Are You Suffering From Magnesium Deficiency?

If you’re on a grain-free diet, or have “leaky gut” or a damaged gut, you need to read this post, as you are high risk for magnesium deficiency.

Are you deficient in magnesium? The chances are good that you are, as it turns out that the majority of Americans are deficient in magnesium.

The latest government study shows a staggering 68% of Americans do not consume the recommended daily intake of magnesium. Even more frightening are data from this study showing that 19% of Americans do not consume even half of the government’s recommended daily intake of magnesium. (Source)

My Story

I recently found out I am deficient in magnesium, which was surprising to me, since I eat a pretty healthy diet.

It was my insomnia that helped me to self-diagnose my magnesium deficiency. (Blood tests are not accurate for magnesium deficiency; the best way to tell if you are deficient is by paying attention to symptoms.) Insomnia is a symptom of magnesium deficiency. It is also commonly caused by hypoglycemia, which I also have.

I spent decades skipping meals. I also explored intermittent fasting. I just wasn’t hungry (loss of appetite is also a sign of magnesium deficiency — a vicious cycle!) I was also drinking alcohol and eating sweets pretty much every evening (the alcohol and sweets were a way to self-medicate low blood sugar and low serotonin). And up until a year ago, I drank coffee daily.

Thankfully, I’m on the right track now. To combat my hypoglycemia and insomnia, and in turn, heal my adrenal glands, I recently started eating every 2-3 hours every day and began taking amino acids, thanks to Julia Ross’s book, The Mood Cure. As a result, I no longer crave wine or sugar at night. I’m eating sweets occasionally but I got rid of all the chocolate in my secret stash and I haven’t missed it one bit.

In the past couple weeks, I’ve probably doubled what I eat every day. I’m eating a lot more complex carbs including sprouted/soaked whole grains, partly to get more minerals, particularly magnesium. I have also started supplementing with minerals, especially magnesium and zinc (I am deficient in both).

I’ll share my results so far at the end of this post.

The Importance of Magnesium

I recently read a fascinating book, The Magnesium Miracle, by Dr. Carolyn Dean, which I highly recommend. If this post resonates with you, get a copy of the book.

In this post I’ll share what I learned about magnesium deficiency from Dr. Dean’s book, as well as from other sources.

Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body and is essential to good health. Approximately 50% of total body magnesium is found in bone. The other half is found predominantly inside cells of body tissues and organs. Only 1% of magnesium is found in blood, but the body works very hard to keep blood levels of magnesium constant.

Magnesium is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. It helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function, keeps heart rhythm steady, supports a healthy immune system, and keeps bones strong. Magnesium also helps regulate blood sugar levels, promotes normal blood pressure, and is known to be involved in energy metabolism and protein synthesis [2-3]. There is an increased interest in the role of magnesium in preventing and managing disorders such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. Dietary magnesium is absorbed in the small intestines. Magnesium is excreted through the kidneys. (Source)

Minerals like magnesium are also required in order to utilize fat soluble activators like vitamin D:

Magnesium status is critical for normal vitamin D metabolism, insulin sensitivity, and overall health. Supplemental magnesium blocks atherosclerosis in multiple animal models. — Whole Health Source blog

What Causes Magnesium Deficiency?

A hundred years ago, it was easy to get enough magnesium just by eating a variety of foods and drinking water. However, our modern soil is very depleted. This is due to modern farming methods which employ chemical fertilizer, and due to monocropping.

“The soil in every country in the world except Egypt has been farmed to a point of magnesium depletion.” – Dr. Norman Shealy, M.D. Ph.D (Source)

Magnesium deficiency in banana leaf
Magnesium deficiency in a banana leaf

Not only is the soil depleted, but so is the water.

Our human ancestors evolved in a world in which healthy drinking water came directly from streams, rivers, and lakes, rich in mineral content. The human body became reliant on obtaining a considerable proportion of its daily mineral needs from natural water sources.

Fast-forward to the twenty-first century. We obtain drinking water from a spigot or a plastic bottle. Pesticides and other chemicals seeping into the water supply have made everyone suspicious of water quality. As a result, municipal water-purification facilities have intensified their efforts to remove contaminants like lead, pesticide residues, and nitrates from drinking water. Unfortunately, these modern water-treatment methods also deplete drinking water of desirable minerals like calcium and magnesium.

Exacerbating this problem is that many Americans, distrustful of the purity and safety of municipally treated water, have added home water filters and purifiers that efficiently extract any remaining minerals from the water, thus converting “hard” into “soft” water. In fact, the manufacturers of these devices boast of their power to yield water free of “contaminants” — including minerals like magnesium. Thus, the magnesium content of the water that passes through most commercial filters is zero. (Source)

Magnesium is also not very easily absorbed by the digestive tract. If you have digestive problems, such as a “leaky gut” and food allergies, you may not be absorbing much magnesium at all.

Even people with a healthy gut who eat a balanced high-magnesium diet with magnesium-rich vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, may not be able to rely upon food alone to provide sufficient magnesium levels. Absorption is a huge issue. According to Sally Fallon Morell in Nourishing Traditions, “Roughly 50 percent of magnesium in foods is absorbed.”

Mercury fillings and other forms of exposure to mercury also prevents magnesium from being absorbed and utilized by the body. Fluoride also binds with magnesium and prevents absorption. (Source)

Eating a diet high in fat can also interfere with magnesium absorption (Source). Vitamin D deficiency also affects magnesium absorption. Eating a lot of dairy products and other foods high in calcium can also affect our magnesium levels.

Drinking caffeine, carbonated soft drinks, and alcohol waste magnesium. So does eating sugar. So while cocoa is a good source of magnesium, it is rarely ever eaten without sugar, which wastes magnesium. So, sorry to say, chocolate is not recommended as a source of magnesium. (Sorry, raw cacao is out, too, as it is very high in phytic acid, which binds with minerals and prevents absorption.)

There are also a number of drugs that interfere with magnesium absorption and utilization, including the birth control pill, antibiotics, antihistamines and aspirin.

Last but not least, stress uses a lot of magnesium. If we are under stress, we need more magnesium. Not that any of us every experience any stress. 😉

Signs and Symptoms of Low Magnesium

Do you crave chocolate? Do you get leg cramps or suffer from headaches? Do you have insomnia, body odor, or chronic constipation? These are all signs of magnesium deficiency.

Anorexia or loss of appetite
Back pain
Body odor
Confusion, brain fog
Coronary spasms
Cravings for chocolate
Difficulty swallowing
Exhaustion from exercise
Growth retardation or “failure to thrive”
Hyperactive reflexes
Impaired memory and cognitive function
Impaired muscle coordination (ataxia)
Irregular or rapid heartbeat
Insulin resistance
Involuntary eye movements
Irritability and anxiety
Muscle cramps, twitches
Muscle weakness, fatigue
Nausea and vomiting
PMS – including menstrual pain and irregularities
Stiff and aching muscles

Diseases and Conditions Associated with Magnesium Deficiency

Here’s a list of diseases and disorders associated with magnesium deficiency:

Arthritis – Rheumatoid and Osteoarthritis
Auto immune disorders – all types
Cerebral Palsy – in children from magnesium deficient mothers
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Congestive Heart Disease
Crooked teeth – narrow jaw – in children from magnesium deficient mothers
Diabetes – Type I and II
Eating disorders – Bulimia, Anorexia
Gut disorders – including peptic ulcer, Crohn’s disease, colitis, food allergy
Heart Disease – Arteriosclerosis, high cholesterol, high triglycerides
Heart Disease – in infants born to magnesium deficient mothers
High Blood Pressure
Impaired athletic performance
Infantile Seizure – in children from magnesium deficient mothers
Kidney Stones
Loss of Appetite
Lou Gehrig’s Disease
Migraines – including cluster headaches
Mitral Valve Prolapse
Multiple Sclerosis
Myopia – in children from magnesium deficient mothers
Obesity- especially obesity associated with high carbohydrate diets
Parkinson’s Disease
PPH – Primary Pulmonary Hypertension
Restless Legs Syndrome
SIDS – Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
Syndrome X – insulin resistance
Thyroid disorders – low, high and auto-immune; low magnesium reduces T4

(Sources: and

Food Sources of Magnesium

How to get more magnesium into your diet? The easiest way is to eat whole grains, such as whole wheat bread and brown rice. Because I am magnesium deficient, I am now eating whole grains (properly sprouted, soaked and fermented) at least 2 or 3 times per day.

Soaked nuts and seeds are also a great source of magnesium, as are legumes and greens such as kale and Swiss chard. Wild bitter greens such as dandelion and nettles are very rich in magnesium. I don’t personally eat a lot of dandelion, kelp and other sea vegetables, but if you enjoy them, go for it!

Sourdough whole-wheat boule
Whole wheat sourdough bread

“… If farm soils are well-mineralized, leafy green vegetables, seeds, tree nuts and whole grains are fairly good sources of magnesium. Certain wild-crafted forage foods really stand out, however, such as nettles (860 mg per 100 grams) and chickweed (529 mg per 100 grams), and add many tonic and nutritive benefits to both human and livestock diets largely due to their high mineral content. Kelp, ancient denizen of the sea, contains spectacular levels, as do most sea vegetables. Remember that they are continually bathed in a solution whose third most abundant mineral is magnesium. And authentic, unrefined sea salt is a very good source of magnesium, along with trace minerals. Utilizing bone broths on a daily basis will provide another excellent source of minerals, including magnesium, in a highly assimilable form.” – Katherine Czapp (Source)

To Your Health Sprouted Flour
Sprouted Whole Grain Spelt Flour from To Your Health Sprouted Flour Co.

If you eat whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes to get magnesium, it is critical that you properly sprout and or soak them. Phytic acid binds with minerals. When a mineral binds to phytic acid, it becomes insoluble which means it will not be absorbed by the intestines. Please see my article, Soaking Grains: A Traditional Practice.

Where to Find Sprouted Grains, Nuts & Seeds

Please see my resources page for sources of sprouted whole grains

Magnesium Supplements

You may want to consider supplementing with magnesium. However, not any supplement will do.

I’m currently taking Now Foods True Balance (a multivitamin; 120 mg of magnesium) and Country Life Target-Mins Total Mins (a mineral multi; 2 tablets provide 500 mg of magnesim), both recommended by Julia Ross, author of The Mood Cure.

In addition, I’m also taking ionic magnesium from Trace Minerals (Trace Minerals Research Liquimins Ionic Magnesium) and I’m using the magnesium oil spray.

Visit my resources page for sources of magnesium oil and magnesium flakes.

I am averaging about 1000-1200 mg of magnesium per day just from the supplements, plus I get more from food. I will continue to gradually increase the dosage until my stool becomes loose.

I really think the magnesium oil is the best way to go if you have any issues with your gut. I’m playing around with different supplements and amounts to see how much I need and how it absorbs. It is safe to experiment — just pay attention to your stool and you’ll know if you are taking too much.

Note: You can also add magnesium oil to your bath if you find that you don’t like spraying it on — some people find that it’s itchy or that it stings a little)

I learned a lot about magnesium supplementation from this article on the Weston A. Price Foundation website: Magnificent Magnesium. Here are a few excerpts, but I recommend reading the whole article as there is a lot of information (too much to cover here):

Even with ideal digestive conditions, only a percentage of magnesium in foods will be absorbed less when amounts in the body are adequate and more if there is a deficiency… For the average person, magnesium supplementation is safe to experiment with on your own, especially if you know you have symptoms that could be related to magnesium deficiency or are under extra stress, and so on. Excess magnesium is excreted in urine and the stool, and the most common response to too much magnesium is loose stools. Those with renal insufficiency or kidney disease, extremely slow heart rate, or bowel obstruction should avoid magnesium therapy.

General dosage recommendations range from about 3 to 10 milligrams per pound of body weight, depending upon physical condition, requirements for growth (as in children), and degree of symptoms.

Oral magnesium supplements are available in organic salt chelates, such as magnesium citrate and magnesium malate. These are fairly well absorbed, especially in powder forms to which you add water and can tailor your dosage. It is important to divide your dosage during the day so that you do not load your body with too much magnesium in any single dose. Carolyn Dean recommends taking your first dose early in the morning and another in the late afternoon—these correspond to times when magnesium levels are low in the body. Is it just a coincidence that these times of low magnesium and low energy also correspond to the cultural rituals of morning coffee and afternoon tea?

Loose stools indicate you are not absorbing the magnesium, but that it is acting as a laxative.

Yet another option for oral magnesium supplementation is ionic magnesium in liquid form, such as that offered by Trace Minerals Research. This is a sodium-reduced concentration of sea water from the Great Salt Lake in Utah…

Another potential way to get more magnesium into your system is via the pleasant method of soaking in a bath of magnesium sulfate, otherwise known as Epsom salts… A couple of cups of Epsom salts added to a hot bath will induce sweating and detoxification; after the water cools a bit, the body will then absorb the magnesium sulfate. According to Mark Sircus in Transdermal Magnesium Therapy, the effects from a bath of Epsom salts, although pleasant, are brief as magnesium sulfate is difficult to assimilate and is rapidly lost in the urine. Magnesium chloride, which can also be used in baths, is more easily assimilated and metabolized, and so less is needed for absorption.

Finally, magnesium may be applied topically in a form commonly called magnesium “oil.” This is actually not an oil at all, but a supersaturated concentration of magnesium chloride and water. (Source)

Visit my resources page for sources of magnesium oil and magnesium flakes.

