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Do You Have a Magnesium Deficiency?

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Magnesium is arguably the most important mineral in the body. According to a pioneering American neurosurgeon, “Every known illness is associated with a magnesium deficiency and it’s the missing cure to many diseases.”

 

Magnesium is critical for cellular health and for more than 300 biochemical functions in the body. But get this: A common blood test often misses low levels. Here we discuss the main signs that you’re magnesium deficient — and how to reverse it.

Causes of Magnesium Deficiency

Once thought to be relatively rare, magnesium deficiency is more common than most physicians believe. Here’s why:

 

Soil depletion, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and the chemicals in our food have created a recipe for disaster. As minerals are removed, stripped away, or no longer available in the soil, the percentage of magnesium present in food has decreased.

Digestive diseases, like leaky gut, can cause malabsorption of minerals, including magnesium. Today, there are hundreds of millions of people who aren’t absorbing their nutrients. Also, as we age, our mineral absorption tends to decrease, so the probability of having a deficiency increases across the board.

Chronic disease and medication use is at an all-time high. Most chronic illness is associated with magnesium deficiency and lack of mineral absorption. Medications damage the gut which is responsible for absorbing magnesium from our food.

Should you worry about magnesium deficiency?

Should you worry about magnesium deficiency?

It all depends on your risk factors and presenting symptoms.  Also, approximately 80 percent of people have low levels of magnesium, so the chances are that you are probably deficient.

Magnesium is arguably the most important mineral in the body.

According to Norman Shealy, MD, PhD, an American neurosurgeon and a pioneer in pain medicine, “Every known illness is associated with a magnesium deficiency and it’s the missing cure to many diseases.” Not only does Magnesium help regulate calcium, potassium and sodium, but magnesium is essential for cellular health and is a critical component of over 300 biochemical functions in the body.

Even glutathione, your body’s most powerful antioxidant that has even been called “the master antioxidant,” requires magnesium for its synthesis. Unfortunately, most people are not aware of this, and millions suffer daily from magnesium deficiency without even knowing it.

 

Causes of Magnesium Deficiency

Once thought to be relatively rare, magnesium deficiency is more common than most physicians believe. Here’s why:

 

Soil depletion, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and the chemicals in our food have created a recipe for disaster. As minerals are removed, stripped away, or no longer available in the soil, the percentage of magnesium present in food has decreased.

Digestive diseases, like leaky gut, can cause malabsorption of minerals, including magnesium. Today, there are hundreds of millions of people who aren’t absorbing their nutrients. Also, as we age, our mineral absorption tends to decrease, so the probability of having a deficiency increases across the board.

Chronic disease and medication use is at an all-time high. Most chronic illness is associated with magnesium deficiency and lack of mineral absorption. Medications damage the gut which is responsible for absorbing magnesium from our food.

Should you worry about magnesium deficiency?

 

It all depends on your risk factors and presenting symptoms (see below). Also, approximately 80 percent of people have low levels of magnesium, so the chances are that you are probably deficient.

 

Take note: Only 1 percent of magnesium in your body is in your bloodstream, so often you can have a deficiency, and it would not even be discovered by a common blood test.

 

Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms

 

Many people may be magnesium deficient and not even know it. But here are some key symptoms to look out for that could indicate if you are deficient:

  1. Leg Cramps

Seventy percent of adults and 7 percent of children experience leg cramps on a regular basis. But leg cramps can more than a nuisance — they can also be downright excruciating! Because of magnesium’s role in neuromuscular signals and muscle contraction, researchers have observed that magnesium deficiency is often to blame. (1, 2)

More and more health care professionals are prescribing magnesium supplements to help their patients. Restless leg syndrome is another warning sign of a magnesium deficiency. To overcome both leg cramps and restless leg syndrome, you will want to increase your intake of both magnesium and potassium.

 

  1. Insomnia

Magnesium deficiency is often a precursor to sleep disorders such as anxiety, hyperactivity and restlessness. It’s been suggested that this is because magnesium is vital for GABA function, an inhibitory neurotransmitter known to “calm” the brain and promote relaxation.

Taking magnesium before bed or with dinner is the best time of day to take the supplement. Also, adding in magnesium-rich foods during dinner — like nutrition-packed spinach — may help.

 

  1. Muscle Pain / Fibromyalgia

A study published in Magnesium Research examined the role magnesium plays in fibromyalgia symptoms, and it uncovered that increasing magnesium consumption reduced pain and tenderness and also improved immune blood markers. (3)

Oftentimes linked to autoimmune disorders, this research should encourage fibromyalgia patients because it highlights the systemic effects that magnesium supplements have on the body.

  1. Anxiety

As magnesium deficiency can affect the central nervous system, more specifically the GABA cycle in the body, its side effects can include irritability and nervousness. As the deficiency worsens, it causes high levels of anxiety and, in severe cases, depression and hallucinations.

Magnesium is needed for every cell function from the gut to the brain, so it’s no wonder that it affects so many systems.

  1. High Blood Pressure

Magnesium works partnered with calcium to support proper blood pressure and protect the heart.  So when you are magnesium deficient, often you are also low in calcium and tend towards hypertension or high blood pressure.

A study with 241,378 participants published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition uncovered that a diet high in magnesium foods could reduce the risk of a stroke by 8 percent. (4) This is profound considering that hypertension causes 50 percent of ischemic strokes in the world.

