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IV Magnesium is better than other forms. Why doesn't my magnesium level increase?

Discussion in 'General Treatment' started by JBB, Jun 15, 2014.

  1. JBB

    JBB Senior Member

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    Hey guys,

    As with most of us my intracellular magnesium is very low causing poor mitochondrial function.

    My M.E Doc suggested doing IV magnesium. I have tried subcutaneous / transdermal / oral with no effect. I wanted to put this up here as I have not seen it mentioned elsewhere.

    The reason why IV magnesium can work better than transdermal / subcutanious injections according to Dr Myhill...
    There are ion pumps which pump magnesium into the cell and calcium out of the cell. These are required to keep the cell working normally. They use roughly 40% of the cells energy just to maintain this balance. An IV gives a very quick rush of mg which cannot be replicated by other means and makes it really easy for these pumps to work as suddenly the blood concentration of mg is greatly increased. This means it is much easier for the mg to get into the cell and the pumps must use less energy vs the slower release methods!

    My mg was very low at 0.57 (on mitochondria test). I had my first IV...WOW...next day I woke at 7am full of energy for most of the day!!! I thought, this is it...but noooo! Had an IV every day for a week and each time it gradually had less effect than the last till eventually it had no effect at all.

    Question 1: Why did it stop having an effect?


    Now I tried mg IV's nearly every day for three months. My 5ml IV of magnesium sulphate in a syringe contains about 200mg of elemental mg. So that's 200mg x 80 = about 16 grams of elemental magnesium over 3 months. It was not helping anymore by now so I gave it up. I then re-measured my mg level and it was still low at 0.61!

    Question 2: Has anyone got any ideas as to why it would still be low? Am I missing an important co-factor or something (was taking boron, zinc etc at the time)? Is there a reason why it wouldn't get into the cells?


    Any ideas much appreciated :).

    Best wishes,

    J
  2. Martial

    Martial Senior Member

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    Maybe your levels have finally built back up? Don't think they would still be low after all that, however your potassium mght have tanked as a result since you can't get both in the system at the same time.. Don't over do it with potassium though because that can be deadly.. Just look into raising your intra cellular levels of potassium though because the two go hand and hand.
    JBB likes this.
  3. liverock

    liverock Senior Member

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    If your too acidic this can cause trouble absorbing magnesium into cells.
    Growth Hormone (GH) is formed in sleep and this is supposed to counteract acidosis, but most of us dont get enough of the right kind of sleep to form enough GH and the magnesium gets landed with the job and you end up with 'magnesium wasting'.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10381152?dopt=Abstract

    If you are in sympathetic dominance, 'fight or flight' then you will lose magnesium at a high rate as well. which can make it hard to build up magnesium levels.

    Adequate insulin is also required for magnesium absorption.

    http://drsircus.com/medicine/magnesium/the-insulin-magnesium-story-2

    .
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2014
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  4. JBB

    JBB Senior Member

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    Thanks Martial and liverock. Really appreciate both your comments.

    @Martial
    Hmmm that is interesting...so your saying that due to the extreme blood levels of magnesium, potassium tanked and could be why the magnesium decreased its effectiveness? I'll have to do some research on potassium deficiency. I was taking 200mg potassium chloride for quite some time before the IV's, maybe this isn't enough?

    Is it then best to build up one as much as you can then build up the other?


    @liverock
    Aaaaah, *light bulb moment* Yes I am definitely in sympathetic arousal so maybe this is one of the reasons I can't hold on to the magnesium. Makes sense.


    Many thanks,

    J
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2014
  5. girlfromeurope

    girlfromeurope Senior Member

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    I've read somewhere that a deficiency of boron, b6 or copper prevents uptake of magnesium.
    Izola and JBB like this.
  6. JBB

    JBB Senior Member

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    Yes I have read that somewhere too. Thanks for sharing :)

    I have supplemented these too, but maybe I need much larger doses, so hard to tell.


    Many thanks,

    J
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  7. girlfromeurope

    girlfromeurope Senior Member

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    I think I'm having the same problem.
    I have low magnesium but supplements don't help anymore. I'm deficient in copper too but supplementing copper doesn't help the magnesium to be absorbed.
    I'm lost at what to do.
    Izola likes this.
  8. JBB

    JBB Senior Member

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    Yes @girlfromeurope I think this seems to be a problem with some of us.

