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9
Mar

The Magnesium Miracle

by Tiffany in Health & Healing

I went primal/paleo about 3.5 months ago now. It has been for the most a wonderful and exhilarating ride that has brought so much to my health. I have lost inches off my waistline, I have gained energy, I have started sleeping much better, and I just feel more youthful. And yet, about the same time I went primal I also started experiencing PMS issues, which wasn’t such a great side effect.

I went from virtually no premenstrual issues to experiencing bloating, water retention, and cramps. This was not a big deal in general because before I went off grains I was pretty much bloated all the time and barely even knew what it felt like to NOT be bloated. Still it bothered me that my health could improve on so many levels by eating paleo, but yet this one area seemed to get worse. Well, a quickie Google search about why I had a wicked craving for chocolate during that time of month lead me to the words “magnesium deficient”. I knew a little about magnesium and its role in the body but I wanted to know more and so I picked up The Magnesium Miracle.

This book has proved to be a wealth of good information. Magnesium is incredibly important to our health and yet most of us are deficient because we aren’t getting it from our food. Depleted soil is in large part to blame but our overly stressed and busy lifestyles as well as processed food diets also make it easy for us to become deficient. It is such a problem that the World Health Organization has even toyed with adding it to our water supply.

So what does Magnesium do in the body? Well, do you have the time to read a book about it?

It has such an important role in our body and it effects so many body systems that it is hard to know where to start. For one, it regulates more than 325 enzymes in the body and the most vital of those are ones that help to produce, transport, store, and utilize energy. Many aspects of our metabolism are also regulated by magnesium and it facilitates the electrical current that works its way through the miles of nerves in our body. Magnesium also determines muscle activity by controlling the entry and release of calcium inside cells. Quite simply magnesium is indispensable to life and yet it is continually being lost from our natural food supply.

In addition to being a powerhouse of information on Magnesium this book also makes and excellent case for why it is getting harder and harder to get needed minerals without supplementation. Our food supply is just not cutting it.

Just some of the things Magnesium can help you with:

  • Anxiety/Panic Attacks
  • Asthma
  • Bowel Issues
  • Depression
  • Detoxification
  • Diabetes
  • Fatigue
  • Heart Disease
  • Insomnia
  • Migraines
  • Musculoskeletal  conditions
  • Nerve problems
  • PMS, infertility, pregnancy problems
  • Osteoporosis
  • Tooth Decay

Other helpful things I learned:

Magnesium deficiency can cause constipation, which then causes toxins to be reabsorbed into the body instead of expelled with the waste.

We have plenty of reasons to stay away from fluoride but here is another. Fluoride seeks out what little magnesium you have in the body and it binds with it, making it unavailable to do its work. The new mineral produced in the bonding also ends up taking the place of magnesium in our bones but it is brittle and makes our bones much weaker and prone to fracture.

If we are in poor health already and have a leaky gut we are more likely to not absorb the magnesium we ARE eating. A high protein diet can make the deficiency worse as can eating grains and soy because of the phytic acid content in them. I thought perhaps getting rid of grains was the issue but it seems perhaps not in light of that. Grains/soy may be high in magnesium but they also prevent you from absorbing it properly… go figure. I am guessing it is the same with nuts. I think that going grain free did move along my deficiency though, even if grains are a poor quality source.

ADHD, ADD, and autism have all been associated with magnesium deficiency and there are those in some medical circles who think it may be the cause of these issues. Adrenaline in the body causes magnesium levels to go down so hyperactive children especially need extra magnesium because of their constantly high adrenaline levels. Very interesting! The whole section of the book that addresses deficiency in kids has me looking into how I can introduce this supplement to them.

Okay so what do I need to do to bring my magnesium levels back up and alleviate some of these PMS symptoms? I could just give in to the chocolate cravings because chocolate is high in magnesium… that is why my body craved it! Most doctors advise against that though because of the sugar but I eat very dark chocolate without much sugar so no problems there. I also plan to eat more pumpkins seeds (eating some now in fact), soaked nuts, kelp, dulse, herbs, and wild greens. After reading about how grains impede magnesium absorption I am not the least bit worried about excluding them. I just have to eat more magnesium rich foods to replace what little I got from grains.

I am also using my Ancient Minerals products daily to help me absorb magnesium through the skin. I apply the spray or gel before I go to the gym and then I shower it off when I get there. After one day of using them a premenstrual backache went away. They really do work. I also hope to get more of the bath flakes and take baths in them on non gym days. Lastly, I plan to supplement with magnesium pills. I look forward to seeing how I feel a few weeks and months from now.

** Also recommended by a reader (see below) the Natural Vitality – Natural Calm Rasp-Lemon powder, which is a magnesium/calcium powder you can put in water and kids supposedly love it. Gotta try that!

 Update – 4/7/2012

This update comes roughly one month later. I woke up this morning to find my monthly visitor had arrived with nary a symptom. No PMS at all. No backaches, minimal bloating, no fatigue whatsoever, and no chocolate cravings. My skin also gets a bit oily and I may get a tiny pimple or two this time of month. I had none of that this time. In fact last month I told the kids I was sick and spent two days in bed, dog tired. This month I could literally do cartwheels in the backyard. I am totally sold on magnesium supplementation at this point.

What did I do exactly? I started taking a 500mg pill every single day and eating more magnesium rich foods. I sprayed myself with magensium oil almost daily about 20 minutes before my shower because it is more easily absorbed via the skin. After strenuous CrossFit workouts I would soak in magnesium flakes and also drink dark chocolate coconut water or Natural Vitality drink products. It was pretty effortless to make these small changes but the benefit was amazing!