  1. Type II Diabetes

One of the four main causes of magnesium deficiency is type II diabetes, but it’s also a common symptom. U.K. researchers, for example, uncovered that of the 1,452 adults they examined low, magnesium levels were 10 times more common with new diabetics and 8.6 times more common with known diabetics. (5)

 

As expected from this data, diets rich in magnesium has been shown to significantly lower the risk of type 2 diabetes because of magnesium’s role in sugar metabolism. Another study discovered that the simple addition of magnesium supplementation lowered the risk of diabetes by 15 percent! (6)

  1. Fatigue

Low energy, weakness and fatigue are common symptoms of magnesium deficiency. Most chronic fatigue syndrome patients are also magnesium deficient. The University of Maryland Medical Center reports that magnesium every day can help, but you do also want to be careful, as too much magnesium can also cause diarrhea. (7)

  1. Migraine Headaches

Magnesium deficiency has been linked to migraine headaches due to its importance in balancing neurotransmitters in the body. Double-blind placebo-controlled studies have proven that magnesium daily reduced the frequency of migraine headaches by up to 42 percent. (8)

  1. Osteoporosis

The National Institute of Health reports that, “The average person’s body contains about 25 grams of magnesium, and about half of that is in the bones.” (9) This is important to realize, especially for the elderly, who are at risk of bone weakening.

Thankfully, there’s hope! A study published in Biology Trace Element Research uncovered that supplementing with magnesium slowed the development of osteoporosis “significantly” after just 30 days. (10)

 

Are You at Risk? 

 

So, who is most susceptible to a magnesium deficiency? According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), not every one is created equal in regards to metabolizing and assimilating magnesium. In fact, certain people are inherently at a greater risk of developing a magnesium deficiency.

 

Magnesium deficiency can be inherited genetically as an inability to absorb this important mineral. Also, a diet low in high magnesium foods, or even emotional or work stress can drain magnesium from the body. Whether inherited, through a deficient diet, or even stress, a magnesium deficiency can lead to side effects of migraines, diabetes, fatigue and more.

 

Which one, How much, And what do I take with it?

 

These are all questions we will be happy to help you with.  We are not all wired the same way, and the same dose not work the same on everyone.  You need personalized healthcare plan just for you.  Call us for help in this matter, and we will work with you to get this right.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

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Lifestyle

Meditation is as effective as antidepressant drugs

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Meditation is just as effective as antidepressant drugs in treating anxiety or depression, but without the side effects, according to a study conducted by researchers from Johns Hopkins University and published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. The study was funded by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The researchers analyzed the results of 47 prior randomized, controlled trials conducted on a total of 3,515 people suffering from depression, anxiety, insomnia, heart disease, chronic pain, stress and other health conditions. In all the trials analyzed, mindfulness meditation had been compared to a placebo or to other treatments. Mindfulness meditation consists of the regular practice, often 30 to 40 minutes per day, of a person remaining aware of their surroundings (such as sounds), thoughts and emotions, without forming attachment to their outcomes. This is in contrast with concentration practices, in which a person focuses on a single thought or activity (such as chanting or looking at a candle) to the exclusion of all other thoughts. “Many people have the idea that meditation means just sitting quietly and doing nothing,” researcher Madhav Goyal said. “That is not true. It is an active training of the mind to increase awareness, and different meditation programs approach this in different ways.” According to the National Institutes of Health, roughly 9 percent of U.S. residents meditated at least once in 2007, while about 1 percent said that they used meditation as a medical treatment.

Effect similar to drugs

The researchers found that people who underwent a roughly eight-week mindfulness training practice experienced a 5 to 10 percent reduction in anxiety symptoms compared to placebo groups, and a 10 to 20 percent reduction in depression symptoms. The research also suggested that meditation led to significant reductions in pain, although these findings were not conclusive. “This is similar to the effects that other studies have found for the use of antidepressants in similar populations,” Goyal said. Little or no effect was found in the other areas of chronic health studied, such as attention, sleep, weight or substance abuse. “Our review suggests that there is moderate evidence for a small but consistent benefit for anxiety, depression and chronic pain,” Goyal said. “There is no known major harm from meditating, and meditation doesn’t come with any known side effects. One can also practice meditation along with other treatments one is already receiving.”

Meditation for its own sake

The findings suggest that mindfulness meditation may be useful as a substitute or complement to drugs for many chronic conditions, Allan Goroll of Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital wrote in an accompanying editorial. “The findings of such research should be the subject of conversations that need to begin in every examination room and extend to engage the media, who play a key role in determining patient attitudes toward health care and the demand for services,” Goroll wrote. Goyal also called for health providers to educate patients about the benefits of meditation. “Clinicians should be prepared to talk with their patients about the role that meditation programs could have in addressing psychological stress, particularly when symptoms are mild,” he said. Meditation is not a cure-all, Goyal warned, but it can still provide significant benefits, even above and beyond the treatment of chronic conditions. “We should keep foremost in our mind that meditation was never conceived of as a treatment for any health problem,” Goyal said. “Rather, it is a path one travels on to increase our awareness and gain insight into our lives. The best reason to meditate is to increase insight into one’s life which is probably good for everyone.” Sources for this article include: http://www.bloomberg.com http://science.naturalnews.com Health and Wellness Associates

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