Well now, that’s a question isn’t it?
Until the other Sunday I would have said vaguely,
“Oh well, I suppose everyone, to a degree.”
Then that Sunday, I got up, had my breakfast and got ready for church. All the time having the uncomfortable feeling that I was going to keel over. –
Weird, but what worried me, was that I had started feeling a little light-headed as well, dizzy, you know, as though my brain was swimming around inside my head, not knowing what to do with itself. Which I admit, had begun to feel just a little scary.
I think it came to a head though, when I took a walk looking for a church closer to my home, to which I could walk rather than taking the car. But that day, instead of going up the drive, noticing that the car park was full, I decided the service had probably already started so, not wanting to walk into a place where I didn’t know anyone, I headed back home. Instead of going inside, sitting down with a Panadol and a cuppa, I just collected the car keys and drove to my usual church. Also fairly new to me as I had only been living here for a few weeks.
Afterward, I went to lunch at a nearby café with some of my new friends, where I again started to have problems staying upright. On telling one of my companions, she told me of a relative of hers who had experienced something similar. As he is a farmer, it put him in mind of ‘The Staggers’, suffered by cattle when they’re lacking in magnesium. He told his doctor and was advised to try a Magnesium supplement.
Now, until a few weeks earlier, I had been taking a supplement that actually included magnesium, but I had run out of tablets. The main supplement in the tablets was turmeric not magnesium. At the time I just thought, oh well, I’ll get some more next fortnightly shop. Naturally enough, as this was just something I had bought because I thought it could be good for my health, it really wasn’t something I thought important. So I simply forgot next shop, telling myself when I remembered (after I got home of course), no worries, I’ll just get some next shop instead. Needless to say, I forgot then too. ï
However, after my Sunday “episode” I made sure to buy some magnesium tablets and began taking them daily. Within a week I seemed to be back to normal, so again, forgot about the matter. Although I did keep taking the tablets.
Until I didn’t, ran out and thought to wait until next shop, well you know the saying, those who don’t remember their history, will keep getting the same results. A few days of nodding off when I sat in a comfortable chair even through the day, then the return of the head swimming issue, sent me off to the chemist pretty darn quick.
But – it also sent me to the computer and my second favourite occupation, in depth research. I quickly found that people may not actually need a magnesium supplement if they eat some servings of nuts, seeds, whole grains, beans, leafy veg, milk, yoghurt and fortified foods, which are all good sources of this item. Even water (tap, mineral, bottled) can provide it. Though unfortunately, many of us do not take all the foods that will help us, do we?
And for me the question that follows, is – WHY do we need it? –
Did you know that the Mayo Clinic reported that Magnesium supports muscle, nerve function and energy production, synthesises proteins, DNA and RNA. Like some antibiotics and Osteoporosis drugs. As well, antioxidant glutathione contributes to structural bone development and helps increase calcium absorption.
Also, that just 1 ounce of raw almonds contain 20% of your daily magnesium requirement. And who doesn’t like almonds? OK. I know there are some who don’t and even some who are allergic, but for many of us YUM.
Magnesium plays a role too, in our metabolism, cells use magnesium to transport calcium and potassium ions across the cell walls.
On the other hand, low levels of magnesium have been linked to Osteoporosis, anxiety, depression among other conditions, as well as ADHD.
Magnesium is sometimes recommended as a supplement to help treat people with high blood pressure, some chronic conditions, Diabetes, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Heavy drinking and Alcoholism have been shown to sometimes result in chronically low magnesium levels, as do conditions such as Crohn’s, and Celiac disease. Older adults (like me ï) can be prone to having lower levels than young adults. Partly because the gut often becomes less efficient at absorbing magnesium while our kidneys can become less efficient at retaining magnesium. Plus, Type 2 Diabetes can cause the kidneys to excrete too much magnesium leading, (surprise, surprise) to a magnesium deficit.
Several long term studies have found a correlation between high magnesium levels and a lower risk of heart disease, sudden cardiac death and Ischemic heart disease, (National Institute of Health Office of Dietary Supplements). This also helps to prevent strokes. An analysis of 7 studies, including one of more than 200,000 people, found that an extra 100mls of magnesium daily, reduced stroke risk by 8% – (February 2012 review in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition). Very positive findings.
Side effects of the supplement can include
Nausea, cramps and diarrhea
Can interact with certain medicines, diuretics, heart medicines or antibiotics.
Patients with Diabetes, intestinal disease, heart disease or kidney disease should check with their doctor before commencing a course of treatment.
Overdose signs can include nausea, diarrhea, low blood pressure, muscle weakness and fatigue.
As with many medical remedies, very high doses can have dire effects.
There was so much more information revealed through my research, but all things considered, including the disappearance of the original symptoms I experienced from before I began taking my magnesium supplements, I truly believe, that keeping watch on one’s health after beginning a course of magnesium, providing one takes note of any adverse effects, is a good way of increasing the magnesium in the body and aiding health and fitness.
So, to my original question – Who Needs Magnesium? –
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