Posts

Got the Menopause Blues?

Magnesium Could be the Solution

Studies show that magnesium benefits symptoms of anxiety, irritability, insomnia and water retention ― all common symptoms of menopause. In addition, magnesium increases levels of the mood-elevating neurotransmitter serotonin, which is important to improving sleep and memory, as well as depression.

When the perimenopause or menopause arrives, you may find yourself hit with an avalanche of life-disrupting symptoms. Could a precipitous drop in your magnesium level be the cause?

Over the past half century, magnesium intake has plummeted, thanks to mineral depletion in soil and water, resulting in mineral-poor diets. Consequently, around 75% of people in developed countries are now magnesium-deficient.

Most of us are unaware that our bodies rely on magnesium to perform more than 600 metabolic functions. However, we may become very aware of the effects of magnesium depletion.

Lack of magnesium can make itself felt in a number of ways ― stress, anxiety, depression, mood swings, irritability and insomnia, to name a few.

Depending on your magnesium levels over time, you may have previously escaped these problems or experienced them only irregularly. But with the advent of perimenopause and menopause, some or all of these symptoms commonly appear or worsen for many women. Some may be severe.

One can’t say that all menopausal symptoms are due solely to magnesium deficiency, but it can certainly be a major contributor.

And it may hold a key to relieving these distressing symptoms.

Why Magnesium Levels Fall with Menopause

Beginning with perimenopause, your oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone hormones fluctuate widely.

During your child-bearing years, when you need more minerals, oestrogen promotes magnesium absorption to accommodate pregnancy. However, as oestrogen levels begin to fall with perimenopause, your ability to absorb magnesium diminishes.

The result is hypomagnesemia (magnesium deficiency), which, if not addressed, will continue to worsen with age.

How Magnesium Helps Manage Stress and Anxiety

Stress and anxiety rank high among complaints of menopausal women. The reason? As oestrogen levels drop, you also lose the ability to effectively regulate cortisol levels.

Cortisol is commonly known as “The Stress Hormone,” and in some instances it serves a useful purpose. For example, it can help you respond instinctively to emergencies, summon courage when threatened and weather daunting challenges.

However, too much cortisol for too long leads to chronic stress, which isn’t good.

In addition to producing stress, high cortisol impairs normal cell regeneration, production of vital hormones, cognitive function and healthy digestion.

Stress begins with your pituitary gland, which releases ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone), and in turn, ACTH stimulates your adrenal glands to produce cortisol.

However, if you have enough magnesium, it can:
· moderate the amount of ACTH released from your pituitary
· lessen your adrenal glands’ response to ACTH, preventing a massive release of cortisol
· block the blood/brain barrier, preventing cortisol from entering your brain

Dr. Carolyn Dean, who authored the bestselling The Magnesium Miracle, explains how, under stress, “your body creates stress hormones causing a cascade of physical effects, all of which consume magnesium.”

It becomes a vicious cycle: Stress robs you of the magnesium you need to prevent stress, which makes stress still worse. If your magnesium level is low to begin with, it can be difficult to break the cycle.

To make matters worse, during periods of prolonged stress, you further reduce your magnesium store by passing it out with urine!

And Relieve Depression

Under the relentless assault of excessive cortisol and chronic stress, people may abandon healthy mood-regulation strategies. Consequently, the longer you’re stressed, the more likely it becomes that you will find yourself on a downward slide into depression.

There is, however, hope. There’s good reason magnesium is called “the chill pill”, “nature’s relaxant” and the “anti-stress/anxiety mineral”. In one study, researchers found magnesium equally as effective as antidepressants in relieving depression, often within a week.

An interesting article by researchers George and Karen Eby theorizes that stress, together with magnesium deficiency, can cause damage to brain neurons that results in depression. On the bright side, they observe that “Magnesium was found usually effective for treatment of depression in general use.”

Studies also show that magnesium therapy benefits anxiety, irritability, insomnia and water retention ― all common symptoms of menopause.

