Adrenal Fatigue For Dummies
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The mineral magnesium is part of the energy mechanism that keeps cells running smoothly and prevent adrenal fatigue. Magnesium is a catalyst for more than 200 chemical reactions in the human body. The energy centers in your cells, including those in the adrenal glands, need magnesium for optimal operation.

Magnesium is mainly found in your bones, so magnesium depletion can have detrimental effects on bone health. It can contribute to the development of osteoporosis. Low magnesium levels can also affect the absorption of other minerals, including potassium and calcium.

Magnesium is crucial for maintaining muscle strength and endurance because it dilates blood vessels, improving blood flow to the muscles (which is important not only for muscle health but also for toxin removal). Very low magnesium levels can cause symptoms such as muscle spasm and muscle weakness. Some people also experience numbness and tingling in their extremities.

Low magnesium levels also increase total body inflammation and may be a significant contributing factor to fibromyalgia, migraine headaches, and diabetes.

One major cause of magnesium deficiency is the Western or standard American diet. Green vegetables, nuts, and seeds are all excellent sources of magnesium, but most people don't eat these foods on a regular basis.

Another common reason for magnesium deficiency is intestinal dysbiosis, which can affect the absorption of magnesium. Note that a commonly prescribed class of medications called diuretics, which are used in the treatment of high blood pressure and edema, can also cause low magnesium levels. These medications increase the urinary excretion of magnesium.

The good news: Magnesium supplementation can decrease the frequency and intensity of migraine headaches; it can also lower blood pressure, improve blood vessel health, and decrease insulin resistance, which is the hallmark of Type II diabetes.

The most common way to know whether your magnesium levels are low is a simple blood test. However, be aware that the magnesium level measured in the blood may not accurately reflect the levels of magnesium in the cells. That being said, other tests used to measure magnesium can be more cumbersome, and some people question their reliability. So overall, the blood test is a better way to go.

On routine blood work, most normal reference ranges for magnesium are from 1.6 to 2.6 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). Note the significant difference between the values at the high and low ends of the range. Lower normal levels may represent a deficiency of magnesium within the cells. The goal of treatment is to get the magnesium levels in the blood into the higher end of the normal range.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

Dr. Richard Snyder, DO, is board certified in both internal medicine and nephrology, as well as a clinical professor at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Wendy Jo Peterson, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in nutritional sciences as well as a specialist in sports dietetics. She is the coauthor of Mediterranean Diet Cookbook For Dummies.

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