Tag Archive | Vitamins

Magnesium Deficiency

I have been putting off writing this post for a long time. There is so much that a Magnesium deficiency covers, not to mention finding the right kind of Magnesium! It has been exhausting process for me, but WELL worth it! I would like to pass on this information to you.

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So, let me start there. You many be Magnesium deficient if you have these SYMPTOMS:

  • Constipation
  • High blood pressure (Hypertension)
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Behavioral disturbances
  • Lethargy
  • Impaired memory/thinking
  • Seizures
  • Fatigue
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Pain
  • Muscle cramps
  • Chronic back pain
  • Headaches
  • Migraines
  • Muscular pain
  • Tendonitis
  • Anger
  • Aggression
  • ADHD
  • Brain fog
  • Tension
  • Anxiety disorders such as OCD

Then, let’s add on mutations. A connective tissue disorder such as Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome causes problems in holding Magnesium (and other salts) in your body. Dr. Heidi Collins talks about how many problems in EDS that are aided by adding Magnesium in one’s diet. Her paper is summarized by Dr. Diana Driscoll here. (both Dr. Driscoll and Dr. Collins have EDS)

Now, if you’ve established that you may have a Magnesium deficiency, try adding foods with Magnesium into your diet. Also cut out sugars, processed foods, starches, and gluten in your diet that are immediately decreasing your Magnesium (and other salt) levels. Personally, I do not even like salt and many foods that have Magnesium in them, so I poured over the food list that includes Magnesium and first chose the foods that I didn’t hate. Now, I am trying foods that I never particularly cared for with different recipes to find a way that I may like it instead of completely dismissing something that is good for me.

First, I knew I liked Spinach. I began adding fresh spinach to the salad that my husband began making for me to get well. Then, I began doing the same with avocados. Next, I began eating tuna salad (albacore without mercury) with veggie chips instead of on bread. Now, I’ve completely cut out the chips. I tried an internet recipe passed around on Facebook on garbanzo beans.  I’m trying spinach smoothies. (and other green smoothies.) 6 months ago, I would have thought that green smoothies were crazy, however, I figure if I’m not feeling well with what I’m doing, try something new! (for any diet changes, I’ve found it easier for me to go slow and not to jump in, or I won’t stick to it.)

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Now, being extremely Magnesium deficient because of EDS and dealing with Chronic Pain and Fatigue and Insomnia beginning 2 1/2 years ago, I knew I had to do something drastic. I began searching for vitamin supplementation even before getting in to see Dr. Collins. Even after working with her on it, I have found these things to be true:

  1.  There are many types of Magnesium. The many different types work best for different issues and systems of the body.
  2.  Because every body is different, one Magnesium that works for me, may not work for you. Dr. Collins suggested that Chelated Magnesium was the best for those of us with EDS, however, my body did not absorb it… it simply did not improve my health and quickly left my body. There is only one that has worked for me to improve my health. I have found that the types that end in “ate” work best to absorb, and the “ide” endings just go right through (best for laxative affect.)
  3.  Magnesium Citrate is the fastest way to get it into your body. This is also the type that I’m able to give my children with EDS who cannot swallow pills.
  4.  You need other vitamins with your supplementation that help your body to absorb Magnesium: Calcium, B6 and Vitamin D3. This is easier to do with food intake rather than supplementation, but when you are extremely deficient, consider these vitamins, as well.
  5.  Calcium supplementation ratio should be Calcium 1.5-Magnesium 1 (Calcium 150-Magnesium 100 or Calcium 200-Magnesium 130.) For my child with IBS, we need a 2-1 ratio. For him, I add in chewable calcium to make up the difference when he takes his Magnesium drink.
  6. You can overdose on B6 causing neuropathy. My favorite supplement is vitamin B50 which has the FDA limit of B6, but also other B vitamins in it. I also take a B12 vitamin for energy that does not have a limit like B6 does.
  7.  Taking Magnesium in the morning is best. I had been trying to do 1500mg before bed and waking up not feeling so well still. Taking a bunch of salt before bed, before not eating for a large amount of time, can cause hypoglycemia. I do not have a problem with that, but lack of salts in my body acts the same way. I have always had to eat every couple of hours. I do not need to cause another problem. But having the right amount of Magnesium at the right times can stabilize insulin. The Magnesium that I currently take says to take 3 times a day, so I take it with food.
  8.  Taking Magnesium with Iron will cancel out both vitamins. I take Magnesium separate from my Vitamin C and multivitamin. (Dr. Collins suggests that a multivitamin is not necessary because the high vitamin ratio that is actually needed is so low in the multivitamin.)
  9.  Foods with Magnesium in them absorb best.
  10. Do not forget that salt and water work together. One is supposed to drink half their body weight in oz. of water. If you are taking a ton of salt with no water, you will dehydrate. If you are taking in a ton of water, but no salt, you will also dehydrate. (Sports drinks have too much sugar in them)
  11. Exercise, even just taking a walk, is extremely helpful in maintaining health.

These things have been helping my family and I to heal from Chronic Pain/Fatigue, Insomnia, Hyperactivity, Allergies, Joints that easily pop out of place, and Easy bruising/bleeding. When your body is well in other areas, you do not get sick as easy. Another thing I like to do to help to not feel dizzy (POTS) is to add Epsom salt to the bath water or plug the drain to do so while showering. Also Magnesium spray  or Magnesium cream onto my areas of muscle pain. It absorbs quickly into the part of my body that needs it. Carrying around Magnesium tablets or powder with me have also been a life-saver when I am out and have an episode of my blood-pressure dropping. I hope this has helped or will help you in your journey. Here are a couple of other videos that have inspired me.

