Loading...
 
Translate Register Log In Login with facebookLogin and Register

Magnesium and vitamin D discussions on Facebook

See also VitaminDWiki

When hunting for information about interactions between vitamin D and Magnesium ran across the following On Facebook

138 Posts From 2010 to Spring 2011

Ann Elisabeth Nordbø

I'm starting this thread for another user here.
Basically, if you take vitamin D, you need magnesium. And probably even if you don't.
So, Elaine, here's your soapbox!

Elaine Fleeman

Thank You Ann. I wish Facebook would let me start my own topic, but for some reason it is malfunctioning.
I have had a bad experience with vitamin D because I did not know that I was magnesium deficient. I had severe muscle spasms to the point where I could not walk one day and even sitting or walking was painful. I had heart palpitations, memory loss, anxiety attacks, high blood pressure, changes to my bones and numerous other scary signs. It took a lot of research to figure out that the vitamin D was making the magnesium deficiency problem worse.
What is scarier is that magnesium deficiency can cause hypertension which in turn can cause strokes, heart failure and heart attacks. It can also cause irregular heartbeat (cardiac arrhythmia- also potentially life threatening), anxiety, osteoporosis (even if you have plenty of vitamin D and calcium) , headaches, muscle spasms, generalized pain and fibromyalgia like symptoms, depression, insomnia, and has been linked to diabetes and asthma. There are numerous other signs, as magnesium is found in nearly every tissue in the body, though most is in the bones and muscles. It is involved in over 300 biochemical reactions in the body. Every organ in the body — especially the heart, muscles, and kidneys — needs the mineral magnesium. It also contributes to the makeup of teeth and bones. Most important, 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.
Unfortunately, if you do not know you are deficient and take large amounts of vitamin D, you can potentially have some serious medical problems the way I did. Don't get me wrong - vitamin D is great stuff. You just have to be very careful with it because it increases calcium uptake from the intestines and the calcium magnesium balance in the body can be severely upset, especially if you were magnesium deficient to start with. Unfortunately, serum magnesium doesn't tell the doctor much because most magnesium is inside the cells. The tests that tell more, like a magnesium loading test, are more expensive and time consuming. They may be worth it if you are having some bad symptoms however.
Also, magnesium supplements are not created equal. The most common ones on the market are magesium oxide, which is pretty worthless, as it does not dissolve and is thus not available to the body. I am taking magnesium malate, which seems to help, though I have heard that magnesium lactate and citrate also work well.
Also, understand that you lose more magnesium under certain conditions, such as when stressed or have been exercising quite a bit. Some medications, such as diuretics, can also make you lose more magnesium. You may need to take more than the 400 mg. per day that is normally recommended. Some now beleive that taking vitamin D also increases the body's need for magnesium.
I just want to caution all those taking vitamin D to talk to your doctor about having your magnesium checked,and also eat magnesium rich foods (like nuts, beans, seeds, leafy vegetables) and possibly take a magnesium supplement as well.

http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/magnesium-000313.htm
http://www.mbschachter.com/importance_of_magnesium_to_human.htm
http://magnesiumrichfoods.com/
http://www.buzzle.com/articles/magnesium-deficiency-symptoms.html

Ann Elisabeth Nordbø

I take about 700mg per day these days, and have taken 800mg earlier, though sometimes I'd forget one dosage. And I'm not taking too much! I should probably take more - maybe switch brands.

Elaine Fleeman

I am taking 400 mg. per day of elemental magnesium. Always check to see how mcuh elemental magnesium. For example my bottle of magnesium malate says "Magnesium Malate - 1,300 mg, but only 200 mg. are the actual elemental magnesium. The rest is the malate, which helps you to ablsorb the magnesium.
I am not taking the vitamin D for right now. I was told to go off of that for a while until I got the magnesium deficiency corrected. I feel SO much better now. I am still having some muscle spasms and a few heart palpitations after a month on the magnesium spupplements, but I was told that it would take at least two months and my life is so much better that I can not beleive it! I think that I will only go back on the vitamin D in the fall when I am getting less sun and I don't think that I will do the 5,000 IU . I think I will keep it to 2,000 IU.
I found it interesting that some of the symptoms of vitamin D overdose are the same as magnesium deficiency. When the level of vitamin D increases in the body, it also raises the level of calcium in blood. Hypercalcemia, along with the relative magnesium deficiency, is responsible for producing most of the symptoms of vitamin D toxicity. The early vitamin D toxicity symptoms include, gastrointestinal disorders like anorexia, diarrhea, constipation, nausea and vomiting. Bone pain, drowsiness, continuous headache, irregular heart beat, loss of appetite, muscle and joint pain are some other early symptoms that are likely to appear later on in more severe cases.

John W. Bleich

I take 900 mg. Mag Citrate a day, and have for about five years now. Also take 5000 IU Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol) a day.A good way to do a safe Magnesium load is to take 6 capsules the 1st night. Then add one additional capsule per night until you start having loose bowels. Then cut back one per night until the loose bowels subside. That's why I'm on 900 mg. of elemental magnesium per day.900 mg. was the balancing point.

Elaine Fleeman

I hope that someday I can work back up to 5,00 IU of vitamin D a day. It is going to be a while though I think until I get this deficiency taken care of. Thanks for your input. I do wonder how magnesium citrate compares with magnesium lactate and malate for absorption and bioavailability. Anyone know?

Ann Elisabeth Nordbø

In Norway, thanks to a guy who's really up on supplements (he's studied orthomolecular medicine), we've been told that we can take more vitamin D, provided we take enough magnesium. He came into the picture early enough, hopefully almost 100 % of us do this.

Elaine Fleeman

I would urge people to get the calcium and magnesium checked before going on the 5,000 IU's of vitamin D per day. I was taking just 1,000 IU's for about a year and then went to 2,000 IU's for about a month. After seeing on the Vitaimn D Council web site that 5,000 IU's should be safe, I found a bottle of 5,000 IU vitaimn D and took one a day for about 10 or 11 days. (I was not getting any sun at the time) That seemed to be the trigger for the major problems that I described above. I believe that I was chronically magnesium depleted, probably a low grade deficiency, and, though I had some minor issues, I was funcitional until I started on the higher levels of vitaimn D. By early April I was having major problems and had to cancel a trip because I was in excruciating pain and could not walk. Also my heart was racing and I was begining to get really worried. I tried to get an appointment with the doctor, but they had none available for a couple of weeks. However, in all my previous contacts with doctors about problems that I now believe were related to the magnesium deficiency, no one ever mentioned magnesium, so it wouldn't have mattered if I had gotten an appoinment. They did blood work, which does not usually show magnesium levels, and pronounced me to be just fine. The orthopedic surgeon also took x-rays of my back and gave me anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxants and a booklet of back exercises.
That was when I started doing some research and figured out what my problem was. If you are taking magnesium and not having problems with the vitaimin D, good. It still might be a good idea to get your calcium and magnesium checked along with the vitamin D levels every year or so to be sure that there is not a problem with long term usage of the vtiamn D and you are not getting a hypercalcemia or hypomagnesiumemia.

Ann Elisabeth Nordbø

You're making this more complicated than it is, Elaine. Rule of thumb: If you're taking vitamin D, get as much magnesium as you can handle, up to about 1000mg for an adult. And even if you don't consciously take vitamin D, cod liver oil and multi vitamins or sun may exacerbate magnesium deficiency, so take it anyway.

Elaine Fleeman

Yes, I know it is complicated. The human body is very complicated. The Vitamin D council already recommends having the vitamin D levels checked, so it really is not any more difficult to have the lab add on the magnesium and calcium levels.
I believe this to be very important. Simply taking magnesium may not be the cure-all. Some people, such as those with kidney disease should not take magnesium as it can builld up and cause other problems. Other people may not, for a variety of reasons, absorb the magnesium well. They may think, as I did, that they are getting plenty of magnesium, only to find out later that they were not. It was not until I started having major problems that I did some research and discovered that the magnesium oxide that I was taking does not get absorbed, so I was not getting much, if any, magnesium from it. Others may have malabsorption problems. If someone is not absorbing the magnesium and the levels keep going down over the years, the problems can arise very slowly and not be understood to be related to taking the vitamin D, which is absorbed better because it is fat soluble. If the levels get too low, a person can wind up with high blood pressure (for which the doctor might prescribe a diuretic, which causes even more magnesium to be lost) and eventually have a stroke or heart attack or other major problems. Also, things can change in your body after 10 or 20 years. What is o.k. now may not be o.k. in 10 or 20 years. Remember that your body does not get rid of excess vitamin D the way it does vitamin C or the B vitaimns. Vitamin D is stored in your body and can build up over time.
The list of potential pitfalls is very large, and as I noted above some of the problems can be life threatening. If this weren't so, I wouldn't be on this soapbox. Because what you don't know can kill you.

Ann Elisabeth Nordbø

The reason I'm telling you that you're making this too complicated, is that for a majority - your body will keep you apprised if the balance is about right. Then, if something doesn't seem right - test.

Doug Graver

Eliminate ALL processed foods from your diet, especially trans-fats (look for the absence of partially-hydrogenated in the ingredients to be sure).
I prefer eating the basic, real foods that contain the important Vitamin D co-factors Vs. taking manufactured supplements. We evolved to absorb these nutrients from food. Yes, we also evolved to get our Vitamin D from the sun, I know.
When white flour is processed, the magnesium rich germ and bran are removed. Bread made from whole grain wheat flour provides more magnesium than bread made from white refined flour.
Green vegetables such as spinach are good sources of magnesium. Black beans, pumpkin seeds and spinach are also rich sources of magnesium.
Foods high in vitamin K2
• Natto
• Hard cheese
• Soft cheese
• Egg yolk
• Butter
• Chicken liver
• Salami
• Chicken breast
• Grass-fed beef (not found in most mainstream grocery stores).
I get my K2 from raw, whole milk from cows that eat grass (NOT corn!)
Whenever possible, choose meat and dairy from animals that graze in pastures (eat grass). Get your eggs from pasture-raised chickens who eat bugs, grubs and grass. Fruits and veggies grown truly organic and using sustainable practices are generally richer in vitamins and minerals.
If you haven't seen the movie 'Food, Inc.' I recommend it highly!
Also, the book 'Real Food - What to Eat and Why' by Nina Planck is excellent.
While Vitamin D3 changed my life, changing my diet as described above has helped by providing me with the important Vitamin D3 co-factors in the most natural way possible.

Ann Elisabeth Nordbø

Umm, Doug. In Sweden, there is no magnesium in the soil anymore. I doubt Norway is any better. So over here, we absolutely need supplements.

Elaine Fleeman

Ann: I would still recommend testing for vitamin D, calcium and magnesium levels before starting on the 5,000 IU of vitamin D and again every year or two. For the majority, you are probably right - if you just blindly take the vitamin D and magnesium (as long as it is not magnesium oxide) you will probably be o.k. However, there is a minority that will not be o.k., and as I have said repeatedly, it can be life threatening. The supplements can do a lot of good, but in some cases they can also really screw someone up and possibly kill them. I had no idea that I was in the minority and that taking vitamin D would cause the major problems that it did, and I thought I was being very cautious. I only took 1,000 IU for a year, then raised it to 2,000 IU for a month, and took 5,000 IU for ony 10 or 11 days before being having severe problems. I just really don't think that it is a good idea to be popping pill without knowing what they are really doing to your body. Remember vitamin D is a hormone and as such regulates a lot of stuff in the body. Artificially raising the levels for long periods of time can severely upset the balance in the body. Personally, I don't want to mess up my health again. I still say better safe than sorry.

