The 12th Invest in ME Conference, Part 1
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Magnesium question - Exatest vs. hair analysis

Discussion in 'General Treatment' started by Mary, Dec 29, 2014.

  1. Mary

    Mary Senior Member

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    The last time my magnesium levels were in the normal range on hair analysis was in 1998, just before I started crashing. Ever since, on hair analysis, they've been quite low, not even been close to the normal range, despite taking a pretty good dose (in the form of magnesium glycinate the last several years, but other forms prior to them) And, I think I'm at bowel tolerance. I tried increasing the dose a couple of days ago, and well, won't do that again.

    However, on an Exatest last year, which measures intracellular magnesium levels, my number was well within the normal range, a little above the median.

    Sarah Myhill recommended magnesium injections some 4-1/2 years ago, but my doctor wouldn't order them. I was thinking of finding another doctor to do it, but now wonder if the injections would be a good thing or not.

    My guess is maybe I'm having trouble utilizing the magnesium in my body? So though I have enough of it I can't use it, and injections just may not be a good idea?

    It's a puzzlement - any ideas would be appreciated!
     
  2. Gondwanaland

    Gondwanaland Senior Member

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  3. Sherlock

    Sherlock tart cherry etc. for joints, insomnia

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    Mg glycinate had been trumpeted as the no laxative kind. Yeah, right :)

    Maybe vit D with your Mg would help absorption?
     
  4. Mary

    Mary Senior Member

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    Thanks @Gondwanaland - actually I've increased my B6 relatively recently, from 25 mg. to 75 mg. - I seem to need it, already take taurine, so it's possible that I'm using more magnesium than before, although I don't think it will show up on my latest hair analysis as it hasn't been that long.
     
  5. Gondwanaland

    Gondwanaland Senior Member

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    In my understanding, both synergists and antagoinsts will increase the demand for Mg. Are you experiencing benefits from increasing B6 intake?
     
  6. Mary

    Mary Senior Member

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    @Sherlock - I should have clarified. I am taking mag glycinate as my primary source with no problem, but when I added in extra, it was mag citrate. So that may be why it kinda just went right through me .... but if my cellular magnesium is good, then I don't think I need more magnesium anyways, I was just trying it out. I do wonder though why it's so low on hair analysis - it could be because I was low in B6 - there are so many variables - it can drive you nuts!

    I do take lots of vitamin D and get it checked annually.

    Thanks for your input --
     
  7. Mary

    Mary Senior Member

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    I think I am experiencing benefits from increasing my B6 (P-5-P). Actually 4-1/2 years ago Nutreval testing showed my need for B6 to be at level 9 (10 is the most severe deficiency). Only it was a 30-page report which I didn't go through page by page - it was overwhelming for me at the time, and my doctor didn't mention the B6 -- I've recently gone back over these results pretty much line by line (with the help of Kimsie). My body does like the B6 and plan to increase it one more step pretty soon to 100 mg. I learned it's also very important for neurotransmitters and like so many here I've had lots of sleep problems which I manage primarily through supplements though it would be nice not to have to take a handful of stuff just to sleep. And I feel more alert and I think a little more energetic with the increased B6, though I still crash faithfully.
     
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  8. minkeygirl

    minkeygirl But I Look So Good.

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    I remember hearing magnesium IM is really painful.
     
  9. zzz

    zzz Senior Member

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    Dr. Myhill recommends magnesium injections (as do Drs. Paul Cheney, Derek Enlander, and various others) for a very simple reason - they're the best way to get substantial amounts of magnesium into the body on a daily basis, and most PWME benefit from the added magnesium, often by a great amount.
    No; many people simply can't absorb enough magnesium through their gut. So the magnesium simply passes through you; it doesn't stay in your body. This is a basic fact of magnesium biochemistry that is unfortunately still unknown by most people, and contributes greatly to the magnesium deficiencies seen both in healthy people and in us - even in many among us who take good oral supplements daily.
    No; because it passes right through you, you don't have enough of it. Since large amounts of magnesium in the gut can cause diarrhea, many people reach their gut tolerance for magnesium before they have taken what they need to supplement their body's magnesium. You definitely sound like one of these people.
    They're an excellent idea if you can find a doctor to prescribe them for you. The best formulation I have seen is from Dr. Paul Cheney:
    If you can't find a doctor to prescribe magnesium injections, there are various other alternatives that range in efficacy and that I describe in this recent post. It's also important to know what other electrolytes need to be supplemented when you raise your magnesium levels. I address this and various other issues, including the many symptoms of magnesium deficiency, in this recent post.
    It's quite easy to be very low in magnesium and not realize it. That was my case for years. I took the proper supplements, and I thought that was sufficient. But my health kept going downhill. Then I found Dr. Myhill's quote where she says that magnesium injections "are so helpful that it is pointless progressing onto other things without trying these first." As my doctor wouldn't prescribe them, I started administering magnesium by nebulizer on my own, and immediately noticed significant improvements. As magnesium has a long half life in tissues (40 to 80 days), these improvements just kept on going; it takes close to a year for magnesium levels to stabilize after a rise in intake. After three months, my severe angina and shortness of breath problems, which had gotten totally debilitating, had completely disappeared.

