Magnesium is a Calming Mineral for Women’s Health and Wellbeing
Magnesium is perhaps the most important mineral in the body and is crucial to Women’s health and wellbeing. It is also the most important nutrient for stress relief. A simple way of describing why we need Magnesium so much during, and after stress, is to consider that our bodies still have the same stress response as we did in Prehistoric times. We obviously have much different stressors now though. In the past if we were stressed, it was likely our life was in danger. Now we might just be sitting in traffic or experiencing chronic daily stress over matters beyond our control.
When our life was in danger in the prehistoric times, our clever body’s wanted us to survive, so the best way to help us to respond to stress effectively (fight or flight – run for your life), was to dump our most calming mineral reserves – our precious reserves of magnesium. Our bodies are often entering fight or flight (aka sympathetic nervous system dominance) mode multiple times a day. When we are in fight or flight mode we are unable to enter rest and digest (parasympathetic nervous system) mode. We are chronically stressed and not taking the time to recover in between bouts. Couple that with low levels of magnesium and other minerals in foods, due to low levels in the soil, and you have a recipe for deficiency. To top it off, many of us do not have adequate gut function to absorb vitamins and minerals effectively.
Symptoms of Deficiency
Magnesium deficiency causes fatigue, anxiety, agitation, irritability, restlessness, panic attacks, vertigo, unrefreshed sleep, poor concentration, daytime sleepiness, cramps, twitches and shakes. Magnesium relaxes the whole nervous system. As mentioned above it is lost rapidly during stress. Magnesium helps with depression and plays so many roles in the body. It is essential for Women’s health.
Am I low?
You won’t know if you are low in magnesium from standard blood tests as we store 25,000mg of magnesium in our body and only 1% of it is in the blood. Magnesium blood tests are also not commonly run by doctors unless specifically requested. The best way to assess if you are low in magnesium is to look at the symptoms above and consider how affected by stress you have been over the last few years. If you are depleted you will need a supplement, food is ok to maintain levels if you have a very well balanced diet, but you will not reverse deficiency with food alone. I will also sometimes use an HTMA – Hair mineral tissue analysis to test mineral reserves and heavy metals in the body.
Not all magnesium supplements are the same. Yes magnesium is magnesium, but it is what the supplement producer’s bind the mineral to, that effects absorption. Of course if you have any form of gut disorder your absorption will also be compromised. Some poor forms will cause gastric upset, and those forms are even marketed as laxative’s in different areas of the health store. Also we have to consider what the capsule is made of, and whether fillers are added as some additives block absorption.
Glycinate and Citrate are two of the better forms. If you have some of the more severe symptoms above, I would highly recommend working with me to look at all factors involved. I take a holistic and individual approach. I don’t just prescribe one magnesium supplement to everyone. Magnesium deficiency is only one of the possible nutrient deficiencies that you may have in some of the above conditions. In my practice I prescribe practitioner only forms of magnesium, some of which can cross the brain blood barrier rapidly, like Magnesium Threonate, so are really great for mental health support or when you need rapid, acute support.
I would avoid buying the cheapest magnesium supplement you can find. For all of the reasons stated above. You are not really saving money if you are not absorbing the magnesium in the supplement. The dose should be considered of course. In the case of deficiency I use researched therapeutic doses.
This post may seem comprehensive, but I have barely even scratched the surface, that is how important magnesium is. I’ve talked about how it helps with PMS and perimenopause in the past, but it also helps many more conditions. So many of our body processes rely on magnesium and it is so important for both energy and sleep.
Magnesium is only one of the minerals that you may need to restore your health. If magnesium alone is not providing relief with any of the symptoms or conditions listed above, then it is a good time for a consultation with me so I can get to the root of the issue. As a Holistic Nutritionist I am an expert in mineral deficiencies and getting to the root of why they exist. Most of my clients are busy A type Women who are suffering the ill effects of stress. It is also very important to address lifestyle issues to help you reduce stress, and protect your precious reserves of magnesium. Read more about working with me here.