Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Fibromyalgia and Magnesium

Recent research has shown that FM patients may be deficient in certain compounds required for the synthesis of ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate).
One of the most crucial elements for ATP synthesis is magnesium.

Research suggests FM patients have below-normal levels of magnesium. Low levels of magnesium can contribute to PMS, headaches, muscle cramping, muscle spasms, heart palpitations and even heart attacks.

The brain heavily relies on ATP for numerous functions. ATP helps maintain balance throughout the cells and sends signals along specific brain pathways. Approximately 20 percent of the body's ATP is located in the brain. Low levels of ATP can diminish brain cognitive functions, a common problem in people with Fibromyalgia.

Insufficient magnesium affects the nervous system by causing nerves to fire too easily. Noises sound excessively loud, lights seem too bright, emotional reactions are exaggerated, and the brain is over-stimulated, oftentimes resulting in insomnia. These symptoms are commonly found in Fibromyalgia patients.

A deficiency in magnesium causes an increase in a body chemical called substance P, which is responsible for pain perception. In other words, you will experience more pain if you don’t have enough magnesium. Fibromyalgia sufferers have on average three times more substance P than normal.

Diet and digestion play a major role in magnesium absorption. Oftentimes, people with Fibromyalgia have other conditions such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome or gluten intolerance, which limit nutrient absorption. (Transdermal application bypasses the stomach which means a greater percentage of magnesium can reach the bloodstream)

Magnesium is involved in thyroid production and protein synthesis. Magnesium is also necessary in the production of stomach acid and digestive enzymes, which are deficient in people with autoimmune disease and Fibromyalgia. Unfortunately, magnesium deficiency is not easily detected and is often overlooked by doctors.

While this mineral is no cure-all by any means, magnesium has been shown to relieve muscle pain and fatigue in individuals with Fibromyalgia. Magnesium is often given in combination with malic acid.

Magnesium is needed in the production of serotonin, a brain neurotransmitter involved in the perception of pain. Serotonin levels have been shown to be significantly lower in people with fibromyalgia. Magnesium is one of the many co-factors needed to release and bind serotonin in the brain to provide balanced mental functioning.

Research shows that the Fibromyalgia and Magnesium connection is AMAZING. The muscle weakness, fatigue and pain that is experienced could definitely be, in part, due to such severe magnesium deficiency that the muscles are in a constant state of spasm. These microspasms that occur in Fibromyalgia are so severe that researchers call them 'Tetany'. This constant muscle spasming not only causes problems in and of itself, but uses up the energy stores in the muscles,


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