My Results So Far with Magnesium Supplementation

I’ve been supplementing for about two weeks now, in addition to eating a LOT more food (I’m eating 3 meals plus 3-4 snacks per day; this is up from just 2 small meals per day) and I’m avoiding alcohol, sugar and caffeine.

First and foremost, I’m beyond thrilled that I have an appetite! I can’t tell you how AMAZING this is!

You see, I drank coffee every morning since I was about 16 until I quit just last year. Caffeine is a strong appetite suppressant, and it also depletes magnesium. I think that was what initially messed up my appetite. On top of that, I smoked cigarettes and drank Diet Coke (I quit both of those in 2006 when I got pregnant). Cigarettes and soda are both appetite suppressants and they also deplete magnesium.

Low magnesium causes a loss of appetite. I wasn’t hungry so I’d skip meals and when I did eat, I didn’t eat enough, which led to hypoglycemia which led to craving wine and sugar at night — more wasting of magnesium, hence more appetite loss. No wonder I wasn’t hungry!

I’m thrilled to report that I wake up in the morning absolutely FAMISHED now. This is amazing to me! I can’t tell you how frustrating it is for a person who LOVES food to not be able to eat very much. Couple that with a metabolism that moves at a snail’s pace and life really sucks. Big time!

Nowadays, I have to eat a snack as soon as I get out of bed (usually a piece of fruit and some nut butter, or some soaked nuts and cheese, or a glass of raw milk and nuts) then I eat a big breakfast 2 hours later (typically 2-3 eggs plus oatmeal or whole wheat toast). I’m starving again by lunchtime, and always need an afternoon snack to get me through until dinner. It’s 9 pm now and I just had an evening snack of grass-fed cheese and whole wheat crackers. I’ll probably have a glass of raw milk before bed, as well. Hooray, I can eat again!

My insomnia is about 90% gone. I still wake up occasionally but it is usually because of a noise or my daughter waking me up. And I go right back to sleep within 15 minutes (it used to take hours).

I’ve also noticed that my elimination has improved. It was good before, but it is fabulous now! Sorry if this is TMI for some people, but my stools are so fabulous, I actually get excited about them.

Bristol Stool Chart

My stools used to range from a Type 3 to a Type 4, but now they are consistently looking more like a Type 4, and sometimes even a 5. According to Konstantin Monastyrsky in his book, Fiber Menace, type 5 is ideal. Read more about the stool types here. I have a bowel movement every morning (which is normal for me) but now I’m often having a second bowel movement in the afternoon/evening. (This is especially interesting to me because when I was on a low-carb diet, I suffered from constipation. When I was on the GAPS diet, however, I did not experience constipation. It must have been all the bone broth I was eating; bone broth is rich in minerals, including magnesium.)

I’ve noticed another benefit of taking magnesium. I no longer need deodorant. My body odor has completely disappeared. Carolyn Dean mentions this in her book, The Magnesium Miracle, and it has been true in my experience.

I’m also taking magnesium to help regulate my blood sugar and nourish my exhausted adrenal glands. Magnesium is called the calming mineral, so it definitely helps if you are under stress and/or have stressed adrenal glands. Magnesium also plays a central role in the secretion and utilization of insulin, facilitating sugar metabolism.

It’s too early to tell how my change in diet and supplements are helping with my hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and adrenal fatigue, but this was astounding to me: in the past two weeks, I have lost a half inch in my waist and a quarter inch in my hips. Yes, this happened despite the fact that I have doubled my caloric intake and have been eating whole grains and other complex carbohydrates at pretty much every meal.

My theory, which I am still testing, is that my hypoglycemia (caused by fasting and not eating enough) has been causing cortisol surges, which result in weight gain around the mid-section. My hunch is that if I continue to nourish myself with plenty of good food and take supplements, I will sleep better, my cortisol will become regulated, my adrenals will heal, and the spare tire around my middle will melt away. Yes, I’m an n of one, but if I can get rid of my belly fat, that’s good enough for me. We’ll see how it goes.

To read more about my insomnia and belly fat, check out these posts: How Intermittent Fasting Caused My Insomnia and Belly Fat and Is It Wheat Belly? Or Cortisol Belly?

Do You Think You Might Be Magnesium Deficient?

What do you think? Do you think you might be low in magnesium? Have you had success with supplementing with magnesium?

Please share your comments below.

Photo credit: Sourdough whole-wheat boule by tmoertel, on Flickr
Disclosure: and

Ann Marie Michaels

I have 25 years of experience in digital and online media & marketing. I started my career in Silicon Valley and Los Angeles, working at some of the world’s top ad agencies. In 2007, after my first child was born, I started this little food blog which I grew to over 250K monthly unique website visitors and over 350K social media followers. For nearly 15 years, I've helped my audience of mostly moms and women 25-65 cook for their families and live a healthier lifestyle.

 The year after I started the blog, I founded a blog network in the health & wellness space called Village Green Network. I started the company on my coffee table and bootstrapped the business to over $1.3 million in annual revenue within 5 years. During that time, I helped a number of our bloggers become six figure earners. After being censored on almost every social media platform for telling the After being censored on almost every social media platform from Facebook and Instagram to Pinterest and Twitter, and being deplatformed on Google, I am now deployed as a digital soldier, writing almost exclusively about politics on my blog Because who can think about food when we are fighting the second revolutionary war and third world war? Don't worry, there will be more recipes one day. After the war is over.

271 thoughts on “Are You Suffering From Magnesium Deficiency?

  1. What are your thoughts on the magnesium oils containing mercury? I just saw it remarked on in multiple reviews for different brands, including the one you use, on Amazon. Thanks so much for sharing on this topic!

      1. okay, so I did more of my own research (yay, me!) and it sounds like mercury IS an issue for many brands, but NOT for Genuine Zechstein™ by Ancient Minerals. They address the mercury issues here:

          1. Yes, they do use the same source. I did a lot of research before buying the swanson one myself. The oil made my skin incredibly dry, though, so I stopped using it.

            Interestingly, Matt Stone was the first one to call my attention to the fact that low-carb diets increase cortisol levels. The fact that you added back in more carbs may be a key reason you are losing belly fat. Great that you’re having such good experiences with the diet and supplements.

  2. Hi Ann Marie,

    Thanks for this post! I found whole wheat sourdough bread at a local bakery that only sells food from local farmers. They use a long fermentation process to make a true sourdough bread. They stone ground their bread fresh every day. However, they don’t take out anything from the flour prior to making bread. I would believe this would include all of the bran, which contains the nutrients as well as anti-nutrients. Do you think this bread is fine, or are there still a lot of anti-nutrients from the bran in the bread despite the fermentation process? Thanks!

    1. If they are using whole wheat and a long fermentation process with sourdough, it should be fine.

      Here are a few excerpts from Rami Nagel from a great article he wrote about phytic acid in whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes:

      “Sourdough fermentation of whole wheat flour for just four hours at 92 degrees F led to a 60 percent reduction in phytic acid. Phytic acid content of the bran samples was reduced to 44.9 percent after eight hours at 92 degrees F. The addition of malted grains and bakers yeast increased this reduction to 92-98 percent. Another study showed almost complete elimination of phytic acid in whole wheat bread after eight hours of sourdough fermentation (See Figure 6).”

      He also mentions that it’s a good idea to eat dairy with whole wheat sourdough bread:

      “Phosphorus in the diet (at least from grains) needs some type of calcium to bind to. This explains the synergistic combination of sourdough bread with cheese. Historically, the cultivation of grains usually accompanies the raising of dairy animals; high levels of calcium in the diet mitigates the mineral-depleting effects of phytic acid.”

      Read more here:

        1. I love To Your Health Srouted Flour. It’s yummy. And I’ve spoken with the woman who owns it twice and she’s nothing but nice and helpful. I just recently stopped using her flours though. I’ve read that you need to use grinded flour as quickly as possible (or freeze or put in fridge asap) or the flour will go rancid (because of the oils.) I understand she grinds the same day she sends out your order and you can freeze it when you get the flour. But I’m still concerned that the flour is rancid by the time I get it. I really, really wish there was a way to know whether the flour has gone rancid or not. Because, honestly, I loved supporting this business and it’s SO SO SO much easier getting the flour and then fermenting it to make yummy foods. But even Sally F. says to grind one’s own flour. I’d be more likely to get the flour if it came on ice. Right now, I’m spoaking, sprouting, dehydrating, and fermenting my own grains.

          1. Tina,

            This is what it says on the Creating Heaven website:

            All flours are perishable foods. They have oils that can go rancid and over time their vitamins and minerals can deteriorate. We recommend a three month shelf for the retailer and this will allow another 3-7 month life for your flour at home.

            The side panel gives suggestions for proper storage, but basically, all flours should be stored in air-tight glass or plastic containers in a cool, dark place, fridge or freezer. You can expect your flours to be fine for months: in a cool, dark place for 3+ months, in the fridge for 5+ months and in the freezer for 7+ months. (Source)

            If you are still worried about buying sprouted flour, you can always buy sprouted grains from To Your Health and grind them yourself.

            1. My concern is that between the time the flour gets sent out and I get it, it’s already rancid. That’s why I really wish there was a way to check for rancidity of the flour. If I knew the flours weren’t rancid, I’d definitely buy it. I just may get the sprouted grains though. That’s a good idea.

              1. From
                “As long as the bran is intact, and the grain kept relatively cool, dry and rodent or bug free these “seeds” will store indefinitely with no nutrient loss. Once the kernel of wheat is broken open, however, as in milling, the protection of the bran is gone and many of these nutrients, now exposed to oxygen, are lost by oxidation. In fact, once milled, as much as 45% of the nutrients are oxidized in the first day alone. In 3 days 90% of the nutrients are lost to oxidation alone.”

  3. Wonderful article! Thank you!! This really helps piece things together for me. I recently went grain free but was concerned about having developed stool issues and having other deficiency problems. I had never even considered the affect on my sleep! (I require ten hours every night.) Back pain, check. Moodyness, check. Cocolate cravings, CHECK!

    Thanks for the recommendations. Oh, side note. My ND says magnesium supports the liver. Well obviously it supports a lot of things, but that really just jumps out at me since the liver is an incredibly important organ, responsible such things as detoxification.

    1. Hi,

      I have some of that in my cupboard and I used it initially when I was experimenting with magnesium supplementation.

      It is probably the worst absorbed out of all the magnesium supplements so I would not recommend it for most people. I gave it to my husband — just 1 tsp — and he had diarrhea for HOURS (he does not have a healthy gut).

      If you have a healthy gut, it might be fine. It was OK for me, but I was not able to take enough without getting loose stools (which means I was not absorbing it).

      As a result, I am not taking it anymore. Instead, I am taking the ionic magnesium, plus using the transdermal magnesium oil. In addition I am taking Total Mins and True Balance.

      Total Mins contains magnesium from magnesium oxide, taurinate, citrate, alpha-ketoglutarate, and aspartate. True Balance has magnesium from oxide and aspartate.

  4. Wow! Another great post…Thank you, Thank you!!! More research to do! I love it!!!

    And yes, I think I am deficient in magnesium as well….;)

  5. Very timely post for me, I just started reading the magnesium miracle and my medical mind (a former RN) loves it. We are just doing the transdermal magnesium for now hoping it will help my daughter sleep better. I was just diagnosed with mitral valve prolapse (a recent occurence) and wonder if its related to magnesium deficiency, as I didn’t have it prior to GAPS. Thanks for the info!

      1. Interesting. My mom has this, plus migraines, plus I inherited a narrow jaw (which luckily was expanded with orthodontia). Not 100% sure if I’m magnesium deficient (although I think I am), but my mom must be!

  6. Great article! I too am the magnesium deficiency poster child, lol! I recently bought the spray you mentioned, but find that I get all wound up from it, even have frequent panic attacks when I use it, something I never have experienced before. I read that this can be a symptom of too much magnesium. Have you ever heard of this side effect from the spray? Any oral supplements I take give me horrible indigestion, so it’s very frustrating!

    1. Hi, Tina,

      How much did you use?

      If anything, magnesium does typically calm people. I read this post on about someone who had a negative reaction with transdermal magnesium:

      06/20/2011: Amberdim6 from Yakima, Wa replies: “I seem to have all the signs of a magnesium deficiency, migraines, cold hands and feet, muscle spasms and cramps, irregular hearbeat, kidney pain, anxiety attacks, etc. I try to use magnisium oil but if I put more than one drop on my feet I get very bad side effects, my pulse races out of control, I get all sweaty, my whole body throbs. I can’t believe that I am overdosing on so little an amount, is there any reason for this? I don’t eat dairy products so is my calcium ratio out of balance. If anyone has some insight on what might be causing this and anything I can do to figure this out, I would greatly appreciate it.”

      06/30/2011: Tish from Candia, Nh Usa replies: “All the symptoms you describe are Lyme disease. You need a Western Blot blood test submitted to IGenX lab in Palo Alto, California. You also need a CD57 blood test to test your immune system. The norm is 200. My immune system tested at below 20 so it is also a confirmation of severe illness. You need to find a Lyme literate doctor.

      Your severe reaction to the magnesium might be because it was helping your system attack the Lyme and other possible co-infections. Good luck!”

      I’m not sure if Lyme could be an issue for you. Google Lyme disease, magnesium, and Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction (die-off or healing crisis).

      1. I have Chronic Lyme disease and was excited about the possibility of easing so many of the symptoms with magnesium oil after reading the list. Thanks for posting info about the extreme reaction. I didn’t think about it but am glad I’ll be prepared if it happens. Sadly, it’s one of those organisms that really likes to fight back, so it’s rare to find something to help you feel better without experiencing a lot of distress, too.

