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Possible reaction to Magnesium Citrate - Adrenal crash? - Severe Anxiety for months

Discussion in 'General Symptoms' started by sunbringer, May 24, 2016.

  1. sunbringer

    sunbringer

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    Hello there

    First of all, I'm really sorry to post here as I don't think I have ME and probably not CFS (though I'm incredibly fatigued and really struggling recently).

    I found some informative threads in my search to recover from my current predicament on this website, and I'm asking for help - I'm sorry to be selfish as I know I'm not really offering much here - I'm just in a bad place and am rather desperate for opinions and insight!

    If relevant - Blood Pressure is currently 124 / 72 - 80bpm heart rate.

    *SHORT VERSION*
    • Stressful year - too much gym / work / no fun - developed depression / morning insomnia
    • Recovered slowly after quitting gym, sleep improved slowly, depression lifted.
    • Took magnesium Citrate (Now brand) 400mg/200mg/400mg respectively 3 days in a row - unimaginably severe anxiety ensues.
    • Awake for 4-5 days straight, eventually slept
    • Salt water helped at first, but not afterwards. Have lost sense of thirst and appetite comes and goes
    • Frequent urination if I don't eat lots of salt. Electrolyte and water balance seems off.
    • I'm eating as much magnesium as I can, but I believe I MUST be deficient in this constant state of stress - scared taking a new supplement will hurt me further.
    • Cannot recover from my stress / sleep issues without figuring this out - the anxiety is unbearable at times.
    Please ask if you have any questions - I have a longer version below and probably forgot some stuff - I know LOADS of people get anxiety from magnesium deficiency, and my best guess is that although I was taking it, I flushed magnesium and sodium out with loose stools - dehydration and lack of sleep caused further stress and possibly further mag deficiency? I could be entirely wrong - I added more thoughts below but I understand it's a lot to take in and read.

    Note: My low-ish sodium diet during a year of heavy exercise probably put even further stress on my adrenals

    *Some background info*
    Last year was incredibly stressful for me, really high stress levels. Perhaps it would've been fine, but I was doing a ridiculously grueling weights and running routine on top of that stress, while cutting out all my "relaxing / non productive" activities at the same time. My diet at the time was "healthy" I thought, but seems to have been very low in sodium. mostly meat, fruit and veg. Sometimes pesto and cheese so I was getting some sodium.

    I quickly got depressed and started to wake up after 4-5 hours sleep, unable to sleep again. I stupidly pushed through the tiredness and depression for months on end and finally gave up on exercise in December. I slowly, through the month, started to feel more relaxed in the mornings. I'd wake up and then fall asleep again and feel SO REFRESHED after the second bit of sleep. I had a week off work in January and my depression pretty much lifted there - I'd still wake early but fall asleep again and feel much better. note - I took a super dose b6 supp for 2 days at the start of January which caused the severest depression ever for a few days - I seemed to recover a few days later though.

    I would wake up, read for 30-60minutes, then fall back asleep. This continued throughout January - this meant I was spending 10-12 hours in bed to sleep 7-8 hours (I would read before bed also). I knew I was overtrained and overstressed, but I was recovering so it seemed fine.

    I decided to take (Now Foods brand) magnesium citrate on and off during February - I only took them maybe once a week. I'd take 400mg at a time which gave me diarrhea, so then some days I took 200mg instead. I noticed during February sometimes I'd be awake until 3am instead of falling asleep at my usual time, but didn't really attribute it to anything - I'd just sleep until later in the day (working evenings).

    Around February 20th I decided I really wanted to sleep through - I was often under eating throughout Jan and Feb because I'd spend a lot of the day in bed so was probably missing out on one meal. I started to take the Magnesium for 3 days in a row, and after the third day I developed SEVERE, HORRENDOUS anxiety.

    Of course, I do not know if the Magnesium caused this reaction - my best guess is that the Magnesium caused an electrolyte imbalance - I had diarrhea one of the days, and had also probably been undereating for a long time. My diet was also low in sodium.

