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Magnesium is killing me (due to GABA oversensitivity)

Mick

Senior Member
Messages
138
Long story short: I almost got rid of CFS, there is only one thing left to deal with: my cramps which are like kind of myotonia congenita or kind of Benign Fasciculations Syndrome (which is diagnosis for now) or tetany - because it reacts quite well to magnesium.

But the problem is that even though magnesium is good for my muscles it is horrible for my brain.

What happens when I take even a small amount of magnesium, like 100 mgs per day regularly? I feel extremely drowsy (can sleep whole day) and as if I had hangover.

There are two threads here about magnesium making people miserable but my case is different.

Through supplementation, over many years, I discovered that beside magnesium I am oversensitive in a similar way also to:
- taurine
- glycine
- niacin
- niacin riboside
- Valerian
- L-theanine
- GABA - and this one made me feel really terrible and that's when I finally figured out that it must be some kind of GABA oversensitivity.

All of the above substances and magnesium bind to GABA receptor somehow.
The funny thing is that these substances have this bad effect even in very low quantities so this suggests that I have very low quantity or GABA receptors anyway (it seems to me this way but I don't know). The way I feel is thus extremely variable, because I may react very quickly to different supplements.

GABA receptors are supposed to self-regulate ie. if one takes for example niacin for a long time then the number of receptors should lower and the side effects should subside. In other words, my brain should get used to niacin.

Despite my numerous attempts it never worked out as intended.
I had to give up taurine, niacin and magnesium (of course taken on different occasions) when I tried to make my brain more used to it.

What mechanism can be responsible for this and what can I do?

Maybe it's a problem with GABA metabolism (it is not broken down as fast as necessary), maybe it's a problem with glutamate production (perhaps glutamate could counteract some of the GABA actions), maybe there is something else...

What could I take in order to test some hypotheses? Like I could take a supplement that lowers GABA and then take magnesium...

Sidenote: recently I started taking tryptophan and tyrosine and the outcome was just great. So, looks like I may have a problem with delivering aminoacids to the brain.
 

linusbert

Senior Member
Messages
1,206
a)
i think even low doses of synthetic magnesium are like a shot for the system. therefore i always think its like the system is going from hypomagnesium to HYPERmagnesium for a short time with all associated problems and then back to hypo.
i for example get air hunger and breathing difficulties from magnesium and/or potassium 1 day later.
for calcium and vitamin D i get crampy muscles and salt makes me bloat.
but in blood tests all of those are borderline to deficient.

so could your symptoms be explained with HYPERxxx symptoms also when only for a brief moment?

if this is your problem it could maybe help if you spread your dosage out over the day, like take one capsule, put it into a 0,5l glas with water and always sip it over a day.

b)
the other idea i have is that cholin might maybe play a role in this. do you eat enough cholin? eggs? ... or too much of it?

if this is your problem, eating more OR less choline can solve the problem. but cholin also comes with depencies to other vitamins and then the balance of minerals/vitamins in your body comes to question.

c)
somewhere in the forum i read that people suspect magnesium to lower cortisol/adrenal functions due to salt being pushed out. therefore worsening adrenal fatigue.

[if this is your problem, one might do a test with hydrocortisone (or any other cortisol type) and see if this is getting better. - careful, this is a idea, never do this without doctor advice and no guarantees it wont f you up.]

d)
Sidenote: recently I started taking tryptophan and tyrosine and the outcome was just great. So, looks like I may have a problem with delivering aminoacids to the brain.
thats interesting.
what do bananas do for you? they are a tryptophan rich source.

(none of this is medical advice and only reflects my bare rememberings and could be potientially inaccurate information)


I believe that even low doses of synthetic magnesium can have a strong impact on the body. In my experience, it can cause the body to quickly shift from a state of hypomagnesemia (low magnesium levels) to hypermagnesemia (high magnesium levels) for a short period of time, which can lead to associated problems such as difficulty breathing and air hunger. I also experience crampy muscles and bloating from calcium and vitamin D, despite having borderline to deficient levels of these nutrients in my blood tests.

It may be helpful to spread out your dosage of magnesium throughout the day by taking one capsule and diluting it in a glass of water to sip over the course of the day.

Another possibility is that your symptoms may be related to choline levels in your body. It's important to consider both the amount and balance of choline in relation to other vitamins and minerals in your body. Eating more or less choline may help to alleviate your symptoms.

I also read in a forum that some people suspect that magnesium can lower cortisol and adrenal function due to the loss of salt from the body. If this is the case, it may be worth discussing the use of hydrocortisone with a doctor to determine if it could be beneficial for your symptoms.

Lastly, someone named Mick shared that they had positive results from taking tryptophan and tyrosine, suggesting a potential issue with delivering amino acids to the brain. It was also mentioned that bananas are a good source of tryptophan.