  7. Oh, I know I am! I’ve been having sinus issues for almost a year that cause pressure all over my head and in my ears. It causes anxiety attacks sometimes and I’ve been wondering if I just plain don’t eat enough. I’ve got three children that I pour my time into when it comes to feeding them well, that there’s just not much time left to nourish myself! I also have been fairly low grain for several years which is probably why I’m always constipated! This post has really got me thinking. I’d also like to know what you think about Natural Calm. Is it okay to take every day?

    My 8 year old has facial tics and is very low weight for his age. I’m definitely trying magnesium therapy on him!

    Thanks so much!


    1. I know you know this but it bears repeating: You must make time to nourish yourself first, because if you are not healthy, you have nothing to give to others.

      I am not really a fan of Natural Calm as it is very hard to absorb. See my comment above to Jeanette.

    2. Wow! I have the sinus thing. I almost have a sinus type headache once a week if not more. I have two small children and I’m SURE I don’t sleep enough. But I do sleep enough I think, maybe it has to do with magnesium. I’ve suspected a magnesium difficiecy since I’ve read in Nourishing Traditions about chocolate cravings equal that. Hmmmm. Now I’m really intrigued about this. Let me know about your sinus pain. I just keep wondering why I get it, first I thought allergies, then dairy, now magnesium.

  8. Great post on the importance of magnesium. However, why do you say skipping meals=intermittent fasting? Intermittent fasting is not just “skipping meals,” but carefully timing fasting and nutrient intake to benefit health and fat loss. There are several intermittent fasting plans, but none advocates just skipping meals whenever and not having an appetite, nor undereating calories. I am concerned that readers unfamiliar with intermittent fasting might come away with the wrong impression of it.

    1. Thanks for your comment. I’ll change the post to reflect that skipping meals and intermittent fasting are not the same thing.

      That said, I have done intermittent fasting before in an attempt to lose weight. I believe it was detrimental as I have hypoglycemia.

      They are two different things but the result is the same — deprivation of nutrition. I am not a fan of any kind of fasting.

      1. Thanks for clarifying that. I totally agree that for some people intermittent fasting can be detrimental to their health (it’s not for those with blood sugar issues, adrenal fatigue, etc), but for those who can tolerate it, it does seem to have some specific hormonal benefits (these have been backed up by studies). Fasting does not lead to deprivation of nutrition when done right.

  9. What a great article and this may be me. I am gluten intolerant and I don’t eat much bread and grains except when I’m having a craving for pizza a few times/month. I do take 125 mg. of magnesium each night before I go to sleep and I sleep like a log most nights. My body is lapping it up.

    My hypoglycemia totally went away since I have been doing a primarily Primal diet although I do have dairy in my two cups of coffee every morning and full fat yogurt. I have gone off coffee from time to time (for months) and my issues don’t change. So I slide back in with drinking the coffee. Maybe I’ll try quitting it again.

    I have Julia’s book. I’ll read it again and this time pay closer attention to it. Thanks for writing this and alerting us about the mag deficiency.

  10. Wow! This is so interesting! Thanks! I’ve been having periods of insomnia since having my first son in 2009. I always chalked it up to hormones (since I’ve been BFing or pregnant for the past 3 years), but now I’m wondering if I have magnesium deficiency. My dad has always had loose stools and insomnia, so I’m going to recommend this to him too!

  11. Great info. thanks for sharing all of this. I’m gonna look into more mag. I have had leg cramps for years & tried powdered mag & topical, but looks like there is still room for improvement. Btw, my leg cramps started, I believe, when on low-carb. 🙁 Scary to think of adding more food, esp. carbs, but you are making me think it is WORTH a shot, and have seen this, too, on 180 degree site. (I have adrenal issues).
    Thanks for taking the time to share with us. 🙂

  12. Thank you for the very informative post. I follow a Paleo diet which has improved my health tremendously. It stands to reason, in part, because I have Celiac Disease (just found out a couple of days ago), so the elimination of gluten is a major part of my improvement. But I also started supplementing with Natural Calm brand of ionic magnesium. My diet is very nutrient dense and I do not generally take supplements. However, I have seen a real difference in my sleep from magnesium. My insomnia disappeared and so did intense leg cramping. It has really been a life saver.

  13. I can take a magnesium supplement just fine, but twice I’ve given one to my husband and he has thrown up within 20 minutes. Nothing else different on those days, just the magnesium and pretty soon after. Any thoughts why? I’m wondering if one of the other forms (other than a tablet) would help…

    1. Yes, I commented above that my husband got diarrhea when I gave him magnesium citrate (he was not happy with me! ;-).)

      Try one of the other forms. I am going to start putting magnesium chloride flakes in my daughter’s bath and I am going to make my husband start using the magnesium oil. This way it bypasses the digestive tract and is absorbed directly into the bloodstream.

      You can also make magnesium oil with the flakes. Just add magnesium flakes to boiling distilled or RO (reverse osmosis) water and boil until dissolved.

        1. Thank you! He was definitely not happy. I can probably convince him to do foot baths with the magnesium flakes, though….

        2. I got the oil and the salts – and gave him a backrub using the oil as the massage oil. It made his lips tingle, oddly, but he has survived. Now the trick will be to not have to give him a backrub every night!

  14. I take epsom salts baths (not too hot) at least once or twice a week and soak for 20 minutes or sometimes longer. Epsom salts are magnesium sulfate and you can get plenty of magnesium this way … I sleep like a baby when I do this! Epsom salt soaks also open the elimination channels and are a great way to gently detox.

      1. Yes, you can. This is especially helpful if you have cramping in the feet, or diabetic naropathy.

        However, I have read that the the extremities absorb the least magnesium so it would be better to take a bath.

        According to Dr. Mark Sircus:

        “The physical condition of the skin at the point of external application is another significant variable. The skin of an infant or child is more permeable than that of adults. The skin over the organs in decreasing order of permeability is genitals, head and neck, trunk, arm and leg.[6] Skin abrasion allows a locally applied substance to come directly in contact with subcutaneous tissue and blood vessels. Absorption is at a much higher rate than in healthy skin. Inflammation leaves the skin leaky and allows larger molecules to be absorbed.”

        I imagine putting magnesium oil in your mouth would be as effective or nearly as effective as applying to the genitals (and I wouldn’t try spraying the oil directly on the genitals — it would sting!), because of the mucous membranes in those places.

    1. Epsom salt baths are OK but they are not the best way to absorb magnesium.

      According to the Weston A. Price Foundation (as I quoted above in the article):

      Another potential way to get more magnesium into your system is via the pleasant method of soaking in a bath of magnesium sulfate, otherwise known as Epsom salts… A couple of cups of Epsom salts added to a hot bath will induce sweating and detoxification; after the water cools a bit, the body will then absorb the magnesium sulfate. According to Mark Sircus in Transdermal Magnesium Therapy, the effects from a bath of Epsom salts, although pleasant, are brief as magnesium sulfate is difficult to assimilate and is rapidly lost in the urine. Magnesium chloride, which can also be used in baths, is more easily assimilated and metabolized, and so less is needed for absorption.

      In other words, it is better to add magnesium oil or magnesium flakes to the bath. The magnesium oil and magnesium flakes contain magnesium chloride, which is better absorbed than magensium sulfate.

      Here is a link to the magnesium flakes, which are cheaper than the magnesium oil (I’m also going to write a post about how to make your own magnesium oil with the magnesium flakes):

    2. I was about to post the same thing, but then I saw in her post that apparently magnesium sulfate is excreted pretty quickly, and so it’s difficult to get long-term benefit. I have used primarily epsom salts for magnesium, too, so this was news to me! But I also made my own magnesium chloride oil long ago, so I think I’ll dig that out and use it some too.

  15. Supplementation with Natural Calm stopped my frequent heart palpitations. I can’t get it into my kids, though, because of the taste. I’ll have to try other things – we’re increasing how much bone broth we eat around here, although my younger daughter isn’t thrilled with soup. I might also try the Mg oil for topical use. My 10yo frequently wakes during the night and can’t get back to sleep. My 6yo has a lot of aggression issues and chronic constipation. I would love to see how magnesium supplementation helps both of them. Thank you for this post.

  16. Do you think you might have insulin resistance?
    This all sounds so familiar, I have taken magensium supplements for years to help me sleep, plus constipation problems brought on by candida, hypoglycemia, also I am sure I have adrenal fatigue, even though no dr. has told me I do. I am glad to know that it is better to take magnesium in the morning, I am going to try that.
    My cholestrol levels are indicative of inflamation, which I am sure is the insulin resistance. slightly high total chol, high HCL, slightly elevated LDL and low triglycerides.
    I have recently read an article by Barry Groves about a high fat, (only good fats), medium protein and very low carbs diet. I have been trying it for a week now…… I don’t know how good it is, but I sure am satisfied. Fat has the least amount of impact on insulin, carbs always have an effect on insulin and protein has quite an impact on insulin also. I know my blood sugar is much more stable on a high fat diet, but fat is harder to digest too………it makes me wonder what is happening to all the fat I am eating. Is it staying as fat in my body? or?? is my body burning that for energy because of the lack of carbs for energy? I am going to try this for awhile anyway and slowly add more bread to my diet and see what happens.
    I have upped my digestive enzymes because of the increase in fat in my diet. (I am not eating a lot more, probably 2 T more) I love how I feel so satisfied, I don’t have that constant reaching for food, usually carbs, that I always have, even though I have a sit-down job. I am still on the bone broth/gelatin challenge w/ myself. I don’t feel I have lost any weight, but my thighs feel thinner.
    Thanks for sharing this, it’s an eye opener for me. Always something to learn.

    1. Just my 2 cents here b4 I get back to bed after putting little ones to sleep.

      I have all kinds of mineral issues and adrenal burnout as well and I was hypoglycemic. I have talked a bit about the adrenals on my site but I have been working w/ a practitioner long distance who has been helping me w/ the adrenals and natural metal detox and it has been fascinating. I would be happy to talk w/ anyone who wants to hear more. I get nothing from referrals- just one beggar telling another where to find bread. From what I can tell, my hypoglycemia is gone and the burnout is slowly going away.

      I really enjoyed this post and forwarded it onto her since she is quite familiar w/ the Mg issue and I take some. She did mention that taking too much can slow down the adrenals and thyroid too much so it is good to use caution. I will be interested to see what she thinks of this info and if I should tweak my protocol at all.

      Also, one of my friends was taking a bunch of Mg and had heart racing as a result. There is a clear label on the Mg flakes saying that you can get that kind of a reaction from too much.

      1. Adrienne-
        You work w/ Theresa right? I think I saw that on your blog. I’ve been working w/ her for a year and a half- she’s the best! Can you expound on the high doses of mag slowing down the adrenals/thyroid?

  17. Are you aware that you can make your own magnesium oil for much cheaper than they sell it? It’s pretty expensive to buy it made, but it is also the best way to supp. The cheapest way is to buy Nigari, which is the magnesium chloride that is used for making tofu. You can get it at your local asian market. Or you can buy magnesium chloride by Swanson, which sources its magnesium chloride from a very pure source: Magnesium Chloride Flakes 2.2 lb

    Either way you get the magnesium chloride, you mix it 1:1 with water and wait a few days for it to fully incorporate. It turns into an oily liquid. You can spray it on your skin or rub it on your skin.

    I did this on my own with minimal instructions a while ago, but I just googled now and found this GREAT article on how to do it:

    1. Yes, I have been reading about that. I plan to try making my own magnesium oil, as from what I have read, it seems easy to do and it is much more economical. I will write a post about it.

      Dr. Mark Sircus who wrote the book, Transdermal Magesium Therapy, recommends the Ancient Minerals brand. I’ll have to continue to read about the Swanson’s brand of flakes and oil and see if it is as good as Ancient Minerals.

      Be careful about buying other sources of magnesium chloride (not sure about the Nigari you referenced). You want a pure source that does not contain heavy metals.

      1. April, does it?

        I don’t know as I haven’t made it yet.

        I imagine that it would.

        From what I have read, if it stings, you are just not used to it yet (and are likely deficient). Over time, the stinging will reduce and even go away as you become saturated with magnesium and your body gets used to it.

        I think the flakes or oil in the bath would also be easier on the skin, as the magnesium oil is very concentrated.

        1. Yes, it does sting. That’s why I stopped doing it and went to mainly epsom salts baths. But now, reading how quickly the epsom salts are excreted, I think I’ll dig out my oil again.

          The article I linked says that the Ancient Mineral mag flakes and the Swanson mag flakes source from the same place — the Zechstein Seabed in Europe.

          I used Nigari when I made mine a while ago, but maybe I should order some new purer stuff.

          1. @April

            Yes, I see that they both come from the same place. I think they are probably both good. I’m just going w/ Ancient Minerals because that is what Dr. Mark Sircus recommends. I haven’t read his book yet — it’s on it’s way from Amazon.

    1. Bone broth is very rich in minerals including magnesium. We do not know exactly how much magnesium it contains, however.

      Here’s a video by Amanda Rose, in which she says that bone broth does contain minerals but she doesn’t know how much:

      Here’s another link:

      This is interesting:

      “There are a few food supplements that are very rich in magnesium. Bone meal is one of them. More than 60 percent of the magnesium in the body of man or animal is in the bones and teeth. So, we must take bone meal (which is pulverized young beef bone) not only for its calcium and phosphorus, but also because of the magnesium and the amount of valuable trace minerals it contains.

      Considering that long-simmered bone broth (with added vinegar to extract the minerals) is basically just bones concentrated in water, it seems to me that bone broth would be very rich in magnesium.

