Sunday, September 9, 2012

Depressed Can’t Sleep Try Magnesium

Depression affects the way a person eats, feels, thinks and sleeps. Not getting enough sleep can contribute to depressive disorders. How can you stop this cycle and get some sleep? Depressed people can suffer from sleep onset insomnia which is not falling asleep easy or sleep maintenance insomnia that is difficulty staying asleep, both types result in daytime drowsiness, lack of concentration, moodiness, irritability and stress. Did you know in 2006 there was an article published in the Medical Hypothesis called Rapid recovery from major depression using magnesium treatment and that a magnesium deficiency can actually cause depression as well as other behavioral disturbances, headaches, muscle cramps, seizures, psychosis and irritability that can be reversed with magnesium repletion? WOW!

Stress along with other minerals in our body can cause us to lose the magnesium we ingest. With a deficient of magnesium we have no guard against damage to our neurons and with chronic stress our body produces an excess of cortisol which eventually damages the hippocampus of the brain resulting in depression. Magnesium regulates the stress response and reduces the amount of cortisol that is produced by acting as a blood brain barrier. Testing for our magnesium level is hard to measure as most of our magnesium is stored in our bones and cells while a very small amount is in our blood. So clinical blood serum testing may not successfully identify your magnesium deficiency. What can you do? Well if you do any of the following you may be deficient in magnesium which may be contributing to the way you feel.

Do you drink dark colored carbonated beverages regularly? Most of these sodas contain phosphates that bind with magnesium inside the digestive tract and are flushed right out of your system.

How often do you eat sweets? Not only do sweets contain no magnesium it also causes the body to excrete magnesium through the kidneys. Sugar does not simply reduce magnesium levels but can actually consume nutrients from beneficial foods resulting in a net loss. The more sweets you eat the more likely you are magnesium deficient.

Do you drink caffeinated drinks daily? Caffeine causes the kidneys to release extra magnesium because drinks like coffee act as a diuretic so minerals including magnesium get flushed out of system faster. Many drugs cause magnesium loss too; such as diuretics, heart medications, asthma medication, birth control and estrogen replacement therapy. Alcohol also lowers the magnesium available to the cells by increasing excretion in the kidneys. So if you drink seven or more alcoholic beverages a week it can contribute to a deficiency in the digestive system as well as a Vitamin D deficiency, both can contribute to low magnesium levels.

Are you taking a calcium supplement without magnesium or with that has less than a 1:1 ratio? When the magnesium intake is low, calcium supplements may reduce magnesium absorption and retention as well as have a negative effect on its levels. Research has determined that a 1:1 ratio improves support and reduces the risk of disease and given the necessary balance between calcium and magnesium in the cells it is best that you have enough magnesium if you are taking a calcium supplement.

Physical signs that show a potential magnesium deficit are; painful muscle spasms, muscle cramps, fibromyalgia, facial tics, eye twitches or involuntary eye movements. Magnesium is a needed source for muscle relaxation and without it our muscles would be in a constant state of contraction. Calcium signals our muscles to contract so both of these minerals are important for our body to function normally. Signs of involuntary muscle movements may indicate either a calcium or magnesium deficiency.

Are you stressed, anxious or have times of hyperactivity? Studies have shown there is an increase in adrenaline and cortisol associated with stress and anxiety causing a decrease in magnesium levels. Adequate magnesium is necessary for nerve transference that is associated with electrolyte imbalances that affect the nervous system causing moodiness and sometimes depression.

Are you older than 55? Older adults are vulnerable to low magnesium levels because of stress, aging and ingesting less magnesium from food sources. Magnesium absorption and retention is less due to changes in the GI tract and kidneys. Hydrochloric acid supplements may be combined with magnesium to combat this dilemma; however a simpler and less expensive option is the use of magnesium chloride supplements. Magnesium chloride provides the chloride necessary for healthy digestion and vitamin and mineral absorption.

There are some safety considerations with respect to magnesium supplementation. If you have normal kidney function, you do not have myasthenia gravis, bowel obstruction or bradycardia, you should be able to supplement without too many worries. In addition, magnesium interferes with the absorption of certain prescription medications, so I recommend talking to your doctor before taking any supplement, especially if you have a kidney condition or elderly. Total recommended daily levels between food and supplements should be between 400-800mg. Most people can supplement with 200-350mg daily without problems, the current RDA is 320-420 daily, but the average US intake is around 250mg daily.

The information in this site is for informational purposes only and not meant as a substitute for advice from your healthcare professional. This information should not be used to diagnosis or treat any health problem. Information and statements provided by about supplements that have not been evaluated by the FDA are not intended to diagnosis, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Seek the advice of a qualified healthcare professional regarding any medical condition. Reliance on any information in this article or on this site is solely at your own risk.

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