Several years ago, I had a patient – a sweet, grandmotherly, older woman – who came in for regular adjustments, but she was so fragile I often hesitated to press down too hard. When I talked to her about it, she was surprised. She had been taking calcium supplements for years, but it didn’t seem to have any effect.
Bone depletion is fairly normal in seniors, but it shouldn’t be. We should have strong, robust bones our whole lives. Researchers have been noticing changes in our bone structure in recent years, pointing out the fact that our bones are not fixed structures, but living organisms that adapt to changes in our lifestyle. This article on that research was surprisingly interesting (as clinical research goes), and might make a strong enough case for you to limit your cellphone use.
What’s The Culprit?
What I learned from spending some time with that patient was that she wasn’t getting enough magnesium in her diet. As much as your body needs calcium, it needs magnesium far more. In fact, without magnesium, your body can’t assimilate calcium properly. That was part of her problem. I recommended about 400 mg of magnesium citrate in capsule form. Any more would have caused her to have diarrhea.
Magnesium is one of the most important nutrients in our diet — it is connected to over 300 cellular functions in the human body, including the maintenance of your nervous system, brain, heart, skin, and bones. It regulates your blood glucose and your protein intake. It’s kind of a big deal, so we take it seriously here.
We Don’t Get Enough Of It
The problem is, we don’t get anywhere near enough of it (and in a minute I’ll show you how magnesium deficiency manifests in your body). There are multiple reasons why we are all coming up short:
- We don’t eat enough fresh vegetables. Vegetables are still the best way to take in most of our key nutrients like magnesium.
- Genetically-modified vegetables have much of their nutrient content striped away.
- Our soil is being depleted of nutrients, especially magnesium, due in part to a relentless farming system that doesn’t give our fields time to recover. If you’re familiar with the concept of the Sabbath (or resting every seven days), it should come as no surprise that soil needs to rest every seven years as well.
- Digestive disorders, like Chron’s Disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and leaky gut can cause your body to not absorb nutrients properly. If your gut flora has been damaged by disease, stress, antibiotics, or other medications, then you are missing out on tons of nutrients as they slip through your gut.
- Even my friends on the keto diet find that they lose electrolytes (potassium, magnesium, and sodium) as they lose water weight and have to overcompensate with their diet.
How Can You Tell If You Are Magnesium Deficient?
Magnesium is one of those minerals that doesn’t even show up on most blood tests, in spite of how critical it is in most other body functions, so it isn’t an obvious first place to look when you are looking for medical treatment. But if you are dealing with one or more of these issues, while I can’t guarantee that magnesium is the answer, it’s a good place to start. If it doesn’t clear up, then we can start investigating other possible causes.
High Blood Pressure
If your blood pressure is up, there are several things you can do, but taking around 400 mg of magnesium citrate a day is a fairly common non-medical treatment that gets consistent results. If your blood pressure is normal, you won’t notice a difference, but if it’s high, I would start here before I took a pharmaceutical drug.
One of the first things I do when a patient presents with inflammatory issues — whether it’s arthritis, asthma, or atherosclerosis — is talk to them about getting the toxic foods out of their diet (I have a terrific 28-day cleanse that has helped hundreds of people overcome serious diseases). As it turns out, many of the foods we end up substituting in are high in magnesium, including spinach, avocado, Swiss Chard, quinoa, bananas, and legumes. Is that purely a coincidence? Maybe.
Anxiety and Depression
As magnesium manages hundreds of functions in your nervous system, it should come as no surprise that it affects issues like
Some of these have mental/emotional components to them – like a sense of helplessness – so it’s reasonable to group them together. I don’t ever mean to suggest that depression is simply a nutritional issue, but nutrition can play an important role in managing it. Magnesium has been shown to calm the body, relax muscles, and “bring balance to the Force,” if you will. How the shortage of magnesium manifests (e.g., whether it leads to the depression ditch or the anxiety ditch) will depend on several factors, including emotional health, social circumstances, work pressures, and so on.
Blood Sugar and Insulin
Magnesium is a key factor in how your pancreas produces insulin in response to your sugar intake. If you find yourself gaining a lot of unexplained weight, suffering from fatigue, experiencing “crashes” throughout the day, it would do you no harm to take a daily magnesium supplement and see if you don’t start seeing better results.
Muscle Cramps and Pain
Because magnesium has a systemic effect on your body, it makes sense that it is increasingly used in the treatment of autoimmune disorders like fibromyalgia. But it also helps to regulate neuromuscular communications, so if you have regular muscle cramps, a daily magnesium supplement is a safe way to get some relief. Again, if you don’t see an improvement after a couple of weeks, then it’s time to look for deeper issues.
Magnesium Is Linked To (Almost) Everything
Here at Fundamental Health Solutions, we’re not just chiropractors – although that’s an important tool in our box – we are wellness coaches who teach people to Think Right, Eat Right, Move Right, and Live Right. So magnesium isn’t just one of those nutrients we encourage people to take; it touches almost every part of our work in some way. It impacts your bone health, muscle health, nervous system health, digestive health, mental health, emotional health, and other areas we are just now starting to understand. So I take it seriously.
Let’s Talk About This More
If you are interested in learning more about magnesium supplements, leave your questions in the comments section or private message me. Not all supplements are the same – some are terrible and a few are great. I will only every recommend the great ones, but even then, I like to make sure I clearly understand your health profile before I just spout out a recommendation. What works for one patient might be too much or too little for you. Let’s talk.
By the way, if this article was helpful to you, it would probably be helpful to someone you know, too. Take 8 seconds right now and share it on your favorite social media channel, so someone else can benefit from it. As you have received, freely give.
“At the end of your FEELINGS is NOTHING. At the end of your PRINCIPLES is a PROMISE.” — Eric Thomas