Magnesium Supplementation and PPCM
Magnesium is indisputably essential for the proper functioning of the heart, calming the nervous system and relaxing the body. It was first shown to be beneficial to the treatment of cardiac arrhythmias in 1935 and also reduces blood pressure. Since then, there has been numerous studies showing that magnesium is beneficial for many types of arrhythmias including atrial fibrillation, ventricular premature contractions, ventricular tachycardia, and severe ventricular arrhythmias. Magnesium supplementation is also helpful in angina due to either a spasm of the coronary artery or atherosclerosis.
Heart palpitations generally clear up on a dosage of 500mg of magnesium citrate, taken once or twice daily.
Magnesium has numerous benefits including;
- improving learning and memory
- beneficial for treating insomnia, depression, migranes and anxiety
- strong bones
- lowering blood pressure
- enzyme function
- detoxifies the body
Why am I low in magnesium?
Most people get insufficient magnesium in their diets due to a diet high in processed food and lower magnesium in the soil. The use of pesticides and artificial fertilizers, dramatically reduce vitamin and mineral content in the food and processing into refined oils, refined grains and refined sugars, reduces the magnesium content in foods to almost zero. In 2004, the Journal of the American College of Nutrition released a study which compared nutrient content of crops at that time with 1950 levels. Declines were found as high as 40%.
Pregnancy uses up magnesium which is used by every organ in the body; in particular the heart, muscles, and kidneys. Teeth and bones also require magnesium and it activates enzymes, contributes to energy production, and helps regulate calcium levels, as well as copper, zinc, potassium, vitamin D, and other important nutrients in the body.
Diuretics (water pills) given to women with PPCM to remove excess fluid from the body, can lower magnesium levels and for this reason, it is a good idea to supplement with magnesium. There is also a link between magnesium deficiency and preeclampsia, eclampsia, and high blood pressure. So, if you had any of these diseases during pregnancy, it may have been a sign that you were low in magnesium.
Unfortunately, according to Dr. Mercola "There is no lab test that will give you a truly accurate reading of the magnesium status in your tissues." Especially unfortunate, since magnesium deficiency can lead to serious illness. Some early signs of magnesium deficiency to keep an eye out for include:
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Fatigue and weakness
Food sources of magnesium include, dark chocolate, whole grains, nuts, and green vegetables, particularly green leafy vegetbles but food sources may not be sufficient to address deficiencies, and especially for those recovering from PPCM, and supplementation may be highly advisable.
There are many types of magnesium supplements. Some are better absorbed by the body than others. eg Magnesium citrate is better absorbed than the cheaper magnesium oxides. Other forms of magnesium include magnesium aspartate, citrate, glycinate, or malate. However, it is also important to eliminate refined sugar (processed foods) and alcohol from your diet, because these things interfere with your absorption of magnesium and not only contain zero magnesium but also causes the body to excrete magnesium through the kidneys. A natural, low salt, magnesium rich plant based diet is the most beneficial for anyone recovering from heart disease. It is important to avoid taking magnesium supplements with calcium because the calcium will compete with magnesium in the body and cancel out the effectiveness.
Another way of obtaining magnesium is by using magnesium oil, which is simply sprayed on the skin and absorbed by the body. Magnesium oil is the quickest and most convenient way to transmit magnesium chloride into the cells and tissues through the skin and is simply a solution of magnesium chloride.
Additionally, juicing green leafy vegetables provides a highly absorbable form of magnesium and combined with a balanced, wholefood diet, would add to any magnesium supplementation regime.
Stress and Magnesium
In studies, adrenaline and cortisol, byproducts of the “fight or flight” reaction associated with stress and anxiety, were associated with decreased magnesium. It is really important that you conserve your magnesium levels by adopting a stress free life and remove all stresses, including emotional and environmental stresses from your life.
Too much magnesium can cause nausea, cramps and diarrhea. If this occurs, reduce or split the dosage or take your magnesium supplements with food. Alternatively, use magnesium oil.
Overdose. Signs of a magnesium overdose can include nausea, diarrhea, low blood pressure, muscle weakness, and fatigue. At very high doses, magnesium can be fatal. It is very unlikely that you can overdose on magnesium. Some of the healthiest nations on earth have a diet that well exceeds the recommended daily requirements of magnesium. Oral magnesium supplements as low as 120 mg/day and as high as 1920 mg/day have been reported to safely control symptoms of magnesium deficiency, even in people with high genetic magnesium loss. However, more is not necessarily better and a dose between 400-700mg generally works for most people and gauging how you feel is a good way of working out the dose that is right for you.
Disclaimer: This article is written for information purposes. We encourage you to consult with health care professionals to obtain individual medical advice. A number of heart sisters have reported positive outcomes with eliminating palpitations by using magnesium supplements.