I have extremely low magnesium.Â Yeah!Â I say yeah because FINALLY I have answers to what has been plaguing me for over a year and a half; I suspected low minerals, but didn’t pursue either testing or suppementation aggressivly enough, so now, perhaps I will finally start to improve!
It wasn’t easy convincing my doctor.Â I went to a new family practice physician who first I had to educate about hookworms. I told him my main problems now are: anxiety, insomnia, depression, PMS, constant muscle fascillations, tics (in my eyelid mostly), muscle cramping, and occasionally I lose feelings in my hands and feet, and tetany.Â I even went to the UCSF chief nuerologist last year to get checked out for all the nasty diseases; my brain MRI was normal, my EKG was normal.Â He sent me off with a “tincture of time” prescription, since I suspected the iron shots or the hookworms then.Â Never did he mention low minerals.
I finally asked my doctor to do the Red Blood Cell magnesium test, which is a blood test that is more accurate then just a standard serum blood test, which always shows normal unless you’ve got hypo or hyperthyroid, or major kidney disease.Â We also did a 24 hour urine test (though I read it was useless and we should have done a loading 24 test, where you test your urine for 24 hours, get a magnesium shot, then test how much you retain.)Â He wouldn’t do this for me, which was very frustrating.Â I also did a buccal scrape test through InterCelular Diagnostics, which is supposed to be the gold standard in mineral testing.Â So these were my results:
24 urine test normal.Â Buccal scrape showed only high phosphorus, everything else normal.Â But the RBC magnesium test was pretty low, and my PTH (parathyroid hormone) was extremely low, which can happen when one is low in magnesium.Â At last!Â Some answers!Â All my symptoms happen when one gets low in magnesium, and probably calcium as well.Â (We didn’t test the calcium.)Â I first ruled out thryoid issues with all the thyroid tests; all normal, thank God.Â And then I had to convince him to give me twice weekly mag shots, which he at first wasn’t going to do, so I asked,
“What’s the disadvantage?”Â He said only 50% was retained, and not for very long.Â I said if I could get 50% for a few days, and did that twice a week, that was way more than I’d get in orally, and couldn’t we just try?Â I’m willing to come, get a painful shot, just to feel better, so after calling the OB-GYN practice (magnesium is routinely given for preeclempsia in pregnancy), he doubled the dose, and gave me a shot.
I can’t say there’s a noticeable difference, except that I’ve had loose stools and a lot of gas the last few days, but I also increased my other supplements, so don’t know what’s what.Â So now I’m trying to figure out how to best replete, which is conflicing.
Some sites say not to take calcium at all, that it interferes with magnesium absorption.Â Others say the two are necessary together.Â Some say magnesium citrate in powder is the best, others magnesium glycinate.Â I’m taking glycinate; I’m up to 600 mg. a day, and I don’t think it’s causing any worsening of my stools, which are loose to begin with.
Trying to figure out when to take the calcium, and fitting in my iron supplement has been a challenge.Â I’m also taking kelp, drinking 1 tlbsp. of blackstrap molasses tea a day, and am trying to eat more pumpkin and sunflower seeds, greens, and nuts.Â I cut out black tea completely, since I don’t think it a coincidence that this all started when my black tea consumption went up.Â The tannins block magnesium and iron absorption, and the caffeine acts as a diuretic, flushing out minerals.Â So it’s out for now, much to my dismay.
I don’t know how long it will take to replete, whether the worms are influencing mineral status (I’ve read some reference that certain worms can deplete magnesium; anyone have definitive answers?), and whether the shots will be much use.
But at least I have some answers, something to track, and not some mysterious terrible new disease that I need to solve and throw more psychiatric medications at.Â (The Celexa pretty much helped for a month, then stopped, but I’m still on it.)Â This is my PMS week, when the anxiety, depression, and insomnia come back… we’ll see how I fare.
I’m still doing transdermal magnesium, but not as much.Â It worked wonders for me a month ago, but seemed to not help so much this last month.Â But I’m still taking magnesium sulfate baths, and spray my body with the magnesium chloride after I shower, and do a foot soak every day or so.
If I could just get my bowel movements down to formed, 1-2 X a day, I’d be ecstatic! I know I should probably return to strict SCD; I’ve returned to it maybe 80%. Â I think it may be time for more worms…