Magnesium – The Fibromyalgia Connection

A magnesium deficiency is considered to be one of the most common, but treatable, causes of disease. An estimated 72% of Americans are not getting enough magnesium. Low magnesium levels are associated with several autoimmune disorders including Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, arthritis, Raynaud's phenomenon, and asthma. Reduced levels are also thought to be the reason for muscle pain in SLE (Lupus) patients.

A magnesium deficiency is connected to a host of other health conditions including: migraines, heart disease, mitral valve prolapse, sleep disturbances, over-sensitivity to light and noise, autism, depression, anxiety, PMS, and kidney stones. Insufficient magnesium causes an increase in a body chemical called substance P, which is responsible for pain perception. In other words, you will hurt more if you do not have enough magnesium. (Fibromyalgia sufferers have on average three times more Substance P than normal.)

Magnesium is involved in thyroid production and protein synthesis. Magnesium is also necessary in the production of stomach acid and digestive enzymes, which are deficient in people with autoimmune disease. It is a powerful weapon in the autoimmune protection arsenal because magnesium can reduce inflammation.

In a six month 1995 study, patients with fibromyalgia were given a daily dose of 200 mg of malic acid and 50 mg of magnesium. Patients who participated showed significant reduction in pain and tenderness. Since the study, the magnesium / malic acid combination has become controversial. Some practitioners believe that over time, the malic acid will do more harm than good.

Many factors can deplete magnesium in the body. Consuming sugar, starchy foods, and the seasoning monosodium glutamate (MSG) will deplete your body of magnesium. More contributing factors to magnesium deficiency are stress, mercury, and sleep deprivation. Vitamin B deficiencies, especially B12, can lead to the inability of the body to utilize magnesium, even when it is getting adequate amounts. Surprisingly sufficient, even loud noises can decrease magnesium availability, so turn the radio down.

The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of magnesium is 400mg. Dietary sources of magnesium include whole grains, nuts, seeds, cocoa, green vegetables, seafood, brown rice, and kidney and lima beans.

While this mineral is no cure-all by any means, magnesium has been shown to relieve muscle pain and fatigue in individuals with Fibromyalgia. This fact alone makes giving magnesium worth a try.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and nothing that I say should have been taken as medical advice, nor has it been evaluated by the FDA.