    As autonomic benefits such as this (along with various other benefits) may require more than just the recommended amount of magnesium for healthy people, I strongly agree with Dr. Myhill's statement that I have quoted above. She has also given complete instructions on using magnesium by nebulizer; I have cited those in my first post referenced above.

    The best way of getting nebulizers and magnesium for them depends on where you live; the various alternatives have been discussed in a number of threads here. Dr. Myhill has given instructions for getting a nebulizer in the UK; you just have to make sure that the magnesium you use is pharmaceutical grade. In this post, I give instructions for both getting a nebulizer and magnesium for people living in the U.S.

    The form of magnesium generally used with nebulizers is magnesium sulfate. Even if you cannot tolerate sulfa drugs and/or sulfites, you should have no trouble with magnesium sulfate, as sulfates are a sulfur compound that does not cause reactions in people.
     
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  10. Mary

    Mary Senior Member

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    @zzz - thank you so much for your lengthy post. I'm recovering from Christmas and visiting so will look at it more thoroughly tomorrow.

    But, I'm wondering, do you know why my intracellular magnesium levels would be normal if I wasn't getting enough magnesium? Actually, I was just doing the Exatest (which is the test Richvank recommended to check magnesium) to confirm my low magnesium levels as seen on hair analysis, and thus was very surprised when my levels were so good on this test. So this is why now I'm a little leery of doing injections - afraid of getting too much magnesium.

    http://www.exatest.com/
     
  11. Mary

    Mary Senior Member

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    I did read, as zzz points out above, that including taurine in the injections does take care of the pain .
     
  12. zzz

    zzz Senior Member

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    This is a complex area. As you have seen, you can get two very different results from different types of tests. Although the intracellular magnesium test is widely considered to be the best, like all tests, it has limitations. For example, the test ranges are set for otherwise healthy people, which we are not. So the fact that you are getting low magnesium in your hair may be a sign that "normal" intracellular levels of magnesium aren't enough for you. It's also good to remember that these tests are taken on just a few cells, and their results are then generalized to the rest of the body. Again, this may be a reasonable thing to do for otherwise healthy people, but it doesn't necessarily apply to us. If some parts of our body are functioning better than others, we may not have uniform levels of magnesium throughout our cells. And as I mentioned above, we may need more than normal levels of magnesium in any case.
    If you follow the directions for magnesium injections and supplement properly with potassium and calcium, you don't have to worry about this. If you do all this and your body absorbs a bit too much more magnesium than you need, the main symptoms will simply be excessive drowsiness or sleepiness, or slightly loose bowels. (Slight drowsiness is normal.) If you experience the excessive signs (which is unusual), then if you just cut back on the dose slightly, they'll go away in about a day. If you then wait a week or so, you should then be able to raise the dose back up again without these side effects. If you can't (and again, this is unusual), then you just stay on the lower dose, which is still far more effective than any oral form of magnesium.

    For magnesium injections, the first injection is typically given in the doctor's office, simply as an added precaution in the very rare case that you have a reaction that is well outside the bounds of normal. This extra precaution helps ensure that there will be no problems doing injections on your own at home.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2014
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  13. Mary

    Mary Senior Member

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    @zzz - It would be fabulous if injections would help me, and doing the first one in a doctor's office would make me feel better. Thanks again!
     
  14. Mary

    Mary Senior Member

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    I've decided to e-mail Dr. Myhill and ask her recommendation re the mag injections, since my Exatest result was great, but hair analysis results are very poor. She did mitochondrial testing for me 4-1/2 years ago (I'm in California - we did it all by e-mail and FedEx) so I'm hoping she will answer this question for me.

    I'll be getting my latest hair analysis results on 1/20, so will wait until then before contacting her.
     