In addition, magnesium increases levels of the mood-elevating neurotransmitter serotonin, which is important to improving sleep and memory, as well as depression.

Is Magnesium Right for You?

The magnesium in today’s refined flour is only 16% of what used to be contained in whole wheat flour.
The soil in which we grow food is depleted of minerals, and flouride has banished magnesium from our drinking water in many localities.

A hundred years ago, when magnesium was plentiful, depression occurred in only about 1% of the population. In the US, it’s now around 6.9% for adults. And as of 2014, 19.7% of people in the UK aged 16 and over showed symptoms of anxiety or depression.

Many women find upping their magnesium intake is a simple, natural way to ease menopausal symptoms, relax and get a good night’s sleep.

And because magnesium deficiency is so common and so important to many bodily functions, it may be wise to consider increasing your magnesium prior to menopause. (It can even prevent a sudden heart attack!)

There are tests to measure magnesium levels, but the serum (blood) test often fails to detect deficiencies. Some physicians recommend the red blood cell (RBC) essential mineral test as being more accurate.

You can bolster magnesium levels by including high-magnesium foods such as dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds, fish, beans, whole grains, avocados, yogurt, bananas, dried fruit and dark chocolate in your diet.

However, since magnesium in food is limited, you may also want to consider topping up by suing a high-quality magnesium supplement.

References

Alban, D. 8 Ways Magnesium Relieves Anxiety and Stress. Be Brain Fit.

Curb, J.D. Endocrine Function and Magnesium Menopause and Premenstrual Syndrome. National Health Federation.

Deans, E. Magnesium and the Brain: The Original Chill Pill, June 12, 2011.

Eby, G.&K. Rapid recovery from major depression using magnesium treatment. George Eby Research, Medical Hypotheses, Jan. 2006.

Magnolia. Food and Medicine: Magnesium for Anxiety & Panic Attacks in Perimenopause. The Perimenopause Blog, Jan. 27, 2017.

Pick, M. The Destructive Effects of High Cortisol Levels. Women to Women.

Why magnesium deficiency makes you ill – how to spot the signs and what to do

women magnesium deficiency
Just look around the room; chances are that almost everyone in your eye-line is suffering from magnesium deficiency in one form or another. But, with symptoms so common that they’re often attributed to other ailments, and a lack of relevant clinical research, most of us don’t ever realise why we’re suffering.

Why magnesium is crucial for your general health

The fourth most common mineral in the body, magnesium is both a mineral and electrolyte that helps pass electrical signals along the nerves in your body. You may have seen sports drinks adverts that claim electrolytes are lost through sweat, resulting in cramp: but this is just the tip of the electrolyte-impact iceberg.

Without magnesium, your heart would stop beating, your muscles would seize up and your brain would stop processing information. A co-factor of an astonishing 300+ bodily reactions, magnesium helps regulate your temperature, maintain energy levels, form bones and teeth, and fight cardiovascular disease. Magnesium levels are reduced by stress factors, which can subsequently initiate or worsen chronic illnesses.

Why the symptoms of deficiency are very common and hard to diagnose

Conventional medicine has struggled to identify magnesium deficiency because of its reliance on blood tests. Magnesium in blood is crucial to ward off heart attacks, so your body will supplement any loss in the bloodstream by robbing reserves in bone or muscle tissue. Therefore, all blood tests typically show similar levels. However, 99% of our magnesium reserves are in muscle and bone tissue, which aren’t usually tested. So a deficiency can go completely under the radar.

