Many words can be used to describe who I am and the influences those descriptions may have on my daily life. One descriptive word is female. Another mom. Slightly crazy, looney, and loving. Other words that describe me are puzzle slayer (sudoku, jigsaw, word find, pattern search, etc.), and energy conserving, anxiety battling, migraine warrior. I choose warrior over sufferer because every bout with fatigue, anxiety, or migraine is countered with as much stubborn fight as I can muster. Migraines, chronic fatigue, and anxiety have been daily, unwelcome companions for well over a decade. These descriptors led me to continually search for solutions that would do more than simply alleviate symptoms. Many of my physicians have attempted to find solutions to these issues with some success; however, ultimately falling short of expectations—theirs and mine.
Approximately two months ago, a friend and I were discussing migraines and treatments—everything from hot/cold compresses & essential oils to western medicine—when she explained how she was using magnesium supplements to help decrease her migraines in both occurrence and intensity!!!! HOLD THE PHONE!!!! Why had I NOT heard this before? Or more likely, why had I NOT remembered this tidbit of information? So, I went on a search for more information. I wanted to have the following questions answered. Do magnesium supplements help decrease migraine intensity and occurrence? Will it help increase energy levels? And last, will it decrease overall anxiety levels? It took me about a week to research magnesium supplementation via the web and consult my physician. Before I share my personal results, let me share a bit of the information I uncovered.
First and probably most alarming is that several sources reported a decrease in mineral content of magnesium in our food sources. YIKES! If you prefer to receive your vitamins and minerals ONLY from food sources, then you will need to consume a higher quantity of magnesium rich foods to ensure you meet the daily recommended allowance. Not an ideal situation when watching caloric intake or increased consumption isn’t practical. Some magnesium rich foods include green leafy vegetables, nuts, legumes, and whole grains. With news that mineral content magnesium levels are decreasing comes relief that alternatives to food source magnesium are readily available to the public in a huge variety of supplements.
NOTE: I am not here to sell you a magnesium supplement. You can research brands personally should you choose to use a magnesium supplement.
Every article that I read sited numerous benefits of adequate daily magnesium consumption whether through food or supplements or some combination of the two. Among the benefits was a simple statement that made me pause in astonishment. The mineral magnesium is vital to the PROPER absorption of other key vitamins (D, K, & some Bs) and minerals (calcium & potassium). How long had I taken calcium, potassium, vitamin D and B6 & 12 before seeing this statement? FIVE years! It had been frustrating to pay for and take supplements and not feel differently nor see changes in lab results! Could low magnesium explain this? This question remains unanswered at the time the article was written.
How does adequate magnesium consumption impact healthy living? Here is a “short” list of the most referenced (and probably scientifically researched) benefits.
Magnesium supplementation helps with or aids in prevention of:
- Eclampsia & preeclampsia
- Severe asthma
- Metabolism of food
- Creation of necessary fatty acids & proteins
- Nerve impulse transmissions
- Bone problems (remember it helps in absorption of calcium—mind blowing right?)
- Cardiovascular issues such as arterial calcification and congestive hearth failure
- Type II Diabetes
- Premenstrual syndrome
Since determining magnesium levels can be difficult through blood tests, my physician decided that my symptoms warranted a test run of magnesium supplementation. With this information, I chose to increase magnesium rich foods and add a magnesium supplement to my daily diet. It took several weeks (3 or so) before I started to notice any difference. The first noticeable change was in my energy levels—not a HUGE change but they were improving! At the 90-day mark, I can say the overall “heavy” fatigue has lessened and my daily energy levels are becoming more stable—BOTH good in my book! As for changes to migraines and anxiety, there hasn’t been a noticeable change though I hold out hope this will be different as I continue with the magnesium supplement.
If after weighing this information on magnesium, you decide supplements may help you, please consult your physician. They can help you choose the correct dosage and steer you toward a brand.
Happy Healthy Talk!
Gaul, C., Diener, HC., & Danesch, U. Improvement of Migraine Symptoms with a Proprietary Supplement Containing Riboflavin, Magnesium and Q10: A Randomized, Placebo-controlled, Double-blind, Multicenter Trial. April 3, 2015. https://thejournalofheadacheandpain.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s10194-015-0516-6
National Institute of Health. Magnesium Fact Sheet. September 26, 2018 https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-HealthProfessional/
NPS Medicinewise. Magnesium: A Treatment for Leg Cramps. February 28, 2014 https://www.nps.org.au/news/magnesium-a-treatment-for-leg-cramps
Ware RDN LD, Megan. Why Do We Need Magnesium? December 20, 2017 https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/286839.php