Are you the queen of mood swings? (Yeah, join the club!). In addition to brain fog and insomnia, mood swings are one of the most common challenges that patients present to my clinic with. Mood swings also happen to be very commonly associated with adrenal dysfunction. 9 times out of 10 these patients also have a magnesium deficiency. Here are some symptoms:
- Muscle pain
- Leg cramps
- High blood pressure
- Type 2 Diabetes
When the adrenal glands spike cortisol in response to stress you deplete your magnesium! What if you never address your level of stress? (Hormone Imbalances for days…) In a 2020 study out of the Journal of Nutrients – we now know that stress could increase magnesium deficiency; and in turn, that deficiency could enhance the body’s susceptibility to stress, resulting in a vicious cycle. Below is more research.
- Magnesium Lowers Stress by REDUCING HPA-Axis Activity.
- Magnesium improves Glucose Metabolism and Insulin Sensitivity (which is exciting news for patients dealing with this form of PCOS).
- Magnesium encouraged healthy levels of Estrogen by supporting the liver’s COMT enzyme
So What is Magnesium and Why Might I Need More of It?
Magnesium is an essential mineral. It plays a role in many of the body’s functions from regulating metabolism to providing energy and supporting muscle contraction. Here are five reasons why all women should make sure to get enough:
- Supports bone health: It is essential for healthy bones because it helps to absorb calcium, which is necessary for strong bones. In fact, a lack of adequate magnesium can lead to decreased bone mineral density.
- Helps with PMS: Research has found that women who supplement with magnesium regularly experience less severe PMS symptoms, such as headaches, bloating and cramps.
- Helps reduce stress: It helps reduce stress by modulating the body’s stress hormones, which can help women to relax more easily. It also helps protect against depression and anxiety.
- Can help combat menopause symptoms: It can reduce symptoms of menopause! Yes, even hot flashes and night sweats. It is also important for cardiovascular health, which can be negatively impacted during menopause due to lower estrogen levels.
- Aids in digestion: It helps regulate digestion by controlling the contraction and relaxation of muscles in the digestive tract. This basically helps your food move through your intestines more easily.
The best way to get enough is from a healthy diet! That includes plenty of green leafy vegetables, nuts, and whole grains. If you don’t think your diet is providing enough, you can also consider taking a supplement (more on that below). A high quality multivitamin made from Whole Foods should get you pretty close to your R.D.A. But to bridge the gap, load up on:
- Swiss chard
- Pumpkin seeds
- Black beans
- Dark chocolate
- Sesame seeds
How Does Magnesium Work in Your Body?
Magnesium is needed for over 600 physiological reactions in your body to be carried out successfully. Glutathione – your body’s main powerhouse antioxidant (needed to destroy free radicals!) – cannot be synthesized without adequate magnesium.
It works alongside calcium and researchers believe a deficiency allows calcium to build up in the lungs, causing constriction, which can lead to asthma. It also partners with calcium to control inflammation and reduce the hardening of your arteries, regulate your blood pressure and improve blood flow through your arteries by controlling its thickening. This will reduce your risk of heart disease. Heart disease is the number one killer of women!
It also assists in blood sugar regulation by regulating insulin and A1c. This reduces your risk for Type ll diabetes.
How Much Do You Need a Day?
Generally speaking, you need to supplement with around 400 mg/day but you can increase your level naturally by consuming those dark green leafy vegetables and those foods I mentioned earlier to increase your intake naturally.
I love dark leafy greens. Try kale and spinach to supply your body with a key stress management and relaxation mineral – you guessed it – magnesium. With so many different forms of supplementation available, always start with real, whole foods first.
Supplements I Recommend
Ever buy a supplement and go, “Um, what a waste! It didn’t do a dang thang!” Yep, me too. Magnesium occurs in numerous forms and from many different sources. Its absorption from supplements varies! Just as much as it does from meals. Supplements are created by binding a magnesium molecule to a carrier of some kind. Carries could be amino acids (glycine, arginine, taurine) or an organic acid such as citrate. This aids in the conversion into a form that the body can recognize and absorb.
What’s the Best Magnesium Supplement for Balancing Hormones?
There are 3 forms I do not go without to manage my stress and preserve my hormone health.
- Magnesium Malate – a very easily digestible form of magnesium is great for muscle aches, pains and Fibromyalgia.
- Magnesium Citrate – a very bioavailable form of magnesium, it preserves the gut and relieves constipation.
- Magnesium Glycinate – this calming form of magnesium is great for improving sleep, and reducing anxiety and depression.
Which Magnesium Supplement I Use
It’s called Reacted Magnesium and you can find it in my dispensary. It’s a convenient combo of all three in a one-stop-shop! I love it for PMS cramps and even depression. I started with a therapeutic dose (a little over 400mg twice/day) for a month and noticed a huge improvement so since then I have scaled to a maintenance dose of a little over 400mg once/day. Now I rarely experience cramps or get truly depressed unless I have not prioritized my self-care. Is this you? I would love to help you. Don’t forget to explore more of my blog posts and reach out if you have any questions.