      Bone broth has the added benefit of enhancing digestion. I think everyone should eat bone broth every day, ideally with every meal. Not only for the magnesium and other minerals, but also to help improve absorption of all nutrients.

      Unfortunately, most of us do not eat anywhere near enough bone broth, as it is hard to come by in restaurants and grocery stores, and the stuff you do find is not long-simmered (most bone broth made in restaurants or sold in stores is only simmered for a short time so it is greatly lacking in terms of mineral content).

      I have just recently started a new practice. I learned from Monica Corrado in one of her classes that bone broth will keep longer in the fridge if it is very gelationus (i.e. if you use a lot of oxtail bones or chicken feet and heads in the stock). So last week I reduced about 8 cups of chicken stock to about 3-4 cups and I added enough gelatin to make it gel. It is just like JELLO. I now leave that in the fridge and I serve it over roast meats as a gravy, or add it to soups. An easy way to boost the nutrition in a meal!

        1. I’ve had good luck just re-boiling any bone broth I have made, a couple of days after I make it, and then it keeps a long time (weeks?)

  18. Awesome, another excuse to take nice long soaks in a hot bath!! I started supplementing with mag after reading the artile about it Wise Traditions (the WAPF journal). Also adding Ancient Minerals trace minerals you mention in my water, morning noon and night. I micro dose everything too, soups, raw milk kefir, whatever. I have noticed a lot of improvements – esp in my sleep. Up until about 5 yrs ago I would hit the pillow and sleep for 9 hours straight. Over the past 5 yrs I noticed I was waking at night, and just not sleeping as soundly. It is a combo of things of course, but the mag is a bit player and now I sleep soundly again. I also use the mag oil spray after my weekly shower, I take an espom salt bath plus add a cap full of the mag oil to the water, almost everyday. I DO NOT rinse after my bath, I slather myself with coconut oil afterwards.

    BTW, are you familiar with the work of Dr. Stephanie Seneff and her hypothesis regarding sulfer deficiency? She is my latest discovery and I am so blown away by her razor sharp mind. Check out her interview with Jimmy Moore and/or Dr. Mercola. This is the shorter inview here:
    After listening to these and reading her work, I find I have yet another reason to keep up those daily Epsom Salt baths – cause it contains mag sulfate!! Also, coconut contains it.

    Minerals, minerals, minerals, minerals, the catalysts of life. Thanks for the great article!

    1. Thank you! I will listen to that show today!

      She is speaking at the Weston A Price Foundation conference this fall and I am really looking forward to her lecture.

  19. Raine,

    Have you ever considered that you might have Lyme disease?

    I ask because I just found a post from someone saying they had a negative reaction to magnesium — see my comment above in reply to TinaC.

    Also because some of the symptoms you mention sound like Lyme: heart racing, shaking, and insomnia. I also know from people I have met who have Lyme that they have to stay on a very strict GAPS diet.

    I know very little about Lyme disease but I just heard a lecture from last year’s conference about Lyme by Dr. Rind. Did you listen to that one yet?

    1. Hypothyroidism is also associated with Lyme disease.

      Cysts in the breast can also be related to Lyme:

  20. I swear that every time I read you Ann Marie, I am stuck by the parallel things we both have going on! I’m currently on month 7 of GAPS, and just realized that I have depression/anxiety/PTSD issues that are vastly helped by reading The Mood Cure and now taking 5-HTP and True Calm (for the GABA). I’m still not on DLPA, but I need to get there to help with endorphin problems.

    Anyways, the interesting part is that I have heard many people talking about magnesium lately and I have been wondering if I should try it. When my son was born with a cleft lip/palate and other health issues, another problem was if he pooped often enough. Funnily enough, my chiropractor said to give him Natural Calm, because once he reached a threshold for how much he could absorb, the extra magnesium would make him poop. Interesting!

    I have had sleep problems for the majority of my life: staying up late, waking up frequently, etc. That was how I slept my whole life until I had kids and got so tired that I developed adrenal fatigue (about 6 years ago). I was so tired all time that I didn’t stay up anymore, but I did still wake up a lot at night. I used to joke that my kids cured me of that! Eventually, because of the adrenal fatigue, I tried GAPS and started to sleep great at night, and had more energy during the day.

    For the first 3-4 months on GAPS I felt increasingly more energetic. But it didn’t last. As soon as I had enough energy to handle the day, I started staying up late again like the old days. Then I started joking that GAPS healed me to where I could choose my favorite vices again! And now I’m tired again. Is it a self-control thing? Is is magnesium? I can’t tell. (The True Calm and 5-HTP help, but they aren’t fool-proof)

    1. I think I suffered from adrenal fatigue and related issues including sleep problems for most of my life as well. I remember being a kid and staying up late to watch Late Night with David Letterman. I also remember that whenever I got a suntan as a kid, I used to get hyperpigmentation, which is a sign of adrenal fatigue.

      I am super focused now on protecting and nourishing my adrenal glands. NO coffee or caffeine (except for occasional chocolate — like maybe once per week at most). I do my best to get in bed by 10, but if I can swing it, I try to make it 9 pm. It is HARD, especially if you are used to staying up — people w/ adrenal fatigue experience a rush of energy late at night. I read that if you can get in bed early and dim the lights, you can bypass the energy rush that comes later. Lately I’ve been getting into my pajamas right after dinner, which is often as early as 7 pm! LOL!

      I also sleep with a sleep mask (my daughter likes the light on because of monsters). ANd I even got a free program for my computer called Flux. It dims your computer right after sundown, so you can produce more melatonin.

      1. That’s a good idea to get into pj’s right after dinner. I love it! And I still haven’t tried a sleep mask, but I really need to.

        I had no idea that the rush of energy was related to adrenal fatigue. I had also hoped I was beyond adrenal issues at this point, but I think it’s yet another reminder that these things take time. Just because GAPS and coconut oil have helped with detoxing and energy levels, doesn’t mean my adrenals are completely healed. I’m better at managing stress now, and baths at night REALLY help, but I need to remember that it’s a long process. It warrants a lifestyle change, not a time to put my dues in and then resume my late-night tendencies.

        Actually, my maternal grandmother was the same way. She used to always say that sleeping was a waste of time. We were two peas in the pod, loving to stay up late! She died last year, and she wasn’t very old, barely 70. So I can see the legacy of stress on our bodies from not sleeping. She and my mom both also have anxiety and are considered “high-strung”. And because I was born to an extremely abusive family, on top of coming from a long line of stressed out bodies, I think I just finally hit a breaking point when I shifted to a WAPF diet. This may take some time to undo.

    2. Do you sleep with your daughter? I NEVER get a good nights sleep with my kids in bed. Especially my 7-yr old. She is a horrible kicker and tosses all night long. If I want a good nights sleep I make sure to have my girls sleep in their own bed!

  21. Hi Raine,

    Dr. Ron Schmid had Lyme disease. He is able to control it almost entirely. He wrote this article back in 2004 regarding his condition and the solutions he took to control it:

  22. I take Pure Encapsulations Magnesium Glicinate- the glicinate form helps prevent loose stools. You can also take colostrum pills if you continue to have trouble w/ your bowls even on the glicinate. The colostrum can sooth the digestive tract and help alleviate the loose stools problem.

  23. Raine-
    I can relate to a lot of what you’ve been through health wise. I was very sick for 4+ yrs. and wondered about limes as well. I saw 7 different practitioners before I finally found someone who has been able to help me. I did everything-a acupuncture, muscle testing, GAPS, homeopathy, and on and on. I finally happened upon this article (link 1.) and w/in a few months started working with Theresa Vernon (link 2.). She is the BEST! I have been working with her for a little over one year now and things are improving- it’s a slow process but what matters is i’m moving forward. She is also the most affordable practitioner I have worked with and she will work with you if you don’t have a lot of extra money. She does use supplements but the way she works is like no one else I’ve worked with. I would never take another isolated supplement without running it by her first. Supplements can really screw us up if taken improperly. Anywyas, just wanted to pass this info along in the event that you might be interested.



      1. Adrienne,
        Sorry, never saw this comment. Yes, T is wonderful, so happy to have found her! Nutritional balancing takes patience and dedication but it feels like the healing that takes place is deep and lasting!

  24. It’s really common for Lyme disease to go unrecognized and undiagnosed for years and even decades.

    Here are a couple stories I found online:

    I have not seen this movie about Lyme yet but it is on my Netflix instant queue:

    Excerpt: “A gripping tale of microbes, medicine & money, UNDER OUR SKIN exposes the hidden story of Lyme disease, one of the most serious and controversial epidemics of our time. Each year, thousands go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed, often told that their symptoms are all in their head. Following the stories of patients and physicians fighting for their lives and livelihoods, the film brings into focus a haunting picture of the health care system and a medical establishment all too willing to put profits ahead of patients.”

    1. There’s a suspense novelist who has battled Lyme herself, written a novel based on it, and has a blog that hosts many stories of other Lyme sufferers. Some of those stories might help those who are wondering about the disease.

    2. I just watched Under Our Skin a few days ago. Man!! did I end up angry!!!!! As a trained RN with my heart and focus on natural/nutritional medicine now – I think I got even more angry because I could read between the lines on much of what was said about the guidelines.
      It is definitely an eye-opener, especially the stats on the spread of the disease and how regularly it is considered “not possible here”. It’s incredibly similar to syphilis – and dangerously discounted.

  25. That is wonderful, Raine! 🙂

    By the way, Dr. Rind uses teasel weed to treat Lyme. He talks about it in the lecture I referred to above. If you don’t have that lecture let me know and I will get you a copy.

  26. Cheeseslave-wow, you have really been hitting homeruns for me lately, starting with the Mood Cure and now the magnesium info. I have been dealing with OCD for the last 5 years or so and am absolutely desperate to find answers in treating it that DON’T involve an SSRI! My husband and I have definitely been eating better the last couple of years (switching to raw milk, natural fats and getting off veggie oil, etc.), but I think that when you’re really deficient (like I obviously am with all I’m dealing with), just eating better isn’t going to cut it.

    Enter the Mood Cure-after reading your post, I ordered the book and have been reading thru it the last few weeks. I immediately started myself on 5HTP and GABA and have since added the other aminos (I was low in everything). I also went to see an ND who started me on a candida supplement and a couple things to help with my digestion. Based on the info in the Mood Cure, I am ordering the multi this week and just started on a B complex, acerola and of course FCLO (high dosing it).

    All that to say that I was HIGHLY interested when I started reading your postings on magnesium, as that certainly sounds like something I am low in as well. When I googled “OCD and magnesium” I was surprised at how many links I found on the subject, as it is also related to a whole host of mental issues (ADD, OCD, tics, etc.). I did manage to find some magnesium oil and started using that 2 nights ago, so we’ll see.

    I really do feel like I’m on a mission to figure this out right now, and because of the info you’ve been presenting lately, you’ve been a huge help in giving me some direction in looking for natural ways to treat this. Not only that, but all along, I’ve felt that “something just isn’t working right in my brain”, but the only answers I’ve been given are to do exposure therapy and take an SSRI, neither of which are particularly helpful for me (3 years ago when I was at my worst, I was started on Lexapro and took it for about a year, but I never felt comfortable taking it at all, much less long-term). However, all the research I’ve been doing the last few weeks has given me new hope, that this really IS a physical/brain issue that I’m dealing with and not just an emotional one (yeah, exposure therapy doesn’t really work for me either).

    I am curious to see that you are taking magnesium orally AND via the oil plus an additional mineral supplement? I do worry about going too far overboard on the supplements, as I am already taking so many. I realize that it is a temporary thing to correct an imbalance and that everything I’m taking has a specific purpose, but yeah, I had to order a pill case on amazon to keep up with everything! 🙂

    1. @Robin LOL! Yes, I bought a pill caddy too! I even travel with it — it’s like what old people use. Only I’m not filling it with drugs; it’s all vitamins!

      Please keep me posted on how you are doing.


      1. So I ordered the book on amazon and got it yesterday. So interesting!!! In the first chapter, she is talking about several patients, and in the case of Sam, she writes “When he read that magnesium deficiency is also associated with muscle pain, especially back pain, that really got his attention, since he had begun having back pain four or five months before he developed chest pain.” That really got MY attention, because when I read that, I immediately thought back about 10 years ago when I actually developed severe chronic back pain that lasted at least a couple years or so. When it first started, I had recently taken up running for the first time that summer, and even made several visits to a chiropractor which never really helped. I did actually get an MRI which showed a bulging disk, but I was never really convinced that that was completely the problem. However, after reading that statement in “The Magnesium Miracle” I had a lightbulb moment, as the onset of my low back pain wasn’t THAT long before the start of my OCD onset.

        THEN, on the next page, she goes on to describe the correspondence between type A personalities and magnesium deficiency (it would be fair to say I’m pretty much type A) with the clencher soon to follow, where she writes “sweat loss during heavy exercise (cycling and jogging) and working in the heat deplete magnesium”. WOW. Remember that the onset of my low back pain started the summer I took up running? Well I was actually training for a sprint-distance triathlon and working out constantly in the heat outside, biking, running and swimming.

        All of this really makes me think that maybe the low back pain I was experiencing was actually my first real sign that something was wrong (i.e. magnesium deficiency plus who knows what else?), with the OCD stuff to follow later. A few more pieces of the puzzle clicking into place. What’s amazing is that I would have NEVER made this connection otherwise (who knew back pain and OCD could be related???), but I felt like I have lightbulbs flashing off in my head when I read that. Awesome stuff.