Ann Elisabeth Nordbø

I always tell people they need to know certain things in their body are functioning well before they start taking the supplements. I believe in trying to lower the difficulty of doing this. It's difficult enough OBTAINING the stuff in Norway, and most of our docs don't have a clue. If I were to tell them they'd need a number of tests I don't even know can be had in Norway, the rate of follow through would sink to zero. It's bad enough already, due to our difficulties.
Bottom line, I think you're flat out wrong that everybody needs to do what you suggest.

Elaine Fleeman

I think it is different here in the U.S The tests are not that difficult to obtain, and as I said before, the vitamin D council already recommends getting the vitamin D levels tested. It is being done more routinely here and adding on calcium and magnesium levels are just not that hard. So, maybe the difference is the difference in the health systems in Norway and the U.S.

Ann Elisabeth Nordbø

If you read more carefully, you'll see that the vitamin D levels are recommended after having taken supplements for a while. 25 Hydroxytests are easily available in most of Norway, provided you can get the doc to cooperate. That either takes a doc who knows about vitamin D, a doc with a good disposition, or a patient with enough knowledge, he or she can get their way, even if the doc has no clue. In Norway, clueless docs often hinder patients from getting the care they need.

Elaine Fleeman

I have dealt with clueless docs myself. It can be frustrating.
So, then education about side effects and close self monitoring may be the best that can be done. Do you have access to home blood pressure monitors? They are sold in most pharmacies here and are inexpensive and easy to use. Ceratainly if anyone has a sudden rise in blood pressure (take several measurements over a couple of days and average them - keep a log so that you can see trends) they should reduce or stop the vitamin D. It can be an early sign of hypercalcemia or hypomagnesiumemia. Also, muscle spasms and cramps can be a sign that the calcium is too high relative to the magnesium and the vitamin D may need to be reduced.
Keeping a watch for other signs of electolyte imbalance can also help. For example high calcium levels (from too much vitamin D or too little magnesium) can cause anorexia, vomiting, weakness, nervousness, itching, thirst and increased urination, calcification of various organs and, in severe cases, renal failure. Too much magnesium in the blood, usually caused by renal failure has the following symptoms: low blood pressure, respiratory depression, and cardiac arrest.
Would the doctors there be amenable to checking kidney function (usually a simple SUN and creatinine in a routine blood panel here is enough) every couple of years? As I said if kidney function is impaired, magnesium supplementation is not recommended as the magnesium can build up to toxic levels quickly. The kidneys are the main route that excess magnesium is eliminated from the body.
Always be sure that your health care provider knows about the supplements. There can be some drug interactions. For example vitamin D has interactions with aluminum (found in some antacids), Digoxin, Calcipotriene, Verapamil , Diltiazem, heparin, Tagamet, and thiazide diuretics. Magnesium also has some drug interactions, including some antibiotics, bisphosphonates, some muscle relaxants, blood pressure medications and some diuretics. It is very important to know if there are any other drugs that you are taking that could interact with the vitamin D or magnesium supplements.
I guess sometimes you have to work with the system you have and try to do as much as you can yourself. We may come to the same point here in a few years when Obamacare kicks in and we will have, I'm sure, rationing of health care and lab tests. We may not be able then to get the tests we really need to effectively monitor our vitamn D, calcium and magnesium levels.

Doug Graver

I am sorry to hear about the situation with soil depletion in Sweden.
I was fortunate to have spent a few years addressing my health issues with improved diet (eliminating processed foods) before discovering Vitamin D3 insufficiency was the root cause of my chronic health problems, so I was eating quite a healthy variety of food already.
I found it easy to convince my physician to authorize a 25(OH)D blood test, and he was intrigued by my Vitamin D insufficiency theory enough to look into it all himself (he is now a believer). He also had no hesitation to add a calcium level test at the time I was getting a 1-year follow-up 25(OH)D test to confirm my adjusted dosage, and my calcium level was 8.9 at that time.
I'm fairly confident that the foods I am eating on a regular basis are giving me sufficient amounts of magnesium, but I'm coming up on my 2nd anniversary of starting Vitamin D3 supplementation and I suppose it certainly would not hurt to get a magnesium test too.
Thank you all for bringing light to this issue. Don't forget to also get enough Vitamin K2! Take t!!he time to read about the life work of Weston A. Price
Doug Graver
Re: " We may come to the same point here in a few years when Obamacare kicks in and we will have, I'm sure, rationing of health care and lab tests. We may not be able then to get the tests we really need to effectively monitor our vitamn D, calcium and magnesium levels."
That cannot happen if we inform our Reps. and Senators of how 25(OH)D sufficiency reduces the incidence of chronic, expensive-to-treat diseases. I believe that treating Vitamin D insufficiency could soon prove to have a compellingly high return on investment.

Elaine Fleeman

One can only hope...

Rebecca DeCastell

if you look online at Purity products.com they sell a vit D w/magnesium that is an xcellent product. They also sell a product called Magneficient magnesium, that is magnesium citrate 205 mg total. If you look at the entire line of purity products they add vit d too all there supplements. I personally take 7.500 units of vit d per day, and a total of 323 mg of magnesium per day in addition to the 7,500 units of vit d. I also eats beans and nuts every day. I have never experienced a adverse side effect.

Elaine Fleeman

Thanks for the information. I'll look at that. I have learned a lot about the vitamin D and magnesium connection lately and I'm always looking for more info. I wish I could figure out which kind of magnesium is absorbed best. I think either magnesium malate or citrate from what I can see.

Christian Martinez

Elaine, thanks for your posts. Your story is not entirely unfamiliar to me...I'm gonna get all my levels checked

Doug Graver

I have no doubt that getting sufficient minerals in one's diet is nutritionally essential for all sorts of reasons, but I have grown quite skeptical of using dietary supplements. The more I look into this the more I believe in the importance of getting minerals through real food ("real food" means no processed food — the typical grocery store is 95%+ processed food). I am also concerned about the quality and safety of supplements (incl. my D3). I recommend searching google using phrases such as, "foods rich in magnesium" Not surprisingly, whole wheat flour is high in magnesium (white flour is a prime example of processed food), but try to find true whole wheat bread in the grocery store. Most bread claiming to be "whole wheat" has many processed ingredients and only a token amount of true whole wheat flour. I have increased my consumption of nuts and beans to increase mineral intake. I eat greens and other veggies for calcium and K2. And, whenever possible, I buy food from local organic farmers who understand the connection between healthy soil and healthy food. The only dietary supplement I take anymore is Vitamin D3 because where I live I simply cannot get enough of it naturally.

Elaine Fleeman

I don't know if you have a Trader Joe's where you live, but they have some great whole grain breads. I put almonds on my granola every morning and eat a few sunflower seeds later in the day as well. I try to have spinach salad later in the day and beans, halibut and other foods high in magnesium. Anything that is the seed of a plant tends ot have a relatively high magnesium level as do the leafy greens. This is because the chlorophyll molecule has magnsium in it. The seeds (beans, nuts, whole grains, etc.) store the magnesium so that the embryonic plant can start manufacturing chlorophyll immediately and begin photosynthesis. Thus, anything with lots of chlorophyll (the deeper the green the better) or that is the seed of a plant should be high in magnesium.
I get my magnesium malate from the health food sore and it is organic. Malic acid (malate) is found in apples and other fruit. It seems to help the absorption of magnesium, so I try to have an apple a day as well. It also seems to help the body to get rid of aluminum, which can have deleterious effects on the body.
If a person is very deficient in magnesium, as I was, supplementation is required for a while at least to get magnesium levels back to normal. You just can not do it with food alone. I still have muscle twitching occasionally and if I am out in the sun a lot (and at this time of year the sun is very strong) I get some muscle cramping, so I am still trying to get my levels of magnesium up. It is not easy. I also saw on one web site that soaking in epsom salt can help. Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate and it apparently can be absorbed through the skin. I have tried it occasionally, but it takes a lot of time, so it does not get done as much as it should.

Christian Martinez

So Elaine, How do you think you became magnesium deficient in the first place? Was it just a matter of diet?

Elaine Fleeman

I think so. Though I thought I was eating a relativlely healthy diet, there was a fair amount of processed food in there. I have noticed some symptoms ever since my third child was born, so I think that the three pregnancies may have been part of the reason for the depletion, as the nutrients always go the the developing baby first and the mother gets what is left over. I think it was chronic, the result of many, many years of just not getting the minerals I thought I was getting in my diet. I thought that taking a vitamin/mineral supplement along with what I thought was a healthy diet would surely take care of any deficiencies. Wrong! The supplement I was taking, as with most supplements, used magnesium oxide, which is just not very bioavailable at all (I really don't know why they even sell the stuff except that it is cheap) and it lulled me into a false sense of security. I had no idea how bad it was until I started taking the vitamin d supplement and then I had major problems that the doctors had no answers for. I had to do the research on my own to figure out what was going on. I am so thankful for the internet! It is so nice to have so much information available to help you. No one really talks about magnesium deficiency much - the doctors don't seem to have a clue that it can be such a major problem.
Personally I think that, along with vitamin D, magnesium is probably the most ignored dificiency in America and the implications are HUGE! Some studies indicate that a magnesium deficiency can contribute to high blood pressure (which can lead to strokes and heart failure) and heart attacks (magnesium helps to break down blood clots - if they are not broken down quickly in a coronary atery it can cause a heart attack). That alone should be sufficient reason to watch the magnesium intake. I also beleive that the epidemic of osteoporosis may be in part due to chronic vitamin D and magnesium deficiency. I would bet that if doctors were more vigilant in watching those two things we could greatly reduce osteoporosis, heart attacks, stroke, and several other major health problems. Magnesium is involved in over 200 reactions in the body - just about every cell in the body requires magnesium for a chemical raction.

Ann Elisabeth Nordbø

Depletion of magnesium in the soil is probably part of the reason of the deficiency.

Elaine Fleeman

Very likely. We have farmed the soils for many decaades and just used artificial fertilizers that don't add any magnesium or other minerals back to the soil.
Discussion Board

Ann Elisabeth Nordbø

Love this video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUWL1o2hSrs
He recommends 400-1000mg per day, for Americans!
But this is so much MORE information about magnesium, I've already watched it several times, because he talks FAST!

Elaine Fleeman

Good posts. Thanks for the information. Ann- the youtube video is great. You are right. He talks fast. Lots of info. there though. I think the main point is that we all need to limit sugar, alcohol and even coffee ( this one makes me sad - I LOVE good coffee), and eat whole grains, nuts and leafy green vegetables. Also, add buckwheat to your pancake mix or other baked goods. It is veryhigh in Magnesium and other good stuff. A healthy balanced diet and a bit of extra magnesium supplementation (because as Ann has popinted out, there is likely a depletion of magnesium in the soil in which the crops are grown) can go a long ways toward a healthier life.

Lisa Flaherty Lohsl

where can I buy a good Magnesium supplemant?

Elaine Fleeman

I buy mine at a health food store here in town. Some health food stores only have magnesuim oxide. Do not buy it. It is worthless. Magnesium malate or citrate seems to work well. My daughter uses the magnesium citrate because the magnesium malate pills are large and she has a hard time swallowing them. The magnesium citrate that we get is a powder made by NOW brand and can be mixed into food or drink.
There are also many places online. Amazon has magnesium supplements. Just google the supplement that you want and you should come up with several sites. For the NOW magnesium ctirate for instance, Google comes up with 39 sellers.

