By: Larry McCuaig PhD.

Almost all chronic, and lots of severe, health problems varying from persistent tiredness, fibromyalgia and syndrome X, to heart disease, diabetes and cancer have stress as a predisposing aspect. Many persistent diseases, and some severe conditions likewise are connected to low dietary or physical magnesium status. And, although the connection in between stress and magnesium insufficiency has been known and shown by nutritional experts for a number of decades, this information has yet to be put into typical practice in mainstream medicine. (Or cookbooks, author’s addition.)

chronic stress

Years ago Dr. Hans Selye showed that chronic stress of any kind: physical, chemical, emotional, social, and so on caused a generalised adjustment response in the hormonal and other systems of the body, which successfully ‘geared up’ the individual to handle the tension over an extended period. Extremely severe or continuous anxiety would eventually overcome these defences and the person would then weaken quickly.

Even before Selye’s work it was shown that types of tension also trigger a loss of magnesium from the body. Even loud sound can increase the urinary excretion of this crucial mineral. Unfortunately Magnesium insufficiency is difficult to rectify by diet plan alone, particularly in the presence of continuing stress.

We now know that Magnesium is a cofactor in over 350 enzyme systems (far more than other nutrient) and is needed for every physical function, consisting of the heart and brain, body immune system, digestion, energy manufacturing, muscle activity, etc. So it isn’t surprising that that lots of things can go wrong when Magnesium is in brief supply.

It’s my contention (and not mine alone) that much, or all, of the damaging impact of extreme or extended tension is due to Magnesium insufficiency induced by tension. Among the results of tension is the improved manufacturing of adrenaline, which promotes the urinary loss of Magnesium. Low serum Magnesium, in turn, increases the release of adrenaline, leading to a vicious cycle of Magnesium loss. These losses can easily outweigh the Magnesium absorbed from the typical diet, which consists of about 250 mg of the mineral.

One of the reasons ‘contemporary’ medicine doesn’t acknowledge Magnesium insufficiency more typically is due to the fact that the average doctor relies on the out-dated serum Magnesium test, which will certainly disappoint a cellular insufficiency of the mineral (99 % of Magnesium is intracellular, just 1 % is in the blood). While Red cell Magnesium and Plasma Ionized Magnesium are better tests, they aren’t often utilized. A brand-new test, determining the Magnesium in cells scraped from under the tongue, has revealed guarantee for suggesting existing cellular Magnesium status.

In my practice I make use of the Hair Mineral Analysis treatment to reveal the lasting (two to four months) status of, not just cellular Magnesium, but of 40 minerals (see my short article in March 2002 Tone, p. 24). Over the last 25 years of such screening I’ve actually found that 75-90 % of my patients have low magnesium levels. When these levels are brought back to regular there’s normally an enhancement, or disappearance, of their hypertension, diabetes, fatigue, heartbeat irregularities, sleeping disorders, or whatever.

I struggle with fibromyalgia, and I’ve discovered that an intensive Magnesium supplements program has assisted relieve my discomfort, muscle stiffness, pains and spasms, and fatigue, and has actually enhanced to some level my tendonitis. Muscle strength and recuperation time after exercises has actually also improved. Concomitantly, my hair Magnesium reading, which has actually been low over the last Twenty Years, is now regular.

When body stores of Magnesium have been low for an extended duration even nutritional supplements, as normally applied, may not bring them back to the healthy range. Although a supplement of 200-500 milligrams daily is excellent insurance coverage for anybody facing tension (and who is not really?), even 1000 mg may not renew the body establishments, if exhausted, and even more than this normally triggers looseness of the bowels. The option to this problem, short of getting Magnesium injections, is to use a well-absorbed type of the mineral (I suggest the citrate kind) and take it in percentages (say 100 milligrams) 10 times a day. Some clients can just soak up enough if it’s also dissolved in hot water or lemon juice.