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Magnificent Magnesium

I have this twitchy eye and it has been bothering me to the point I made an appointment with my ophthalmologist for an exam.

No problems, just (unchanged) bad vision, and the twitching is probably eye strain. Makes sense. But my eye is still twitching.

Being me, I started researching what could cause my eye twitch and have concluded that it could possibly be a magnesium deficiency. Apparently, muscle twitches and cramping are common in people needing more magnesium. Connecting the dots, I realized a CBD product I sell that contains magnesium works wonders on my mom’s restless leg syndrome. She is the biggest fan.

What is magnesium?

Magnesium is a mineral that is important for our heart and brain health and is involved in over 300 different cellular reactions in our body, including making DNA to supporting immunity. It helps us manage stress, sleep better, have strong bones, and helps balance blood sugar. And did you know that it is estimated that over 68% of adults are magnesium deficient?

Conditions associated with deficiency:

  1. Noise sensitivity

  2. Allergies

  3. Muscle spasms and cramps

  4. Anxiety and depression

  5. Alcoholism

  6. Diabetes

  7. Fatigue

  8. Thyroid issues

  9. Hormone problems

  10. Hypertension

This list is not exhaustive, but you can see from these examples how it impacts all of our bodily systems.

What are the health benefits of magnesium?

  • Helps with brain development, memory and learning

  • Helps regulate muscle contractions

  • Maintains healthy heartbeat, working in tandem with calcium to contract and relax heart muscle cells

  • May lower blood pressure

  • May improve blood sugar levels in adult onset diabetes

  • Improves sleep

  • May help combat migraine headaches

  • May reduce symptoms of depression

  • Reduces the risk of heart disease

Most people do not get the daily value (DV) of 420 mg from the food they eat. There are many explanations for that such as:

  1. Less intake of nutrient dense foods that contain magnesium

  2. More stress in our daily lives

  3. The use of diuretics, some antibiotics, oestrogen (oral contraceptive pill), and asthma medication

  4. Soil depletion due to industrial agriculture practices

What can I eat to increase my magnesium levels?

  • Spinach

  • Chard

  • Pumpkin seeds

  • Yogurt

  • Almonds

  • Avocados

  • Figs

  • Bananas

  • Black Beans

  • And drum roll…Dark Chocolate

There are more foods too numerous to list, including nuts, seeds and legumes, and as you can see they are whole foods, not overly processed. This is a good starting point while decreasing our stress levels, coffee and alcohol intake and getting more restful sleep.

The recommended daily intake (RDI) is from 300 – 400 mg however needs can vary depending on your overall health, stress levels, alcohol and coffee intake, diet and medications. Dr. Mark Hyman, a renowned functional medicine doctor, recommends up to 1000 mg per day for adults.

The best way to get our magnesium quotient is through diet, however sometimes we need to supplement. Although there are many different types of magnesium available, the best are either magnesium citrate or glycinate for absorption. Epsom salt baths are another way to increase your intake.

I ordered my magnesium supplement to see if that works on the twitch, and I will keep you posted. Given there is a very low chance of overdosing, and the end result of taking too much is diarrhea, I am willing to take my chances.

That being said, it is always important to check with your doctor any time you are considering a supplement to make sure it doesn’t interfere or negatively interact with any medications you are already taking. If you have kidney disease or severe heart disease you will need to consult your doctor, prior to starting any supplementation regimen.

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