Monday, 24 June 2013

Magnesium For Anxiety - What is It, And Does it Work?

While most people often feel nervous or anxious when faced with a problem or issue, an anxiety disorder is much more severe. Anxiety disorders often greatly interfere with an individual's ability to live a normal life. 

There are also different types of anxiety disorders, from specific phobias to post-traumatic stress disorder, social anxiety disorder and OCD or obsessive compulsive disorders. 

Among the newest treatment forms for anxiety include magnesium.

Let's discuss the benefits, and possible risks of using magnesium for anxiety disorders.

Where Is Magnesium Abundant? 

Magnesium is a mineral which is abundant in the earth, as well as in food. It is plentiful in foods like dark chocolate, brown rice, almonds, hazelnuts, lima beans, peanuts, spinach, okra, Swiss chard, bananas and hazelnuts.  The water supply also contains considerable magnesium levels. However, despite the prevalence of magnesium in most food items, the average dietary magnesium consumption of most humans is still insufficient. (Source: Time For Wellness)

How to Increase Magnesium Intake 

According to health experts, it was as early as the 1920's that magnesium was utilized to treat depression and induce sleep or relaxation. 

In a number of studies, patients who were given between 125 to 300 mg of magnesium glycinate with each meal during bedtime were shown to have had recovered rapidly from major depression in less than seven days. 

The recovery also included a lessening of symptoms of suicidal thoughts, irritability, insomnia, alcohol and tobacco abuse, as well as short-term memory loss. 

The evidence gathered from the studies has led many health care professionals to suggest that magnesium should be prescribed for treating resistant depression (even though more research was still needed). 

To increase magnesium intake, eat vegetables and other food items rich in the mineral, as well as take a good-quality supplement which contains magnesium glycinate (a variant that's better absorbed by the body).  (Source: Time For Wellness)

The Benefits and Risks of Magnesium Treatment

While there have been no negative or adverse effects observed or noted with magnesium consumption, some supplements have been noted to cause troublesome effects, the most common of which is diarrhea (especially when the dose goes beyond  350 mg). 

In people who have reduced kidney function, high levels can lead to a condition called “hypermagnesemia”. But in people who have normal kidney functions, magnesium intake is generally considered to be safe. (Source: Science-Based Medicine)

While the United States Office of Dietary Supplements notes that most magnesium supplements are relatively safe, some products may cause irritating side effects such as abdominal cramping and diarrhea.  

Some supplements can also leave a dull, chalk-like taste in the mouth. Health experts also stress that if you have renal disease, then you should not take magnesium supplements. 

These dietary supplements may also negatively interact with drugs like neuromuscular blockers and  tetracycline antibiotics. Talk to your doctor before you to decide to take this, as he or she may have a suitable dose for you.

Photo Credits:

“Roasted California Almonds” by  HealthAliciousNess/Flickr
“Doctor and Patient” by  Vic/Flickr

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