia, confusion, swollen gums, heart disease, even appetite loss, and the list goes on! Magnesium is a major stress-coping vitamin.
If you have a lot of calcium running around in your bloodstream, it can reduce the amount of magnesium absorbed in the body, leading to a deficiency. You can remedy this by taking the proper vitamins.
Many doctors think you can get enough magnesium from diet alone, but many of our nation’s food sources are depleted of the mineral thanks to fertilizers and processing. So if you need the extra, the best way to get it is through vitamin.
Let’s look at risk factors for magnesium deficiency.
First, are you stressed?
High amounts of stress and a diet of simple sugars can reduce magnesium; stress can be emotional, psychological, or physical. Each stressful moment you encounter, your body uses up magnesium, and then, without it, stress becomes magnified.
It’s a nasty cycle, right?
Drinking alcohol consistently can also affect your magnesium levels because alcohol increases your kidney’s excretion of magnesium. Your digestive tract is also negatively affected by alcohol, which can lead to even lower levels. Caffeine is also a culprit, it too works with your kidneys.
Take care to stay away from dark-colored carbonated beverages, such as soda, because sodas include phosphates that bind with magnesium.
If you take certain medications such as diuretics, birth control, asthma medication, estrogen replacements, these also increase magnesium excretion.
If you suffer from chronic headaches and/or migraines, we recommend you take a high dose multivitamin and 600 mg of magnesium. You can start by adding it in doses of 150 mg gradually increasing the dose until you have a loose bowel movement, then reduce the dose until your BMs are back to normal.
The best magnesium type is citrate or chelate because they won’t irritate your stomach.