Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Why do you need Magnesium to feel better at Menopause?

All your organs -- including your kidneys and heart -- need magnesium to function properly. Magnesium is also crucial for bone and teeth formation, enzyme activation and energy production. Unfortunately, your magnesium levels tend to wane during menopause. Replenishing your daily stores of magnesium may not only help keep your body operating properly, it may also help ease menopausal symptoms.

Why Magnesium Levels Fall with Menopause

Beginning with perimenopause, your estrogen, progesterone and testosterone hormones fluctuate widely. During your child-bearing years, when you need more minerals, estrogen promotes magnesium absorption to accommodate pregnancy. However, as estrogen 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.

What do I need magnesium for?

Magnesium is a mineral, and some researchers actually consider it the fourth most abundant mineral in our body. It is needed for numerous chemical processes in our body. Based on the latest studies, Magnesium may actually be involved in 1300 biological enzyme systems in the body, which is about 80% of all the enzyme systems we have inside. Yes, magnesium does everything! It is a key component of the different functional systems:
* Magnesium is needed to keep your bones healthy.
* Magnesium is essential for good nerve function.
* Magnesium deficiency may negatively affect your mood and trigger depressive episode. Some actually call it your happy mineral.
* It’s needed for good muscle function.
* It’s needed to keep your heart healthy. The highest concentration of magnesium is in the ventricle chambers of the heart.
* It’s needed to keep your thyroid balanced.
* It’s needed to regulate calcium in the body, which again is really important for your bones
* It’s needed for sleep.
* It’s needed to keep your blood pressure level.
* It’s needed to give you healthy hair and nails.
* It’s needed for a healthy weight and metabolism. Fifty-four molecules of magnesium are required to metabolize one molecule of sucrose, which is why a high sugar diet causes magnesium deficiency.

How Magnesium Helps Manage Stress and Anxiety?

Stress and anxiety rank high among complaints of menopausal women. The reason? As estrogen 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!

Magnesium and 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.

What are other symptoms of a lack of magnesium?

Lack of the sufficient magnesium amount in your body may cause numerous symptoms. Actually, review the list of the magnesium use justifications from the previous chapter. During the menopause, the symptoms, caused by the Magnesium deficiency, can sometimes be actually mistaken for hormonal problems during the menopausal period. The low levels of magnesium can interfere with your sleep. It can give you poor sleep pattern. It can cause muscle and joint aches and pains. It can cause fatigue. It can cause those horrible food cravings. It can also cause that kind of brain fog that we sometimes get. It can give us night cramps and restless leg. It can cause nausea. It can also cause low thyroid issues. It can cause high blood pressure. It can affect your hair and nails. It can make your hair really weak and it can cause split nails. And it can also trigger migraines and headaches.

How can you add magnesium into your diet?

So, you got it! You need Magnesium. So, how do you get plenty of magnesium in your diet? The best way is to try to get it through your diet. However, keep in mind, that the magnesium levels in our regular food has significantly dropped. You may still get it from the magnesium rich foods, like nuts and seeds, especially from sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, or chia seeds. What else?
* Dried fruits are great, but keep the consumption reasonable as they are high in sugar.
* Avocados, dark green leafy veg such as spinach and kale.
* Mung beans, brown rice, and lentils.
* Cocoa beans. This doesn’t mean that you go and stuff yourself full of chocolate. But a little piece of dark chocolate, over 70 to 75% cocoa can actually be really good for you, as long as you take it in moderation. Maybe one or two pieces a day.
* You can also get plenty of magnesium in your whole grains. Include small amount of brown bread, whole meal bread, and brown spaghetti to your balanced meals.

Lifestyle and Magnesium

Even if you seem to be getting enough magnesium in your diet, that doesn’t mean that you’re safe. You see, there are many lifestyle habits which can bind or destroy the mineral, and prevent it from being properly absorbed. This means we first need to ditch these destroyers to improve our chances. They include:
* Sugars: A high sugar intake increases the amount of magnesium excreted by your kidneys and will also disrupt your hormone levels. Don’t forget, it’s not just the visible sugar that counts, but the sugar in processed foods too.
* Stress: Any form of stress in your life will raise your cortisol and adrenaline levels which cause your cells to ‘dump’ magnesium, worsening your symptoms.
* Caffeine: Coffee, tea and energy drinks all stress the body and raise your cortisol and adrenaline levels. They also bind the magnesium in your body, making it much harder to absorb.
* Alcohol: Your body uses up nutrients in order to process any alcohol you’re drinking, and acts as a diuretic which flushes minerals out of your system.
* Cigarettes: Smoking robs your body of magnesium. Even if it is difficult, reduce your cigarettes as much as you can.

How much magnesium do you need?

In the UK, the daily recommended allowance is 270mg, and in the USA, it is 320mg. However, during the menopause, it is recommended to raise the bar a little bit more to keep everything in balance.

You may get extra magnesium in a shape of supplement. For menopause, it is recommended to take magnesium citrate capsules. Alternatively, you may consume liquid magnesium tonics or get magnesium powders, mixed with water or fruit juice.

The initial dosage suggested is 200mg. If you feel good, you can go up to 400mg a day, but decrease the dosage if your stomach will not tolerate this amount.


* Transdermal oil/ gel/lotion. You may increase the amount of magnesium intake without eating or drinking. Transdermal magnesium oil might be a good solution. Like the gels and lotions, you apply it directly to your skin and will absorb it better than oral supplements.

* Epson Salt baths. Another option is to take Epson Salt baths every week which will up your magnesium intake and provide a naturally soothing and relaxation remedy for insomnia or aching muscles. Simply throw a handful into a running bath and sink right in.

Sources and Additional Information:

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