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Dr. Terry Wahls talking about her journey with MS.


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Vitamin C Deficiency

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Everyone knows that if you are sick, it’s a good idea to take Vitamin C. For those with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, bruising and bleeding (nose-bleeds/hematomas) is an everyday event, as well. Vitamin C plays a role in collagen, carnitine, hormone, and amino acid formation. It is essential for wound healing and facilitates recovery from burns. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant, supports immune function, and facilitates the absorption of iron.

High-dose  ascorbic acid (vitamin C) therapy has been tried and, in theory, has a potential effect. Clinical studies suggest that wound healing, even in patients not deficient in vitamin C, can improve with supplementation above the recommended daily allowance. In patients with kyphoscoliosis type EDS, bleeding time, wound healing, and muscle strength seem to improve after 1 year of daily high-dose vitamin C therapy; however, high-dose vitamin C therapy is not considered the standard of care and requires medical clearance for use.

Speaking from experience, Vitamin C is vital to not only healing of bruises, but prevention. When I was a child, my doctor put me on a 2,000 mg of vitamin C. My children, who have EDS, also are on that dosage. As an adult, I have been told to up it to 5,000 mg.  ( Please start at 500mg and work your way up to 5,000 mg since it does cause runny stools. ) I have noticed, though, that when my Magnesium drops, my Vitamin C levels are also low and I bruise easy again. (See Magnesium Deficiency) My favorite brand of Vitamin C is Ester C because it is easier on the Digestive System. Connective Tissue Disorders already have a hard time with the stomach tissue, so it’s a good idea to prevent problems.

This is not the same for ALL individuals, but specifically for EDSers.


Vitamin C Rich Foods

There are many foods that are rich in Vitamin C. Many of them have more Vitamin C in them than Oranges! Some of them include: Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower, Chili Peppers, Green Bell Peppers, Kale, Kiwi, Mango, Papaya, Red Bell, Peppers, Pineapple, and Strawberries.


Vitamin C Absorption

While taking 5,000g of Vitamin C supplement at my doctor’s request, I noticed that my stomach hadn’t been absorbing it well. At first, I thought, “I must be taking too much, now. Maybe my body has adjusted.” But while walking across my floor, I bruised the bottoms of my feet and it was painful. I knew that I was not absorbing it well and that my body needed it. So, I began to research Vitamin C absorption. I also began taking Vitamin C in half doses twice a day. (2,500g in the morning, 2,500g for lunch) I have always heard that Vitamin C helps Iron to absorb better, but it doesn’t work well the other way around.

I was made aware of Flavanoids or Bioflavanoids; what used to be called Vitamin P aids in the absorption of Vitamin C. Flavanoids promote blood vessel health, including improve capillary strength, prevents accumulation of atherosclerotic plaque, has anti-inflammatory properties acting against histamines, may help protect against infection and blood vessel disease, may lower blood pressure by relaxing smooth muscle of cardiovascular system, may inhibit tumor growth, may have estrogen-like activity, may prevent hemorrhoids, miscarriages, capillary fragility, nosebleed, retinal bleeding in people with diabetes and hypertension, and may lower cholesterol levels.

While it is available in both liquid and tablet form, there are also many foods that include Flavanoids including: Almonds, Apricots, Apples, Bananas, Bell peppers, Bilberry, Blackcurrants, Blueberries, Broccoli, Buckwheat, Cabbage, Cantaloupe, Celery, Cherries, Chili peppers, Citrus fruits, Cranberries, Garbanzo beans, Ginkgo, Grapes, Grapefruit, Green Peppers, Green tea, Hawthorn, Lemons, Lettuce, Milk thistle, Onions, Oranges, Parsley, Peaches, Pears, Plums, Quinoa, Red wine, Raspberries, Romaine lettuce, Rose hips, Strawberries, Sweet potatoes, Tomatoes, Turnip greens, Watermelon, and Yarrow. It’s important to note that in the U.S. the largest single source of Flavonoids is Black and Green tea.

Most documented risks for flavonoid deficiency have already been discussed since they involve poor dietary intake. Overconsumption of processed foods, overcooking of foods, and underconsumption of fresh vegetables and fruits are the primary circumstances related to deficiency. Risk of dietary deficiency for flavonoids is basically synonymous with low dietary intake of whole, natural foods, and in particular, low intake of vegetables and fruits. By far your best way to ensure ample flavonoid intake is to maximize your intake of whole natural foods, including fresh, brightly colored vegetables and fruits whose flavonoid pigments provide them with their vibrant colors. This approach sounds simple, and it is a great method for increasing your flavonoid intake. Most supplements with Vitamin C and Bioflavanoids together include them with a 50:50 ratio.

I am not aware of any evidence that dietary flavonoids can be directly toxic, even in meal plants that contain an abundance of fresh vegetables and fruits as well as an abundance of nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, and whole grains. When consumption of the foods above is very high, the total fiber content of the diet usually goes up dramatically. I would expect high flavonoid intake from whole natural foods to accompany diets high in dietary fiber, and just do not see toxicity risks being associated with this type of dietary intake. In addition, Flavonoids are water-soluble.


Vitamin C Toxicity

The upper limit for vitamin C intake is 2000 mg/day. Up to 10 g/day of vitamin C are sometimes taken for unproven health benefits, such as preventing or shortening the duration of viral infections or slowing or reversing the progression of cancer or atherosclerosis. Such doses may acidify the urine, cause nausea and diarrhea, interfere with the healthy antioxidant-prooxidant balance in the body, and, in patients with thalassemia or hemochromatosis, promote iron overload. Intake below the upper limit does not have toxic effects in healthy adults.