Ann Elisabeth Nordbø

Although I still take a few capsules, I no longer rely on them to be enough. I use magnesium oil transdermally. Epsom salts are also good. Research transdermal magnesium.
Especially for you, Elaine, as it doesn't go through your gut. You can get both vitamin D and magnesium through the skin.
Elaine Fleeman
Thanks for the advice. I'll look into it. I had heard of epsom salts being absorbed transdermally. It requires a long time of soaking in a bath from what I understand.

Ann Elisabeth Nordbø

Read up on it - probably around 20-30 minutes. But magnesium oil (magnesium chloride) is a good alternative if you don't have a bathtub. Footbaths can be done with either epsom salts (magnesium sulphate) or magnesium chloride. I also found a story about a woman who had severe symptoms of magnesium deficiency (she thought she had chronic fatigue syndrome). During her research she came across magnesium deficiency. She then went to the pharmacy in the UK asking for epsom salts. They asked if magnesium sulphate paste would do instead? She bought it (only 2 UK pounds!) and put some on the inside of her wrist. Her symptoms disappeared in 15 minutes! So probably quite a few versions can be used - including magnesium gel (magnesium chloride), and compresses or anything else you can think of.

Christine Quindlen Main

Hey Ann & Elaine - I have been reading all of your posts and am fascinated but also very overwhelmed and confused! I have a vitamin d def. my level was 14. I also have severe arthritis in both knees. I think the vitamin d def. is making the arthritis alot worse. I have alot of muscle weakness in my legs and cannot stand for long. I started using an over the counter d3 and had an allergic reaction to it. Ann - I believe you replied to my husband about this. The reaction was pretty significant — itching, shortness of breath — throat swelling, chest getting tight. Of course I used benadryl and an inhaler and avoided the ER. We thought that it was a reaction b/c the d3 is from lanolin. You mentioned that it might be a magnesium deficiency. If it was, would I have symptoms like that? Itching and breathing problems within 20 mins. of taking it? I have now ordered a vegan d2. Will that help my d def.? And how can I know if I am magnesium deficient??? Someone — HELP!! Thanks in advance for any suggestions!

Ann Elisabeth Nordbø

I have seen this exact reaction before. It can be magnesium deficiency. Is it? I don't know for sure. But if I were you, I'd start working on the magnesium deficiency first.
You see, some have similar symptoms even from exposing their skin to the sun. I had a discussion with somebody over this - I first thought it was an allergy to cholecalciferol itself. But I was told this is not possible. So I was looking for some other reason for the severe reaction. And magnesium deficiency actually looked logical when I factored in the different stories I'd found after that initial one I saw. And severe deficiency can cause these symptoms, as far as I know. We need someone to test this out, actually... So if you get hold of magnesium chloride (magnesium oil or gel) and rub it on most of your body daily or take baths with magnesium oil or epsom salt or magnesium chloride crystals - do this for two weeks, then try one pill of vitamin D? Start with a low dosage one or part of one. See what happens. If nothing happens, take another dose the next day. Increase the dosage over a period of time - keep doing the magnesium. After the initial two weeks, you'll probably figure out how much you need. Various symptoms will start reappearing if you don't get enough if you start getting lax or don't use as much.
Some with RA have experienced relief from the magnesium alone. Usually in the form of magnesium chloride or sulphate transdermally. Same with muscle problems.
If you're constipated, remember that oral magnesium supplements take care of that. Regulate the amount and type so you get the right consistency and frequency. And then add transdermal application because the oral supplements won't fix the deficiency alone.

Christine Quindlen Main

Ann — thanks so much for responding! : ) I will try what you are suggesting. I can't get in the bathtub b/c of my knees, (I have osteoarthritis not rheumatoid) but I will get some magnesium oil. I thought I read earlier that it should be malate or citrate. Is that right? This is all so new to me! : / And I guess I should take some magnesium by mouth but how much? Is there a test I can have done @ the drs. to determine my magnesium level? Basically — I just want to feel better. I'm sure that I'm not as bad off as some I have read but bad enough! : (

Ann Elisabeth Nordbø

I've heard people have taken hair mineral analysis. I don't know how accurate it is in terms of magnesium. Blood tests are a no go.
Citrate and malate are good, from what I hear.
As for how much to take by mouth, I hear 400 mg is common. But start slowly with anything, so start with one capsule. Your stools will soften, so you have to find a balance there. If they're already too loose, then skip the capsules.

Christine Quindlen Main

Thank you! You have no idea how much it means to be able to discuss this with someone b/c I know that my primary care doc doesn't have a clue! I wiil try what you have suggested and will let you know how it goes. Thanks again! : )

Elaine Fleeman

I am concerned about the difficulty with breathing, the throat swelling, etc. This could be a dangerous type of reaction to something in the vitamin D capsule, usually but not always a protein, called an anaphylactic reaction. This is a type of allergic reaction, but it can be life threatening. Don't avoid the ER if it ever happens again. You should talk to your doctor about this. you may need to have something like an epi-pen (which gives you an injection of epinephrine in an emergency) to be prescribed for you.
Magnesium supplementation may help, but because anaphylaxis can be so very dangerous, I wouldn't count on that alone. Finding a vegan vitamin D source may help. There are generally fewer reactions to plant based supplements, but it is still not impossible to get a reaction to even plant-based supplements. People have allergic reactions to things like peanuts and strawberries all the time. Animal proteins do tend to be more allergenic, but even plant proteins can cause problems.
Again, please find a good doctor and talk to the doctor about this reaction.

Christine Quindlen Main

Thanks, Elaine, for your reply! : ) I did call my dr. and the nurse called me back with an answer that was basically useless! I'm sure you've experienced that before. I agree with the epi-pen suggestion and was thinking that myself. I guess to get that I would have to go back to the dr. Unfortunately, she knows that my d level is 14 (maybe lower by now!), and she doesn't seem to be very concerned. I will definitely not avoid the ER or avoid calling 911 if I should need to. I just know how it usually goes in the ER and don't want to go unless absolutely necessary. I was also concerned about the symptoms I experienced and stopped taking the vitamin d. So do you agree then that I should start supplementing with magnesium? I could go back to the dr. but I don't really think they know alot about the situation with d and magnesium. Her lack of concern over the d level kind of portrays that to me. What do you think?

Ann Elisabeth Nordbø

OK, let's cut to the chase: You need to supplement with magnesium no matter what. And you should start right away. But I hear you might have quite a bit of itching if you're very deficient - that happened to someone I know when I put magnesium oil on her hands and forearms. So if you try the magnesium oil, try some diluted at first.
The question is what you'll then do about vitamin D. I've asked the admin on this page to look at the thread, and hopefully you'll get some qualified advice on the D. But magnesium is a requirement either way.

Ann Elisabeth Nordbø

Also, have a look here:
http://www.livestrong.com/article/273120-conditions-related-to-magnesium-deficiency/
Asthma could be related to magnesium deficiency. The symptoms are sort of similar to what you experienced.

Elaine Fleeman

First I would find another doctor. If the nurse in that office is not concerned over possible anaphylaxis, I wouldn't go there. With all the press out there these days about vitamin D, your Doctor should be concerned about low vitamin D levels. What units were they reported in? Units are important here, though it would be low whether it was in ng/ml or nmol'ml. If it is 14 nmol/ml, that would be extremely low, though, and would warrant a higher dose of vitamin D for a couple of weeks. My father's doctor put him on 50,000 IU a day for two weeks to get his levels up when he tested very low on his vitamin D levels.
I don't know where you live, but if you are in the southern part of the U.S., you can get some vitamin D by sunbathing even at this time of the year. I was hiking in Pasedena, CA on Saturday and got sunburned. Though sunburn or suntan does not necessarily equate with the level of vitamin D production, especially if you are using a sun blocking lotion, it can be a good indicator of how strong the sun's rays are and can give some indication of whether or not there might be production of vitamin D. Just don't get sunburned like I did. Remember, the body turns off vitamin D production in a given area after about 15-20 minutes of sun exposure to that area of skin.
I think that the majority of people, at least in the U.S., shuould be supplementing with magnesium as well as eating foods high in magnesium such as leafy greens (spinach is a good source), beans, nuts and seeds. I add sliced almonds to my shredded wheat in the morning and take a magnesium malate tablet with it. I also take magnesium ctrate with lunch and put some sunflower seeds in my spinich salad. Fortunately I love Mexican food and black beans are high in magnesium, so I try to have those fairly often for dinner. Pinto beans, peas and lentils also have some, though not as much as black beans. Halibut and pumpkin seeds are also very high in magnesium. Yum! Just think of your food as your medicine - pretty tasty medicne too!
Make sure that any breads, cereals or other things made from grains are made from only whole grains, which are higher in magnesium. If you like buckwheat pancakes, buckwheat is a great source of magnesium, as are artichokes and cornmeal. I love cornbread and chili with beans. This is a great way in the winter to have a simple meal (I do the chili in the crockpot and the cornbread takes very little time to whip up. Most of the preparation time is in the baking.) that is high in magnesium and tastes really good. I like to look up recipes with the high magnesium ingredients on Food.com so that we can add variety to our diet.
Here is a list that can help:
http://magnesiumrichfoods.com/home/

Ann Elisabeth Nordbø

Someone with a severe magnesium deficiency should NOT be put on a 50 000iu dosage!
Take care of the magnesium deficiency first, then up the dosage of vitamin D slowly. Doing the 50 000iu a day for two weeks is fine if you've worked up to that and know your magnesium deficiency is under control. But not before.
So many docs put people on 50 000iu a day. The patients comes home, get such nasty magnesium deficiency symptoms, they get scared. Some go to a specific blog page with erroneous info, and go away believing they should stay away from vitamin D. Their problem (magnesium deficiency, coupled with vitamin D deficiency) never gets addressed.

Elaine Fleeman

You are right that if there is a severe magnesium deficiency they should not be on 50,000 IU/ day of vitamin D. Magnesium deficiency was apparently not one of my father's problems. He eats well but doesn't go outside much due to disabilities. Unfortunatley magnesium is difficult to test for. Regular blodd tests mean very little because the body is constantly pulling magnesium from the bone and muscles to keep blood levels normal - that is until there is no more in the bones or muscles to get out. However, vitamin D levels also affect magnesium uptake, so sometimes this becomes a chicken and egg thing. It is hard to know what levels are good for the vitamin D without knowing what the magnesium levels are and that takes some failry compicated testing. Thus, maybe it would be good to look for a doctor that consults with a nutrtionist or has extra training in nutriton.
There are no easy answers and sometimes you just have to go by how you feel. I had to stop the vitamin D completly until my magnesium levels came up a bit, though I still have to watch it. If I start getting muscle twitching or spasms, I stop the vitamin D for awhile.
Ann Elisabeth Nordbø
Have you tried magnesium chloride or sulphate, Elaine? Also, do you get enough zinc and vitamin B6?
Check out ZMA. It's the darling of bodybuilders. I'm sure you could get those other ways too.

Elaine Fleeman

I have tried soaking in magnesium sulphate (Epsom Salts) some, but it is time consuming, so it doesn't get done as often as it should. I am looking at a magnesium oil with magnesium chloride on line and I think I will get it and see if that helps. I am trying to eat a healthy diet, so I beleive there should be enough zinc and B6 in my diet, but I will take a look at that a little closer. Thanks for the advice.

