Magnesium has been the supplement of the moment for a while now. It seems that no matter how you are feeling, or what condition you have, that magnesium is the answer. Can one mineral really be that good for us? And why are we so lacking in it that we are being recommended to add supplements into our lives?

Essentially, if you can’t relax or you feel like you can’t slow down this may be a sign of magnesium deficiency (ring any bells anyone?).  You may be feeling tense because of a magnesium deficiency, or your tension and busyness may result in a magnesium deficiency as these periods of stress churn though your magnesium stores. Just another one of nature’s fabulous catch 22’s!

Have a look at these – all of which can be related to magnesium deficiencies. Read on if you would like to find out more about how and why we run out of magnesium, what a magnesium deficiency might look like, and what you can do to help yourself.

Magnesium is crucial to your body’s function. It is utilized in over 300 biochemical reactions and is needed for muscle and nerve health, to keep the heart beating rhythmically, for normal immune function and bone strength to name just a few. And the main reason we don’t have enough magnesium in our bodies-we simply aren’t getting enough magnesium from our food.

Natural sources of magnesium include sea vegetables, leafy greens, whole grains, dairy and fish. With a diet rich in these foods, you can still find yourself low in magnesium, and there are a couple of reasons why. Firstly, have a think about your use of magnesium. How stressful and busy is your life, have you been sick recently, injured, stressed or anxious, sleeping poorly? When you have a period of ill health or stress, your body uses its stored magnesium more rapidly, and if it not replenished quickly you may end up with a deficiency even if your diet is squeaky clean. The other thing to consider is how well you are able to absorb the nutrients going in. It is common to have issues with absorption of minerals through your digestive tract, in large part arising from untreated food intolerances irritating the gut.

Improving your overall magnesium stores can be approached in more than one way. Firstly, a good supplement for a few months ensures the right stuff is going in. While that is underway, you may like to consider how to increase magnesium rich foods into your daily diet, and then look at ways to support your own gut health (think probiotics, fermented foods, eliminating food intolerances with a naturopath’s guidance). And then the most important part of all – looking at ways to change your stress levels (link to stress resource). Without a change in this area, you may always be playing catch up with your magnesium stores, and be stuck with supplementing as an ongoing strategy.

If you would like any supplement recommendations for magnesium please call our practice and we can offer some product recommendations. Like everything, you do get what you pay for, and a number of the supermarket ranges use a co-factor in their supplement’s that results in diarrhea and very low absorption of the magnesium- not really what you are aiming for!

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