    I ended up being awake for 90+ hours - every time I tried to sleep I'd get a kind of odd jolty feeling and wake up. On around the second day of wakefulness I had some salt water and salted yogurt at the same time and the anxiety almost IMMEDIATELY went away. I felt far calmer - it was around 6am at this point, though I still didn't manage to fall asleep. I got out of bed and figured salt was the key, so I went overboard with the salt water and dehydrated myself. I decided to avoid all magnesium rich foods as I thought magnesium was the culprit. Ended up awake for almost 5 days and finally slept through (6-7 hours) on that last night. I felt a lot better but not great on that day.

    Ever since I've been in a state of CONSTANT horrrrrible anxiety - I can only sleep for 4-5 hours a night, it's just so exhausting! I desperately need to catch up on sleep because of the year of over training / stress but I can't seem to. My stressful year was partly in recovery from social anxiety - I just feel so depressed and unable to socialise and I think the way I look doesn't garner any empathy from others - I feel so completely alone at the moment :( I feel awful asking for help but I really would like some ideas.

    *What has occasionally helped*
    - Soup - a tomato based, chicken butter nut soup, with around 1000mg sodium per portion. Occasionally I've had this soup and felt miles better
    - Nuts - I've had occasions in which i've eaten nuts and had relief from anxiety within about an hour.
    - Fasting - I had to fast for a blood test - I drink 750ml (maybe 1/4 tsp salt or less) salted water with lemon over 2.5 hours and then all of a sudden my depression lifted - I actually woke up feeling good the next day. For two days after that I felt more relaxed in the morning and was able to sleep after my early wakeup.

    I need so much to figure this out. I was feeling wired for the first few months and I NEED to get my cortisol and adrenaline levels in check. I can feel myself getting more and more exhausted - I still believe magnesium is key in solving the anxiety, but my electrolytes seem all messed up, despite serum levels being normal.

    I have been eating as many magnesium rich foods as I can, and also eating lots of sodium - I have also been under-eating since the anxiety started for most days because I read so much stuff about adrenals I was trying to cut so much out - I see suggestions to limit potassium, eat lots of salt, limit calcium, eat magnesium rich foods (which are usually high postassium. I have also seen advice to limit water intake, so I have become scared of drinking too much water.

    My resolution recently has just been to eat as much as I can and keep it healthy including lots of magnesium rich greens. If I need to eat a sandwich or something unhealthy to get calories then I'll do it.

    *Symptoms*
    • Severe anxiety and depression - I seem to get so easily dehydrated although I don't really feel thirsty.
    • Obsessive search for answers - I keep coming back to adrenal issues or adrenal fatigue which is possible because of overtraining, but the fatigue is only getting worse because of the constant adrenaline or cortisol response - I can feel myself tiring at certain points in the day now.
    • Occasional moments or days or evenings or feeling much much better, depending on different factors
    • Too little salt is bad, too much salt is also bad. It's so hard to find the balance
    I frequently urinate unless I eat enough salt - I believe I MUST be deficient in magnesium as my electrolyte balance seems quite fragile, and I've also had the most unimaginable lack of sleep and horrendous constant anxiety for months now. I'm getting more and more fatigued and I don't want it to decline further.

    Should I try a different type of magnesium supplement and start really slowly? I think my reaction in the first week of anxiety made things worse - overdoing the salt water, cutting magnesium foods out, all that stuff. It likely stressed my body even more.

    I tried magnesium glycinate for a few days but it seemed to make me really depressed (probably dehydrated), I was away staying with a friend for a weekend though so I can't tell if that extra stress and sporadic unhealthy eating caused further issues too. I have also found relief after a large evening meal on quite a few occasions. Undereating is certainly a PART of this, because I know it must tax my body and adrenals, so I'm going to force food down despite my appetite.

    I apologise for calling you guys out in advance, but I've seen you all offer insightful information for people doing B12 things that can cause electrolyte imbalance and anxiety, so I'd really appreciate any thoughts you have. @Gondwanaland @WoolPippi @ahmo

    My recent blood test results are in "normal ranges", with high 7:45am blood cortisol. The doctor didn't tell me the number for cortisol. I live in the UK.