Christine Quindlen Main

Wow! Ok — Elaine — the vitamin d level was reported in ng/ml.
Ann — I agree about the vitamin d and will not take it until I try some magnesium for about 2 wks and then will try vitamin d slowly as you mentioned. I will be careful to watch for itching. How would I dilute the the magnesium? If it is oil — just with water? Should I just try a small amt. say size of a quarter on my forearm? I'm itchy enough without adding to that. I'm going tonight to get some magnesium and will go to a health food store.
Elaine — I will try some of your dietary suggestions. I'm sure my diet is contributing to the problem.
Thanks so much to both of you!! Do either of you have any medical training or degrees? I'm sure you know far more than my local dr. does about this.
Ann Elisabeth Nordbø
I have no training, just a researcher's disposition, and a brain that lends itself well to research and troubleshooting.
As for the area - the first time, sure, you can try a small area. But maybe try areas that are less sensitive also. Once you can handle it, add areas of skin. Some use it on most of their body, up to several times a day. Play it by ear.
As for diluting - yes, water. But the cleaner it is, the longer the solution lasts. Say if you boil bottled water, let it cool then pour one part magnesium oil, one part water into a new spray bottle.

Christine Quindlen Main

Thank you, Ann! I thought I would just dilute it as I use it.
Lisa Flaherty Lohsl
Thank you, I started Oxy-Energizer™ by ProCaps Laboratories http://www.procapslabs.com/PCL/Pages/Products/vitamincalculator.aspx
it contains
Magnesium 122 mg 122 mg 31% Magnesium
Potassium 294 mg 294 mg 8% Potassium
Potassium-Magnesium Aspartate-Citrate 2000 mg 2000 mg - Potassium-Magnesium Aspartate-Citrate
I have fibromyalgia, and was not sure if I was taking the right stuff I read this blog last week and then ordered this started taking them Saturday. I just want to strt feeling like myself again.
thanks again,
Lisa

Christine Quindlen Main

I know how you feel, Lisa! I'm right there with you! I think that I probably have had a magnesium and d deficiency for years. Just thought I was getting old — but I'm only 56!!!!! Way too young to be feeling like this and way too early to give up on feeling good! Hope you start to feel better. Hopefully one of these other ladies will speak to what you are taking. I don't know enough to tell you anything! : /
Lisa Flaherty Lohsl
Thanks Christine, Good to know I am not alone.

Vitamin D Council

Hello Ann, Elaine, Christine -
If I may offer some input...
Elaine - yes, I agree finding another doctor who is better able to help would be a good idea. Perhaps a naturopathic doctor? Or, maybe keep the doctor, but see a nutritionist on the side?
Ann - yes, I agree that increasing Mg levels should be first priority and yes, definitely no high-dose vit D until this has been addressed. The body will not use the D properly without the Mg anyway, so there is no point.
Christine - while your symptoms could resemble those of anaphylaxis,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anaphylaxis
they also resemble those of dyspnea,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dyspnea
which is associated with asthma and anxiety attacks, among other things.
Asthma, anxiety, and anaphylaxis
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8736070
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2130827
are all indicative of a need for magnesium (Mg).
Mg has been shown to be extremely effect in the treatment of asthma - even asthmatic children who do not respond to conventional treatments, as well as in acute attacks.
Mg deficiency is also implicated in arthritis.
Either way, your symptoms could not have been due to an allergic reaction to vit D3. Vitamin D3 is biologically inert - meaning it has no actions within the body.
Vitamin D's final product - calcitriol - is a hormone produced by the body, that is tightly regulated by the body. Being allergic to calcitriol would be like being allergic to thyroid hormone (also produced by the body) - it just doesn't happen.
It is possible you had a reaction to added ingredient(s) in the particular brand you were using. You could try switching brands.
"Vegan" or "vegetarian" vitamin D is not recommended. This is vitamin D2. Vitamin D2 is not naturally present in the human body - stay away from D2. Try another brand of D3.
Bio-Tech makes a potent, high-quality, hypo-allergenic (all their products are), water-soluble vitamin D3. It is a great product - the only D I use myself. (DISCLOSURE: Bio-Tech donates to VDC.)
Aside from a reaction to other ingredients, there are only three known possible reasons one would have an adverse reaction to vitamin D3 - none of them being the "fault" of vitamin D itself:
1. Toxicity - taking too much, causing blood levels to become too high. (Anything is toxic if one consumes too much - even water.) Toxicity obviously does not apply here.
2. High blood calcium - if one already has hypercalcemia due to a health condition then they could be hypersensitive to vitamin D. This is due to the D increasing serum calcium even more. So the symptoms would be those from high blood calcium and not caused by the D itself. Hypercalcemia is rare.
3. Magnesium deficiency - Mg deficiency is epidemic and so is the most common reason for any unpleasant reaction to D3. This is the most likely scenario.
A few things about Mg:
There are so many other great reasons to replete one's Mg stores, vitamin D is but one of them.
There are so many variables influencing response to the various forms of oral Mg (along with the variable potency of each form itself), that this method can be too much of a "hit and miss." A lot more complex than people realize.
If going for the transdermal Mg - MgCl is superior to MgSO. Plus, only MgSO has the potential for toxic manifestations at what should be acceptable doses, MgCl does not.
Vitamin D does not affect Mg uptake - but Mg has a significant effect on the body's utilization and metabolization of vit D.
In fact, ALL nutrients need Mg and other key minerals present in proper amounts in order for body to utilize them.
A healthy diet will no longer supply the amount of Mg needed to replete and maintain Mg stores. All foods have been stripped of many nutrients due to mineral depletion of soils, modern agricultural practices, etc. - unless maybe foods that one grows oneself.
What's more, heavy metal load of the body will negatively affect the actions and levels of body Mg. Toxic metal exposure is high on a daily basis in our modern environment.
Because of these things, supplementation is necessary.
Combining supplementation with use of spirulina (chlorella) can be very effective. MgCl and spirulina are said to be complimentary when used together (I do this myself and have been pleased with results).
There are a few testing options aside from serum testing, including two non-invasive procedures which are practical...
(I've researched hair analysis for mineral testing and, from what I have found, this method is not reliable.)
1. sublingual magnesium assay - said to accurately measure Mg status of cells. Doctor takes a small sample from under your tongue.
2. magnesium loading test - measures kidney Mg excretion in response to a loading (high) dose. Considered an accurate test - but only when kidney function is completely normal.

Elaine Fleeman

Christine:
I am a veterinarian, but none of my training taught me any of this. I have learned it from research on the internet and from Ann, who has given much valuable advice. I started researching when I had many painful muscle spams to find out why. I discovered that magnesium plays a role in muscle relaxation. They may have mentioned this in passing in veterinary school, but I don't remember it. Anyway, I stopped the vitamin D for a while and started taking magnesium - with no real effect because it was magnesium oxide. More research revealed that I had to use something that was bioavailable. I also noticed that if I ate a large quantity of sunflower seeds the spasms stopped, but only for a short time. I needed something that lasted longer, so I have learned to make dietary changes and found better supplements. I am going to try more transdermal magnesium therapy to see it that helps as well.
Here are some other sites I found:
http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/magnesium.asp
http://www.mgwater.com/
The second one has so much information I can't get through it all. It is an online library. Happy reading!

Vitamin D Council

Elaine - yes, Magnesium Water site is loaded with information - a great site.
BTW: From what I understand, Mg can be very beneficial when used in veterinary medicine as well.

Vitamin D Council

Forgot to mention:
Mg is very safe, however, those with severe kidney impairment or who have Myasthenia Gravis should only take Mg under the care of a doctor.
Elaine Fleeman
I am a bit confused about the role of vitamin D in magnesium uptake. The following reasearch paper :
http://jn.nutrition.org/cgi/reprint/121/1/13.pdf
says that ,"Pharmacological doses of vitamin D increase Mg absorption in both vitamin D-deficient and vitamin D-replete animals. A substantial amount of Mg absorption, however, occurs independent of vitamin D. In addition, vitamin D may reduce Mg retention through increases in urinary Mg excretion."
It seems that vitamin D can both help and hurt magnesium absorption, so I am not sure exactly what the interaction is and whether vitamin D is beneficial or harmful overall in magnsium absorption, but my experience seems to indicate that a high vitamin D intake requires a high magnesium intake.

Vitamin D Council

Elaine - I have never heard that Mg absorption is increased in response to high doses of vitamin D. The study's authors do mention results in humans have been conflicting in this area.
But, with Mg and vit D - the issue is the body's utilization, not absorption. All the enzymes that metabolize vit D need Mg to do their job. In fact, all enzymes in the body need Mg.
As far as vitamin D's negative effect on Mg retention, this could in part be due to increased Ca activity brought on by the D, but should only apply when there is Mg deficiency. Calcium is a Mg antagonist when levels get too off balance (too high as compared to Mg levels).
Mild Mg depletion has been shown to significantly decrease serum Ca - possibly due to the body not able to utilize the vit D properly, resulting in the body's less effective absorption/use of the Ca.
Yes, you are correct - high vitamin D intake requires adequate Mg levels for the most benefit.
Christine Quindlen Main
Vitamin D Council — thanks for all the good information you have given us on this thread! I know you must have so many emails to respond to — I greatly appreciate the time you have taken to answer our quesitons!! I have read and reread all your input — now I just have to try to understand it. I know I sound like a dummy (which I am not) but am a retired kindergarten teacher — so not used to thinking on this level. : ) Anyway, last night I purchased some magnesium citrate in a powder form. It says, "Ionic Magnesium Citrate" - 2 rounded tsp.= 350 mg. of mg. It suggests starting slowly with 1/2 tsp. and gradually increase to 2 rounded tsp. Also says, for advanced use: 3 rounded tsp. Name of product is "Peter Gillham's Natural Vitality - 'Natural Calm' "
Ann — They did not have oil so I took about 1/2 tsp. and made a paste and put some on my wrist — about the size of 2 quarters. Here's what happened: of course it fizzed and then started to make my skin somewhat red and a little warm but not burning or itching. I left it on a few minutes then wiped it off. I had been feeling very anxious and upset (basically about nothing). After about 10 mins. — I felt a calmness come over me. Last night — I went right to sleep and slept all night. Am I crazy?? I don't think so! I did not notice any change in my other symptoms but am excited to take more of this! : ) I decided to take it at night when my husband is home in case I have a weird reaction. Tonight I'm going to take it as directed on the bottle — mix with water and drink. So we shall see what happens!! I will keep you all "posted". : ) Thanks for all you help!

Christine Quindlen Main

To Vitamin D Council or Elaine or Ann: I've taken the magnesium 2x's today - 1/2 tsp. dissolved in water. Here are the results I've seen: mood elevation, some metal taste in mouth (temporary) and I noticed that my eye sight is sharper. Lights are brighter (kind of weird). All of those are ok but here is what I noticed that is troubling me a little: some increased itching and also my leg muscles feel worse tonight — my calves are very tight. That's what I hoped would start improving!! : ( Can anyone give me a clue about why this might be happening? Have you heard of anyone else having these problems at first? Ann — I know you mentioned itching. Why would I have that? Any help is so much appreciated!!