    My Doc says that her patients always have difficulty raising the magnesium even when they are very low...and like you, I think I'm deficient in copper too even though I supplement it.

    I'm inclined to think that for patients like us pumping more in is no use as it clearly doesn't stay in the cell...my experiment with magnesium shows that for me at least. I think the same is true of other important minerals.

    I have noticed that my selenium, zinc and magnesium are all low despite supplementing for years...these three are particularly heavy on the immune system so my instinct points to the idea that either:
    1) Our cells cannot hold on to the minerals we give them.
    2) The immune system is going at full speed all the time using these minerals up.

    In either case fixing the root cause is the solution...and that could be anyone's guess! For many I guess immune system might be the issue (infection??), for me I do wonder about sympathetic nervous system arousal as liverock suggested as it fits my case. There's always KDM in Belgium.

    Best wishes,

    J
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  9. xrunner

    xrunner Senior Member

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    That's my case. Injections of magnesium did not help me.
    After treatment for lyme and other infections and methylation support, my intracellular magnesium normalised without any supplementation.
    Izola and JBB like this.
  10. JBB

    JBB Senior Member

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    Thanks, that's really interesting xrunner. It actually normalized without supplementation...amazing! Thing is I don't really suspect Lyme in my case because I was living in the middle of London at the time. So I'd be really surprised if infections are a main cause for me.

    J
  11. franklestine

    franklestine

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    Have you considered glutathione?

    http://hyper.ahajournals.org/content/34/1/76.full

    JBB likes this.
  12. JBB

    JBB Senior Member

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    Thank you @franklestine. Well I have taken L-glutathione 100 mg (if I remember right) for aaaages...maybe it's not well absorbed. I'm not sure of my actual levels. That is very interesting that low glutathion impacts Mg. Thanks for pointing it out, I will have to investigate it!

    Many thanks,

    J
  13. franklestine

    franklestine

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    For sure.. I'm not an expert on glutathione but sources like this suggest 100mg may be a low dose. Other forms you may want to try are liposomal glutathione or undenatured whey protein. Tell us how it goes.
    JBB likes this.
  14. JBB

    JBB Senior Member

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    Hmmm ok, might try lipo then...bought a machine to make lipo vit C but never got round to doing it properly XD.

    Thanks again,

    J
  15. aaron_c

    aaron_c Senior Member

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    @JBB
    @girlfromeurope

    Hi Yall,

    Have you tried selenium? I think selenium deficiency, induced by high intake of magnesium, may account for why high doses of magnesium stop working for people with ME after some months. Here are my thoughts on how this all links together:

    First, some background on selenium in the body: Selenocysteine is the "active" form of selenium, in that it is necessary to form some proteins, including most glutathione peroxidases (an enzyme that uses glutathione to protect us from oxidative damage). Because selenocysteine is fairly reactive, it is not stored as such. Wikipedia says that selenite is the storage form in the body, and to this I would add selenomethionine. Selenite and selenomethionine are storage forms of selenium akin to storing money in a checking account and a CD, respectively. Selenomethionine is a methionine molecule with selenium instead of sulfur. Unlike selenocysteine, which has uses unique from cysteine, selenomethionine is used just like methionine. The body has no way to draw on the selenium in selenomethionine, it can only wait for the proteins to degrade.

    Next, some Background on Magnesium: Magnesium helps with sleep. It is involved in propagating GABAergic pathways, much like Calcium is involved with the glutaminergic ones. It is also necessary to produce glutathione. Healthy cells spend energy to pump magnesium in and calcium out, but since we have problems producing enough atp, people with ME generally have more calcium and less magnesium than would be ideal. Incidentally, this is why Mg and Ca levels normalize on their own when we get better. Because Calcium and magnesium levels in the blood are more tightly regulated (maybe because excess is excreted in urine?), the tests that show low magnesium in people with ME test for magnesium levels in Red Blood cells. In any case, to fix this whole situation, some doctors recommend taking high doses of magnesium. As the study in the last link indicates, the results are pretty darned good for most everyone.

    The problem is it doesn't seem to last. After some number of months using medium-high doses of magnesium (and after a shorter time with very high doses, as you have found!) most people with ME find it becomes less and less effective.

