[Calcium&Magnesium Episode 4] If you lack magnesium, you get easily irritated and anxious | Dr. Esther Lyuh

Migraines, Stress and Magnesium

The topic of the effect of magnesium, migraine

Currently, it is rather the migraine side that has received the most attention regarding the preventive and therapeutic effects of magnesium.  As you know, migraines are caused by a sensitive brain. Despite its name, 30% of migraine headaches occur on both the left and right sides of the head. It hurts like a throbbing pulse and the pain is very severe, making it difficult for office workers to work at a company. The duration of the headache is also at least 4 hours. A little headache for an hour or two is not a migraine. Sensitive to light or sound, accompanied by vomiting and nausea accompanied by headache. Before a full-blown headache attack, there are prodromal symptoms such as blurred vision or numbness in the fingertips and toes. In these cases, you usually need to see a neurologist for specialized medication.

Probably worth a try

Magnesium supplements can help with this. Taking magnesium reduces the number of migraine attacks. The American Academy of Neurology and the Headache Society have concluded that magnesium is “probably effective” for migraine. It is significant that minerals, not drugs, have been evaluated by an international professional conference as a treatment that needs to be tried, even though the premise is “probably” attached.  However, to expect migraine treatment effects, a high dose of magnesium of 600 mg per day is required. Given that the upper intake limit for magnesium is 350 mg per day for nutritional supplements, it is safe to do so under medical supervision when taking these high doses. However, even if you exceed 600mg per day, there is usually no problem as long as there is no abnormal kidney function. Magnesium pulls water osmotically and stimulates intestinal peristalsis, often resulting in diarrhea. Acute magnesium poisoning occurs when more than 5,000 mg per day is consumed.

Magnesium and Stress Reduction
Magnesium is also effective in reducing stress. As seen in the treatment of migraines, magnesium works by reducing the excitability of the nerves.  A lack of magnesium can disrupt stress-related endocrine systems, such as the hypothalamus and pituitary gland, resulting in anxiety disorders. That is, symptoms such as anxiety, nervousness, and insomnia appear. In addition, low levels of magnesium in the blood increase the tendency to be depressed. In this case, taking 125 to 300 mg of magnesium daily can improve symptoms of acute depression within 7 days. Chronic fatigue syndrome may improve with magnesium administration. Studies have shown that nervous tension, irritability, anxiety, and mood swings improved in women given 50 mg of vitamin B5 along with 200 mg of magnesium.
What about follow-up research?
Continuing follow-up studies are needed for the calming effect of magnesium on these nerves. However, in actual clinical practice, the effectiveness of patients taking magnesium supplements is high. It helps with various symptoms such as chronic fatigue, insomnia, and muscle tremors around the eyes.
Recommended amount and deficiency of magnesium
The recommended amount of magnesium in the United States varies slightly by age, but is around 420 mg for adult males and 320 mg for adult females. However, people of all ages except infants are not meeting the recommended intake of magnesium. In Korea, the recommended magnesium intake is 350-370mg for adult males and 280mg for adult females.  Although there has been no accurate investigation yet, it is expected that Korea, like the United States, will be deficient in magnesium in all age groups.
What Causes Magnesium Deficiency?
Magnesium deficiency is relatively common in people with inflammatory bowel disease, such as Crohn's disease, people with digestive and malabsorption disorders, diabetics, alcoholics, and the elderly. Excessive sweating from prolonged stress or excessive exercise can also cause magnesium deficiency. Salty eating habits and excessive fat intake also cause magnesium deficiency. Several drugs also cause magnesium deficiency, and the representative drugs are beta-blockers and diuretic drugs for high blood pressure. In addition to that, cardiac drugs, antibiotics, oral contraceptives, and steroids are also drugs that deplete magnesium. As mentioned earlier, too much calcium can lead to magnesium deficiency. In particular, if the intake of calcium exceeds five times the intake of magnesium, it can cause serious metabolic abnormalities. Therefore, when taking calcium supplements, it is recommended to choose a supplement that contains magnesium together.
foods rich in magnesium
Foods rich in magnesium include nuts such as almonds and peanuts, legumes, unrefined grains (brown rice), green leafy vegetables such as kale and spinach, bananas, and fish such as sardines. However, since most grains contain a lot of magnesium in the husk, more than 96% of magnesium is lost during the milling process. Therefore, to get enough magnesium, it is recommended to eat nuts, unrefined multigrain rice, and multigrain bread.
Esther Lyuh, Doctor of Preventive Medicine, Seoul National University