Are You Suffering from Magnesium Deficiency which may be a Side Effect of Birth Control Pills?

When something wakes me in the middle of the night, I know I need to share.  It’s important.
 
A friend was suffering from anxiety and “her heart doing flips inside of her chest” causing her a trip to the emergency room. The emergency doctor, after testing, said her heart was fine and she should take a magnesium supplement and follow up with her doctor.  As she shared it with me during the day that night I woke up in the middle of the night with the “knowing” that is she was probably on birth control for a long time and that is causing her deficiency in magnesium.  Doing the research in the middle of the night I realized that yes, this could well be causing her problems. 
 
The next day I told my friend of my middle-of-the-night epiphany, right before she had scheduled her doctor’s appointment. She later called me after her doctor’s visit:  he told her to get off of the magnesium supplement immediately because “no one is deficient in magnesium” and wanted to put her on a beta blocker!  She called me so upset and said “I am not going to go off of this supplement because I think I am started to feel better and I don’t want to go on a beta blocker!”  She decided to schedule for a second doctor’s opinion and wait for her blood test results. I am so glad she is getting a second opinion. The ER doctor may well have set her on the right path.
 
Symptoms of magnesium deficiency can include:  anxiety, migraines, insomnia, depression, irregular heart beat, chest pain, asthma, bone density loss, fatigue, muscle cramps and weakness.   Of course, all of these can be caused by other problems but the point is, if you are suffering from any of these symptoms and on birth control, get checked for your levels of magnesium.
 
**World Health Organization (WHO) points out that the influence of OCs on nutrient requirements is a topic of high clinical relevance and should, therefore, receive great attention. It has been shown that the key nutrient depletions concern folic acid, vitamins B2, B6, B12, vitamin C and E and the minerals magnesium, Oral contraceptives and changes in nutritional requirements.

Magnesium is needed for more than many biochemical reactions in the body. It keeps the heart beat steady, helps to regulate blood glucose, helps to maintain normal nerve and muscle function, supports a healthy immune system, and helps in the production of energy and protein.
  
Aside from birth control pills, there are many other reasons we may have a magnesium deficiency: such as consumption of soda and carbonated beverages, farming practices that have reduced magnesium in foods; excess stress, other mineral deficiencies like calcium; and use of refined oils, refined sugar and refined grains which reduces/eliminates the magnesium.
 
What can you do if you find yourself deficient in magnesium?  That’s easy:  foods highest in magnesium content are green vegetables, whole grain cereals, nuts and beans, and seafood.  If your levels are low, consider a magnesium supplement .  I recommend a magnesium chloride as it is much more absorbable than magnesium oxide which is commonly sold.  And of course, lower that stress if possible, stop the intake of those refined sugars/oils and maybe lower those carbonated drinks.
 
I hope this helps some of you.  Please feel free to share your thoughts.
 
Dalila Adams,
Naturopath

 
 

 **Palmery M1, Saraceno A, Vaiarelli A, Carlomagno G Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy. 
also see:  The Effects of Magnesium Supplementation on Subjective Anxiety and Stress-A Systematic Review. Boyle NB1, Lawton C2, Dye L3.School of Psychology, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK. [email protected]