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High Magnesium - Beware!

Discussion in 'General Treatment' started by liverock, Dec 28, 2014.

  1. liverock

    liverock Senior Member

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    Somebody once said on this forum that we PWC's are a breed apart. If the rest of people in the world look like horses then we would look like zebras.

    We have to be extra careful about the drugs and supplements we take, how much exercise we take, how much rest we have to take and even how much social interaction, in order to cope in the various stages of what is called, attempting to get back to 'normal functioning'.

    This often makes us in our eager and early endeavors to get back to 'normal functioning', take stuff we, or our doctors know not a lot about, particularly in the world of minerals such as magnesium.

    In my early days of this disease several years ago, I took on board the then current advice to have regular Magnesium flake baths, as everbody knew that "all PWC's have a magnesium shortage". All went well for a while and then I crashed very badly.

    It wasn't till investigating the effect that increased magnesium levels can have on other body minerals and the symptoms that can happen,to people like us (Zebras:rolleyes:) , that I was able to piece together what had happened.

    Most of us know that Calcium must be balanced with Magnesium, but there are other minerals that Mg must be balanced with in the body to prevent out of balance symptoms.

    This is a mineral wheel diagram (on the left), showing the various interactions between Magnesium and other minerals including the heavy metals Lead(Pb) and Cadmium(Cd). On the right is the mineral wheel showing Magnesium interactions with vitamins.

    http://www.traceelements.com/docs/Magnesium Wheels.pdf

    The Sodium(Na) and Potassium(K) levels are particularly crucial for us, because these electrolytes are controlled by the adrenals and most of us have adrenal fatigue, which means we can have lower and usually more unstable levels of (Na) and (K) than normal, causing lower blood pressure. (Some people have only low Sodium or Potassium, not both).

    From the diagram it is clear that increasing magnesium is going to make the (Na) and (K) levels even lower,which will make the adrenals more unstable, lowering BP even more, as well as thyroid function through lower (K)

    Whilst going through this 'double whammy' energy reduction, the elevated magnesium can also bind to the heavy metals, lead(Pb) and cadmium(Cd) moving them out of the tissues into the bloodstream and organs increasing brain fog, ,as well as heart palpitations through the lower potassium(K). This pretty well sums up all the symptoms I was experiencing.

    In my ignorance of those days,whilst putting up with these symptoms I thought I was 'detoxing'! :mad::bang-head:

    The reason I mentioned this is more people seem to be taking magnesium through nebulizers and transdermal Magnesium oil and its easy to get into the habit of ingesting too much.

    I wouldn't worry if you have been taking your present dose for a long while and have no adverse symptoms. If you really think you are going to increase Mg levels, my advice is to start off low and increase slowly, monitoring symptoms and increasing electrolytes, Sodium and Potassium as necessary along with the other minerals shown.

    Dr Sircus, who seems to major in magnesium oil, says people who have Hypothyroidism or Addison's Disease should avoid high intakes of magnesium. We may not have full blown Addison's but some of us could be classified as 'Addison's Lite'

    Most of the people without CFS/ME ( Horses), can get away with higher intakes of magnesium because of their higher BP and sodium levels, in fact Mg will help them if they need to reduce their sodium and high BP. However, remember we are zebras not horses,:)



    http://traceelements.com/Docs/The Nutritional Relationships of Magnesium.pdf

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  2. Gondwanaland

    Gondwanaland Senior Member

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    Some of us are quaggas, and a similar text could be written in defense of magnesium. In any case, caution should be always taken when supplementing with any vitamin or mineral, because our needs will decrease as we are replenishing deficiencies.
    [​IMG]
     
  3. Gondwanaland

    Gondwanaland Senior Member

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    My experience with magnesium started with the wrong foot as well: the organic forms raise ammonia for me (glycinate, aspartate, citrate), and the same for Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate). I am shocked when I read about mothers giving their autistic children daily Epsom salts baths, but then there are people who do really well on them - Rich van K used to recommend them as well.

    At first I thought I couldn't tolerate magnesium at all until I tried magnesium oxide, then I could feel why so many practitioners advocate for magnesium supplementation (Martin Pall, Rich van K, Mercola, Carolyn Dean, Mark Sircus). Strangely I never read a practitioner recommending magnesium oxide, on the contrary, and that delayed my improvement on it for almost a whole year.

    One must be really self aware when supplementing because it can really mess up with electrolyte balance. I could supplement intensely for almost 2 months before getting low calcium/low sodium symptoms. For my husband it took only 2 weeks to show low calcium symptoms.
     