    Calcium 2.38 or 2.15 "corrected"
    Sodium 144
    Potassium 4.0
    B12 - 476
    Creatinite 95
    Urea 6.7
    eGFR 82
    Serum magnesium = 0.88 mmo/l

    I'm not anxious about anything in particular - the anxiety is a symptom - I need to relax in order to recover, and I need to sleep, but I cannot do these things without correcting whatever imbalance is at play. I suspect undereating and a magnesium deficiency, but I'm so scared to supplement magnesium!!

    Does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions? I'm really keen to get through this before the stress pushes my body further down.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2016
  2. Gondwanaland

    Gondwanaland Senior Member

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    Hi @sunbringer

    What comes to my mind is that Magnesium Citrate could cause massive oxalate dump increasing urine output (I suggest you to read the oxalate thread), which is relieved/stopped by eating foods high in oxalates (tomato soup, nuts).

    As for the IBSD my husband gets it too because magnesium antagonizes copper (copper loss causes him IBSD - it is easy to see when his copper is really low he gets kinky hair and furunculosis). Some people feel comfortable with transdermal magnesium under chloride or sulfate form, but for me personally chloride causes high blood pressure and sulfate causes oxalate dump with horrendous anxiety just like you described.

    Sorry I can't suggest a solution for you because there isn't one, I myself am stuck for about 2 years now. Every thing I try that I think will work causes a further imbalance and everytime it gets harder to manage.
     
    sunbringer likes this.
  3. Dufresne

    Dufresne almost there...

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    This might seem a long shot but I'll mention it anyway.

    I've had magnesium wake me up in the middle of the night with a horrible electrical feeling throughout my nervous system, and then been unable to get back to sleep. However I've come to understand, for me, this is a mercury mobilization symptom. Magnesim supplementation is thought to displace mercury and cause symptoms for some of us. And whenever you mobilize mercury you run the risk of redistributing it; perhaps to a more sensitive region of the brain. Anyway what solves this issue for me is DMSA and ALA (mercury chelators).

    Any chance you were eating a lot of tuna as part of your training diet at any point, perhaps before you dropped your sodium?
     
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  4. sunbringer

    sunbringer

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    Thank you both for your replies - I hugely, huuuugely appreciate it!!

    @Gondwanaland - perhaps the oxlate thing is something to look into. I should probably clarify that I was likely getting diarrhea from 400mg magnesium supplements in one go - I think this is quite a common side effect from my reading. I don't have IBSD as far as I'm aware and am relatively regular / okay on that front I think! My guesses were more along the lines of having an adrenal imbalance that was causing me to shed sodium, and the magnesium putting this to severe levels. I'll really have to look into oxlates - I'm kind of finding the internet to be a big rabbit hole though - I can read so many contrasting opinions that perhaps I should just eat as much food as possible and keep drinking water? I hope my body can recover on it's own - the anxiety is my main concern here as opposed to anything else.

    I noticed on the few days I tried mag glycinate recently, while I felt more depressed and dehydrated (which may have been my poor food/drink due to being away), my blood pressure actually went down to 100/60 or there abouts. I don't know if that's at all relevant.

    @Dufresne - Interesting that you mention that - I have been eating tuna steaks (2x steaks) once a week for probably 2 years. I still eat them - in fact I bought some just today!! Is there a way for me to do this naturally? I'm becoming rather reluctant to go down the supplement route as there seem to be so many contraindications - my body is weak from nearly a year of sleeping 4 hours a night, much of it with heavy, intensely stressful weights / running.

    That really is a crazy coincidence though - would you recommend I try the mercury chelation thing? I have to say, I haven't noticed feeling particularly worse when eating tuna though. I should also mention the evening I fasted and had lightly salted water with lemon. I awoke the day after that feeling better than I had in ages - I believe dehydration was partly at play, but would these random good days not suggest that mercury toxicity wasn't apparent?

    Thank you again for taking the time guys!!
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2016
  5. Gondwanaland

    Gondwanaland Senior Member

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    MgGLY: glycine antagonizes neurotransmitters and is readily converted into oxalates under oxidative stress. I never know what causes me this exact symptom you mentioned - low neurotransmitters or oxalate conversion. When I had a massive oxalate dump I had anxiety, low body temperature, depression and probably low BP as well. Lymphocytes got really low (I went to the ER because I couldn't breathe) which can be correlated with excess oxalates.
     
