Vitamins and minerals are important for our body but there is a special link between magnesium and fibromyalgia patients
Fibromyalgia is a chronic disease that causes widespread muscle pain and fatigue with no known cause.
It has been found that people living with fibromyalgia tend to have low levels of different minerals including magnesium in the body.
Studies have also shown that magnesium helps people with fibromyalgia relief some of the pains it causes.
Magnesium and Fibromyalgia
A study on magnesium and fibromyalgia was published by Korean Academy of Medical Sciences. It was aimed at finding out whether women with fibromyalgia had low levels of magnesium including other minerals as well.
This study examined the characteristics of hair minerals in female patients with fibromyalgia compared to a group of people without fibromyalgia conditions. Forty-four female patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia were studied as the case group.
The study carefully examined the hair minerals between the both the groups (fibromyalgia patients and people without fibromyalgia).
The results revealed that the concentrations of magnesium in the hair of female patients with fibromyalgia were lower than those without fibromyalgia.
Similar studies have also proven that fibromyalgia patients have low levels of magnesium. This has clearly indicated that fibromyalgia patients have magnesium deficiency and would need to replenish their body with magnesium.
The lack of magnesium in the body triggers various pains, symptoms that are linked to fibromyalgia. Some symptoms of lack of magnesium include:
- Insomnia or sleep disturbances
- Muscle aches and stiffness
These symptoms are also well known for patients with fibromyalgia. Therefore, the connection between fibromyalgia and magnesium deficiency is strong enough to make it a cause of fibromyalgia.
Another study revealed that supplementing with magnesium citrate helped fibromyalgia patients.
It studied the relationship between magnesium levels and fibromyalgia symptoms and to determine the effect of magnesium citrate treatment on these symptoms.
The patients who were given magnesium citrate reported having reduced pain actually reduced the number of tender points as well as their severity. It also helped reduce the depression that is often associated with fibromyalgia.
Role of magnesium
Magnesium is very important for the body. It helps the biochemical reactions in the human body.
It supports the normal function of almost all the organs in the body. It helps to maintain normal nerve and muscle function, supports a healthy immune system, keeps the heart beat steady, and helps bones remain strong.
It also helps regulate blood glucose levels and aid in the production of energy and protein.
The muscle weakness, fatigue and pain that a fibromyalgia patient experiences could be due to such severe magnesium deficiency that the muscles are in a constant state of spasm.
The human body loses a good amount of magnesium every day through normal functions like muscle movement, heartbeat and hormone production. Even though our body needs a small amount of magnesium compared to other nutrients, we must replenish our stores either from foods or magnesium supplements.
Foods with Magnesium
There are lots of food with a good amount of magnesium in it. Especially it is found in green leafy vegetables. Others include: –
- Sunflower seeds
- Whole grain
Some of these foods are very good only if you eat them raw because 50 percent of the minerals’ benefit are lost when cooked. Fish, meat, milk and many commonly eaten fruits are low in magnesium. Foods that contain dietary fiber provide a good source of magnesium.
One can also take magnesium supplements in case of its deficiency. However, it is recommended to use only food based magnesium.
Some Magnesium Supplements for Fibromyalgia:
Magnesium sulphate is also known as Epsom salt. Taking bath in the Epsom salt is an option for fibromyalgia patients and also it is an excellent way to absorb magnesium.
This choice is good for fibromyalgia patients. The glycine in magnesium glyconate crosses the intestinal walls actively while magnesium is absorbed passively. It is less likely to cause laxative effects than some other magnesium supplements.
This is combined with citric acid. It is safe to use for improving digestion and preventing constipation.
There are different types of magnesium gels. It may be an option for fibromyalgia. Rubbing magnesium gel onto the skin carries the same basic idea as the Epsom salt bath.
Magnesium Chelate is highly absorbable by the body, it is the kind of magnesium found in foods naturally. This type is bound to multiple amino acids (proteins) and used to restore magnesium levels.
Following are the current Recommended Daily Allowance of Magnesium, according to the National Institutes of Health:
- Infants to 6 months: 30 mg
- 7 to 12 months: 75 mg
- 1 to 3 years: 80 mg
- 4 to 8 years: 130 mg
- 9 to 13 years: 240 mg
- 14 to 18 years: 410 mg for men; 360 mg for women
- 19 to 30 years: 400 mg for men; 310 mg for women
- Adults who are 31 years and older: 420 mg for men; and 320 mg for women
- Pregnant women: 350-360 mg
- Breastfeeding women: 310-320 mg
However, it is important to consult your doctor before taking any magnesium supplements. Fibromyalgia patients tend to be on different medication too.
Some magnesium supplements can interact with certain medications including high blood pressure medicines and antibiotics.
Risks of Magnesium
There are risks when you consume magnesium supplements. The amount you consume is very important. Therefore, it is wise to consult your doctor or a qualified health personal.
According to the office of Dietary Supplements of the National Institutes of Health, overdosing on magnesium can cause serious adverse health effects.
The early symptoms of magnesium overdose include nausea, appetite loss, diarrhea, and changes in mental status such as anxiety and irritability.
Long-term risks include difficulty breathing, muscle weakness, heart arrhythmia and dangerously low blood pressure.