Menopause can have disastrous symptoms manifesting as restless legs, cramps, sleep disorders, excessive stress reactions and oversensitivity, hot flashes and profuse sweating, heart arrhythmia, drying up of various places (including vagina), bowel and skin, as well as increasing stiffness and calcification of muscles and joints. Metabolism can also slow down, leading to excessive weight gain and loss of waistline. Bones become dryer, more brittle and prone to breakage.
Magnesium deficiency can make menopause symptoms far worse by increasing hyper-sensitivity to stress. It can lead to over-emotional outbursts and even depression. As magnesium is essential for energy production, we can also get brain fog and chronic fatigue.
Without enough magnesium the body will have trouble detoxifying and cleaning its cells or replacing cells, because those enzymes responsible are magnesium-dependent. This leads to acidification and ageing of cells (as in a compost heap), lower metabolism, arthritis, and clogging up and stiffening of vascular systems (causing hypertension). All these processes need mitochondrial production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the body’s electrical currency, which depends on magnesium.
That’s not all folks. If your doctor blames your emotional tightrope and stress sensitivity on ‘hormonal imbalance’, you may need to think again – this time with magnesium in the picture. Magnesium is essential for the synthesis of cholesterol and is used to make DHEA, the master hormone from which estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and other hormones are made. Therefore, when magnesium becomes depleted, your hormones can get out of synch too. As estrogen levels decrease, we tend to waste more magnesium in the urine, making us even more sensitive to stress, adrenaline release, panic, flight-or-flight responses and hot flushing. It’s a downward spiral.
How can I get more magnesium?
Magnesium is the mineral most likely to be in short supply in modern industrialised societies because soils and our food supply have become deficient and we suffer considerably more from a multitude of stresses – particularly chemical stressors. Many chemicals and heavy metals can block magnesium in the body, so that even if we are getting the average recommended amount of magnesium from diet, we may not be able to use it well.
Sometimes we need a lot of stomach acid to digest the foods that will give us more magnesium, yet as we get older our stomach acid tends to become weaker. This is another reason why magnesium tablets and powders are less effective. It is also difficult to get high concentrations of magnesium across the gut wall to the body’s interior and into your muscle and bone cells. Apart from a small amount getting through, the greater part is wasted in the toilet.
If you are getting more inflammation, stiffness and calcification in the soft tissue areas of the body such as muscles, ligaments, arteries and joints, then chances are your calcium levels are too high in relation to magnesium. As magnesium is the controller of calcium channels, and therefore influences our ability to relax and be flexible, be careful about ingesting calcium (or vitamin D) supplements when magnesium is low, which can further suppress your magnesium and harden you up faster. Lifting magnesium levels usually rebalances the system, as magnesium is a vital co-factor nutrient to leverage the benefit of those other nutrients.
Transdermal magnesium is now the preferred method used by many women to get more magnesium because it works faster and better than taking tablets. You can have magnesium baths and foot soaks, apply magnesium cream moisturiser (with anti-ageing effects), and/or magnesium oil at higher concentration for more acute conditions and stiffness. Individuals will have varying needs, with some needing two or three times more than others. However, with transdermal magnesium you can use as much as you like without fear of overdosing, as the body is self-regulating and absorbs from the skin what it needs over time. It’s a beautiful, efficient and natural system of body care to help you stay younger, more relaxed, flexible and ‘juicier’ longer!
Sandy Sanderson © 2019