It's important to note that none of this should be considered medical advice and should be discussed with a healthcare professional.
 
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Mick

Senior Member
Messages
138
I forgot to mention: it was not always like that with this magnesium. There was a time (2011) when I could take 400 mgs of magnesium and it did improve my cramps.

To the point where I thought that it was only tetany and I was cured.

a)
if this is your problem it could maybe help if you spread your dosage out over the day, like take one capsule, put it into a 0,5l glas with water and always sip it over a day.

This is certainly to be considered. The problem is that I already take a small amount of magnesium - 100 mg. But yes, it can always be smaller and I can always dissolve it in water. Actually, I microdose frequently many supplements.

b)
the other idea i have is that cholin might maybe play a role in this. do you eat enough cholin? eggs? ... or too much of it?
There was a time when I was cholin deficient, like 5 years ago. Now, I try to take lecithin on regular basis like every 3-4 days. Is that enough? I don't know. I also have Alpha GPC at hand but it never made any difference when I took it. I will try to improve my cholin status anyway.


[if this is your problem, one might do a test with hydrocortisone (or any other cortisol type) and see if this is getting better. - careful, this is a idea, never do this without doctor advice and no guarantees it wont f you up.]
Nobody's going to perform this test on me. Only one doctor could perform it and I've had one like in 2014 - it was negative and the doctor kind of got pissed of that I'm wasting her time. As if I knew what is going on with me. Besides she's not that good as an endo anyway. She could not figure out other problems that CFS sufferers experience.

d) thats interesting.
what do bananas do for you? they are a tryptophan rich source.
Probably nothing, I didn't notice anything in particular as I notice with tryptophan taken as a supplement. I probably (I'm rather pretty sure of it) don't break proteins correctly. But that's a whole different story.
That's why I was protein deficient for many years even though I ingested a lot of proteins. Only after taking particular aminoacids do I feel the difference. So I take BCAAs, glutamine, and a few other. I wish I could take a simple mixture of EAAs but there is something wrong with every one of them and I end up with allergic reaction. Yup, the problem with me is that I have MCAS and I am allergic to many foods and proteins in general.
But maybe there is something I could take to help with GABA?

Everybody's using Chat GPT these days... in this case it is completely unnecessary... I understood your comment to the letter :D
 

linusbert

Senior Member
Messages
1,206
vitamin b6 is important for protein metabolism. its for proteins like what thiamin is for carbs.
also is used for neurotransmitters. might play into your GABA theory.

i also developed intolerance towards magnesium. thats one supp i could always take in masses and only got diarrhea if anything.
i am vitamin D deficient and calcium is on the decline.
i did high dose of vitamin D that helped with tolerance for magnesium.

that said, maybe pop some calcium as well?


regarding cortisol, there are some internet pharmacies which send hormones like testosteron etc. without subscription.

Everybody's using Chat GPT these days... in this case it is completely unnecessary... I understood your comment to the letter :D
very true :D !
though i'd think a button for every message to make texts understandable might be a plessing for those of us who struggle with comprehending long weird texts.
and mine a long and weird, not gonna lie. its a symptom though, i read my stuff and i think.. oh my boy, what garbage... but i only see this AFTER i hit the send button. very weird.
though lex fridman in one of his podcasts also said his brain works like this. maybe a more common condition.
 

Mick

Senior Member
Messages
138
that said, maybe pop some calcium as well?
I'm taking calcium, actually increased the dose.

Someone (quite an extraordinary person) told me that magnesium causes pressure drop in people with EDS.
It's due to increased elasticity of arteries. To simplify: when your arteries are overly elastic what keeps arteries intact is increased smooth muscle tension. Taking magnesium decreases this smooth muscle tension and here we are - blood pressure drop and the head is spinning. Drowsiness and hangover-like symptoms ensue.

So yes, taking very low magnesium doses may be helpful afterall. I've already implemented it and I take half a tablet with every sip of water. Well, maybe every other sip. This is much better than preparing magnesium solution because you never know what you will be drinking and how much. And you can take half-tablets with everything, also meals.

That's what we can do about magnesium right now.
But thats magnesium.

How about other GABA immitants: taurine, glycine, niacin, niacin riboside, etc. ?
Taurine - actually may exhibit the same mechanism of action as magnesium as it decreases muscle tension.

Other things - I don't know but I'm going to deal with magnesium first.
 

katabasis

Senior Member
Messages
154
Someone (quite an extraordinary person) told me that magnesium causes pressure drop in people with EDS.
It's due to increased elasticity of arteries. To simplify: when your arteries are overly elastic what keeps arteries intact is increased smooth muscle tension. Taking magnesium decreases this smooth muscle tension and here we are - blood pressure drop and the head is spinning. Drowsiness and hangover-like symptoms ensue.