  15. Mij

    Mij Senior Member

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    @Mary I did no experience any pain or discomfort with my mg/taurine injections. You'll want to make sure the solutions are at room temperature when you inject.

    Regarding hair analysis, I had "normal" copper levels in hair but below normal ceuroplasmin in blood.
     
  16. Mary

    Mary Senior Member

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    @Mij - Thanks for the tip re room temperature injections.

    So did your doctor tell you to start taking copper since you had below normal ceuroplasmin but normal hair levels? My situation is the opposite - low hair levels, normal intracellular magnesium.
     
  17. Mij

    Mij Senior Member

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    @Mary at the time I had several other tests done, amino acids etc and the overall picture indicated that I was very low in many minerals, vitamins, amino acids etc so the compouding pharmacy made up a formula to try to address all the imbalances, including copper. I have an absorption problem so I'm not even sure if it addressed all of them.

    My doctor tends to trust results from blood and salvia tests over hair analysis.

    Do you have typical magnesium deficiency symptoms?

    What I can say from my own experience is that my RBC Mg results were below normal and I had many symptoms of magnesium deficiency, one of them was similar to parkinsonism like movement in my head. It was awful. I took the mg/shots 3x/week for a few months, stopped, and took them again off and on for years.
     
  18. Mary

    Mary Senior Member

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    @Mij - I seem to have very few magnesium deficiency symptoms - mainly insomnia, low potassium, low calcium. But I don't have any neurological symptoms or blood pressure problems or extra fatigue (apart from PEM and lots of detoxing!) My worst symptoms are PEM, low potassium (which I'm working hard at correcting!) and probably mercury toxicity.

    I was focusing on magnesium because Sarah Myhill recommended the injections - though that was 4-1/2 years ago - and my hair analysis is so low, so I'm trying to cover all the bases. Also, the last time my hair levels were good were right before I started crashing. And several people talk about how much mag injections helped them. There obviously seems to be a connection between crashing and low mag on hair analysis. However, that doesn't mean that one causes the other - mercury could be at the bottom of both crashing and low magnesium and I'm going to be doing the Quicksilver Mercury Tri Test to try to get more info re mercury. I've tried Cutler's protocol, it was difficult, I have a lot of trouble with detoxing, so am also getting the 23andme testing done to see if there are SNPs interfering with detoxing.

    It's confusing, no one has all the answers, so last night it came to me to contact Dr. Myhill and get her opinion re the Exatest vs. hair analysis results. I noticed on her website that she talks about an RBC magnesium test, which I think would be the equivalent of the Exatest.

    I just wanted to see if anyone on this board knew how it could be that my RBC levels were good but hair analysis so low. And maybe it's mercury- all roads seem to lead to mercury! :confused:
     
  19. Mary

    Mary Senior Member

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    @Mij - re your absorption problem - have you ever tried taking HCL with meals, particularly meals with protein? I'm sure you know that low stomach acid is very common in CFS. I used to have absorption problems, plus a host of digestion problems, including toxic liver, inflamed gallbladder. I had to do a liver detox which helped a lot - I seemed to have toxins stored from heavy exposure to chemical solvents from a job I had at age 19 (a long time ago! :))

    Anyways, between my regular doctor and my chiropractor helping me with the detox, I discovered I was low in HCL and my digestion and absorption improved exponentially once I started taking it with meals. Enzymes alone were not enough to improve my digestion. Richvank recommended the baking soda burp test to see if you are low in HCL (you may know this already!): Dissolved 1/4 tsp. baking soda in 8 oz. of water and drink on an empty stomach. If you don't burp within 2 minutes, it indicates low stomach acid. Another doctor told me to take sufficient HCL until I felt "acidy" and then reduce dose by one capsule. And it worked.
     
  20. Gondwanaland

    Gondwanaland Senior Member

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    Mary, please apologize me for reposting here the same info I posted at your potassium thread.

    My levels were:
    Serum Mg 2.2 (1.6 - 2.3 mg/dL)
    RBC Mg 5 (4.3 - 5.7 mg/dL) <- Dr. Carolyn Dean says below 6 is too low
    Urine Mg 4.7 (7.3 - 12.2 mg/dL)
    Hair 46 (35 - 120) <- and this was before some abx rounds which lowered my levels drastically (see urine result)

    I was dramatically low in magnesium with the results above. All of them are one month before my Mg supplementation regime, except for hair which was older. After fixing my Mg deficiency, I now can hold to potassium much better, but seemed to need calcium, which I apparently fixed with vitamin A.
     

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