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  4. zzz

    zzz Senior Member

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    When I see a thread entitled "High Magnesium - Beware!" that sounds like a scare title for a scare thread, and indeed, that's what this seems to be. The science, however, does not back this up.

    @Gondwanaland certainly made a good point when she said, "In any case, caution should be always taken when supplementing with any vitamin or mineral..." Basically, when you treat yourself, you need to know what you're doing.

    You could go through the entire first post and interchange the words "potassium" and "magnesium", and with few exceptions, it would be equally true. In fact, I have seen many posts on these forums where people have taken significant amounts of potassium and not supplemented them with proper amounts of magnesium, and then had bad reactions due to the magnesium deficit. This seems to be far more common than the problems that @liverock describes.

    Let me start with some of the biggest factual errors in the first post. There's the title, "High Magnesium - Beware!", and then there's the statement, "The reason I mentioned this is more people seem to be taking magnesium through nebulizers and transdermal Magnesium oil and its easy to get into the habit of ingesting too much."

    Unless you have major kidney problems (and you would know if you do), it is almost impossible to ingest too much magnesium through these methods. If you inject a large amount directly into your veins very quickly, you can stop your heart. But no one is suggesting this method of administration.

    The reason that it is almost impossible for a person with reasonably healthy kidneys to ingest too much magnesium is that the body regulates magnesium blood levels very carefully, as the heart needs to have just the right amount of magnesium (within a reasonable range). If blood levels start to get too high, the excess is immediately excreted by the kidneys. Meanwhile, the body's cells don't take in more magnesium than they need. In fact, it takes some effort to get the magnesium into the cells, and a taurine supplement is very helpful for this.

    In the rare case that someone does ingest too much magnesium through methods such as nebulization or magnesium oil, there may be mild central nervous system depression, which would manifest in symptoms such as lower heartbeat and excessive drowsiness or sleepiness. These symptoms go away as soon as the dose is reduced; generally, after a little while, the dose can be increased without the recurrence of the symptoms.

    Why is magnesium supplementation so important? Approximately 80% of Americans are deficient in magnesium, though the exact number varies according to different sources. That number is at least as high for us, and supplementing through oral means is often insufficient, as magnesium is not absorbed well from the gut. Here is the Wikipedia listing of symptoms of magnesium deficiency:
    Is there anyone here who does not have at least some of those symptoms? The existence of these symptoms isn't necessarily caused by a magnesium deficiency, but it's important to consider the possibility of such a deficiency when these symptoms are present.

    The use of magnesium by injection or nebulizer is recommended by many CFS specialists, including Dr. Paul Cheney, Dr. Sarah Myhill, and Dr. Derek Enlander, among others. Their patients have gotten very positive results from this treatment. According to Dr. Myhill,
    In other places, she states that magnesium by nebulizer can give results approaching or equal to magnesium by injection; as for B12, the sublingual form can be just as effective as injection for many people.

    For PWME, magnesium supplementation is used not only to treat a magnesium deficiency, but to treat core aspects of ME/CFS itself. According to many CFS specialists, including Dr. Jay Goldstein, Dr. Paul Cheney, Dr. Rich Van Konynenburg, and Dr. Martin Pall, among others, the hyperexcitabilaty of the NMDA receptors in the brain can lead to many of the problems of ME/CFS, including neurotoxicity. Magnesium is one of the most potent antagonists of the NMDA receptor, having a special binding site of its own. This makes it useful in treating many of the aspects of ME/CFS, including most if not all of the symptoms of POTS, and a large number of the symptoms of dysautonomia in general. In this case, magnesium supplementation is useful even if a person is not technically magnesium deficient, as extra amounts of magnesium may be needed to address these neurological problems that are not present in healthy people.

    So these are just some of the benefits of parenteral magnesium supplementation. What about the risks claimed in the initial post?

    Magnesium, like everything else, does not act in isolation, so when increasing magnesium intake by a significant amount, the intake of certain other supplements must be increased as well. Potassium is the most important of these, as the levels of magnesium and potassium are closely tied together in the body. If the amount of one of these elements is raised, the other must be raised as well, or else the body will show signs of deficiency in the element that is not raised. Increasing potassium intake by several hundred milligrams per day is sufficient to compensate for the increased levels of magnesium in the forms being discussed; I have found that an additional 500 mg per day in divided doses works quite well. Proper calcium intake is also very important; this can be done either with supplements or with diet.

