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magnesium
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magnesium

Hi, 35 white male  5'11" 260 lbs- exercise 3x week
I suffer from PVC's that come and go over the months and years.  I also have some other issues that aren't explained like fatigue, nausea, times where I lose my appetite for days.  I was doing some research and discovered that a magnesium deficiency may could explain some of my symptoms - for example there was some study where people were given IV magnesium and their symptoms improved.   Another thing is that looking back over my history, my potassium levels are almost always borderline low.

So basically what can you tell me about magnesium levels, test accuracy,  and if I want to try some supplements to see if I feel better or my symptoms improve,  what would be the safest thing to get (and avoid) and the right dosage to start out?  Are there any dangers of taking magnesium?

I looked up tests given at a local lab and i see Magnesium serum and RBC magnesium tests available, but I also read that these are highly inaccurate.  Is it even worth getting tested,  if so should I do serum Magnesium or RBC magnesium or both?
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
Magnesium is present in the blood as well inside all cells, including heart muscle and nerves.  While conventional serum/blood magnesium testing measures mag level outside cells, it is the intracellular magnesium that affects muscles and nerve conduction.   So this is why serum/blood mag testing is an inaccurate tool for "true" mag level; however, as far as I know it is the only test used by hospitals.  I do not use the RBC magnesium test so cannot tell you its validity.  

Usually the lower normal level of blood magnesium is around 2mg/dl -- in the hospital we give IV magnesium sulfate to people with mag level less than 2, especially if arrhythmia is in the equation.  People do tolerate much higher blood magnesium levels, but at some point low blood pressure, abnormal slow heart rate and mental confusion set in (usually seen in pregnant women given huge quantities of IV mag for preeclampsia)    

My recommendations:

1. Get whichever magnesium test your doctor’s office offers.  If the level comes back low or even normal, consider that it is probably not a true measure of your cells’ magnesium level.  

2. Consider trying an over-the-counter oral magnesium preparations (there are many, ask your pharmacist, nutritionist).  I used to recommend mag gluconate, but members of this forum enlightened me to many other available compounds.  See our post “http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Heart-Rhythm/Magnesium-Taurate-and-or-Taurine/show/1696187#post_7753788

3. Beware that if you have abnormal kidney function it is NOT recommended for you to take magnesium supplementation. so if you are unsure of your renal function, check with your doctor.

Good Luck!
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