  6. Dufresne

    Dufresne almost there...

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    No I wouldn't recommend going the chelation route just yet. I used to eat a huge amount of tuna when I was into bodybuilding and I also had amalgams. So at one point after my health went to shit I removed the amalgams and did some chelation. I can't say it improved my condition but it was something I had to cross off the list. However then some years later I started noticing the feeling I described above, which only ever occurs while sleeping, and only after eating certain kinds of fish or after taking large doses of minerals. The chelators solve this problem.

    I had to go low sodium a few years ago for other reasons but noticed no ill effects. I know fitness junkies and bodybuilders can get into some really bizarre stuff. Personally I'd 'normalize' what I'd put in my body then I'd take note of everything that appears to worsen symptoms and improve them, and see if I couldn't figure out what might be going on. Another option would be to experiment with anti-anxiety therapeutics, as you might be able to theorize as to the possible cause based on your response to the therapies and how they are believed to work. That's what many of us do here.

    Hope it resolves or you figure it out soon.
     
  7. sunbringer

    sunbringer

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    Thank you both again.

    I'll update here in a while as I've seen a few other people with a similar reaction. I'm just focusing on gaining weight and getting enough calories back in so we'll see how that goes.
     
  8. sunbringer

    sunbringer

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    I just wanted to update in case anyone comes across something similar.

    I have had some success in the last week or so. I suppose the changes are absolutely huge. I inadvertently had been under eating by eating "clean" throughout my year of heavy lifting, also when stopping lifting.

    The electrolyte imbalances and anxiety (oh my god.. it has just been unimaginable for months) were caused by a caloric deficit for a long time. I upped calories to 2000-ish (which is a lot for me) and then after more reading, upped the to 3000 and it has made an absolutely drastic difference.

    I will have to stay at this surplus for months I imagine. I feel so lucky that I came across this - I didn't realise that it could have such far reaching and severe impacts. I had no idea I was under eating, I was stuffing my face but I guess because of high cortisol I didn't have the appetite, along with being full from eating heavy protein and a lack of carbs.

    I'm basically following an eating disorder recovery plan - my weight loss has been quite substantial in the last months, although I'm still relatively limiting my sugar intake - if I need the calories I'll eat anything though.

    I was completely far and beyond the point of exhaustion, I haven't slept properly for over a year and doctors were absolutely no help - I have never eaten this much food in my life but it's insane how my appetite is slowly adjusting as my body wakes up a little bit.

    I believe lots of people eating paleo or ultra clean diets may be significantly under eating without realising it - my symptoms were bad but not severe until I took the magnesium (which flushes sodium - but my body wasn't strong enough to regain the balance until eating far far far far more food).

    Low body temperature (along with high cortisol) is also associated with under eating, if that's of any interest. I thought it was fine to chug along at 1500-1800 calories but it really isn't, especially if you've had periods of eating a lot lower than that. I hope this helps someone.
     
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  9. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    Last edited: Jun 8, 2016
  10. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    You are not deficient in magnesium, as you blood test showing Mg = 0.88 mmo/l is fine. Normal ranges of magnesium are 0.7 to 1.0 mmol/L.

    Source: Magnesium: Reference Range, Interpretation, Collection and Panels
     
  11. Paralee

    Paralee Senior Member

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    I am very surprised you said high cortisol depresses appetite. I have always heard it increases it. However, I have very little appetite, my cortisol levels were high, and then I realized (and read) that when cortisol is up temperature can be down, mostly; sometimes a little high. This totally confuses me.
     
  12. Paralee

    Paralee Senior Member

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    Magnesium is some people's medicine and some people's poison. If you take it make sure you're ok with your levels, right? I can't hardly take it but I heard that some people absorb what they ingest really well. I think that' s my situation, but I do take some magnesium Malate, but not a lot and not every day. I've never figured magnesium out. Is your calcium level acceptable without 'correcting" it? A lot of doc's don't correct unless the albumin is off.
     
