Some studies have found that magnesium can help with pain caused by conditions like fibromyalgia, migraine, muscle tremors, weakness, and spasms. Most of us are magnesium deficient, partly because we don’t eat enough foods with magnesium and partly because we do and eat things that remove magnesium from our bodies.
Here are some foods high in magnesium to add into your diet:
- Leafy green vegetables
- Nuts and seeds
- Dark chocolate
- Brown rice
Examples of habits that remove magnesium from our bodies:
- Medications, including antibiotics, blood pressure medicine, acid blockers and more
- Excess alcohol consumption
- Excess coffee consumption
- High sugar diets
Certain health conditions can inhibit magnesium levels as well, including Type 2 diabetes, celiac disease, and other digestive disorders.
So what’s a person in pain to do?
You can supplement magnesium fairly easily. Definitely discuss this approach with your healthcare provider. When you’ve decided it’s a good idea for you, be sure to choose one of these types of magnesium:
- Magnesium citrate
- Magnesium glycinate
- Magnesium chloride
- Magnesium lactate
If you see magnesium oxide on the label, put it back on the shelf. This type of magnesium isn’t very bioavailable, meaning your body won’t absorb very much of it. Save your time and money and use one of the other types listed above.
Be aware the excess magnesium supplementation will cause loose bowels and gastrointestinal disturbance. Magnesium works in balance with other nutrients and minerals, so if you take too much it can be less help than harm. But if you build slowly, you should be able to figure out (with your health care provider’s guidance) the dosage best for you.
Aside from food choices and supplements, I enjoy two other methods to gain magnesium. If you’ve ever soaked in an Epsom salt bath, you’ve absorbed magnesium through your skin. Soaking in a tub of warm water with 1-2 cups of Epsom salts can relax your muscles and also may improve your sleep.
Another simple way to get more magnesium is by rubbing in a few drops of magnesium oil to your skin. Coaches in a sports environment sometimes use magnesium oil, so it seems natural that the same benefits could apply to people living with pain and inflammation.
Next time we’ll look at other nutrients that can enhance holistic pain relief.
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