Neurosurgeon and pain expert C. Norman Shealy, and a noted holistic medicine proponent, has said that “every known illness is associated with a magnesium deficiency,” adding that magnesium is necessary for “electrical stability of every cell in the body.”
Magnesium is an extremely important mineral in the human body. Well over 80% of emergency service workers are mag deficient. Sleep deprivation, poor diet, and eating nutrient deficient food are all major players in magnesium deficiency. Due to extensive high yield farming, the foods we eat these days are extremely nutrient deficient. Prescription drugs also play a major role in magnesium deficiency, such as proton pump inhibitors for acid reflux, including Prilosec, Zantac or Nexium; statins; and blood pressure medications, Fluoride is also one of the major magnesium busters. Fluoride is in public water systems, as well as toothpaste.
A little about the make up of Magnesium. “Magnesium is a cofactor in more ,than 300 enzyme systems that regulate diverse biochemical reactions in the body, including protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control, and blood pressure regulation. Magnesium is required for energy production, oxidative phosphorylation, and glycolysis. It contributes to the structural development of bone and is required for the synthesis of DNA, RNA, and the antioxidant glutathione. Magnesium also plays a role in the active transport of calcium and potassium ions across cell membranes, a process that is important to nerve impulse conduction, muscle contraction, and normal heart rhythm.”
Some other diet and lifestyle habits that deplete magnesium levels: carbonated beverages, sugar, processed foods, alcohol, coffee, tea and other caffeinated beverages. One of the most obvious, and prevalent factors is STRESS. With the prevalence of poor lifestyle habits in emergency services, we have to be prudent in supplementing Magnesium. A mag deficiency could be the difference between life and death. “The National Institutes of Health recommend daily consumption of 420 milligrams for men and 320 milligrams for adult woman.”
Magnesium also plays a major role with depression, anxiety and even seasonal effective disorder. Any imbalance can affect the way we feel mentally. A lot of patients with anxiety, and depression are found to be mag deficient. Magnesium is MAJOR in the treatment of mental health issues.
Some of the mental health benefits of supplementing Magnesium.
1: Mag increases Relaxing GABA by binding to and stimulating GABA receptors in the brain. GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) is a primary inhibitory neurotransmitter, one that puts the brakes on brain activity.When GABA is low, your brain gets stuck in the “on” position and it becomes impossible to relax. When people are easily overwhelmed, disorganized, always find something new to worry about, or lay awake with racing thoughts, you likely have low GABA levels. Low GABA is associated with numerous stress-related disorders including generalized anxiety disorder, panic attacks, and irritable bowel syndrome.
2: Magnesium restricts the release of stress hormones and acts as a filter to prevent them entering the brain. Excess cortisol contributes to anxiety, depression, memory loss, brain fog, and mental disorders of all kinds. Dr. Carolyn Dean, author of the perennial bestseller The Magnesium Miracle, has found magnesium deficiency to be a major contributor to anxiety and panic attacks.She explains that when you are under stress, your body creates stress hormones causing a cascade of physical effects, all of which consume magnesium. After studying the effects of magnesium for decades, she has found the link between anxiety and magnesium to be so strong that she emphatically states that to put an end to anxiety, you must boost your magnesium level. One of the most common signs of magnesium deficiency is muscle tightness and cramping. Tight muscles don’t just make you feel tense, they actually trigger the “flight or fight” response which releases the stress hormones epinephrine and cortisol. Taking magnesium can help your muscles relax and end this vicious cycle.
A common theme you will see through out our career is that diet and excercise greatly affect how we feel physically and mentally. You have to take personal responsibility with your health. The fore runners in our field have clearly defined all of the dangerous lifestyle habits that are within our field. It is up to you to take action and control of your life. I highly recommend supplementing with magnesium daily with a high quality mag supplement. The standard American diet fails to provide adequate magnesium with diet alone.
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Magnesium rich foods:
shredded wheat cereal
whole grain bread
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