  27. So I was curious about the source of my magnesium oil (which I found at a store here locally), since it is not the ancient minerals brand (it’s made by Life-flo). Turns out it actually is from the same source, the Zechstein Sea. However, I also noticed that it is significantly less expensive, as you can purchase a pack of 2 (8 ounce bottles) for $11.58 on amazon, compared to $15 for just one 8-ounce bottle of the ancient minerals.

    Seems like the ancient minerals bath flakes are also more expensive compared to other brands that also source from the Zechstein Sea. Any idea why they are more expensive? Just want to make sure I’m not missing anything…

  28. In my profession, we were trained to change one thing at a time. Otherwise, you don’t know what worked and what didn’t work. The same is true of experimenting with ourselves with foods and supplements.

    It sounds like GAPS was definitely a good move. Hurray! And ending all the supplements for now seems like a good move, too. Sounds like you were overwhelmed with so much going on. I hate when I feel like that — of course, then, nothing works!

    My mentor told me to try things for three months, then decide if I wanted to keep doing that thing. I use this method for adding or taking away supplements and making dietary changes. I try to change only one thing at a time. Being Type A, that ain’t easy, lol!

    I also take iodine (quite a bit) and about 20 supplements a day including enzymes. I make my own mag oil and use that rather than take mag internally. It’s been wonderful for me. Who knows? Maybe once your gut issues are cleared up — and if the gut ain’t healthy, nothing is going to be absorbed anyway, right? But maybe after some time, you can start adding things, see what works.

    Good luck, Raine. I hear you on the money issues. One day at a time.

  29. Thank you for the info! I’ve been looking forward to this post, and you certainly didn’t disappoint.
    I was wondering about the danger of oversupplementing. Do you know how much is too much and what problems that could cause? I’m especially wondering about my kids. I hate to take risks with them, you know? I’m far more comfortable using myself as a test subject.

      1. BTW she lists a bunch of drug interactions you have to watch out for and any possible conditions that you should be careful if you are supplementing. I recommend reading the book.

        1. I wonder if it is drug interactions with my husband. I’ll get the book and run a search, I think – gotta love the Kindle and its searchability.

  30. I self-diagnosed magnesium deficiency during my first pregnancy, due to headaches, eyelid tics, muscle cramps, and constipation. Unfortunately I had no idea how to add more magnesium to my diet! I did get some relief from eating more nut butter and blackstrap molasses. But these are all such good ideas! And no wonder I felt so good all summer — I was eating lots of bitter greens.

  31. Great post! I have known for a while that I was magnesium deficient, but was unsure what to do about it. Do you know if we will eventually be able to stop taking the magnesium supplements? If so, how will we know when to stop? I am currently on the GAPS diet and need to try the intro one more time before trying to get pregnant. It appears gluten was keeping me from being able to get pregnant, so I need to stay gluten free until after we get pregnant. I will have to find a supplement that would be safe while pregnant too. 🙂

    Thank you for your post.

    1. I plan on continuing to add ConcenTrace mineral supplements to my water indefinitely. I will also continue to use the magnesium oil indefinitely.

      I hope you will stay off gluten even after you get pregnant. I was able to recover from my gluten intolerance but it took me a couple years of following a gluten-free diet and taking strong probiotics.

      1. Thank you for the advice with the gluten. I do plan on staying off of the gluten if at all possible. I am a diabetic too and my blood sugars do so much better without the added carbs. I am pretty sure that I will need to do the full GAPS for the full 2 years too. I do hope that I can add the sour dough bread back in about then. I do love sour dough pancakes too. 🙂

  32. I love your site. I have a question. I have had a horrible time with insomnia and I usually am not hungry until late afternoon. But when I do eat, man do I eat. I eat like there is no tomorrow. So I wonder if I fit the profile. I have got to figure out how to get a good nights sleep. Interesting also is the carbs. I used to grind my own wheat and now hardly eat bread at all since following N.T.
    Any thoughts out there would be appreciated.

    1. I used to be the same way. I was never hungry in the morning.

      Do you drink coffee or tea? Caffeine is a strong appetite suppressant.

      Do the zinc tally to see if you are low in zinc.

      You also may be low in magnesium.

      Both magnesium and zinc deficiency can result in a loss in appetite. It is not normal to not be hungry in the morning. If you start supplementing with zinc and/or magnesium (if they are needed) you may find that your appetite comes back just like I did. It’s amazing! I NEVER ate breakfast before and now I’m starving every morning.

      I wish I had known this years ago!

      1. Yes that is true and I think it’s important when youre on GAPS and detoxing. However, if you have low adrenal function and even more especially hypoglycemia like I do, it’s important to eat right away when you get up

      1. I took Peter Gilham’s Mama Calm while I was pregnant and nursing with great results. I had to take it every night or I would jump out of bed during the night with horrible leg cramps. As long as I took my Calm… no leg cramps! It’s a great magnesium. My daughter takes Calm regularly. She loves it!

  33. Girl, you hit it on the head here: “My theory, which I am still testing, is that my hypoglycemia (caused by fasting and not eating enough) has been causing cortisol surges, which result in weight gain around the mid-section.”

    I think these are my issues, too. I’m going to try some magnesium oil to help with absorption.

  34. Great post! I am working on adding more magnesium and fats as well into my diet. Never did low fat or anything, but with my 3rd pregnancy I’m finding I am having to consume a lot more fat (lot’s of organic, pastured cream butter and coconut oil). Those two things combined with increasing my intake of CLO is really making a difference with my sleep and skin irritation that I was suffering from. I’m still struggling with nausea, yesterday was a particularly bad day, but I also didn’t take as much magnesium. This little child growing is really putting a demand on my system and I am having to be much more careful about what I eat. I too have cut out most sugar, except the occassional treat most often made with raw honey or grade B maple syrup and besides a half glass of green tea in the morning I don’t drink caffeine. There are plenty of mornings I don’t have any caffeine. Anyways, with that all said, it’s amazing to see the difference in how I’m feeling. No longer feeling like I want to sleep 24×7. Now if only more midwives or even dr.s knew info like this. I’m on the search to find a midwife that has more knowledge in natural nutrition, neither of the midwifes in my last two pregnancy knew anything and the first one basically had a midwife title, but was more or less used the typical western medical approach.

    1. Oh and one question. Any recommendations in how to increase the kiddos magnesium intake? I am almost certain both my kids are suffering in this area. However, it’s far more difficult to get some of the magnesium foods in them. I tried looking for supplement, although personally I’m still not sure about giving them vitamins ( although I would consider minerals) and still do not do so for them or myself. I’ve read far too much info. that talks about how much whole food is more beneficial even with it lacking the nutrients because of soil depletion and often our bodies don’t absorb the nutrients in vitamins or at least very little. (Actually read stuff along this line just on the WAPF site.) I do have concentrace minerals, but need to be better about giving it to them in their food. Think that would be enough?

      1. In the book, Carolyn Dean says to try kids on the magnesium citrate or milk of magnesia. I’m starting my daughter today on the magnesium citrate. She has a pretty strong gut (thanks to years of Biokult and raw milk) so she should be fine. I will try giving her the Natural Calm since it is sweet and she will probably like the taste. dean says it’s best to split up the dose throughout the day to prevent loose stools.

        She says 6 mg per pound of bodyweight for hyperactive kids. My daughter is not hyperactive but she has a very tough time going to sleep at night. I’m going to start with 200 mg per day (she’s about 43 pounds) and go up to 250 if she needs it.

        For kids who can’t handle those, I would add magnesium oil or flakes to the bath water.

          1. UPDATE: I just gave Kate some of the Natural Calm (magnesium citrate) and she liked it! I only gave her 1/2 rounded teaspoon which is only about 80 mg. I’ll see how she does with that and then give her more tomorrow. If it works well to help her sleep, and she absorbs it well, I’ll give her a little each night as her “special drink”. If she doesn’t absorb it well, I’ll switch to the magnesium oil in the bathwater.

            1. If she gets loose stools just reduce her dose until she gets used to it. Most people make the mistake of taking too much too soon, before their bodies adjust.

        1. I was using milk of magnesia topically (on my face – it really works on acne!) until I read it inhibits absorption of folic acid. Have you read about this and what do you think?

  35. I craved beef stock and sea salt a month ago…and chocolate. This was in the last month or so of pregnancy and the first couple months postpartum. At first it was insomnia, which disappeared after only a few weeks, then constipation and irritability. Those are gone now too, as are cravings. I ate dark chocolate (very, very dark) always with nuts. Lots of nut butter, tons of beef-stock-containing meals, sea salt as needed, and I started to experiment a lot with various soaked grain recipes. I seemed to “need” to. I kept soaked pita bread around, to make quick pizzas or spread with butter, nuts, and cinnamon for a snack. Now I feel good and have none of those symptoms. I had figured out a few weeks in that I was dealing with adrenals and then magnesium, so I knew what to do. Pregnancy takes a huge toll on magnesium, too. So important!

  36. Hi Ann Marie,

    I’ve read that Natasha Campbell McBride stated that it’s best for people to wait until 10 am to eat. Most of the time, I’m usually hungry between 6 and 7 am. Is it fine to eat breakfast at this time if one is hungry?

    1. I don’t get it. Why would you force yourself not to eat? Shouldn’t we strive to listen to our bodies & if our body is telling us we’re actually hungry (empty stomach), then we should eat something? Just curious how ignoring our body’s signals would be considered healthy?

  37. Peter Gilham’s Natural Calm has been my leg cramp saver for several years. Since I no longer eat sugar I don’t need to take NEARLY as much anymore. I also put a few drops of Concentrace Minerals (concentrated from Utah’s Great Lakes – I take the Swanson brand since it is SO MUCH cheaper!!!) in every jar of water I drink to replace the minerals removed by R.O. I drink out of a quart jar to make sure I drink enough throughout the day. I’ve started putting the liquid minerals on my calves since they are extremely tight and pull my feet out of adjustment all the time so I can’t run. It really helps my calves. I put it on just like topical magnesium and it doesn’t itch like transdermal magnesium does. It has lots of magnesium, but balanced with the other minerals so it doesn’t get out of proportion so much.

  38. Hello Raine,

    I would be happy to correspond w/ you as well. I had a myriad of symptoms and from what I can tell now, it is heavy metals. But the woman whom I am working w/ would never recommend DMSO. It could be that you are so sensitive that you need a mch gentler approach.

    Amazing that as I am typing this I read that 2 commenters below, a woman named Maria, is working w/ the same person whom I am working with – Theresa Vernon. I would love to talk / email. Just contact me please. Take care!

  39. I caused myself to be hypothyroid by taking iodine. I stopped taking it (and went on GAPS for a while, under Dr. Cowan’s care) and my TSH is normal now. Iodine is not helpful with thyroid issues in some people.

  40. Hi, what did you mean to say in the last sentence where it reads, “Yes, I’m an n of one”? Did you know that in an earlier paragraph you say you “drank smoked cigarettes”? That is a funny picture to imagine! :p

  41. Wow! This sounds just like me. In particular, the hypoglycemia, insomnia, and chocolate craving. (Not to mention the chronic fatigue and mental fog.)

  42. WOW… i have been awaken, woke up… slept until… my alarm clock went off… i think 3 days in a row now… in other words… i think this magnesium stuff is working… i am soooooooooooooooo stinkin’ excited!!!!! i can’t remember when it started… but it’s been a looooooooooooooooong time since i’ve been sleeping all nite long… i still get up to go to the bathroom once BUT… i am able to go back to sleep and fairly quickly.. and my mind doesn’t race and keep me awake for hours… at least i thought it was my mind.. maybe it was my body .. and it was low on magnesium… thank you cheeseslave, for posting this!

    1. How much are you taking, Tammy – I lay awake for hours with my mind racing. I want to sleep too!

      I have been taking extra minerals that include magnesium, but the magnesium I ordered hasn’t come yet… 🙁

  43. Hi Ann Marie,

    Do you know who sells flour products that are sprouted and fermented as well?

    Thanks, Denise

    (An aside, re: the Fido jar full of stock that wouldn’t open without a mess– I soaked it upside down in hot water for a while and it popped right open when i carefully lifted it out of the pan. 🙂 )

    1. Hi There! I am confused – first you said that Natural Calm isn’t the best absorbed and you were prompting people to read your earlier comments about it, but now you are giving it to your daughter? Maybe I read wrong? THank you!

    2. Hi There!

      I am confused as I thought you stated earlier that Natural Calm was not easily absorbed and now you are giving it to your daughter? Can you please comment on this? Thank you!

    3. Denise ~

      I don’t know of any organic, sprouted flours and fermented flours; only sprouted flours. But fermenting sprouted flours would be super easy to do on your own. Or at least it would be easy to me since I soak, sprout, dehydrated and grind my own flour with a coffee grinder no less.

  44. I have been using Milk of Magnesia for several months as deodorant, and it works great! I am wondering if I am getting absorbing enough this way to benefit from the magnesium, I quit supplementing with magnesium when I started doing this. My second thought is perhaps I could get too much this way… Any thoughts on this?

  45. Yes I think you might have hit the nail on the head for me. We’ve been on GAPS (full) for 5 or 6 weeks now, and just recently I have been getting chronic constipation. My stools used to be a 3 or sometimes a 4, but now they are stuck at 1… I’m miserable. I also have deep bone aches! Couldn’t figure out what was causing that. I also recently discovered that my adrenal glands are just not too happy. I did not know that losing the grains could cause magnesium deficiency, and I also did not know that coffee can do that too. (I cheat and drink some coffee, one a day or so.)

    So thanks for this post. I’ll up my magnesium intake, and make sure my kids are getting enough too.

