Late last year I went to a new doctor and had my thyroid medicine switched from synthetic to natural. It has helped me immensely but not as much as adding one little mineral to my daily routine has.
The doctor and I talked about my daily routine, how much I work, how much I exercise, how much stress is in my life and then she did some blood work. She noticed, as I always have, that my calcium tends to run on the higher side. It’s not too high but it’s in the upper limit and it always is.
She then explained to me that having a higher calcium level means that your magnesium is probably low.
Most of us do not get enough magnesium from our foods but we get too much calcium because it is added to our dairy products, dairy alternatives, processed foods, and sometimes orange juice! When your calcium levels become high, magnesium levels can fall. And you can have a whole host of issues if you are deficient in magnesium, such as anxiety and depression, muscle spasms and cramps, high blood pressure, calcification of the arteries, low energy, problems sleeping and it even affects your bone health.
For my age my body needs 320MG of Magnesium daily so the doctor suggested I take a supplement which provides 250MG daily via two pills because magnesium is found in some foods and you don’t want to take too much. Then you could have issues related to too much magnesium, (like diarrhea). The key is balance.
She did however suggest that if I had a day when I binge on sweets or on days when I do a long run I should take one additional pill which would mean taking 375MG for that day. The reason is because sugar depletes magnesium and also there have been some studies that show that magnesium supplementation has helped patients who suffer from migraine headaches. I was skeptical but I started taking the magnesium as she instructed.
OMG, it worked!
Guess what? Yep, I was able to run long without migraines. And if I was unsure whether or not the magnesium had anything to do with it, I got my answer a few weeks ago.
When the kid was in town we were really busy going to the cabin and to the other house and I was trying to stay on top of work so that I could spend all my time with him and I got lax with my medications and especially my magnesium. I didn’t take it for almost a week.
That Saturday when I ran 12 miles, I got a hellacious migraine and the only thing I could attribute it to was magnesium. I started taking it again and the next few weeks I ran 13.1 and 15.25 miles with no migraines.
If you are curious about how much magnesium you need or the symptoms caused by the lack of it, the NIH has a great article here.
That was the second piece of the puzzle in helping me run headache free and so far it’s been working.
Do you take any supplements?
What and why?