Elaine Fleeman

I am assuming that this is the Magnesium Citrate that you mentioned above. I can not think of why it would cause any itching unless there is something else mixed in there. I have never had any itching from the Mg citrate that I take. It is a bit of a puzzle to me.
As for the leg muscles, if you are takig any vitamin D or calcium (or have a high intake of dairy products), I think an imbalance between calcium and magnesium in the muscles and/or blood may be a possibility. Ca and Mg need to be in a ratio of about 2 to 1 (about twice as much calcium as magnesium), no more and no less. Calcium is involved in muscle contraction and Magnesium is involved with muscle relaxation. If the Calcium gets too high due to increased absorption, either because of increased vitamin D or high levels of calcium intake, I think there is a possibility of a relative magnesium deficiency. In other words, what is a suficient Mg intake wihen the calcium absorption is lower is not sufficient when the calcium absorption is high. I think that this is the reason that I occasionally still have to back off the vitamin D because I get severe muscle spasms. I think that there may be an increased absorption of calcium which then requires an increase in the Magnesium. I can't think of any other logical explanation for the spasms in the face of a high magnesium intake. You have low vitamin D, though, so even this is not the complete answer I don't thnk. Somehow, though I believe there is an imbalance between the Ca and Mg.
If the problems persist, you may have to try something else, like the transdermal magnesium oil that Ann suggested. You may be very sensitive to some supplements.

Christine Quindlen Main

Thanks, Elaine. got up this am hoping things would be better and they are not. Muscles in legs are VERY tight. I actually have taken a muscle relaxer now so hopefully it will ease up. As far as calcium — I don't take any added calcium. I was wondering if I should. The only calcium I am getting is from my food. I did also eat some sunflower seeds last night. Maybe I just consummed too much magnesium for my system to handle. Ann had told me to start slow — I guess I didn't follow instructions! Hopefully Ann will get on here also and comment. Thanks again, Elaine, for all your help!

Vitamin D Council

Christine - calcium supplementation is not recommended, especially when using adequate doses of vitamin D and especially if your muscles are behaving the way they are. This would only throw off the Ca:Mg balance in your body even further, making matters worse.
Oral magnesium should not make you itch. It is possible your itching was a reaction due to a filler or added ingredient. Try switching brands, selecting one with the least amount of inactive ingredients. Pure MgCl oil is the easiest method to use and, theoretically, the most effective - just not a lot of research on it yet.

Christine Quindlen Main

Vitamin D Council — thank you for your reply. I'm not as concerned about the itching as I am about what magnesium does to my muscles. I have osteoarthritis in both knees and also osteopenia. My leg muscles are the most affected.
I stopped taking all magnesium. A few nights ago, I decided to eat some sunflower seeds to see what happened. I ate about 1/4 cup and had the same reaction within about 20 mins. It started in my calf muscles — alot of contraction and then it moved slowly up my body — all the way up into muscles in my chest and then to my jaw. Needless to say, I was a little alarmed. I did take a small dose of a muscle relaxer. This whole thing is so strange. Any other suggestions on the muscle spasms or contractions in reaction to magnesium? Any help is greatly appreciated — I am really at a loss to know what to do next!!

Elaine Fleeman

This is baffling. Magnesium is supposed to help relax the muscles, not cause contractions. Here is a list of possible side effects of several magnesium compunds and muscle tightening is not among the things listed, though itching and difficulty breathing are listed as possibilities for an allergic reaction. I'm not sure what else to say, though. I'll keep looking for more information, though.
http://www.drugs.com/sfx/magnesium-side-effects.html

Elaine Fleeman

One more thought. Have your kidneys checked out. Ask your doctor to run blood panel with a serum urea nitrogen (SUN) and creatinine. He may want to do further testing to see if the kidneys are having problems with the blood flow or the nephrons (which do the work of filtering in the kidneys). Magnesium is filtered by the kidneys and kidney problems may also cause problems with electrolyte imbalance. (Magnesium is one of the electorlytes along with calcium , sodium, chloride, potassium, etc.)

Elaine Fleeman

O.k., here is a link to a University of Maryland Medical Center site :
http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/magnesium-000313.htm
which says,"Magnesium competes with calcium for absorption and can cause a calcium deficiency if calcium levels are already low."
Somehow I am thinking that because you are vitimin D deficient, you may also be very calcium deficient and taking the magnesium is messing up the calcium/magnesium ratio. Some web sites say that calcium deficiency (or in this case, maybe a relative calcium deficiency) can also cause muscle spasms and twitching. I think this is what may be happening to you. Stop taking the magnesium. You are going to have to have an individualized program of supplements from your doctor. I still recommend the blood test for kidney function, but I think you need to see a good doctor who is familiar with calcium/magnesium/vitamin D imbalances, and you may need to work with a nutritionist.

Elaine Fleeman

Here is another link to the Oregon State University Linus Pauling Institute site, which has quite a bit of information about magnesium:
http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/minerals/magnesium/
This says," Elevated serum levels of magnesium (hypermagnesemia) may result in a fall in blood pressure (hypotension). Some of the later effects of magnesium toxicity, such as lethargy, confusion, disturbances in normal cardiac rhythm, and deterioration of kidney function, are related to severe hypotension. As hypermagnesemia progresses, muscle weakness and difficulty breathing may occur. Severe hypermagnesemia may result in cardiac arrest."
This does not sound like what your are experiencing, so I don't think the symptoms are due to a high magnesium level. I think the low calcium level i(or at least a relatively low level) is more likely teh problem. I really think a trip to a doctor's and some tests are in order, though.
Christine Quindlen Main
Elaine — thank you so much for getting back on with some good information and all the links. YES — I agree — very baffling and a little bit discouraging for me b/c this is somewhat limiting to my mobility.
I did want to ask about osteopenia. My understanding is that osteopenia causes your bones to shed calcium into your blood stream. If that is true, could that have anything to do with the interaction with magnesium? Just a shot in the dark. So could that have anything to do with the muscle tightening in my calves???
I definitely agree about a trip to the dr. I guess I'm going to have to find another one so that should be interesting.
Elaine Fleeman
I will see what I can find tomorrow. I have to go right now, but here is a link with some good info. about magnesium and osteoporois:
http://www.mgwater.com/calmagab.shtml
Christine Quindlen Main
Thanks so much for all the information, Elaine!
Elaine Fleeman
O.K., so there are several web sites that have info. on bones and magnesium. This first one is interesting in that in an experiment done with pigs, the higher the vitamin D levels given, the lower teh mineral content of the bones and they says,"vitamin D at physiological doses may enhance magnesium absorption in non previously vitamin D-depleted pigs fed diets with abundant magnesium. This nutritional situation may help explain the predominant bone-resorbing effect of vitamin D supplementation. " Hmmmm. Not sure what to make of that, but it is interesting. Here is the link:
http://grande.nal.usda.gov/ibids/index.php?mode2=detail&origin=ibids_references&therow=99587
Another web site that you may be interested in is this one on connective tissue disorders:
http://www.ctds.info/index.html
It has an article on osteopenia here: http://www.ctds.info/osteopenia.html
Here is the site map for it: http://www.ctds.info/sitemap1.html
Also, though I know you don't have fibromyalgia, here is an interesting web site that gives some recommendations at the bottom of the page for magnesium use. He recommends a slow release magnesium called Pro-mag. It has a bunch aof information and links on other effects of magnesium andn vitamin D. Here iit is:
http://web.mit.edu/london/www/magnesium.html

Christine Quindlen Main

Thanks, Elaine. Have read through the info on the links you have provided and will read through it again. I did figure out on Sat. that the muscle relaxer I have been taking also has magnesium in it. So I stopped that and my leg muscles are somewhat better - not completely but some better. This is just the strangest thing I've ever experienced. I know there is some underlying cause but haven't found it yet. Still searching....
Ann Elisabeth Nordbø
@Elaine:
Your advice about 2 parts calcium to 1 part magnesium is not accurate. It's a recommendation that doesn't take vitamin D into account. When you're replete (as in high enough levels) in vitamin D, you need about 2 parts magnesium for 1 part calcium. When your vitamin D is very low, your body's absorption of calcium is affected, and you need more calcium for that reason. But that's abnormal - we're not created to be that way. So you should avoid your recommendation. If you talk about this, you need to qualify under what conditions it should be followed and when it should not.
@Christine: When you said you used magnesium citrate on the skin, I'd never heard of anyone doing that. The citric acid could be too much for the skin to handle? What Dana (vitamin D council) and I use is Magnesium Chloride, which is a crystalline salt. Mix it with water and it forms what's known as Magnesium Oil.
Another factor is that it works locally, which means you should try applying it exactly where the muscles are tight.
With magnesium oil, skin itches if it's very magnesium deficient. But I've also heard of people who are so magnesium deficient, and then take huge doses of vitamin D, and they get symptoms which include difficulty breathing. So if you take say a 50 000iu capsule once a week, could the symptoms be related to that, and the magnesium just happened to come along at the same time? Also, if you've taken vitamin D for a while, and you haven't gotten enough magnesium in that period, it could be getting worse?
If you're severely magnesium deficient, it takes a lot to get out from under that, especially if you also take a lot of vitamin D. The only way to get out from under quickly, is to use magnesium on the skin (either magnesium chloride or magnesium sulphate, and most prefer chloride). I sometimes tell people to start with magnesium, then add vitamin D in a week or two.
But Elaine's recommendation of testing your kidneys is also VERY important! Magnesium buildup can be lethal, so it' not to be taken lightly.

Ann Elisabeth Nordbø

I did a google search. Too much magnesium can cause itchy skin, rashes, hives, and swollen skin. It can also cause release of histamine.
I found that on two different pages.
Your symptoms may point to a kidney problem.
Ann Elisabeth Nordbø
You should read this: http://www.nwkidney.org/kidneyInformation/basics/Itching.pdf
If you have kidney problems, go easy on the vitamin D too.
Elaine Fleeman
Ann, I believe you are right. I am still learning that all the recommendations that I learned and sometimes are still repeated by doctors and government agencies are often not true. I have read several anecdotal reports about people reducing their calcium intake (especially dairy) and having bone scans that revealed a good bone density.
Vitamin D does affect calcium uptake and may affect magnesium uptake as well, though some magnesium uptake seems to be independent of vitamin D. The picture is not completely clear on that, as different nutrition studies show different results. I suspect that this may be multi-factorial - that is other nutrients may either enhance or slow magnesium uptake. I reduced my dairy intake and started on some vitamin B complex tablets and have noticed some improvement. Thanks for that advice.
Also, in a recent Vitamin D Council newsletter, it was noted that excessive vitamin A may antagonize vitamin D. Therefore, someone who takes multivitamins or other supplements with vitamin A (retinol) added may actually be undoing the effects of vitamin D. I gather from the article that beta carotene, found in carrots, cantaloupe, apricots and other yellow or orange foods, does not have this effect. The article specifically focuses on vitamin A and repiratory inllness, but also notes that "multivitamins and cod liver oil — may cause bone toxicity in individuals with inadequate vitamin D status.
Women in the highest quintile of total vitamin A intake have a 1.5-times elevated risk of hip fracture. Indeed, a recent Cochrane Review found that vitamin A supplements increased the total mortality rate by16%, perhaps through antagonism of vitamin D". I will no longer take any multi-vitamins that have retinol in them.
Here is the link:
http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/PDFs/cannell-et-al-vitamin-d-deficiency-epidemic.pdf

Christine Quindlen Main

You all are confusing me! : ) Is there any way I could get all this translated into "layman's terms" ??