  46. As a long time restelss leg sufferer and not a good sleeper I read this blog with interest. I’ve been doing the GAPS diet for about 10 months now, have had a lot of improvements but not so with the sleep, restelss legs are improved but not gone. Interestingly when I ate raw vegan all of this went away and I had loads of energy – not sustainable though. So my question is, are you saying that GAPS, with its no grains is a bad idea? Very interested in your opinion particularly considering you followed GAPS yourself for the two years.

    1. No, I’m saying you need to eat more broth. Broth is rich in minerals including magnesium. Dr. Natasha says we need to be eating at least 3 cups of broth per day on the GAPS diet.

      Also, beans contain magnesium (white beans and lentils are allowed on GAPS,) as do nuts and seeds. Soak and dry your nuts and seeds for best absorption. You can add beans to soups and stews and add nuts to salads or eat nut butters. You can also drink homemade almond milk.

      You may also want to add Concentrace or another mineral supplement to your water supply. And if you need to, take a magnesium supplement. You might do best with the magnesium oil, as it does not need to be absorbed via the intestines.

      And just to clarify, I did not follow GAPS for 2 years, but something similar. GAPS wasn’t around in 1995 when I healed my gut.

      1. Thanks so much, very helpful and good to know I’m on the right track. I easily have three cups of broth a day but will look at adding beans and up the anti with the seeds. Love your blog, it’s been very helpful, particularly the coconut flour recipes! I will definitely keep checking in on a regular basis, thanks, Sarah

  47. Great article Ann Marie!

    I have a question for you. Have you ever heard of anyone suffering from insomnia only at certain times of their cycle? My insomnia shows up like clock work every month. Nothing seems to help. I’m assuming some sort of hormonal imbalance. In this situation, do you believe Magnesium could help?

    1. Hi Kelli,

      I have had the same thing, and I have recently read this ariticle on the WAPF website: which helped me understand the whole thing. This past week, I have really upped my magnesium and am sleeping much better (thanks from me as well for writing this Ann Marie!).


  48. Thank you so much for this well written and thoughtful post. Your story has been my story. I’ve recently started magnesium supplements and it is helping tremendously. I never could figure out why I craved suger and wine in the evening. Now I know! Thank you!

  49. i have also noticed… along with a good nite’s sleep, that the tingling in my hand(s) has subsided. i used to wake up with my left hand feeling tingling.. kinda like it had “fallen asleep”… but i hadn’t been laying on it to cause the tingling. could the magnesium supplementation have improved this also?

    1. i used to eat black beans and brown rice everyday for lunch. i’ve gotten away from that… guess i need to get back .. i am so amazed at the quick results i’ve gotten from the magnesium i’ve been taking..

  50. I was thinking that finally eating fat cured my hypoglycemia. Now I’m thinking it has more to do with eating beef in the morning (not meat or protein, BEEF). I usually eat a hamburger in the morning.

    I can eat just veggies for lunch if we’re having an early dinner, but if I plan on having a later dinner I need to beef at lunch as well.

    Chicken, milk, tuna, etc. that kind of protein just is not enough for me. I wonder if I’ll ever get over this or if it’s my bodies way of making of for not eating enough protein when I was younger.

    I used to be low in magnesium. I buy the Now Foods magnesium citrate and take it without a problem (there is a noticeable difference when I don’t take it).

    1. Julia Ross says we need 20-30 grams of protein 3 times per day, just to maintain our current brain chemistry. She recommends eating a balanced diet of protein, fat, and complex carbohydrates at each meal.

      Magnesium does impact blood sugar. In the book Carolyn Dean goes into great detail about how insufficient magnesium causes hypoglycemia and diabetes.

  51. Hi Ann Marie,
    Wondering if you’ve heard/read anything about Magnesium Lactate, made by Standard Process? The “Lactate” form is supposed to be highly absorbable, but as with most Standard Process supplements they’re very low dose, and you need to take quite a few.
    Standard Process is recognized as a WAPF supporter.

    1. May I share a link to a close friend of mine here who has recently developed a fabulous Magnesium Oil to market?

      Her website is new but she is taking orders so please contact her if there are any issues ordering through the site. She has many other transdermal products in store for the future.

      Laura is a naturopath here who does muscle testing and the like, and is just amazing in her methods and protocol. She speaks to clients all the time about magnesium deficiencies and because she finds that most people have gut issues, needed magnesium is not absorbed. This is among the many other reasons to use an oil spray as you have mentioned as well. I have had her oil for some time now and I carry it around in my purse like I do my salve. We use it ALL the time!
      In particular, it stops muscle aches and pains in a pinch, immediately. This helps when my daughters are at their dance classes and have achy feet. I love this stuff.

      Tell her you heard about her from here. I emailed her to get her website to post about it here. She is very excited about her product and we are excited to get the word out for her! 🙂


  52. Hi Ann Marie,
    I was so excited to read this post as I’ve been wondering if magnesium deficiency was part of my issue. I too struggle with hypoglycemia and belly fat. I started on the liquimins ionic magnesium and had very loose stools after only one dose. I don’t struggle with any other health issues and I’ve never thought I could have gut issues. I have no symptoms and no skin issues and I’m otherwise very healthy. I eat fermented foods and drink plenty of raw milk. If the loose stools happened so quickly with a very absorbable product, I’m wondering if it is a gut issue or whether that product just doesn’t happen to work for me.

    I can definitely try the magnesium oil but, now, I’m curious why I had this reaction to an absorbable type of magnesium. Do you have any thoughts for me?

    1. I didn’t mean to make it sound like magnesium is the cure-all for belly fat and hypoglycemia. This stuff is all interconnected. If you go back and read my other posts I linked to above, you can see that there’s more to it than just the magnesium. You may not be low in magnesium but you may have adrenal exhaustion and/or low thyroid function.

      Do you have symptoms of low magnesium? Do you have high cortisol? Have you had your adrenals and thyroid tested? Do you have symptoms of hypothyroidism or adrenal fatigue?

      Also how much did you take when you tried the magnesium? You may want to try one of the other forms of oral magnesium and see what happens.

      1. Oh, yes, I definitely understand that it’s all connected. I’ve been supplementing with amino acids per the protocol in The Mood Cure and magnesium supplementation seemed like the best next step for me given my symptoms of insomnia and lack of appetite. I did take the full 400mg dose at one time so, I’m going to try spacing out the dosage the way Carolyn Dean describes to see if that helps.

        Thanks so much!

        1. If you are eating well and already taking other supplements you may not need 400 mg. If you get a loose stool, you may be taking too much. It’s very individualized — depends on the person. Just take less and work up to the point where your stool is perfect.

  53. So, oral magnesium made my husband vomit, so I tried the oil. That made his lips – thought not his skin – tingle. Just looked at his back a day later and he has blotchy red eruptions all over his back that weren’t there yesterday – some sort of reaction. I guess I’ll just have to force-feed him broth. A LOT of broth. But I can’t figure out why he would be having such a reaction to magnesium.

      1. Sounds like it could be a healing crisis — “This phenomenon is known as the Jarisch-Herxheimer Reaction (JHR). JHR is believed to be caused when injured or dead bacteria release their endotoxins into blood and tissues faster than the body can comfortably handle it ”

        Does he have gut problems? Has he been tested for parsites or Lyme?

  54. AnneMarie – finally got to reading this LONG great post 🙂 Thank you so much. I take ALOT of oral Mg2+ in the form of citrate to help with bowel motility… but MAYBE I should try the other forms of Mg2+ that you are recommending that absorb better!

    1. I was told by a nutritionist that Magnesium Citrate is a “bowel cleanser.” She recommended Magnesium Oxide. But there are a lot of different Magnesium formulas. Just saying – if you have loose stools from Magnesium Citrate, try a different form of Magnesium.

  55. Hello, Loved this article. You know your stuff. I thought you might be interested in another magnesium supplement worth checking out. sells a Magnesium called Liquid Life Mineral Water. It is a pure crystalline form that is absorbed instantly into the body. It is so small and pure, it is easily utilized and leaves zero residue. I have been taking it regularly to promote bone mass and my mom has used it to almost eliminate her heart issues (magnesium regulates the electrical system of your heart and helped her with her irregular rythms). There is a number on that site you can call for more info, but seriously worth checking out. Great blog! viva raw milk!

  56. I have had many of the symptoms listed in your article I went away for a week forgetting to take my magnesium supplements I was not able to sleep along with a great deal of muscle and joing discomfort along with constipation, when I came home I started back into my routine my muscles, joints, and bowel movements started back to what they were before going away. I really learned more about what is going on with me after reading this article thank you for what you are sharing with us.

  57. Pingback: Saturday Snippets 11/12/11 | Gapalicious
  58. Pingback: Are Grains Good or Bad? | Modern Alternative Mama
  59. Interesting article. I found out from my rheumatologist that many people with fibromyalgia also have IBS. I think its true, as I go to a narcolepsy board and over 50% of us also have fibro. and about 35% of the people with narcolepsy also have IBS. Its like a triangle. Sleep disorders (narcolepsy and also fibromyalgia) and IBS. Some receptors in the brain are damaged for all three illnesses or syndromes.

    My rheumatologist checked my blood and found out I was deficient in magnesium and also vitamin D3. Now I take a decent vitamin for seniors, and a 2000 mg D3 (I found them in gummy worms at the store, yum). since I have IBS, I also take MOM capsules when having difficulties.

    There is so much more about these difficulties than we know. Your breads look wonderful. I love whole grain breads, additives to the breads, that is one of the things I could live on.

  60. I just started using the magnesium oil. I really don’t have trouble sleeping, but since applying Magnesium I can’t sleep. Its been 3 days and first night I got tired really tired within an hour went to sleep and then woke a few hours later not able to sleep for a few hours and finally went to sleep. The second and third night I felt very alert after taking it and lay in bed for hours finally falling asleep only to wake around 2:00 am and stay away till 4:00 am. Just wondering if maybe I don’t need it. Doing about 24 sprays or maybe I should apply it in the am. I’m waiting for the book you suggested to come in. Thought it might help with pain from menopause and underactive thyroid.

    1. Sam – I would definitely use it in the morning or afternoon. I sleep well, too, but I use it when I first get up so it doesn’t disturb my sleep.

      1. March of 2011 I went on the Master Cleans diet (the lemonade fast). This was my 5th time doing it over many years. This time around at the end of the 10 days I was left with panic attacks and just felt out of sorts. I would wake up at 3:00 am every night and couldn’t go back to sleep. This was taking it’s tole on me. It has been a long year working on a recovery that isn’t complete. Went to the doctor and everything test fine according to her, but I still felt awful. About 3 mo ago I discovered Natural Calm. The first few weeks of taking it, I slept better then ever and started feeling much better in my days. Slowly the old sleep pattern started up and found myself back where I was. I started reading more about magnesium and thought I probably wasn’t getting enough. I switched to magnesium glycinate which really gives be a sense of comfort in my days but as mentioned by Sam, for the 3 days that I have been taking it (800 mg daily or 2 pills), I wake up a 2:00 am and then can’t go back to sleep. Last night when I woke up at 2:00 am, I drank 1 tsp of natural calm. After about an hour, I went back to sleep but it wasn’t great sleep.
        Can you elaborate on the sleep issue. Thanks for you great blog.

  61. I’ve been supplementing with ionic magnesium for awhile now. I’m guessing about 9 months. I had no idea all these other things were defeating the purpose. In your research or in the book does it talk about need certain vitamins, minerals, etc. to improve magnesium’s absorption. I know vitamin c helps iron so I’m thinking in those kind of terms. In your opinion is it more effective to start with the supplements or the food sources if your new to all this healthy eating, sprouting, soaking kind of stuff? BTW: I love the name of your blog!

  62. Hi Raine- check your hormones. I had some of your symptoms, and others, and had a moment of clarity when I was reading about progesterone deficiency and estrogen dominance. Ray peat has sme great info about progesterone-in fact he is and expert. I am addressing the estrogen dominance and also supplementing with progesterone cream-switching to the oral stuff that he sells soob. I’m already feeling and seeing a difference after 4 weeks. . I too was trying to address how I felt through my diet, which is part of it, but at my age 44 peri menopause is kicking in. In fact any woman herre who is over 35 could do herself a favor and research progesterone/estrogen issues. My 2 cents.

  63. I’m pretty sure I suffered from magnesium deficiency as a result of pregnancy and the stress of being a nurse on a busy med/surg. unit. I had the aches, the brain fog,fatigue insomnia, depression, anxiety, blood sugar issues, I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes during my second pregnancy, muscle cramps, constipation, and headaches, terrible body odor that regular antipersperant did not help. After doing a lot of research and feeling like I was at the end of my rope-not sure what I was suffering from, I stumbled onto similar articles like yours. I started taking 250 mg of magnesium twice a day just in the past week and I feel like a totally new person. I’ve read oral magnesium supplements are poorly absorbed, but something has happened to me since taking them and I am pretty convinced its the supplements. All my symptoms have been alleviated to the point that I’m almost euphoric with the relief I’m experiencing. I sleep so well, despite waking up an feeding an infant, wake up with energy, zoom around the house doing my work. I’m much more patient. I don’t feel the irritability and dizziness I used to if I don’t get something to eat immediately. My body odor is gone too! I don’t worry anymore and I just have a general good feeling all day. I also have a cortisol spare tire, not only from pregnancy, but from the continual stress I experienced when I was working full time. I’m hoping to lose this as I now have more energy to exercise and eat better without the mood swings.

