Thursday, July 17, 2014

Magnesium Miracle???

In the last few days I have noticed a significant decrease in the pain in my Achilles and calves. Could it be that all of the things I have been doing for the last two months are FINALLY starting to work? I mean I have been applying Penetrex 2-3 times a day, massaging magnesium oil on my legs, doubling up on Aleve for about a week, stretching, foam rolling, using a EMS/TENS unit to “zap” my legs. I’m serious when I say that I have tried just about everything to make the pain go away. Now, all of a sudden, the pain is virtually gone and the knot in my calf has disappeared! What gives?

Honesty, I think it has a lot to do with the magnesium supplement I started taking at the beginning of July to help me sleep better. Here’s why I think that…

The other night in bed, HS started getting a leg cramp. I remembered seeing something about the magnesium oil being good for cramps. It was dark, and the middle of the night, so I handed him a bottle and told him to spray it on his leg and rub it in. Unfortunately, I had handed him a bottle of the dog’s hot spot spray, so it didn't work. He pointed that out to me the next morning and we (I mean I) got a good chuckle out of that.
Anyway, I decided to do a little research about the magnesium oil so he would know that I wasn't entirely full of crap. 

Magnesium Deficiency

What I started reading about magnesium, not just the oil, got me to thinking. Did I have a magnesium deficiency, and did I unwittingly resolve that issue when I started taking the magnesium supplement to sleep better?

This is what I started taking at the beginning of July (found it at Raley's for $16.99)...

Lindsey turned me on to this product
From the Natural Calm website...
"Magnesium deficiency can be caused by a number of stresses on the body, including—but not limited to—lack of adequate dietary magnesium, emotional stress, some drugs (diuretics, antibiotics, oral contraceptives, insulin, cortisone), heavy exercise, diabetes, gastrointestinal disorders and too much calcium in the diet."
I clearly fall in the "heavy exercise" category. Could I have set myself up for injury by not getting enough magnesium?

Here is some info on the symptoms I found at the Herbal Encounter website:
"The first symptoms of magnesium deficiency can be subtle. Most magnesium is stored in the tissues, so leg cramps, foot pain or muscle ‘twitches’ are usually the first signs. Insomnia, migraine headaches are also very common magnesium deficiency symptoms. And if ignored, some of the other more serious symptoms of Magnesium deficiency (low energy, fatigue, weakness, hormonal imbalances, inability to sleep, weakening of the bones, muscle tension, spasms and cramps, abnormal heart rhythm, headaches, anxiousness, nervousness, irritability, kidney stones) can develop."
Hmmm...here's some more food for thought from the Natural Calm website...
"You experience the tensing (calcium) and relaxing (magnesium) interaction of these two elements each time your heart beats, when you feel your pulse, and every time you breathe. 
When we are under stress, our cells—which in their resting state contain magnesium—go through a change. Calcium, normally outside the cells, enters the cells and the calcium level becomes high. This is the action state in which a muscle cell, for example, will contract and tense the muscle. The magnesium then pushes the calcium out of the cell and the cell is again in its resting, relaxed state. Think of it as an on-off switch. The “off” is magnesium and the “on” is calcium. 
But what happens to a cell that is not in balance—where the magnesium level in the body is deficient? 
In simple terms, the “off” switch doesn’t fully turn off. That means calcium can continuously leak into the cells and stimulate cell activity (the “on” switch). The result is stress accompanied by one or more of the magnesium deficiency symptoms. 
Magnesium helps your muscles and nerves function properly; it keeps your heart rhythm steady, supports a healthy immune system and also assists in keeping your bones strong. This essential mineral helps regulate blood sugar levels, promotes normal blood pressure and is required for producing and storing energy. It’s easy to see why many researchers say that no single dietary factor is as critical as magnesium."
I'm not sure if the magnesium supplement was the cure for what ailed me, but at this point, I'm not going to stop taking it just in case it was. I am going to continue to use the Natural Calm magnesium supplement up until about 2 days prior to Barb's Race since magnesium at too high of a level can potentially have a laxative effect, and I don't want that during the race!