Ann Elisabeth Nordbø

OK, bottom line for you, Christine:
Get your kidneys checked out. Do that as soon as you can. Simple blood test, if I remember correctly. In the meantime, be careful with supplements.
When you have the results, you can taylor your supplements. Exactly what you should do if your kidneys aren't functioning well I don't know - you need to mention your supplements to your doc or do research. Maybe Dana can fill in the details here.
If your kidneys are fine - still go slow. Shocking the body isn't always a good idea, especially if it's really out of whack. Since your reaction isn't standard, definitely going slow is for you.
Provided your kidneys can handle it: For magnesium, find magnesium oil or magnesium chloride (available online. Look for Zechstein sourced ones). Buy a small quantity first and test it out. Dilute it before putting on your skin, especially in the beginning. Give it to your husband if it turns out you can't use it. For people who are deficient and can handle it, they put the oil over much of their bodies, up to several times a day. After a while, you'll be sufficient, and then you can cut back a bit.
For vitamin D, make sure it's D3 and don't go too fast. Since your body reacts in unusual ways, it's always best to go slow. It interacts with magnesium and calcium, as Elaine said.
For calcium, if your vitamin D is very low, you'll need a lot (basically what the docs say). If your D is over a certain point (don't know where, maybe Dana knows, but say it's somewhere around 40-50 ng/ml), you don't need as much calcium anymore. Reduce or drop supplements if you take them, provided your diet contains some calcium (dairy, greens etc).
As for vitamin A - if your kidneys are in trouble, then using beta carotene may not be a good idea. Research or talk to your doc. If your kidneys are fine, drop or reduce stuff that contains retinol - a form of vitamin A that makes trouble for vitamin D. You DO need vitamin A, otherwise you could go blind etc. But if you have the choice, control which form you use. Supplements in Norway are increasingly sold with beta carotene instead of retinol. Cod liver oil is a no no either way, because it usually contains way too much retinol. Remember that many facial creams contain retinol or retinyl palmitate.

Elaine Fleeman

As for vitamin A - just eat carrots, apricots, cantaloupe, hard squash like acorn squash or pumpkin and greens like spinach to get the Vitamin A you need. They only have beta carotene, which is not a problem. My bottle of multi-vitamins says : " Long term intake of high levels of high levels of Vitamin A (excluding that sourced from beta carotene) may increase the risk of osteoporosis in adults. Do not take this product if taking other Vitamin A supplements." Funny, I never noticed that before.
The rest of the advice that Ann gave seems sound. Bottom line, get to a doctor and have your kidneys checked (he or she may want to check out some other things like calcium levels) and back off the supplements until the doctor tells you that it is all right. Then go slowly - start with low doses and work up to higher doses, stopping if there is a reaction. Don't overdo it. Magnesium in particular can take many months to rebuild normal levels because it is not absorbed well. Transdermal magnesium may help - try soaking in Epsom Salts (magnesium sulfate or magneium sulphate if you are in Europe) in the tub - put in only a little bit to start, though, to see how your body reacts. I made up a bottle of dissoved Epsom Salts and just spray some on my body after my shower. It is easier than soaking and low cost.
I think it is really important for you to consult with a doctor, especially one who knows something aobut nutrition and the link to possible metabolic and /or allergic problems. Do some research to find a good doctor in your area or in the nearest large city.

Christine Quindlen Main

Thank you Anne and Elaine for simplifying it for me! I went to the dr last week. She did alot of blood work and called back to tell me that my calcium level was elevated — I believe she said it was 10.5. She wanted to recheck it in 1 wk. so I went in there today and to have that rechecked in the lab. I don't know if she did blood work to check for anything suspicious with my kidneys. I will ask about blood work to check kidney function when they call to give me the results of this latest blood test.
I've been reading up on hypercalcemia! Oh, boy!!! My impression is that my blood calcium level would have to be higher than 10.5 for them to be really concerned. Couldn't that slight elevation be from having osteopenia? I thought I had read somewhere that when you have osteopenia (which I do) that your bones release calcium into your blood.
Kind of wish I had just left well enough alone! : ( After taking the magnesium — I now seem to be sensitive to alot of things with magnesium in them!!!! About a week ago, I took an antacid with magnesium in it and had the same reaction of tight chest and throat!! I'm reallly getting sick of this whole thing! : ( So I am not taking any magnesium and am now taking some infant drops of D3 — a recommendation from a pharmacist — 400 IU's — having the same reaction but of course milder.

Christine Quindlen Main

By the way, on the D3 drops — I'm taking one dropperful a day which is 400 IU's. the pharamcist thought that since the infant drops are a very pure form — maybe that would be better for me to try.

Ann Elisabeth Nordbø

Umm, have you reread the label? Is a dropperful really 400iu?

Ann Elisabeth Nordbø

BTW, am I reading you right that you have the same reaction from D3 as you have from magnesium? That doesn't sound right.
Christine Quindlen Main
The answer is yes to both questions. I have the vitamin d drops in front of me and it says 1 dropperful (1.0 ml) contains 400 IU's of cholecalciferol. The reaction I have had to vitamin d has always been tightness in chest and throat and itching of various degrees. When I first started taking the magnesium, my reaction was the muscle spasms. Of course I stopped taking the magnesium but still have the muscles spasms on and off. Sometimes it seems to be associated with something that has magnesium in it. Last Sat. I took an antacid with magnesium in it and had alot of tightness in chest and throat. I'm thankful for benadryl — it seems to do the trick when I have those symptoms. I know — it's very weird and unpredictable!!

Ann Elisabeth Nordbø

OK, your reaction seems related to histamines. I've seen it before, and it happened when that lady took D3 too.
I don't have the answers to why it's happening. But it behaves like an allergic reaction. I've seen online that magnesium could trigger histamines. I know D3 can.
400iu isn't much. I take 5000iu. 400iu will however, if taken long term, keep the average woman above rickets levels. You are however not average. The kind of reaction you have doesn't happen to that many, but it does happen now and then.
Your immune system is definitely out of whack. Do you have allergies in general?
But like Elaine says, you need the kidney test results before making any decisions on course of action.

Elaine Fleeman

Christine: Elevated clacium is almost NEVER normal. You may have hyperparathyroidism. Symptoms can be just as bad when the calcium is only slightly elevated as when it is much higher. The elevated serum calcium is a cause for concern, especially when combined with osteopenia. Your doctor should check the parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels in your blood. If it is elevated in the face of elevated calcium (normally an elevated calcium level will cause a decrease in PTH), you probably have hyperparathyroidism, often caused by a tumor. Talk to you doctor about doing this test. The lab may still have the blood that was taken before if it was not very long ago. If this doctor won't do it, find another one who will.

Annette Erbs Marslen

Hi Christine - sounds as though you are having major problems. Have you tried transdermal magensium chloride oil? Wondering if it is something in the "carrier" for the vitamin D and the magnesium caps/tabs that you are reacting to. If you can find some magnesium chloride oil, dilute it with equal amount of pure or mineral water and rub a teaspoon on the soles of your feet to see if you get the same reaction as hopefully you may be able to aborb it through your skin without the - what sounds close to - anaphalactic reaction. Very scary. The mucous membrane in the mouth and throat absorbs substances very quickly so may react faster than transdermal application would - slower absorption may give your body a chance to absorb without reacting. It also doesn't go through the digestive system. You could also try some drops of vitamin D on your wrist and see if it causes the same reaction. There has been some previous discussion elsewhere about transdermal vitamin D, but it seems there has been virtually no research on this so it appears nobody knows yet if it works or not. Good luck!

Elaine Fleeman

Christine:
Here is a link to the Mayo Clinic page on hypercalcemia:
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hypercalcemia/DS00976/DSECTION=causes
Note that hyperparathyroidism and cancer (including breast cancer, some blood cancers and lung cancer) cause 90% of the cases of hypercalcemia. Also, please do ask your doctor about the kidney function tests. Calcium is also excreted by the kidneys. Ususally they would say something if there was a problem, and since the doctor didn't, but did mention the elevated calcium levels, I think that is the next question to ask. Do get the PTH checked. Excessive Vitamin D could cause it, but that is not the case with you, as you said your vitamin D was low.
Also, some granulomatous diseases such as valley fever (if you live in the desert areas where that is present), tuberculosis, leprosy, histopalsmosis, etc. can also cause a hypercalcemia, though they usually do that by raising vitamin D (calcitrol) levels and you said your vitamin D levels were low, so that seems much less likely.
The link that Ann provided before says that a high PTH (parathyroid hormone) can cause itching as well. It says that PTH causes the release of histamines, which I had not heard before. It also says that high vitamin A levels can also cause the itching. Here is that link again:
http://www.nwkidney.org/kidneyInformation/basics/Itching.pdf
Frankly, I think getting the info. on the kidney function and the PTH levels are of paramount importance to you right now.
Here are links to a couple of page about hyperparathyroidism:
http://surgery.med.nyu.edu/oncology/patients/parathyroid/primary
http://www.endocrineweb.com/conditions/hyperparathyroidism/hyperparathyroidism

Elaine Fleeman

Christine:
Here are some links that are very interesting. This web site says that low vitamin D may actually be caused by hyperparathyroidism. The body does not convert Vitamin D to the active form if a person has hyperparathyroidism because the active form would raise the already high blood levels of calcium to potentially dangerous levels. Thus hyperparathyroidism may actually keep vitamin D levels low. This web site says that in these doctors' practice (they treat only hyperparathyroidism) 67 % of people with hyperparathyroidism also have a low vitamin D and 33% have a normal level of Vitamin D, which they defien as 30 ng/ml.
Here is the page on low Vitamin D:
http://www.parathyroid.com/low-vitamin-d.htm
Here is their page on hypercalcemia:
http://www.parathyroid.com/high-calcium.htm
and on diagnosing hyperparathyroidism:
http://www.parathyroid.com/diagnosis.htm
In hyperparathyroidism, the calcium levels may fluctuate a bit as well and the parathyroid hormone may not even be out of the normal range, but be high normal or even normal with a high calcium level. Most patients with hyperparathyroidism have intermittant normal calcium levels. Any calcium levels above 10 mg/dl can be asign of hyperparathyroidism. People who have a high calcium level should NOT take any vitamin D as it may cause the calcium levels to go higher, sometimes to dangerous levels. Apparently some doctors think a low vitamin D causes a high serum calcium. It does not. Christine, you should not be taking any vitamin D at all unitl you see a good endocrinologist who know how to diagnose the cause of your hypercalcemia. I am guessing that you have hyperparathyroidism because you seem to have enough of the signs (high calcium, osteopenia, low vitamin D, even the itching due to histamine release), but without good diagnostic testing, you can't be sure. I really think you need to see an endocrinologist.
http://www.parathyroid.com/low-vitamin-d.htm

Christine Quindlen Main

Hey Elaine,
THANK YOU SOO MUCH!!! I have read alot on the parathroid.com site. Incredible! I totally agree with you and am excited at the possibility of finding out what the real problem may be! : )
I did have the calcium level rechecked and with the busyness of the season — meant to call the dr. but did not. Then 2 days ago, I got a postcard saying — calcium level is normal! No level on the card or anything. I'm so disgusted!
I also agree about the endocrinologist — am hoping that I will be able to find a good one in this area. If not — I will go all the way to Tampa to see this Dr. Norman if I have to! We do know of a good endocr. in our area but I'm wondering if he is up on all this info about hyperparathroidism. I am not taking any vitamin d and will not take any until these other problems are solved.
Thank you again for emailing me with all this good info. You have no idea how much of a help you have been! Hope you and your family have had a nice Thanksgiving!

Elaine Fleeman

Christine:
My pleasure. This has been fascinating for me to learn all this stuff. I'm glad it may help. I do hope you get to feeling better soon. Happy Thanksgiving to you as well.

Paul Paulie

if i take 10,000 ui of vitamin d3 daily and have signs of muscle spasms afterwards, how much magnesium would you take to be on the safe side?