  64. I have been having bad anxiety attacks for the past 6 months, including arrhythmias, muscle cramps,aches, insomnia and most recently i have been having some hand tremors. I have been to the hospital and the Doctor repeatedly because the thought of death was overwhelming. I recently read an article saying that magnesium deficency can cause all of these symptoms. With my poor diet, i know that i am not intakung nearly the amount of essential vitamins and minerals that i should be. I have decided to start taking mag supplements to see if they will help with my symptoms. I have milk of magnesia, would that work to supplement magnesium well? Abything else that is relatively inexpensive that would be better? Thank you for your time.

  65. Hey, why weren’t you eating grains prior to supplementing with magnesium? Did you react to grain? I’m grain free right now because I’m highly sugar intolerant – I get hives and a hypoglycemic reaction after ingesting starch/grains/sugar. Right now I’m eating foods high in magnesium and supplementing with magnesium as well, and feeling much better. Wondering if I’ll be able to eat grains soon…

  66. Hi there! I just wanted to thank you for writing this blog. I had no idea ADD was involved with magnesium deficiency! I just felt like the symptoms of my medication (twitching, nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting, dry heave.etc) were indicative of it. I had to do a lot of research online. I was so happy to come across your page, and liked the fact that you were so real about it. You admitted to drinking and smoking, caffeine…the whole nine yards. I am in the same boat. I was diagnosed with ADD at age 7, 20 years ago, and have been on and off medication for it. While, I do enjoy the mental sensations (such as focus), I HATE the way it makes my body feel. It is nice to know that there is a way to take care of the symptoms! Thank you for sharing!

  67. i think we need another independent lab to run tests on these flakes. i called ancient minerals and the owner, judy philips, RUDELY hung up the phone in my face!!!! i wanted to know exactly where in Europe they get these flakes from…a physical location where this stuff is mined from…I also wanted to know which lab did there lab analysis because it looks like quackery…no number, address or no information from the lab that conducted the test on the flakes…that seems strange. anyhow, i must say the flakes have been working ok, though i want to know that using this in the long term won’t cause any other bad side effects. i feel like i’m using this product blindly 🙁

  68. I’ve read this before but wanted to come back since I’ve been using the magnesium oil myself now, and share a little.

    I began with probably 8 – 10 sprays. Prior to this I wasn’t sleeping that well at night, felt irritable, fatigued, etc. — signs of magnesium deficiency. I’m pregnant so it’s even more common because the baby needs so much.

    However. I’ve learned over the years that I, personally, am very sensitive. It doesn’t take much for me to experience strong changes. I can take 1/2 what a typical person might take and have a huge and rapid effect. (My chiro also notes that I adjust much more easily than others — it is just something unique to me. Plus, when I was taking spirulina in my second pregnancy to raise my iron levels, my midwives told me to start with 6 capsules and move up from there. Most of their clients took around 20 per day. I had to back off to 4 because it was too much!)

    In just 4 days I was already seeing some signs that I was taking a bit too much. I backed off to just 2 – 3 sprays and this seems to be right for me. It’s NOT a lot, no. But *for me* that is all I need. I’d encourage everyone to get to know your body well and take what works well for you, and do more/less depending on your personal response. I’ve had readers tell me they need 24 sprays or more per day — that would be just awful for me! Keep adjusting until you find the right amount for you.

    I also take a liquid herbal multivitamin that I make myself (this was excellent at helping keep morning sickness at bay in my first trimester — that and magnesium helped a lot and this was my easiest early pregnancy so far) and try to drink an herbal tea at least a few times a week. And of course my FCLO. These have made a big difference for me.

    Bottom line? Try stuff and see what works best for you. Everyone is different.

  69. Hi there, I have had insomnia, which is weird because I used to hit the pillow and crash into sleep in about 1 minute! I thought I would use my “good” Costco calcium instead of my cal mag zinc I took for about 2 years. Then the insomnia started. I noticed on another web-sight they mentioned magnesium deficiency with insomnia so I went back to my old vitamins….now I am sleeping better. I am hypoglycemic too….so interesting. Thanks for your info too!

  70. So im pretty sure im mg deficient. I have always suffered from insomnia, laying in bed 2-3 hours before falling asleep almost every night for the last ten years. I got pregnant last year and bacame hypoglycemic and am still hypoglycemic one year post partum. My son nurses all night long so i am rather sleep deprived as well. I am going to make some magnesium oil and start with that. My question is, do you think my son is also deficient is magnesium since i am? He is a terrible sleeper and fights sleep soo bad. If i use the oil, will more magnesium make it into my breastmilk or should i supplement him too?

  71. I had been using Magnesium OIL for about a year. Rubbed daily on my feet/sole and sleep with the socks. I notice imediate improvement with sleeping. Now I can fall asleep and stay asleep for at least 5 hours which is HUGE improvement for me as my sleeping was badly disturbed by Chemotherapy. I also finding that Magnesium keeps me calmer, happier and gives me more energy (another side effect of contant Fatigue after chemo).
    I am using – Dr. Barbara Hendel’s Magnesium Oil From the Ancient Zechstein Sea Brand.

  72. wait so the first food listed for magnesium sources is LEAFY GREEN VEGETABLES, and you show two big pictures of grains?

  73. how do you know how much you need to supplement with? I am at about 500 mg and still having some strong issues (racing heart, stress and palpitations – heart is fine though) I have a feeling I might need more. I am using magnesium oil as well as natural calm. those ok?

  74. I am SO glad I read this! I think this might be what is causing all my recent issues! I never was “right” after the birth of our 2nd child about 2 years ago. My gestational diabetes never went away (it did after baby #1) and I’ve been steadily getting worse. My blood sugars are high (193 fasting one morning! YIKES!) and I get tingling and cramping/pain in my muscles. I was having heart palpitations so bad I couldn’t climb a flight of stairs or get on the ground to play with my kids. I saw many docs who tried to convince me I had Fibromyalgia, which didn’t even make sense to me, since it didn’t even address all the symptoms I was having (particularly the high blood glucose!)

    I have cut out caffeine and started taking FCLO and we’re transitioning from the SAD to WAPF, which has helped some, but I still have the tingling and pain and SEVERE fatigue in the mornings.

    I ordered my magnesium flakes! Let’s put this to the test! I would love nothing more than to go back to the GP and Rheumetologist that ran me in circles for 2 years and tell them what simple thing worked… assuming it will. (and I have a lot of confidence it will!)

    1. Ok… so I’ve been using my homemade magnesium oil (With the Swanson’s flakes) It was very easy to make by the way – and so much cheaper than purchasing Mg oil! It burns like heck… so I spray it on about 20 min before my shower and let it absorb. Then get in my shower. It DOES help! I notice a lot more energy the days I spray on the Mg oil vs. the days I don’t. I also do a once per week soak in Epsom Salts. The biggest downside I can find is the Mg Oil makes my skin insanely dry and itchy. I’m going to be adding in the Lugol’s Iodine now, so it will be interesting to see if that improves the skin dryness.

  75. My adult son tried the Trace Minerals Ionic Magnesium 400 mg liquimins and ended up in the bathroom vomiting for an extended period in the middle of the night. I took the same dosage and ended up with some bloating and discomfort and then became more reactive to my food (inflamed shoulder joint); a little citrus didn’t go over well today (haven’t had an issue with citrus for a while now). Both my son and I are dealing with leaky gut. Should we try transdermal?

  76. Hi,
    I am low in magnesium. My blood levels 1.5-1.7 (normal range from 1.7). I have severe symptoms and have been in the ER several times to receive magnesium IV. I am on mag ox 400mg x 5 a day and it does not seem to help enough. I’m 32 weeks pregnant. Can you recommend anything that is also 100% safe during pregnancy? Obviously my levels being low is not safe for pregnancy. My worst symptoms is muscle spasms.
    Thanks very much!!

  77. Hey! I was just reading this post and I just found your website and I LOVE it! I have been so interested in health and although the beginning of my health food journey was filled with PUFAs and butter substitutes, I have learned ALOT from people’s blogs like these and all I can say is THANK YOU!! I have also been reading the book “Nourishing Traditions” by Sally Fallon and it has completely changed my life!
    One question on the magnesium: Do you think that Now Foods Magnesium Caps are a good magnesium supplement? I am looking into getting more magnesium in my diet and, unfortunately, I have an allergy to gluten so I cannot therefore eat the magnesium-rich grain. Thank you for you time and help!

  78. Do you need to take calcium supplement while taking Magnesium? I am on dairy free diet and I have started taking Natural Calm (1.5tsp a day). If yes, how much calcium do I need and whats the best form of calcium to take?

  79. I know this is an old post, and I’m here to learn more about mg supplementation, something I am doing for my son and myself. But Raine’s symptoms are consistent with low progesterone levels. A simple cream is available OTC to try and see if it helps. Best of luck to all…

  80. I have been using the magnesium spray for 2 months now, and just started noticing that I am getting little brown spots on my skin where the spray comes in contact with. WHAT is going on? Is this an issue with the liver detoxing?

  81. Oh. My. God! THANK YOU! I have terrible problems with menstrual cramps and PMS, and when I read your list of symptoms and saw it included insomnia, alarm bells started going off in my head. But here’s the best thing: I’d *never* eaten kale or chard in my life until last year. The first time I ever had it – it was organic, and fresh, and I cooked it myself – I slept LIKE A LOG afterwards. This is unheard of for me! I usually wake up several times every night, and never feel rested. I’m also always fatigued. (Oh – and I have melasma too, which I never thought was reversible!)

    I searched Google the next day, but coudln’t find any references to kale helping with sleep. However, now I read this (and yes, I cooked with chard recently too – with the same effect), I’m thinking it must be the magnesium! It sounds crazy to think one meal of it would have such an effect, but I’m veggie, and if I eat kale or chard, I eat a lot (it ‘shrinks’ so much during cooking, it’s easy to do!).

    I’ll be reading more of your articles and info on magnesium now – thank you so much for writing this! 🙂

  82. After reading many posts and article info, I’m just wondering how you have determined that you are in deed magnesium deficient. Any info would be helpful. Thanks.

  83. Pam
    I can’t thank you enough!!! I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and I couldn’t just accept there wasn’t a reason why my body was off whack. Major symptoms was insomnia, but more of muscle spams nonstop, every day, all day, all muscle groups. I started craving chocolate like crazy and I never crave sweets! For years I tried to get help for my exhaustion and muscle tightness that chronically hurts. All I ever got was it was stress and anxiety. I tried taking supplements but because I was on birth control pills for over 20 years I never saw any results except for loose stools. My Epsom salt baths were the only short term relief I could get. I quit my bc pills for months ago, started back on supplements and diet changes to all natural. The magnesium oil is my missing link!

  84. Pam
    I can’t thank you enough!!! I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and I couldn’t just accept there wasn’t a reason why my body was off whack. Major symptoms was insomnia, but more of muscle spams nonstop, every day, all day, all muscle groups. I started craving chocolate like crazy and I never crave sweets! For years I tried to get help for my exhaustion and muscle tightness that chronically hurts. All I ever got was it was stress and anxiety. I tried taking supplements but because I was on birth control pills for over 20 years I never saw any results except for loose stools. My Epsom salt baths were the only short term relief I could get. I quit my bc pills four months ago, started back on supplements and diet changes to all natural. The magnesium oil is my missing link!

    1. Pam – I too have fibro and arthritis pains AND officially undiagnosed except by my NAET practitioner, leaky gut. Birth control pills nuke your good intestinal flora – check out the GAPS or specific carbohydrate diet sites for information on that. This is one thing that Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride, the founder of the Gut and Psychology Syndrome or GAPS diet, attributes to the explosion of autism in our day – several generations of mothers who either used artificial contraception and/or used antibiotics – therefore their gut flora wasn’t adequate for the next generation and so forth, leading to the last person, the autistic, getting robbed the most of what their stomach/GI tract needed from mom. She has all the science to back it up.
      I have been taking Soloray Magnesium Asporotate which seemed to agree with me but to my horror this morning I saw that it has rice flour – even though I’ve been on a gluten free diet I am looking at least at migrating to Paleo while I try and work myself into GAPS or SCD or Body Ecology (the hardest one) but frankly making the yogurt and/or the cultured veggies is a hugely daunting thing to me. The one attempt we tried to make sauerkraut was a horrendous failure, and then Donna Gates and some of these guys charge so much for one thing of starter – cha ching!!! They’re definitely not out to help poor people with these problems. The foods that are required are generally only at health stores which means bring your sack of gold into the store please. I’ve oftentimes had the experience of one little tiny bag of food that is ‘legal’ costing me anywhere from fifty bucks to nearly 100. I guess compared to the pain and suffering cost shouldn’t be too much of a factor but we all do have to do what we can, I suppose.
      I have an adopted child with RAD and asperger’s syndrome – dual diagnosis -which is why I was looking into doing GAPS originally with her. However because of her attachment disorder, even though recently while I’ve been doing LENS neurofeedback on her and me (has helped us both a lot), she still isn’t at a point where I can keep her home and home school her, and doing one of those diets like Paleo, GaPS, SCD or Body Ecology is pretty much a full time no cheating proposition which becomes a bit overwhelming and seemingly insurmountable when you’ve been already through 9 years of fits and defiant behaviors. So..getting back to magnesium, I thank the blog here for bringing up the oil, etc because I have a suspicion that other supplements may also contain the grains, and my preliminary look at which is the ‘safe’ vitamin company for SCD I didn’t see a magnesium alone supplement right off the bat. My NAET practitioner also says just about everyone is deficient, and as I live in the pacific northwest, everyone up here is deficient in D as well. They work together to help your pain. Some people are doing what is considered ‘overdose’ therapy on Vitamin D and are getting great results with their fibro doing that. I saw a book on amazon about that but can’t remember the name. Anyway, check into that as well.