    Magnesium deficiency impedes selenium absorption and retention (in red blood cells, at least), while magnesium deficient people who failed to improve RBC magnesium with magnesium supplementation, improved when given selenium. So we need magnesium to absorb selenium, but we need selenium to get magnesium into our cells.
    Rats fed a selenium deficient diet but then supplemented with selenomethionine showed ten times the selenium concentration in their muscle than rats supplemented with equivalent amounts of selenite and selenocysteine--probably because the selenomethionine was being integrated into proteins just as methionine would-primarily in the muscles, whereas selenocysteine and selenite is used more readily for glutathione peroxidase.

    Magnesium deficiency causes an increase in selenium concentration in muscle tissue but lowers selenium concentration *most* other places in rats. Which sounds an awful lot like the rats fed lots of selenomethionine.

    Alltogether, this looks like magnesium deficiency causes more selenium to be integrated into selenomethionine instead of selenocysteine. Since magnesium is necessary to turn methionine into cysteine, it is not surprising that it would be necessary to to to turn selenomethionine into selenocysteine. (B6 also appears to help increase intracellular Magnesium. Perhaps the common denomonator here is Glutathione, as both magnesium and B6 are necessary to produce glutathione.) As magnesium deficiency is remedied, the transulfuration pathway opens up and we produce more glutathione while also converting more selenomethionine into selenocysteine, and generally become more protected from oxidative stress by glutathione peroxidases. This is why people get more energy. My hypothesis is that this does not last because after however much time, glutathione peroxidase has used up the selenium stored as selenomethionine. Basically, we have burned through our selenium savings, so our body brings less magnesium into our cells, and we are back experiencing magnesium deficiency: We produce less glutathione, we feel tired again, and we sleep worse. This would explain why medium-high doses of magnesium stop working after some number of months, and also, I think, why daily magnesium IV's would stop working much more quickly--you probably haven't used up your selenomethionine stores, but you have used up everything else.

    Personally, I have tried taking fairly high doses of selenium (up to 2 mg per day, I believe), but did not experience an increased benefit after a certain point. But there was enough else going on, that I am not totally sure. And I was taking liposomal magnesium, not IV's, so maybe with higher magnesium, more selenium? However amounts over 800 mcg per day *might* be dangerous, although some physicians do prescribe larger doses for some cancers.

    I am not suggesting that selenium will get you back to that initial "wow" feeling, and I do not know how much magnesium can be supported by 800 mcg of selenium--perhaps not a whole IV-- but it seems like it might allow you to have a decent amount of the benefits of magnesium in a sustained way.

    I do hope this is helpful. Right now I am the only person I know of who has tried this. Although it has been beneficial to me, it doesn't prove a whole lot.

    Regardless, best of luck finding your way through this maze.

    Warmly,

    Aaron C


    PS: @liverock

    I did not know that about growth hormone. I would add that Rich Van K noticed that Growth hormone has two disulfide bonds, which according to him would cause protein malformation and ultimately low secretion, under conditions of high oxidative stress. Perhaps poor sleep is not the only problem with growth hormone secretion.
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2014
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  16. zzz

    zzz Senior Member

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    @JBB - The fact that this worked well for you once and then gradually tapered off in effect says to me that this is likely not a problem with some other nutrient missing, as I would expect a more constant response in that case. Perhaps your kidneys are just learning to clear your blood of magnesium faster; as Dr. Myhill notes, the body likes to keep the blood serum level of magnesium within a fairly narrow range. If that's what's happening, an application method that works slightly slower than IV might actually work better, as your blood serum levels wouldn't get quite so high. I'd suggest trying magnesium by either IM or SC injection, or inhaled via nebulizer, right before going to bed.
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  17. JBB

    JBB Senior Member

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    @franklestine

    Am going to be on Lipo glutathione along with Lipo C soon...am doing some other stuff first. I will try to remember to update here whether that increases my intracellular Mg levels.


    @zzz Thanks for those ideas, that is a very interesting theory regarding kidneys clearing the magnesium. Never thought of that. Quite possible indeed.

    I have tried Mg SC injections, nebulizer, transdermal, oral, combinations...every damn way I can get the stuff into me. The only one that did anything at all is IV.


    @aaron_c Thanks for your post. I can see a lot of thought has gone into this...nice piece of research and respect for being a guinea pig on your theory!