Christine Quindlen Main

Paul — have you been diagnosed with a vitamin d deficiency? Magnesium is a natural relaxant so it should help but I'm wondering why you are having the muscle spasms. I actually ended up having bad muscle spasms after taking magnesium — but I had a very unusual reaction to magnesium. Hopefully one of the other people that have been frequenting this discussion will answer your question.

Paul Paulie

i had a test which said i was 29 ng/mL. I do a lot of weights if thats relevant. I took one dose of 10,000 ui and during the night i had muscle spasm in my pectoral right side and never took the supplement again and didnt get the spasm again. I want to take magnesium citrate with it when i re-start and wondered what you think would be a reasonable safe guard of magnesium to take?

Christine Quindlen Main

I'm not really sure what to tell you about that. Your vitamin d level is somewhat low but probably close enough to "normal" for the drs. Supposedly, normal is 32-50. I believe the dr. on vitamin d council recommends that you work toward a level of 50. I would definitely wait to take anymore vitamin d till you are able to talk with someone who knows a little more.

Annette Erbs Marslen

Paul, suggest you try 1,000 iu of vitamin D a day for a week to see if you get muscle spasms. If you took just the one dose of 10,000 iu vitamin D, is may have been coindicental that you had a muscle spasm, but using a lower dose than the 10,000 is a good way to raise your vitamin D anyway, hopefully without any side effects. Can you get a little natural sun exposure every day to boost you D level? Also suggest you look for magnesium chloride oil for transdermal (through the skin) application as this is a great way to boost your magnesium which is important for people who train hard, without the problems caused by oral Magnesium in higher doses. From what I read, you use and excrete more magnesium when you train hard/do weights, so you may be at risk of low Mg which is a really well known and recognised cause of muscle cramps and spasms. Magnesium citrate is good - but you must check for the quantity of elemental magnesium in each tablet/capsule and aim for 300 to 400 mg of ELEMENTAL magnesium - particularly as you train hard, however you may experience loose stools and a need to attend the toilet often! That's why I take 200 mg elemental magnesium in the form of amino acid chelate and apply magnesium chloride oil to my skin every day - can also soak feet of have a full bath with some magnesium chloride bath flakes added. Give it a try!

Paul Paulie

tx for replys.

Elaine Fleeman

Paul: I agree with Annette about using a lower dose of vitamin D. Even the Vitamin D council recommends only 5, 000 IU per day in the winter when you are not getting much sun, and other sources recomend only1,000 to 2,000 IU per day. ( I have lowered my dose to 1,000 IU per day wihile I am dealing with the magnesium deficiency, as I had severe muscle spasms on 5,000 IU a day . I'll have to consider later if more may be necessary.) Did you take only the one dose? Remember that Vitamin D increases the uptake of calcium from the intestines, so you may have caused the serum calcium levels to spike, especially if you were eating a lot of calcium rich foods like milk and cheese. High calcium can cause muscle spasms. Magnesium does ususally help to relax muscles and reduces muscle spasms, but don't overdo the calcium and Vitamin D. 10,000 IU a day could cause some problems, so you really do need to back down if you were taking the 10,000 IU every day. As for dose, I use 200 mg. per day of magnesim malate (that is elemental magnesium) in the morning ( I get it from the health food store) and about 200 mg (elemental magnesium) of magnesium citrate in the evenings along with some dissolved epsom salts on my body after a shower - probably about another 100 mg. on the skin, though I don't know how much is ablsorbed. Don't forget the food sources of magnesium - nuts (almonds especially), seeds (pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds are very high in magnesium), beans, halibut, leafy greens such as spinach, and buckwheat flour (buckwheat pancakes are yummy with fresh fruit). Magnesium is absorbed much better from food than from supplements. Always be sure to have the kidneys checked regularly ( A BUN (sometimes called an SUN) and creatinine are usually sufficient, though if there is any question further tests such as a GFR (glomerular filtration rate) may be done as well) as kidneys filter and reabsorb the magnesium and calcium among other things. Kidneys are such important organs and we really take them for granted. Also be sure you are not taking vitamin A, except in the beta carotene form as it is found in foods, as it can counter some of the beneficial effects of the Vitamin D, adn be sure to take some B vitamins as well, as they are needed to make the Vitamin D useful to the body. Zinc, boron and a tiny abmount of vitamin A are also needed as cofactors for vitamn D and you can ususally get those from food if you are eating a healthy diet. Here is a link to the Vitamin D coucil's page on Vitamin D co-factors:
http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/newsletter/more-vitamin-d-questions-and-answers.shtml
and here ais the page for the archives for all the Vitamin D council newsletters:
http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/releases.shtml
Happy reading!
Herbert Smith
http://www.jigsawhealth.com/supplements/magnesium — this is the best absorbable magnesium there is. It also doesn't cause diarrhea. I highly recommend it.
Here's the comparison with other supplements: http://www.jigsawhealth.com/resources/magnesium-comparison
Annette Erbs Marslen
I gather that this is magnesium using slow release technology for an oral supplement? I have been keen to try it but will have to purchase from US as I live in Australia and haven't got around to it yet. Very interested to know it doesn't cause diarrhoea!!! This can certainly be a problem with most high doses of other oral magnesium. I am pretty happy using transdermal magnesium chloride oil too, but like to add an oral supplement to my daily regime of transdermal application as really stops foot and toe cramps. I was suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome when diagnosed with vitamin D insufficiency and within weeks of commencing vitamin D realised my carpal tunnel was barely causing any problems. When I added the transdermal magnesium to my oral supps for magnesium I noticed that I now rarely even get any tingling in my fingers overnight anymore.
about 8 months ago · Report
Paul Paulie
i have been taking 5000 ui along with the solgar 400mg magnesuim citrate and so far i have been fine. All your replys have been helpful, much appreciated.
about 8 months ago · Report
Annette Erbs Marslen
Great! Hope everything continues well. Might be worth getting a 25(OH)D test again in a few weeks to find out your vitamin D levels - will give you an idea of how well the supplements are working at bringing your levels up.
Cheers
about 8 months ago · Report
Jeanette Day Bjarnason
I just found this site.....very, very interesting indeed. Informative !! Have been diagnosed with hyperparathyroidism ( now have hypothyroidism as well ) , very low Magnesium & Phosphorus. . High PTH, slightly elevated calcium
The Dr have prescribed Magnesium Gluconate 500mg , 3 times a day. I have been on this for 3 yrs and still low .. 1500 mg's a day is really a high dosage. Whe I ended up in emerg one time , the nurse asked me what med's etc, I was taking...she would not believe that I was prescribed this much mg.. ( she said " I highly doubt that " )
Has anyone on this site used this form of mag....
I read somewhere that this was a better form than the others, but also realize that we can't believe all that we read, new infor is out now.
I am in Canada

Annette Erbs Marslen

Hi Jan - what is the elemental magnesium listed on the bottle of mangesium gluconate? It is the elemental magnesium you need to count up. I take three 500 mg amino acid chelated magnesium a day which contains 100 mg of elemental magnesium per capsule. Each type of magnesium - citrate, carbonate, gluconate, lactate etc, all have varying amounts of elemental magnesium. A dosage of 500 or 600 mg elemental magnesium is fine but may cause you to have loose bowels. You could try transdermal magnesium as well.

Jeanette Day Bjarnason

Hi Annette....There is nothing else listed...this is a prescription
I have the transdermal mg...can not afford to use it other than for pain

Annette Erbs Marslen

Hi Jan - 1000 mg of magnesium gluconate contains approximately 54 mg of elemental magnesium so each one of your 500 mg magnesium gluconate tablets will contain around 27 mg of elemental magnesium. This means that the 1500 mg dose you have been prescribed per day is really quite moderate and shouldn't cause any bowel problems as you will be getting only about 81 mg of elemental magnesium a day. However as this is such a moderate dose it may not raise your serum magnesium as your body will be using everything you take.
If you can include in your daily intake nuts (peanut, almonds, Brazils, hazelnuts), nut butters (including peanut butter), sesame seeds, (sesame snap biscuits for instance), pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds etc, and even 30 to 60 g of 70% dark chocolate as well as increasing your leafy greens these will all provide additional dietary magnesium to help to bring up your magnesium levels.
I also suggest searching for a cheaper brand of transdermal magnesium - I know some are very expensive, but there are cheaper (but perfectly good) types that have been tested for heavy metals and cleared for use. I purchase Essence of Life from the Global Light Network in big 3.8 litre bottles - it is imported to Australia where I live from USA and still remains the most affordable I have found. They also have magnesium flakes in 20 cup containers for a very reasonable price which you can use in foot bath and bath for soaking.
If you find the transdermal magnesium chloride is still too expensive, try using Epsom salt foot baths as Epsom salts are readily available and not very expensive - they are sold here in pharmacies and supermarkets in 500 g packs. Epsom salts are pure magnesium sulphate and while transdermal absorption is not quite as good as magnesium chloride flakes, it will still assist in raising your mg levels without costing a fortune. Good luck! Try a daily foot soak in warm water with 1/2 cup of Epsom salts and soak your feet for 20 minutes. Epsom salts have always been used for baths if you have muscle pain so are a very old and well tried remedy.
Hope this is of assistance.
Jeanette Day Bjarnason
Thanks very much Annette.
No I don't get any bowel problems.
I am not sure if this means anything but I also have high mag & calcium in my urine ( Mg is almost double what it should be in the urine )
Appears To me, much of what I take in goes out as well. I am thinking that with the transdermal mg , my body /brian etc should absorb more than it eliminates ? At one point a Dr had mentioned to me weekly Mg interveniously at the hospital..
Living up in Northern Canada, I find the shipping costs, duty etc.. higher than most the products, But am looking into this site you have mentioned here now.
Yes I use the epsom salts for feet soaks & baths and it truly does help with muscle pain.
This is very helpful Annette, Thank you so much
Annette Erbs Marslen
Hi Jan, hmmm, losing high amounts in your urine is interesting - as you say, lots going out. Will have to do some reading. The mg intravenously sounds interesting. I can provide a link that may give you some more info on this. It is for a particular disease, but is still relevant when discussing IV mg. This is a website providing info for health care workers regarding magnesium supplementation. Hope you find it interesting.
http://barttersite.org/magnesium-dosing-information-for-health-care-workers/
I understand about shipping costs - a problem living a long way away from main cities. Hopefully the prices at GLN will be better and you can choose the "snail mail" instead of air mail perhaps? Must say I don't know much about the delivery systems in other countries.
As a matter of interest, how much vitamin D and calcium are you taking per day?
Glad you are already using the Epsom Salts for foot soaks - a pleasant and inexpensive way of upping your magnesium!
Jan, has your Dr made a diagnosis of the cause of your hyperparathyroidism yet?
Annette Erbs Marslen
Hi again Jan - Jim Larsen who posts regularly on this Facebook "wall" put up the link below about vitamin D and high PTH levels. Don't know if it will be useful but thought you might like to read it.
Do you know what your vitamin D serum level is? The test is called 25 (OH)D and indicates your levels of vitamin D in either nanomole per litre or nanogram per millilitre. You can find more about this on the Vitamin D Council website.
Cheers
http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.betterbones.com%2Fblog%2Fpost%2Fvitamin-d-parathyroid-hormone-levels-magnesium-deficiency.aspx&h=3b9bd
QQ Jeanette Day Bjarnason
Hi Annette
They ran a blood test for my vit D levels almost a yr ago, but the results were not recieved by the Dr., only a letter from the lab stating they were overloaded with the enormous amount of these to be ran, would take awhile to complete......
I will ask him to do another...I am sure I am very low lving in the North, not enough sunlight as well as I can seem to tolerate heat or much sun....
Was taking vit d3 1,000icu until recently I read something on parathroid.com about high calcium & vit D. Apparently , vit D wil raise you blood calcium ? Not that I believe all that I read.....lol
Will see what this site has to say
Thanks Annette