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  86. I recently decided to reintroduce fermented grains back into my diet after nearly 3 years on a low carb WAPF-Paleo hybrid diet (no grains/beans/potatoes, lots of saturated fat and fermented dairy, “natural” sugar replacement like Stevia). Part of what made me want to make the switch was reading all these articles cropping up about magnesium and zinc deficiency. I definitely have the symptoms of magnesium and zinc deficiency. My first year on WAPF-Paleo was great. My second year, I did go through maybe a month here and there of consuming some small quantities of refined wheat flour. This past year however I’ve been very strict. I’ve seen my overall health decline as a result. I’m not losing weight. Like you I’ve gotten into a pattern of intermittent fasting and simply don’t have an appetite. When I do, I’m not actually able to eat very much. And as soon as I eat, even high fat low carb meals, I get brain fog and feel like I’m having blood sugar crash symptoms, needing a nap. I just feel like my whole system is out of whack. I’m surprised that articles I’ve read suggesting why you should eat grains don’t mention things like Magnesium and Zinc as well as overall metabolic function. In fact, the biggest reason I would push for people to consider restrictive diets like Paleo as temporary “detox” diets is that we don’t fully understand human physiology. Some of the healthiest populations in human history, including the Swiss living in valleys mentioned in Weston A Price literature and a study published recently on working class populations in the UK in the 1830’s, thrived on a high grain diet. At least 50% of their diet came from fermented grains, yet they didn’t have the health issues that the Paleo school of thought claims. I think what’s happening is we’re forgetting the human body is an interdependent micro-cosmos. You can’t just completely demonize one thing and then eliminate it or drastically reduce it in ways that are inconsistent with human evolution. I love how the Paleo folks will cite the Eskimos or the Masai to validate an extreme low-carb diet for people of Western European descent. We don’t know the extent of the genetic differences… even Weston A. Price concluded that populations with well-balanced and less specialized diets were healthier and better off than cultures with extreme diets like the Masai. AND most Paleo people do NOT even come close to eating those types of specialized diets. One argument against the Vegan diet is that no traditional culture anywhere eats a diet like that. I can make the same argument about the way most people follow the Paleo diet (even with WAPF principles). What traditional culture makes brownies out of walnut meal or muffins out of coconut meal? Even for die hard fanatics, the food they eat is not consistent with hunter-gatherer foraging. It usually comes from a farm containing domesticated animals which goes hand in hand with agriculture. You can’t pick and choose and then target “carbs” or “gluten” as the devil when we barely understand the microcosmos of human physiology. Personally, I’ve noticed most people following WAPF principles WITH grains have a well balanced diet consistent with what people have eaten in traditional societies that were healthy. Personally I’ve decided to make the switch to an American and Western European diet that mimics what people were eating in the early 1800’s because a) we know what they ate and b) we know it worked. Anyways I’m sorry to ramble here, but I wanted to say I really appreciate your post on Magnesium deficiency because for me, recognizing my own deficiency in Magnesium is what started waking me up from the Paleo doctrine and forcing me to listen to the common sense of our great-great-grandparents.

    1. Thanks for your “ramble,” Augustina, it was very interesting! Do you by any chance have a link to the study you mentioned about workers in the 1830s in the UK? I would love to see information regarding their diet and health outcomes.

      Very glad to hear you are on the road to better and better balanced health with reintroducing fermented grains into your diet. All the best to you!

      1. The study is here, ironically I believe I found it from a Paleo blog, although I can’t remember which one:

        1. Fascinating reading! Thanks so much for coming back to share the link with me/us. : )

          The most telling thing from that study is something I have been thinking a lot about recently – most of us need to eat more calories. Only by eating significantly more than the 2,000-2,500 generalized recommendations for daily calorie intake can we hope to come even closer to the quantities of vitamins, minerals, micro and macro nutrients that we need. And, obviously, our food choices need to be generally whole food choices. It’s easy to eat 3,500 calories a day eating processed foods, because of their high sugar content. Much harder to eat 3,500 calories from whole foods.

          And, in concert with those increased calories, we have to move more. If we didn’t, we’d have all the nutrients but likely an unhealthy amount of weight gain as well. The only way to get all the nutrients and stay at a healthy weight is to eat more calories AND exercise/move more. Well, that’s the only ‘natural’ way… you can also eat less calories, exercise less, and supplement, but obviously that cannot be as ideal.

          Thanks so much as well, Augistina, for the link to the cook book!


      2. Here is an article linked in that first one with a more detailed breakdown of what the weekly diet would look like:

        The first article mentions “whole grains” but suggests their diet might mimic a “Paleolithic diet”. Their diet did not mimic a “Paleolithic diet” because they ate beans and grains, I think that comment may be politically charged. There are a number of cookbooks from the time period, one in particular I really that’s free called “A Plain Cookery for the Working Class” That one is published in the UK during the time period mentioned in these studies. Most cookbooks from that period targeted middle class, but this one really stands out as being targeted for working class. There is heavy use of grains and beans in that cookbook and the recipes outlined are consistent with the diet described in these papers.

  87. I was wondering if your stomach growls and grumbles more since taking more magnesium? Ever since I started drinking the Natural Calm, my stomach makes crazy noises. Is it just me???

    1. Mine does the same thing. When you are taking more magnesium than you can absorb, the extra magnesium will irritate your GI tract, and you body will do what it needs to do to expel the extra magnesium, but drawing extra water into the bowels – aka – loose stools, aka diarrhea. Many people have this problem with magnesium supplements. You might find that magnesium lotion is a better option for you. It tingles and stings for about 20 minutes, but then it goes away. I’m also getting magnesium IV therapy from my integrative doctor.

  88. I was using the spray on magnesium every night for a couple weeks… I think I overdid it, because I actually made myself really sick from it. Like insane diarrhea for a week afterwards!! I’ve been too scared to try it again for fear of that happening. Even though I have some of those symptoms, I thought my body was rejecting the magnesium, so it must have enough?

    1. You’re right about magnesium having a laxative affect! That doesn’t mean you don’t need it, though. Magnesium by nature does that, which is why it is difficult to supplement. I would recommend starting the magnesium spray again, but at a lower dose. Start with one spray on, say, an arm, or neck before you go to bed at night. See how that goes, and then work up to maybe three sprays a day. Most minerals and vitamins are more easily absorbed in lower quantities anyway.


  89. I have been lchf for thee months and just experienced cramps in my feet and flutters in my upper GI. No appetite either. I was doing the bullet coffee every morning. I don’t like the altered heart beats at all. So I have cut out the coffee and doing mag oil and drinking the Calm for several days now. Hope this all works soon. Scary stuff.

  90. I just recently, about two months ago started taking vitamin E, C and B12 along with a calcium magnesium, vita D supplement. I am loosing the spare tire around my middle, my stools are more normal, I suffered form constipation and hard stools, I also am sleeping better, I also drank wine every night and ate chocolate, I no longer crave them and had to make myself have a glass the other night…I thought it was due to my new meditation routine, but my hair and nails are healthier also, after reading this article I can see that it is from the magnesium. I was hypoglycemic too, but never feel that weird feeling it gave me any more and I am ravenous in the am and afternoon now….I thank you for sharing this article…

  91. Pingback: How to Prevent Kidney Stones Naturally | Ancestralize Me!
  92. About those stupid, distrustful Americans who make their water soft by filtering it…

    We live in Manhattan, if you turn on the tap here, you will see a cloudy, sometimes brown liquid that is insanely soft — it is very hard to get your hands dry. Plus the fluoride literally stinks. Of course I do not trust that. Some of our neighbors have gallons of drinking water delivered to their door.

    I moved here from Germany, so I have experienced water that at least was not poisoned with fluoride.

  93. Thank you for a wonderful article that explains so thoroughly this issue! I too have very low energy, low b12 and iron, spasms and cold hands and feet. I definitely will take magnesium, I think the oil will work best for me. I am confused though about what you mentioned that our ancestors got their minerals from stream waters rivers and lakes, this is an issue I am trying to learn and understand about, since much has been said that the best water is water that does not have any minerals in it, and that unorganic minerals (such found in water) cannot be absorbed in the body and the body stores them as waste. The only minerals the body can utilize are minerals that our found in food, i.e. organic minerals (fruits and vegetables), so I was wondering what is the right approach to drinking water? I do use a distiller that gives pure H2o, and that is what I am drinking, but do I need to add minerals to it? I would thank anyone who can clarify this confusing issue!

  94. Im curious as to how you discovered the three supplements you take which have magnesium? Why not take magnesium on its own? Why a multi vitamin?

    Whats the best form of magnesium compound and do you have recommended brands?

    Ive been diagnosed with vestibular migraine with anxiety and depression. A lot of articles on the net says that MAgnesium deficiency could be the cause. I want to try magnesium but im confused bec there are so many kinds and a lot of them are not really safe to be taken.

    So far from research magnesium taurate, Magnesium threonate are recommended. What are your thoughts?

    Thank you!

  95. Certain magnesium supplements cause more bowel problems. Magnesium Citrate seems to be the WORST. Magnesium Oxide seems to be the least bothersome. But if you are taking LOTS (like I am – my body doesn’t “hold onto it”!), then a variety is best. Best not to take magnesium with Vitamin C. But if you can take it multiple times a day, then it isn’t so prone to causing “issues.” At night is a good time to “load up” – to a point. It relaxes you and helps you sleep. Taking calcium and D3 along with Magnesium at night is a great combo. (You can buy some combos of that mixture.) I wake up and have a comfortable BM every morning.

  96. Great site…I had no idea how long the list was when it came to magnesium deficiency…SIDS is one thing listed…in 1981 we lost a little girl to SIDS…maybe it was a deficiency in Magnesium that caused her death.

  97. First , would like to thank you for explaining it in simple terms . Many people are not aware about magnesium deficiency . In fact there are not many tests as well . I do have most of symptoms , will definitely try magnesium supplement . Kindly let me know , what form of magnesium are you taking ? magnesium oxide or magnesium citrate or other form . If possible mention the brand as well .

  98. I would really like to know about your follow up on this article. I have so many medical problems on your list that it has made me curious as to how you are doing. It may help me quite a bit if I started raising my magnesium level. Part of that is I am starting to use magnesium deodorant made at home with essential oils. I would love to hear from you, and see how you are doing.

  99. We sound like we have punished our bodies, in the exact same way! It’s nothing to be proud of but it’s nice to know that I’m not alone. For YEARS, I fasted because I thought I was going to help me lose weight. Boy, was I wrong! I have drank coffee and energy drinks for over 15 years and I still smoke cigarettes. It’s a viscous cycle because if I stop any of the above mentioned, I get unbearable headaches. My adrenals are exhausted and so am I. Uggggh. I’m 40 years old and feel like I’m 90.

    I don’t believe in confidences, I truly feel that I stumbled upon your site for a reason. I’m going to purchase the magnesium flakes tomorrow and am going to start Feverfew to help decrease the headaches. Headaches have been a constant in my life for over 20 years and I’m at the end of my rope. I’ve tried every over the counter/prescription Rx, MRI, CT scan, blood/allergy tests, and ultrasound possible. Not one doctor has been able to help me, not one. Everything aggravates it and makes it 10x worse (gluten, hot weather, MSG, sleeping weird, basically EVERYTHING I do, seems to make it worse). It’s robbed the quantity of my life and at times, makes me not want to be alive. I’m not attempting to gain sympathy, just being honest. I’m *super* excited to try the forms of magnesium you have tried!

    Question….Does anyone else have experience with terrible headaches? If so, what seems to help you? I’ve been told that they’re “Tension” type headaches but it also gets much worse if I don’t eat enough or am in the heat. I would greatly appreciate any advice.

    I am deeply grateful to Amy for taking the time to create this wonderful site, with no other interest, other than to help people!

    Here’s to improved health and vitality! 🙂

  100. Hi, I've recently found out that I am hypoglycemic, and I've been trying to eat a bit more in order to keep up with it, are there any certain snacky foods that you'd recommend for this kind of thing? I've had trouble finding snacks that help.

  101. Thank you for sharing this information. I never thought how nutritious bone broth is. I've been drinking Au Bon Broth for some time now and it did improve my health.

  102. As adequate magnesium intake is a necessity in a fully functioning, healthy body I am not against supplementation.

    What I DO NOT understand is why people rely on supplements before first trying to fine tune their magnesium-lacking diets. There are MANY <a href=”” title=”magnesium rich foods”>magnesium rich foods</a> for you to give a try. Unless we are talking about severe cases, or cases where changing the diet is impossible, introducing few of these magnesium rich sources should be more than adequate to fix any magnesium deficiency symptoms.

    Those were my two cents.

    1. Somehow, hypertext links do not seem to work. What I meant to link was the following, sample site:

      Sorry for the double-post, the site won't let me edit.

      1. Thanks! I had to disable links on my comments a while back because I got attacked by comment spammers. Had to spend several months deleting 80,000 spam comments.

        I'm looking into switching to Disqus – just still researching.

  103. I stopped drinking milk, and eating gluten,for about a year – I replaced the nutrients from other sources.

    I actually got deficient in many vitamins, and became quite ill. Some day, the people who promote these fad diets will be exposed. The things they say will make you better, are actually the things causing your problems

  104. I just couldn't depart your web site before suggesting that I actually loved the usual information an individual provide to your guests? Is gonna be back regularly to check up on new posts

  105. Have you heard about a mother losing a child to her parents for no reason?

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