It seems to me that the problem isn't magnesium per se but some other factor that is reducing your sympathetic tone. In some sense you could think of this like hypomagnesemia is treating some of the symptoms of whatever this issue is. It could be EDS, but perhaps more likely is some form of dysautonomia. Fasciculations are a common symptom in the setting of dysautonomia, especially when related to ME/CFS. Might be something to look further into. Do you have other dysautonomia symptoms?

What could I take in order to test some hypotheses? Like I could take a supplement that lowers GABA and then take magnesium...

A lot of drugs that antagonize GABA receptors or otherwise reduce GABAergic tone can be rather dangerous, due to the risk of seizures. The one supplement I'm aware of as a GABA antagonist that is not a convulsant is Ginkgo Biloba (see this study). Of course I would imagine this kind of supplement would not help your fasciculations, though.
 

Mick

Senior Member
Messages
138
Do you have other dysautonomia symptoms?
Probably yes, but not that much pronounced. If they were pronounced, I would have noticed them long time ago. Maybe some Orthostatic Hypotension ? I will have to look into it.[/QUOTE]

A lot of drugs that antagonize GABA receptors or otherwise reduce GABAergic tone can be rather dangerous, due to the risk of seizures. The one supplement I'm aware of as a GABA antagonist that is not a convulsant is Ginkgo Biloba (see this study). Of course I would imagine this kind of supplement would not help your fasciculations, though.
I tried Gingko once and boy, that was a bad experience. It causes vasodillation and very persistent headache.
So this is yet another one symptom of my vascular problems. The mechanism of action of Gingko is increasing NO production (as I read). And so, L-arginine, even in minute quantities cause this headache too. So that's another evidence that this is vascular problem. I can't take arginine at all, that's why I couldn't take EAA mix as it almost always contain arginine. And if it doesn't it contains flavors that I have an allergic reaction to.

And now we have the conundrum: to take Gingko or not to take it. On one hand it will help with Gaba receptors, on the other it will make my vessels even more elastic and it will end with headache for sure.

Maybe I will try small, divided doses of Gingko and see what happens.

Certainly, it would be great to treat this increased vessel elasticity and thus orthostatic hypotension and headaches.
Unfortunately, if I remember correctly, the most frequently used way to deal with orthostatic hypotension is to increase blood pressure. Usually salt and caffeine.

Too much salt will cause me headaches but it's still an improvement in comparison to how I used to react - I couldn't eat bread for example, now I can, and have some salt added to one meal a day, too.

Caffeine keeps me awake for the whole night, even if I take it in the morning. But again, maybe even smaller doses would do the trick.
Last time (a few days ago) I tried 50 mgs of caffeine, took it at 8 am and I was agitated till 10 pm. Then I fell asleep for 4 hours, then I woke up and stayed up till morning or rather 12 am when caffeine finally wore off.

This is btw the only way to take caffeine if you are reacting to it like me - take powdered caffeine to be able to take a predetermined dose, take it as a first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach. It will block adenosine receptors but also will start to be broken down. Maybe you'll get some sleep...

I like my dreams when on caffeine... they're vivid and I remember them. No wonder, if I am half awake.

So the most important thing is to treat my vessels. Recently I started taking high-dose rutin.
This completely abolished vessel inflammation that I experienced.

That is such a good find and it is responsible for most of my recovery from CFS recently.

If there is no inflammation, then maybe vessels will rebuild their walls somehow.
I take collagen to this effect. Not that it is effective in this respect (however it's good for the joints)
but that is the only thing that comes to my mind.

There is also Maitake (from Cussack's protocol) that should help rebuild collagen in your vessels (as well as other places) but it irritates the immune system and in my case causes inflammation which turns into a serious attack and I have to stop taking it. When it comes to Maitake, I am not willing to even try small doses...

OK, so the working theory is that I have dysatonomia, low blood pressure, orthostatic hypotension, the so-called vascular headache and all of the supplements that I mentioned above that make me drowsy may work either because they affect blood vessels or affect the sympathetic (or parasympathetic) nervous symptoms and then, perhaps, blood vessels.

The end effect is always the same - me "dying" and me being unable to work or function.

I will have to search how the above-mentioned supplements affect vegetative nervous system.

Also, it seems the improvement that I have is just an illusion and may be over sooner than I could suspect.

Simply, improvement means more activity and more activity means collapse - sooner or later.

And the thing is that I want to remain active because I am tired of not living my life.

Congrats if you made it through. I also barely made it. But these were some very important conclusions for me.
 

Mick

Senior Member
Messages
138
Yohimbine may also inhibit the GABA receptor (or whatever the mechanism of action is).