    From the original post:
    As has been pointed out in many places (including this forum), adrenal fatigue is a myth, not a medical condition. The body works very hard to maintain stable levels of sodium, as the extremes of hyponatremia and hypernatremia can be quite dangerous. As for potassium, the importance of supplementing it properly when raising magnesium levels has already been addressed.

    As for the interaction of magnesium with heavy metals, the source cited at the bottom of the original post states, "Toxic metals such as lead and cadmium interfere with most of the nutrient minerals including magnesium." So in other words, if you have a serious heavy metal toxicity and are under treatment for it, you have to be careful about all your nutrient minerals - not just magnesium. This type of heavy metal toxicity is rather rare.
    As has been pointed out in a recent thread, in most cases, "detoxing" is essentially another myth, and definitely so when it comes to magnesium. If you experience negative reactions when supplementing magnesium, there is a problem; you need to find out what the problem is and correct it.
    Dr. Sircus may major in magnesium oil, but that does not make him an expert. The Web of Trust has marked his pages with their Warning sign, meaning that some of his claims are suspect. For example, one of the causes of hypothyroidism is a magnesium deficiency, and magnesium supplementation can help treat hypothyroidism in these cases.

    As for Addison's disease, there is no such entity as "Addison's Lite", nor does that describe our problems in that area, which have to do with the HPA axis as a whole, and not with the mythical "adrenal fatigue". Even presuming that Dr. Sircus is correct in his statement here, there is no reason to extend that statement to us.

    So where does that leave us? If magnesium is supplemented responsibly, meaning in a person with reasonably healthy kidneys and in conjunction with proper supplementation of potassium, calcium, and sodium, problems should not arise for PWME in the absence of other relevant comorbid conditions. And the benefits of parenteral magnesium supplementation can be truly substantial, as many people (including me) will testify. Finally, the literature supports these benefits.

    As noted above, Dr. Myhill and others have quite properly stressed the importance of parenteral magnesium supplementation, which allows greater levels of magnesium to be absorbed than the oral forms. As it is not difficult to do this in a responsible manner, and the benefits are great, people should not be scared off by unwarranted advice that is not based on science.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2014
  5. liverock

    liverock Senior Member

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    Magnesium Sulphate is not good for Autistic children because they cant handle the increase in sulphur. Glad you were knowledgeable enough to be able to adjust your mineral ratios.
     
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  6. adreno

    adreno PR activist

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    Why would these forms raise ammonia?
     
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  7. Gondwanaland

    Gondwanaland Senior Member

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    Last edited: Dec 29, 2014
  8. liverock

    liverock Senior Member

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    @zzz

    The thread was not meant to be an attack on Magnesium. Magnesium is a helpful and effective mineral for most people and I would agree with most of what you say in making sure you have sufficient Magnesium including adequate elecrolytes before increasing Mag dosing.

    I am well aware of these advantages having been a patient at one time of Dr Sarah Myhill. There is however a difference between receiving a measured dose injection from a doctor and jumping into a course of Mg flake baths of unknown strength.

    I was relating a personal experience that I underwent when using a course of Magnesium Bath Flakes when self medicating in my very early days in CFS/ME. I had no idea at that time how quickly Mg can be absorbed through the skin or how quickly it can build up and affect other minerals causing imbalance.

    As far as magnesium excess being cleared quickly by the kidneys,that was not apparent in my case and I still have not been able to ascertain how much CFS/ME could possibly affect the the kidneys(even in my weakened state) to cause this problem, especially when serum Creatinine was within normal range. Maybe magnesium bound to heavy metals is harder for the kidneys to excrete, or lowered ATP could have been a factor.

    With regard to heavy metals, I think nobody really knows how much they are secreting in the tissues without symptoms, unless they take a DMPS challenge test. This can be quite an ordeal for PWC's and most shun it. It was also quite a revelation for me to learn that Magnesium is in fact quite a good chelator of heavy metals even though I learnt the hard way.

    The point in posting this thread was not about discouraging taking normal levels of magnesium, but to point out that taking high levels of minerals without considering the overall balance of minerals can be problematical for some. Taking increased magnesium whilst undertaking Fredd's methylation course at the same time,can also increase the need for extra potassium for some people with impaired electrolyte levels.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2014
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  9. Gondwanaland

    Gondwanaland Senior Member

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    Were you able to identify a magnesium toxicity as opposed to sulfate toxicity?