Friday, March 9th, 2012

27 Comments

  • Abigail (aka Mamatouille)

    We stopped using fluoride toothpaste, and the kids’ dentist was pushing it with them but I don’t give it to them, either. (The dentist thought I was nuts!)

    We all started taking a magnesium drink several months ago and we are all MUCH calmer and less stressed–it really works. It’s a white powder you put in water and it’s sparkly–the kids love the raspberry lemon flavor. VERY good stuff. I feel much more relaxed and I know it’s doing my body good.

    • http://www.naturemoms.com/blog Tiffany

      Abigail, what is the pwowder/drink called?

      • http://www.naturemoms.com/blog Tiffany

        I am going to guess she is talking about 
        Natural Vitality – Natural Calm in Lemon raspberry. It’s a magnesium/calcium drink. I think we have some and have yet to try it. ;)

        http://amzn.to/AzjueZ

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=622220821 Brandy Orndorf

       Yes, I would be interested in the brand/name of the magnesium drink you are using as well, Abigail. Thanks!

      • Kellylashawn

        We drink Natural Calm too and have seen GREAT improvements in my migraines, my kids’ chronic constipation issues, and my son’s focus.  It’s yummy too!

    • Anonymous

       Yes, I would like to know too! Thanks!

  • Dnkraus

    Excellent article!  Any problems with too much magnesium that we should be aware of?

    • http://www.naturemoms.com/blog Tiffany

      No actually. Extra passes through you. That is why getting some every day is critical because we don’t hang on to it.

      • Treshia Thueson

        I’ve actually been curious about this as well. I tried supplementing, but everytime I get extra magnesium, my whole body itches like crazy for weeks, so I’m thinking I have too much, and too little of something else like copper and zinc.

  • Mari

    Whenever I have a chocolate craving, I have a tablespoon of coconut oil, it help immensely.

    I eat paleo-ish (fermented and raw dairy occasionally) and I have never felt better!

  • http://twitter.com/IThoughtIKnewMa IThoughtIKnewMama

    This is so helpful – thank you! 

  • Jill Hart

    You can also get magnesium in by taking a bath in espom salts and if you grow a garden, sprinkling espom salts around the plants is a great way to promote growth. Very interesting info about chocolate, I never knew that.

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  • http://www.itsawahmlife.com Jackie Lee

    Natural calm is awesome. They used to have baby calm and mama calm, which I don’t believe they have anymore. I was told all through my pregnancy by my doula and kinesiologist to make sure I got enough magnesium, and when I got leg cramps at night, a dose of mama calm took care of it every time. 

    • http://www.naturemoms.com/blog Tiffany

      I used get leg cramps while pregnant too. Wish I had know back then. ;)

  • http://www.wheatbellydiet.com/going-wheat-free.html Judy

    Most people do not realize how a vitamin/mineral deficency can affect our health, and supplementing is a good idea because it is hard to get what we need from diet alone. By the way I find the paleo way of eatning very interesting. For now I am trying to go wheat free and eventually grain free. I think I will start by incorporating a few paleo recipes into our meals each week.

  • http://www.pureHOMEandBODY.com/ Susan P

     Magnesium deficiencies do cause so many symptoms, I’ve experienced many of those myself and now use the Ancient Minerals in a bath, a nice way to get your vitamins! Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds and even blackstrap molasses are also some great natural sources of natural magnesium.

  • http://twitter.com/CommonSenseIdea Laurie Neverman

    Thanks for sharing this post in the Living Well Hop.  I’ve been thinking of starting magnesium supplementation, so your article was very timely.

  • Cindy

    I take a magnesium supplement for balance issues.  It really helps.

  • Tim McCann

    Check out http://www.afibbers.org/magnesium.htm you'll find a wealth of information  there on how Magnesium is of key importance to human health.
    Also Check out the wife blog on making Waller Water at http://caerylscorner.blogspot.com/2012/02/waller-water-frugal-persons-alkaline.html

  • Candmforever1

     We all use the spray here and so many issues have melted away.  We also eat plenty of sea salt (celtic brand).  This way we are getting minerals inside and out.   Not all sea salt is the same though.  And for grain eaters, minerals are much more available to you when soaked overnight to neutralize the phytic acid.  Before making bread I soak the grains, same with our steel cut oats, etc etc…the list goes on.

  • tsoniki

    Came back and reread this. I think I’ll get the book – the section on kids alone is probably worth it! :)

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  • tsoniki

    I think I’ve read this post of yours at least a handful of times and I am finally going to just get the supplements and see what changes it does for me. Last month I said the same thing – sick so I need to stay in bed. It totally messed up my plans and I don’t like that. 

  • Jamie

    Nice piece. I too believe strongly in magnesium, as I was given it by a naturopath and it turned my health around, no question about it. Since then, I’ve come across various functional medicine specialists who claim it is their ‘secret weapon’ against disease. 

    I agree that soils just aren’t like they used to be. Deficiency in the food supply is common.  I wasn’t aware of the interesting link to fluoridation – which I’m also against, especially where children are concerned. 

    One of the issues is that so little is found in the blood, as opposed to muscle and soft tissues, that it can be hard to determine deficiency with blood tests. 

    I snack on cacao all the time now. !

  • Brian

    I absolutely agree with this article 100% I have recently tried taking a daily magnesium supplement and it has completely changed my life. Listen to tiffany!