Jeanette Day Bjarnason

Hi Annette
Just seen you previous post.
I was told not to take calcium at all , reduce my foods which contain ca.....( by the endrocrinologist ) due to primary hyperparathyroidism ( adenoma ) which has caused high pth as well as high blood calcium. High blood calcium is not good ( not in your blood anyway, causes many other problems , kidney's being one ) Vit D, I just recently stopped as I read it increases calcium in the blood as well as in my case can interfere with magn absorption. Read somewhere that the magnesium deficiency must be corrected 1st, as well as the parathyroid edenoma taken out.. ( no sureon in Canada will/can do this, only when one is at risk of kidney failure, In other words the surgeons here are not experienced in this and it is too risky...so they tell me
I now have hypothyroidism and a mass aroung the thyroid/parathyroid, and am going to ask if they will refer me back to the surgeon ( whom I have not seen since 2002 ) My bone density did not show osteoporosis yet but noted a significant decrease in density from 5 yrs ago..
The Dr mentioned the mg interviniously, but never did give me a requisition for it, and now that Dr is gone..this one may disagree......Dr's come & go here every 6-18 months..I am just going in circles, never getting anywhere. The ones we get here are fresh out of school.......
I believe that this adenoma has to come out, there may be more than one diseased gland ( well obviously there is, but I mean more than one parathyroid gland )
I am a total mess aye >>>> lol
Thanks for the links Annette, sure nice to be able to find some resources
Jan
Annette Erbs Marslen
Hi Jan - have been doing some additional research and found what looks to be a reliable website for people with hyperparathyroidism. Here are the links:
This is the home page link:
http://parathyroid.com/
http://parathyroid.com/about-Parathyroid.htm
There is also a Parathyroid Disease Group facebook link at the bottom of the page - look for:
"Join the Parathyroid Disease Awareness Group on Facebook"
From what I read, surgery is the best option for long term health but that sounds as though it will be difficult for you to access as the surgeon needs to be very, very experienced and skilled. Hope there is something you find on this website that is useful to you!
Wish this clinic was in Canada, not Florida, USA!!!
Jeanette Day Bjarnason
Thank You Annette.....
I joined this group awhile ago and is how I was led to this topic & You...
I am at the point where I no longer even care about the risks...just want the surgery and face the consequences.....now if only I can convince a surgeon of the same

Annette Erbs Marslen

Hi Jan - yes, it sounds as though that is the only way to deal with this awful problem. Does Canada have a National Medicare type system to covers hospital and surgery costs? From what I have read, your long term bone health is at risk without the surgery and all the other symptoms and painful muscles must be driving you mad!

Jeanette Day Bjarnason

Hello Annette
Yes .we do have medicare in place here
The other symptoms ( before the bones ) are what are going to do me in, and literally feel like I am going insane. It is so very difficult to explain

Kathy Galey Tucker

Elaine, Read the post you had on vitamin d and magnesium and had the exact thing happen to me . Would love to talk to you about this. I have been taking natural calm and jigsaw magnesium malate and also using magnesium soaks and transdermal mag. chloride. Was wondering if you have had to take anything for your potassium as i have read that if magnesium is low potassium is also low. Would love your input on this .
Annette Erbs Marslen
Hi Jan - have been giving your problem a lot of thought and have done some more research. I have attached a link for you to read and if you choose, to print and take to your Dr.
From what I read, it may still be worth getting your vitamin D levels checked and if low get them up under close monitoring of your serum calcium levels by your Dr. This article has been cited by many well known journals.
http://jcem.endojournals.org/cgi/content/full/90/4/2122
The reason I am thinking this may help is that the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency on top of the symptoms of your Primary Hyperthyroidism would leave you feeling much, much worse. If you are D deficient and can get your levels up you may notice that you have an improvement in how your feeling simply by a reduction of some symptoms that could be related to or exaccerbated by a vitamin D deficiency. For example muscle and joint pain may be worse if you are also deficient in vitamin D. If you haven't already looked at the vitamin D council website under:
http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/research.shtml
you may find scanning down the list of articles will provide information on other health problems or symptoms that you may be experiencing and information about their relationship to vitamin D deficiency.
Cheers, Annette
Kathy Galey Tucker
Annette or anyone else, If you know anything about the question i have asked Elaine i would love to hear from you also about the magnesium and potassium.
Annette Erbs Marslen
Hi Kathy - potassium is pretty easy to get in the diet and most multivitamins have it as well. Your levels will probably depend on the things mentioned in the article below. You can purchase a salt here in Australia that is 50% sodium chloride and 50% potassium so if you are worried your potassium might be low, you could swap your regular salt for one of these blends. They have been around for years and usually come under the heading Lite Salt or similar.
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000479.htm
Cheers, Annette

Jeanette Day Bjarnason

Thank You Annette......I have hyperparathyroidism.......and hypthyroidism
I was told that supplemental Vit D would increase the bl calcium levels ( which would then increase or prgress to kidney disease......But will definitely look inot all this further
I sure appreciate all that you do here for me//
Thanks again Annette

Jeanette Day Bjarnason

Kathy....I was also put on prescribed potassium ( which works to help absorb magnes )
But, it is critical to be monitored....have potassium levels in check , as high levels of potassium can be very dangerous.. I am no longer on potassium supplement

Kathy Galey Tucker

Annette and Jan , Thank you so much for your reply. The reason i was wondering about potassium is when i was on the vitamin d i stared to feel really bad lose of energy , muscule twitching, insomnia, elevated pb and heart rate , shakey inside and out. I started doing research on vit. d overdose even though i was only taking 1000 a day what i came across doing all the research led my to the magnesium def. when i stared to put it all together i had symptoms of mag. def. for years ( constapation, fast heart rate also have mitral value prolaspe, cant handle stress ) so i started to soak in epsom baths and could see instant results bp went down heart rate slowed down but is still running a little high at times . I have been on the mag for almost two months so i thought maybe something else may be going on or does it just take a long time to get mag. levels back up. Also have had to cut back on the natural calm due to using the bathroom to much. Thank you so much . Kathy

Jeanette Day Bjarnason

Hi Annette
Just thought you may like to know that, As per the site you reccommended above (http://jcem.endojournals.org/cgi ) It states in this article that " Uncertainty still exists, as to whether repletion of vitamin D should be undertaken in patients with PHPT " Primary hyperparathyroidism
Excellent resource for others tho
Thanks again Doll

Annette Erbs Marslen

Hi Jan - yes, I would like to know if further study had been done since. However what intersted me is that ALL those who took part in this study has primary hyperthyroidism. I am particularly interested in this statement at the end of the Abstract on the article.
"These preliminary data suggest that vitamin D repletion in patients with PHPT does not exacerbate hypercalcemia and may decrease levels of PTH and bone turnover. Some patients with PHPT may experience an increase in urinary calcium excretion after vitamin D repletion."
and the first paragraph of the "Results" secton says:
"Our findings suggest that vitamin D repletion in patients with mild PHPT does not promote an increase in serum calcium and may modestly decrease levels of PTH and bone turnover. There may be a small early (<6 month) increase in urinary calcium excretion, the clinical significance of which is uncertain. These data are consistent with the suggestion from epidemiological studies that hypovitaminosis D in PHPT is associated with a more severe biochemical phenotype (17, 18, 24) and suggest that maintenance of vitamin D sufficiency may restrain the progression of PHPT."
(Reference: http://jcem.endojournals.org/cgi/content/full/90/4/2122 )
A lot would depend on your levels and whether you have levles that are similar to those quoted in the article. You would certainly have to work very closely with your Dr if you chose to go down this road, but over the 12 months of this study the results for those taking part was quite positive with no majorly negative outcomes.
Annette Erbs Marslen
Hi Kathy - seems your vitamin D supplementation uncovered your major magnesium deficiency! I had been taking magnesium for years before I started on the vitamin D but boy the two together are fantastic!!
Kathy Galey Tucker
Hi Annette, My daughter has started taking magnesium and vitamin d and can really feel a big improvement in the way she feels. I had never heard of the great wonders of magnesium until all this came up. Years ago i was told i had mitral valve prolaspe and was placed on a beta blocker for fast heart rate and boy i found out really quick i did not want to be on that stuff . After getting info. on magnesium i see now that would have done me more good than any phar. drugs with no side effects. For many years i would have to eat certain food in order to even have a bowel movement and still would only go about twice a week and now i go every day. I am still having some problems with my heart racing and sometimes i feel little flutters but have had this off and on for years but am hoping once i get my magnesium levels up it will really help this problem. Also i am 52 and going through menopause witch is not helping matters any. Thanks so much for your replies and if you can think of anything i can do to help get this moving along i would love to hear from you . God Bless you for all your help . Kathy

Annette Erbs Marslen

HI Kathy - yes, magnesium is amazing stuff! I was like you - was taking tablespoons of fibre supps a day and lots of water even with the magnesium - then when I started on the vitamin D, it was like having the muscles of the bowel reactivated! Couldn't believe it! The combination of higher vitamin D levels and daily magnesium - oral and transdermal has been a wonder! I am past menopause now (thankfully) but wish I'd known about vitamin D during that time as I'm sure it would have helped.
Glad to be of any help I can! Cheers, Annette

Jeanette Day Bjarnason

Hi Annette...
I have high pth levels ( not mild ) . When I was on vit d3 supplements ( for about 10 months, my Blood calcium levels, as well as pth levels were steadily climbing, so was taken off the vit d. These increases may not have been due to the vit d intake, I will most likely never know ..
Now, if this disease had been diagnosed earlier, ( or I had been on vit d a few yrs ago )I believe it could have prevented the progression of the disease, and I would be feeling much better than I am now.
I was feeling better in so many other ways while on vit d , and so wish I could take it. I guess the only solution for me in this is to find a surgeon who will / can take out the adenoma, then I could try it again
Have a great week-end
Jeanette Day Bjarnason
Hi Kathy....yes, taking magn can take up to 3 months or more to feel the difference It depends on how low your mg is as well.. how depleted you were to begin with
Also , Previously in a post from Annette, she has shown me that the type of prescription Mg I am on, is not providing my body with enough elemental mg, Have you seen what she posted to me in on this ?

Annette Erbs Marslen

Oh, Jan, it really is awful for you! I hope you can get the surgery as tt seems like your only option, but as you have said, the difficulty is finding a surgeon who can/will do it!! And yes, once you have had the surgery, you will be able to take vitamin D and without doubt feel like a new woman!!
Hope you also are having a lovely weekend! Cheers, Annette

Jeanette Day Bjarnason

YESSSSSSSSSSS >>>
Just found out now that the surgeon ( Here in Canada _) who seen me 10 yrs ago, now does this surgery...so will get my Gp to referr me to him again...
Hope fully he will agree to do this surgery.....I 60 yrs old
At least I have some hope now Annette...will keep you updated

Annette Erbs Marslen

Whooo-ooo this is the time to push hard for your long term health!!!
- - - - - - - - -

See also Vitamin D Council Facebook Forum on Transdermal Magnesium

Magnesium Chloride, Magnesium oil, and Espon salts absorbed thru the skin
47 posts as of Aug 2011

See any problem with this page? Report it (FINALLY WORKS)