I've been doing a lot of researching on magnesium and I've found that magnesium deficiency (also called "hypomagnesemia" or "hypomagnesium"), can cause: depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and other conditions.
Recently, I've been learning that it can cause psychosis, too, and I found a supportive medical report:
In general, psychotic episodes occurred when there was hypocalcemia, hypercalcemia,
or hypomagnesemia. Antipsychotic medication was not efficacious unless serum calcium and
magnesium levels were both normal. It is suggested that psychiatric disturbances in hypoparathyroidism and
treatment resistance to antipsychotic medication in other functional psychoses may also be related to
. . . .
It is also the first to provide
clinical evidence for the role of magnesium in IHP
psychosis, which in turn suggests the significance of
*hypomagnesemia* as a cause of psychiatric disturbance
in other types of hypoparathyroidism and as a
possible factor contributing to treatment resistance
in other psychotic conditions. Guidelines for the
long-term management of psychotic symptoms in
IHP are given to help practicing psychiatrists manage
. . . .
In 1991 she had a
recurrence of her psychosis (similar to the initial
episode) associated with hypocalcemia and hypomagnesemia...
. . . .
Improvement in her
mental state was seen only when her hypomagnesemia
was corrected with intramuscular magnesium
sulfate. This psychotic episode remitted dramatically
approximately 2 weeks after correction of
. . . .
In general, psychotic episodes occurred when she
was hypocalcemic, hypercalcemic, or hypomagnesemic.
From 1987 to 1991, when serum calcium
was normal and she received only low doses of
antipsychotic medication, relapses of her psychosis
continued to occur. Serum magnesium levels during
this period were initially normal but became low. In
1991 she presented with an episode of psychotic
illness similar to the initial presentation. This time
both her serum calcium and magnesium were low.
. . . .
this case study, it seems that serum magnesium
plays an important role in this regard. The psychotic
episode in 1991 associated with low-serum calcium
did not show any response to correction of hypocalcemia
with ergocalciferol and the addition of large
doses of antipsychotic medication until the coexisting
hypomagnesemia was also corrected. It is well
known that hypomagnesemia produces a state of
functional hypoparathyroidism (10, 11).
. . . .
Although there have been studies on the role of
magnesium in psychiatric disorders (notably in affective
disorders and alcoholism), there have not
been any published studies on serum, and more
importantly, intracellular and cerebrospinal magnesium
levels, of treatment-resistant psychotic disorders.
It is known that serum magnesium concentrations,
like those of potassium, do not always
accurately reflect the intracellular concentrations of
the ion and that symptomatic total-body magnesium
deficiency can occur in the presence of normal
serum levels. Hence, both serum and intracellular
magnesium level may have significant effects on the
mental state of patients with hypoparathyroidism as
well as their response to treatment with vitamin D
analogues and antipsychotic medication. It has been
suggested that hypomagnesemia and total magnesium
deficiency may exacerbate various psychiatric
symptoms (13). It is possible that hypomagnesemia
may contribute to the treatment resistance of psychoses
found in other conditions besides IHP. It would
be worthwhile to study magnesium and calcium
changes in psychotic patients who are resistant to
It's very important what the article states about intracellular levels of magnesium. The typical serum blood tests aren't very effective, as 1% of magnesium is in the blood, while the rest is in the cells. The best tests I've learned about are the tolerance or loading tests, but these aren't your typical tests.
During one of my many excursions throughout the country, a university neurology professor told me a tragic story which exemplifies the need for recognizing the connection between nutrition and mental illness. Jack Turner worked very hard, and as a result suffered from intestinal ulcers. He was a corporate CEO, in charge of many and responsible for much. His daily grind did not afford him the luxury of eating well, and the stress of his work exacerbated his ulcers. When he finally suffered a mental breakdown, nobody was surprised. His doctors, his coworkers and even his wife attributed his collapse to his stressful workaholic lifestyle and his perfectionist point of view.
Jack was admitted to a state hospital, *diagnosed with psychosis*. He was there several years before a new doctor decided to evaluate his nutritional status. He was found to be deficient in the B vitamins and was given shots of B12.
Miraculously, Jack began to recover. After a few months of an aggressive campaign of nutritional therapy, Jack Turner was discharged, his psychosis ended. Tragically, because of irreversible neurological damage, he was confined to a wheelchair. Not complaining left the corporate world to become a schoolteacher. His ulcers healed and he retained excellent mental health well into his 80s.
How many Jack Turners are out there, misdiagnosed and misrepresented, denied the help that could make them better?
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