    @zzz I will print, frame and hang in the wall that post of yours! :thumbsup::rofl:
     
  10. liverock

    liverock Senior Member

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    Why do you assume I was using Magnesium Sulphate? Magnesium flakes alone can be bought loose and either used in the bath or mixed with spring water to be used in a spray bottle.
    You are right about the danger of Magnesium Sulphate baths however, a heavy dose of sulphate can send those with CBS+ snp's into a CNS sympathetic dominance 'fight or flight' state.
    Sarah Myhill doesnt appear to be aware of this problem as she used to recommend them.
    Not sure whether she still does.
     
  11. Gondwanaland

    Gondwanaland Senior Member

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    Sorry, the only kind of Mg flakes I know is Epsom salts (crystals?). Here where I live there is no other kind, and when you go to buy bath supplies they sell perfumed MgSO4+NaHCO3 flakes. Plus I thought that flakes and crystals would be synonyms.
     
  12. adreno

    adreno PR activist

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    Flakes are Mg chloride.
     
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  13. Gondwanaland

    Gondwanaland Senior Member

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    I never tried this one fearing the acidifying effects of chloride... They are sold here in crystals, for oral intake.
    My apologies again to @liverock
     
  14. perchance dreamer

    perchance dreamer Senior Member

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  15. zzz

    zzz Senior Member

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    There have been a number of additional misconceptions about magnesium and magnesium sulfate that have been posted recently, so I thought I would clear them up here.
    To the contrary, magnesium sulfate (in the form of Epsom salt baths) is often used as a treatment for autistic children. A quick Google search will show that Epsom salt baths are recommended for autistic children in many, many places. I could find nothing to support your statement. To the contrary, here is a sample of the type of information published about the value specifically of Epsom salt baths for autistic children:
    In order for the kidneys to be a factor in significantly reduced magnesium clearance, you would have to be experiencing renal failure. Renal failure is not caused by CFS/ME (except possibly in the very worst cases), nor is it a symptom of CFS/ME. As your creatinine was within normal range, renal failure does not appear to be a problem for you.
    This sounds like pure speculation. Do you have any evidence from a reputable scientific source that what you say is true, or even possible?
    I have noticed that there is a great deal of confusion when it comes to the topic of the toxicity of various sulfur compounds. Sulfate toxicity does not exist in humans. As I posted in this thread,
    Specifically, people often confuse reactions with sulfa drugs, sulfites, and sulfates. As this is a common source of confusion, there are many articles available pointing out the difference between these sulfur compounds. A rather thorough description of these differences can be found in the article Allergies to Sulfur Compounds? Here is the portion on sulfate; please note the concluding statement.
    Again, human biology simply does not work this way. Please see my previous quote.
    She is not aware of the problem because the problem does not exist. Her knowledge of biochemistry is greater than yours.
    Yes, she still does recommend Epsom salts, as magnesium sulfate has no more problems or risks than any other form of magnesium.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2015
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  16. Kina

    Kina

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    @zzz without going in to detail, I have a level of magnesium that I can tolerate, if I go above it I get extremely ill. Magnesium is generally safe if your kidneys, liver, and heart function are within normal parameters. You are talking about Mg2+ for healthy people. If you have compromised kidneys, liver and heart function, it can be a problem. You have no right to say something is safe when it isn't for all people.
     
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  17. zzz

    zzz Senior Member

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    @Kina, I have emphasized repeatedly that safe magnesium supplementation requires healthy kidney function. If the kidneys do not function properly, then toxic levels of magnesium can arise in the blood, and this can certainly damage even a healthy heart. Magnesium and its compounds are not metabolized by the liver, though, so liver problems in the absence of kidney problems should not be worsened by magnesium supplementation. In fact, both heart and liver problems can often be helped by proper magnesium supplementation. It is only when the kidneys are unable to clear magnesium from the blood at the rates that are necessary that normal magnesium supplementation can become toxic. If you have documented information to the contrary, I would certainly like to see it.