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  13. sunbringer

    sunbringer

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    I just wanted to update this post a few months down the line. This forum was the only place I could find others describing the anxiety I was feeling (unimaginable - it's a physical feeling of awfulness beyond comprehension).

    I know I updated already but it's so easy to just carry on and forget, so hopefully this will give others some hope.

    I suggested it was undereating (without realising it) before, this WAS the case. The last few months have been difficult, and I'm getting all the symptoms that people recovering from eating disorders go through, I've flitted about between 2500-3000 calories.

    Eventually I had to up to 3500 calories - it's very difficult because my hunger signals are messed up - sometimes a headache means I'm hungry. Sometimes feeling randomly stressed means I'm hungry. Rarely do I ever actually feel real hunger until I start eating, then it kicks in.

    The blogs and archived forum posts on a site called "youreatopia" have been extremely helpful to me.

    I was never under the "healthy BMI" but i did have lots of muscle and unhealthily low body fat (looking "healthy" does not equate to health).

    My full understanding is that I was undereating for a very long time (eating cleanly, lots of protein, appetite lowering due to exercise but also inability to live life and eat clean - not eating at work due to nothing healthy being availalble etc). I was also undereating as a teenager due to life circumstances, and at university due to money. I didn't know I was doing it at all and never had any intention to lose weight. In the last 5 years I've probably been above BMI 20 at all times.

    My energy levels are much higher now but sleep is still a bit off, though much better. I'm eating lots and lots of carbs (used to think they are unhealthy) and less meat. High carb = low, healthy cortisol. High protein = high, unhealthy cortisol.

    The magnesium caused a sodium flush in my body that caused extreme adrenal stress, and I wasn't eating enough calories to repair it. I'm sure supplements can disguise and ease symptoms, but the core issue was undereating.

    My electrolyte levels showed as normal as my body was clearly making sure levels were balanced, however that wa at the expense of hellish, soul cutting anxiety. Torture.

    The anxiety went quite quickly, but the sense of stress and exhaustion and mild depression has been slower - that's more tied to sleep. I'm getting better and better though :)

    I know many others get the same symptoms through B12 doses or other electrolyte imbalance anxieties caused by potassium or sodium flushing drugs and supplements.. These anxieties also massively kill your appetite even further - the body doesn't want you to ingest electrolytes as it's having trouble balancing them, it makes sense in some ways however calories are the only way to fix it. Lots of them :)

    I remember reading a guy that felt this way for over a year - I'm going to try and find his post, but I reallly really hope this helps at least someone. I was getting all the chronic fatigue symptoms as well as the anxiety and I went into the rabbit hole of supplements and micromanaging food intake plus treating and researching every little symptom.

    It's often something simple! Our bodies are incredible at healing, we just need to be patient and wise.
     
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  14. Paralee

    Paralee Senior Member

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    I haven't wanted to eat since my hyperparathyroidism symptoms got bad. Still have to force eat most of the time.
     
  15. sunbringer

    sunbringer

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    All I can say is keep forcing yourself and your appetite will come back.

    I wasn't able to listen to my body for a little while but if you've been eating <2000 calories for a long time I'd really suggest having a look at youreatopia or any other resource that talks about refeeding. I know the majority of people that talk about adrenal fatigue are simply undereating without realising it.

    I don't mean to project my own things onto others, only to try and inform because I could never have had ANY idea calorie intake was causing such an issue - I simply didn't feel hungry.

    I hope you feel better soon, or in time :)
     
  16. Paralee

    Paralee Senior Member

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    @sunbringer, I think when I posted all but the last post on this thread, I may have been unaware that B6 toxicity is very real and dangerous. Thought I'd just bring that up when I was re-reading your post and saw that. Some develope small cell neuropathy (I think that's what it's called) and never recover fully. I'm thinking you never mentioned potassium either. They all have to be at least somewhat in order and some are hard to test accurately.

    Also some of us have gene variants that will leave out something we need to be able use what nutrient we are low in. It's a complicated body we have.
    Thanks for your updates.
     
  17. Jeff1990

    Jeff1990

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    I experienced something similar from magnesium and I'd like to thank everyone who replied with such informative posts. Really glad I joined this forum
     

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