Magnesium is critical to many cellular functions, including energy production, protein formation, and cellular replication. Magnesium participates in more than three hundred enzymatic reactions in the body, particularly those processes that produce energy (i.e., the production of ATP). When magnesium levels are low, energy levels are low. Low magnesium levels are a common finding in patients with fibromyalgia.
Major Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency
- Muscle cramps, spasm, pain
- Muscle weakness
- Poor response to alternative treatments (physical therapy)
- Irregular heartbeats
- Fibro fog
It is possible that millions of people suffer daily from magnesium deficiency without even being aware of it, and many of these may be affected by fibromyalgia. What makes it difficult to detect is that most magnesium is stored within cells and bones only 1% of the magnesium in your body is found in your bloodstream, so a common blood test most likely would not detect a deficiency. And studies have found that patients with fibromyalgia actually have lower magnesium levels in their bloodstream. In addition, there are so many conditions with symptoms similar to, and including some of those presented with this disorder, so often the initial diagnosis and treatment plan may not consider a magnesium deficiency.
Since low magnesium levels are usually missed by the occasional blood test, a more accurate reading would be the Magnesium Challenge Test. This test measure magnesium levels in the urine before and after the administration of magnesium supplementation but can be cumbersome. Another easier test is the Intracellar Measurement. This is not a blood test, but a scraping of cells from under the tongue. The cells are placed on a slide and sent to a lab where the levels of intracelluar magnesium can be ascertained.
Magnesium supplementation has produced very good results in treating fibromyalgia. Take magnesium citrate at a level of 150-250 mg three times per day.