    Proper dosing is also necessary, especially in the more intensive forms of magnesium supplementation, and I have mentioned that. For example, with magnesium injections, if too much magnesium is given, then it may exceed the ability of even healthy kidneys to clear the excess from the bloodstream, and negative side effects, including central nervous system depression, may occur. I have also mentioned that too much magnesium injected too quickly directly into the veins can be fatal, as it may stop the heart.
    If you raise your magnesium, do you also raise your potassium and calcium? Not doing so is one of the most common reasons for negative reactions to raising magnesium levels.
    To the contrary, I am talking about magnesium supplementation for us, and we are not healthy people. I believe that I have indicated the necessities for proper magnesium supplementation in terms of kidney function, dosage, and dependence on additional supplements. If you can document something I have missed, I would be very interested in seeing it.
    I have certainly never made a blanket statement that magnesium supplementation is safe for everyone with no limitations. It most definitely is not, for reasons that I have already covered. My previous post did conclude with the following:
    This was simply to state that the sulfate compound of magnesium does not add to the risks of using magnesium. It does not state that using magnesium in general has no risks, and I have never made such a statement.

    I hope that this post clears up any confusion over what I have said. And Happy New Year to everyone! :balloons:
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2014
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  18. Gondwanaland

    Gondwanaland Senior Member

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    An Epsom salts foot bath sent me to the ER last April. I think if you have high ammonia/uric acid, it isn't a good idea to supply more sulfate.
     
  19. zzz

    zzz Senior Member

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    @Gondwanaland, I'm sorry that you had such a strong negative reaction to Epsom salt foot baths. That's certainly rather rare, as these are commonly used, and do not require a prescription. But it obviously is possible. The question is, what caused your reaction?

    I have researched the subject of sulfates extensively, and magnesium sulfate in particular, and have found not the slightest bit of evidence that sulfates in and of themselves, or when bound to magnesium, have any adverse health effects. To the contrary, as indicated in my post #15 above, sulfates are "crucial to several metabolic pathways," and in and of themselves, do not have negative effects in humans. If you can show me documentation to the contrary about sulfates (and not other compounds of sulfur), I would be very interested in seeing it.

    So it would have to be the magnesium itself, and not the particular form, that caused your reaction. As with any form of parenteral magnesium administration, it is possible to administer too much magnesium too fast through Epsom salt baths. Unlike other forms of parenteral magnesium administration, however, the proper dosing for Epsom salt baths is not widely publicized, making it easier to use too much magnesium. Furthermore, dangerous misinformation is sometimes publicized. For example, here is the recommendation from the Edgar Cayce Health Database:
    This is approximately five to ten times the correct dosage for Epsom salt usage.

    As for the symptoms of too much magnesium, here are excerpts from the Medscape article on hypermagnesemia, which is the medical term for too much magnesium in the blood. From the introduction:
    So as I have mentioned before, with healthy kidneys, it is usually not possible to reach a toxic dose of magnesium. However, I use the word "usually" because it is possible to absorb magnesium into the body faster than healthy kidneys can clear it if the magnesium dose is too high and the rate of administration is too fast. These conditions are almost impossible to achieve through administration via the oral route, but they can happen via the parenteral route, although even then, they almost always occur during IV administration, when the dose and rate of administration of magnesium is at its highest.

    The Medscape page on the effects of hypermagnesemia can be found here. As hypocalcemia is a possible side effect of hypermagnesemia, its side effects need to be considered as well.

    Yet as documented in the Medscape quote above, healthy kidneys generally prevent these effects from occurring, especially when administration is by means other than IV. However, interactions with other drugs can increase the effects of magnesium, causing potentially serious side effects. Here are the main drug interactions listed in the Medscape article:
    Note that the whole Medscape page is referring to the use of magnesium sulfate by injection, either IV or IM; the risks are far lower through other routes, simply because magnesium usually can't be ingested fast enough to overcome the rate of kidney excretion and thereby produce serious side effects.

    @Gondwanaland, do you see your symptoms listed or referenced here? If not, what were they? And may I ask what the doctors at the ER said your problem was?
     
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  20. Gondwanaland

    Gondwanaland Senior Member

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    @zzz when I had a dramatic reaction to MgSO4 that sent me to ER I was in the middle of an albendazole round o_O

    They found no problem with me at the ER, even a body temperature of 94.3 has been considered normal. Serum urea, sodium and potassium at the top of the range - also normal. Since my main complaint was that I couldn't breathe, they took an X-ray of my lungs and found nothing :ill:

    BUT several months prior to this I had tried foot baths for repeated times, always with poor outcomes. Symptoms: burning sensation in the ureters (lower back); "heavy calves" vascular (?) sensation, "heavy eyelids" (which I also get from Mg glycinate); general malaise.

    I have several SNPs that point to high ammonia/low BH4.

    Thanks for helping me with this puzzle :thumbsup:
     
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