Over 3,750 magnesium binding sites have now been found within the human body, meaning that a deficiency of this under-loved electrolyte could trigger or exacerbate a whole host of conditions, including:

OsteoporosisAsthmaAnxiety
Insomnia Blood clots Depression
Muscular and back pain Bowel disease Lethargy
Muscle crampsCystitis Impaired cognitive ability
SeizuresDiabetes Foggy memory
Constipation Cardiovascular disease Fatigue
Headaches HypoglycaemiaTendonitis
Migraines Kidney and liver disease Aggression
High blood pressure (Hypertension) Musculoskeletal conditions (fibromyalgia, cramps, chronic back pain, etc.) Obstetrical/gynaecological problems (PMS, infertility, and pre-eclampsia)
Nerve problems Tooth decay Tension

Any of these sound familiar? Women may be particularly prone, because excess oestrogens, present during the early stages of the menopause (or perimenopause), also create a magnesium deficiency.

Beating magnesium deficiency for improved health and wellbeing

There’s so many simple ways that you can boost your magnesium levels and recover your natural balance. Here’s just a few:

  1. Start by supplementing with high quality magnesium: your doctor trained in restorative medicine can prescribe these for you as part of a general health rebalance.
  2. Change to an organic diet featuring magnesium-rich food (including dark chocolate!)
  3. Slather yourself in magnesium oil
  4.  Take a long soak in an Epsom salt bath – it will boost your sulphur levels too
  5. Try to avoid prolonged stressful activities
  6. Reduce sugar intake – it takes 54 molecules of magnesium to metabolise one sugar molecule
  7. Stay away from synthetic oestrogen compounds

The changes might start subtly, but you should definitely notice when your magnesium levels start to fall back in line. When your balance is restored, the stress which can cause magnesium deficiency is reduced, along with the potency of chronic symptoms.

Restoring your natural optimum magnesium levels doesn’t just fight or eliminate the conditions listed above: because many of the remedies are part of a generally healthier lifestyle (such as improved diet and a calmer outlook), you could find your general health and energy is stronger than ever before.

3 things to you need to know about bone health

We all know that as we age our bones become weak and fragile and can progressively move towards osteoporosis. Here are restorative medicine’s top 3 tips to keep your bones strong and healthy, and osteoporosis away:

1. Keep your hormones levels balanced and at optimal levels

As we age hormones declines which go on to totally disrupt the hormonal environment. There are various hormones involved in bone health including the major sex hormones oestrogens, progesterone, testosterone and DHEA, as well as parathyroid hormone, and vitamin D. In menopause both oestrogen(s) and progesterone levels drop quite drastically, this is the beginning of ‘bone breakdown’. Oestrogen(s) and progesterone work as a team in our body, and along with their many tasks, support bone health.

If we keep our hormone environment healthy we will keep our bones healthy, along with the rest of the body. Restore your hormones, restore your body, with bioidentical hormone restorative therapy. In my latest book The Menopause Cure: Hormonal Health, you will find out so much more on how to protect your bones… your brain and your body!

2. Make sure your blood levels of vitamin D are optimal

The second tip is make sure your blood levels of vitamin D are optimal so calcium can be absorbed. Almost everyone is deficient in vitamin D, even those living in warmer climates. Soak up some sun, but not too much, don’t abuse it! Eat a diet rich in calcium to supply the body with its daily needs thus avoiding the necessity to raid the bone storage vaults, which would then leave the bones deficient in calcium – our bones are a reservoir that store minerals and calcium that may be needed by other parts of the body!

Many women are advised to take calcium supplements which are really not necessary but if you do supplement with calcium, always, always remember to take magnesium as well. Magnesium is a natural calcium channel blocker and has the ability to block the channels by which calcium enters the cells; when magnesium is low, intracellular calcium rises. You do not want calcium entering the cells of your heart. Calcium plays a big role in the build up of plaque, arrhythmia, blood pressure elevation, and even constipation.

3. Regular weight bearing exercise

The third tip is do regular weight-bearing exercise; it is crucial to bone health. Weight-bearing exercise helps to keep both the muscle and bone healthy and strong. If you start weight-bearing exercise before the menopause your bones will take longer to thin out and weaken. Run, walk, move it and grove it, dance and chance it. If you don’t move it you will lose it! Start today!