THE ROLE OF MAGNESIUM FOR FYBROMYALGIA
Magnesium is an extremely important mineral for all of us. Magnesium deficiency is very common in the general US population. Americans not only have a low daily intake, but we eat a diet which increases the demand for magnesium. Unfortunately, urinary magnesium loss can be increased by many factors, both physical and emotional. Magnesium loss increases in the presence of certain hormones, stress, and even loud noises. One authority goes so far as to say that that almost everyone is the United States is at least marginally deficient in magnesium. So there is an excellent chance that a person with fibromyalgia has a magnesium deficiency. In fact, the high levels of stress and a disrupted hormonal system of people with fibromyalgia often make them more likely to be candidates for magnesium deficiency.
FYBROMYALIGA SYMPTOMS AND MAGNESIUM
Sleep disorders are one of the symptoms of fybromyalgia that can really make a patient’s nights miserable. Magnesium is very effective in treating this symptom. That alone would give anyone reason to take this supplement. But more than this, magnesium is extremely important to many functions in the body, which is why a deficiency can cause many different symptoms.
Magnesium is the activating mineral for at least 350 different enzymes in the body, more than any other mineral, so it is crucial for many of the metabolic functions in the body. Magnesium is necessary for almost all the enzymes that allow the glycolytic and Krebs cycles to turn the sugar and fat we eat into ATP. Low levels of ATP have commonly been found in people with fibromyalgia, and it is believed that this plays an important role in many of the fibromyalgia symptoms. Thus, a magnesium deficiency would definitely be a factor in worsening those symptoms.
Magnesium is extremely necessary for proper ATP synthesis, because ATP is stored in the body as a combination of magnesium and ATP, which is known as MgATP. ATP requires magnesium in order to be stable. Without magnesium, ATP would easily break down into other components, ADP and inorganic phosphate. Also, the brain relies heavily on ATP for many functions. In fact, 20% of total body ATP is located in the brain.
Thus, low levels of ATP can diminish brain cognitive functions, a common problem in people with fibromyalgia. Magnesium is thus involved in many functions in the body, and so it’s no wonder that the chemical brain imbalances in fibromyalgia somehow seem connected to processes involving magnesium. Surprisingly, little is known about magnesium, as compared to other minerals in the body. So it could be that magnesium even has more effects that we are not yet aware of. And it’s because magnesium is involved in so many processes in the body, that a deficiency has a spiraling effect.
Adequate magnesium is necessary for proper muscle functioning. Magnesium deficiency promotes excessive muscle tension, leading to muscle spasms, tics, restlessness, and twitches. These are common symptoms of fybromyalgia along with muscle stiffness and pain.
If you are wondering what kind of studies have been done concerning magnesium and fybromyalgia, new studies have been conducted to see the correlation between FMS and magnesium. According to one new study, magnesium levels were lower in fybromyalgia patients than in the control groups and there was a correlation between magnesium and the number of tender points, depression, and anxiety and clinical symptoms such as fatigue, sleep disorder, headache, numbness and gastric disorders. All of these findings support the fact that magnesium plays an important role in the development of fibromyalgia.
FOODS WITH MAGNESIUM
Of course, the best way to ensure that you are getting enough magnesium is to include magnesium rich foods into your diet. Foods that are high in magnesium are:
- Bran: Oat, rice, or wheat bran is all very good to add to breakfast cereals and breads.
- Dried Herbs: Dried herbs are packed with vitamins and a healthy addition to almost any meal. The ones highest with magnesium are coriander, chives, spearmint, dill, basil, and savory.
- Squash, Pumpkin, and Watermelon Seeds (roasted or dried): Great as a snack or in a salad, pumpkin, squash, and watermelon seeds are packed with magnesium.
- Cocoa Powder (Dark Chocolate): Dark chocolate is becoming more popular and with good reason. Long regarded as junk food, dark chocolate is packed with vitamins and conferred health benefits.
- Flax, Sesame seeds, and Sesame Butter: Flax and Sesame seeds are a great source of heart healthy oils and also provide a good source of magnesium.
- Brazil Nuts: Possibly the largest of all nuts, Brazil nuts are a great source of magnesium. They are also very high in selenium, so should be eaten moderately.
- Sunflower Seeds: Sunflower seeds are the number one source of vitamin E, and a good source of thiamin and magnesium.
- Almonds and cashews (mixed nuts): Nuts are great as a snack or as an addition to salads and soups.
- Molasses: A good substitute for refined sugar in cakes and breads, molasses is also a great source of magnesium.
- Dry Roasted Soybeans (Edamame): Great as a snack or as an addition to salads, dry roasted soybeans are also a great source of magnesium.
There are a lot of other foods that have magnesium but these are the ones with the highest levels of this precious mineral. Try to include some of these into your diet and see if your symptoms improve over time. Naturally, it will take some time and patience on your part for your body to absorb and benefit from the increase of magnesium. However, the time spent may not only improve your symptoms but also give you better overall health and a better quality of life with fybromyalgia.