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1326092/
Yohimbine-induced seizures involve NMDA and GABAergic transmission

It looks like it causes seizures as mentioned above but hopefully a low dose will not cause too many problems.
 

dave11

Senior Member
Messages
158
Through supplementation, over many years, I discovered that beside magnesium I am oversensitive in a similar way also to:
- taurine
- glycine
- niacin
- niacin riboside
- Valerian
- L-theanine
- GABA -

Personally, I am allergic to all of the above, except for possibly valerian which I have not taken. My allergy is to all amino acid based supplements. This is due to the manufacturing process from corn, yeast, or fermentation. Histamine intolerance.

Magnesium is alright for me in the inorganic forms of magnesium citrate or magnesium carbonate. The glycinate and other magnesium chelates cause me an allergic reaction.
 

xploit316

Senior Member
Messages
152
@Mick I had a similar experience with the supplements you mentioned. All those supplements were sedating and giving me good sleep but end up giving me low blood cortisol and neurological issues (mood swings, irritability and anger).

Interested to know if anything else helps besides the caffeine.
 

JES

Senior Member
Messages
1,324
Have you tried different forms of magnesium? I mean, magnesium is magnesium, but I reckon having quite a bit variation from different forms. Some gave me diarrhea as expected, others do not at all. Magnesium oxide is supposedly the least bioavailable form, but some people claim they have success with it. Magnesium malate was the form I found the best. Calms my brain, no diarrhea or other issues.
 

Mick

Senior Member
Messages
138
Have you tried different forms of magnesium?
Yes, many of them. Gluconate, glycinate, taurate and carbonate - all make me sleepy. Additionally, citrate makes my stomach hurt.

I am trying new supplements all the time and it is possible that something will finally change as my metabolism is getting revved up.
 

xploit316

Senior Member
Messages
152
@Mick How are you doing now, any new updates? 2 things apart from the supplements you mentioned, I get the same fatigue feeling after meals if the food is pressure cooked and if I eat any concentrated foods, Eg: Tomato paste really messes me up but fresh diced tomato cooked for not more than 2 minutes no problem.
Also caffeine early morning is a real mood booster, nothing comes close. But my sleep suffers at night. Can stay asleep for 7-8 hours but going to sleep can be a real pain.
 

Judee

Psalm 46:1-3
Messages
4,535
Location
Great Lakes
I have to come back and read this thread better later.

However I wanted to ask if you've tried magnesium water, I think it's called magnesium bicarbonate? It used to be made with Milk of magnesia and soda water. Now they've added a bleaching ingredient to the Milk of Magnesia (all of them, even "original" versions) that make M.O.M. useless for making it. :(

Still you can get a powdered form like this one:
https://www.amazon.com/BulkSuppleme...&sr=8-3#aw-udpv3-customer-reviews_feature_div
I think some of the comments in the reviews even mention how to make it.
 
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Messages
80
does magnesium oil or trans dermal magnesium work? problems with absorption. I ve read different conflicting views on it .
don't mind me I am trying to learn from people forums etc.
if so may be you could try the oil.
 

Mick

Senior Member
Messages
138
@Mick How are you doing now, any new updates? 2 things apart from the supplements you mentioned, I get the same fatigue feeling after meals if the food is pressure cooked and if I eat any concentrated foods, Eg: Tomato paste really messes me up but fresh diced tomato cooked for not more than 2 minutes no problem.
Also caffeine early morning is a real mood booster, nothing comes close. But my sleep suffers at night. Can stay asleep for 7-8 hours but going to sleep can be a real pain.
Generally, I'm not doing so good... again...

I started to take religiously magnesium in small doses - 100 mg in the morning, and 100 mg in the evening. Another 50 mg is acceptable, but yet another 50 mg (for the total of 300 mg) will make me sleepy.
400 mg will make me very sleepy, drowsy and it is to be avoided (but of course I will try that higher dose once in a while to see if it maybe became acceptable).

Similarly, I dose taurine - 2 doses per day, 500 mg per dose.
At least I get that much magnesium and taurine.

It is possible that I don't get that sleepy recently because I started taking tyrosine (which is converted to dopamine which is stimulating). My brain chemistry is much better now in general.

About that fatigue... in my case it must some kind of inflammation and every food that is sweet causes insulin spike and that makes the inflammation worse. Try to find out if carbs/sugars cause you insulin spike and also make you more inflamed and thus sleepy. I don't know if this inflammation step is necessary but even insulin spike by itself may make you sleepy...
 

Mick

Senior Member
Messages
138
I don't know if this inflammation step is necessary but even insulin spike by itself may make you sleepy...
Thanks to magnesium and taurine I'm ready to sleep every evening without any problem... Add tryptophan to that and you are done, ie. you'll fall asleep very quickly.
 
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