    "The problem is it doesn't seem to last. After some number of months using medium-high doses of magnesium (and after a shorter time with very high doses, as you have found!) most people with ME find it becomes less and less effective."

    Indeed, I didn't know this pattern was a common reaction. Where did you find that info?
    "magnesium deficient people who failed to improve RBC magnesium with magnesium supplementation, improved when given selenium."

    Interesting, I have taken 250mcg / day of Selenium for around 2 years. Not taken very large doses as you propose might be necessary though.

    "My hypothesis is that this does not last because after however much time, glutathione peroxidase has used up the selenium stored as selenomethionine. Basically, we have burned through our selenium savings, so our body brings less magnesium into our cells, and we are back experiencing magnesium deficiency: We produce less glutathione, we feel tired again, and we sleep worse. This would explain why medium-high doses of magnesium stop working after some number of months, and also, I think, why daily magnesium IV's would stop working much more quickly--you probably haven't used up your selenomethionine stores, but you have used up everything else."

    This makes a lot of sense to me - reserves of minerals being used up. I do wonder how many other processes as well as selenium are effected by high dose Mg. No way of knowing all of them I guess.
    "it has been beneficial to me"

    Very pleased for you :). Do you still take the two together as a band aid?


    Having read all this I am back to thinking infections as a root cause of low Mg as @xrunner found. Apparently Lyme eats up Mg, since my Mg was one of the lowest my CFS Doc had ever seen this might be a pointer. Chronic infection would also make one loose more Mg by upsetting the autonomic nervous system as @liverock pointed out. I'm going back on what I said about Lyme - off to IGeneX / Infectolabs it is then!


    Thanks for all the useful comments,

    J


    P.S

    @aaron_c So long as you absorb it into the bloodstream lipo Mg should be absorbed more easly into the cells than even IV due the the lipid coating allowing it to cross into the cell easier. This is going by what Dr Levy has said about Lipo C - something like 85% from blood into cell vs 5% from IV. All depends on overall dose I suppose though. Lipo Mg is something else I might do when the time is right, nicer than sticking needles into your veins!
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2014
  18. liverock

    liverock Senior Member

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    @JBB

    The whole scene of mineral interactions is very complex, especially trace elements. Increasing one can alter a myriad of others and cause a whole host of different symptoms. This is made worse when there are unstable energy glands like adrenals and thyroid in diseases like CFS/ME.

    This is a study on magnesium interactions with other minerals including heavy metals. Looking at the mineral wheel in Fig 1 it shows Mg is antagonistic to such heavy metals as cadmium(Cd) and lead(Pb) and will bind and act as a chelator to these metals. This will cause Mg losses over time.

    The wheel also shows among other relationships that higher doses of Mg can lower Sodium(Na) and Potassium(K) thus affecting both adrenals and thyroid.
    If you have high Sodium levels such as in sympathetic dominance, then of course this action will be reversed and the high sodium will tend to lower Mg levels.

    Figure 2 also shows how Mg interacts with Vitamins and it is clear from all this that higher Mg levels can affect people in differing ways, according to their other vitamin and mineral levels and state of their adrenals and thyroid glands.

    Not much help, but it may show the extent of the problem with individual mineral supplementation.:bang-head:

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

    Psalm 139 verse14 " We are fearfully and wonderfully made"
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2014
  19. JBB

    JBB Senior Member

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    Thanks liverock...yes this does just show how we can't really possibly figure out how one mineral may effect another. :bang-head: sums it up nicely!...all about finding out our own individual cause for the magnesium wasting.


    J
  20. aaron_c

    aaron_c Senior Member

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    @JBB

    Yes, so much seems to come back to chronic infection...at least for many of us. And I do still use them as a band-aid until those deeper issues are dealt with :).

    Unfortunately, at this point, all I know is that I got very excited about magnesium as a treatment for chronic fatigue, I did some more digging, and found a number of posts complaining that it stopped working after a few months or so. Sorry I can't help more.

    Ya, I have thought that about liposomal magnesium...but my experience is that, even if the liposomes do get it into the cells more effectively, it needs selenium to benefit us. It seems to me like it is needed not only to put the magnesium in there, but to keep it in there. At this point, all I can say is that the liposomal form of magnesium still needs selenium to work for me.

    @liverock:

    Very cool article.
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2014
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