Hi, you may have heard me spout off here as a proponent of Mg supplementation in Lyme ... I have been taking 250mg of Mg oxide/day, divided into two doses of about 125mg each (by biting into the tablet since they aren't scored). 250mg in one dose may not be a lot for most people, but I'm real sensitive to meds generally. I've also read somewhere that taking little bits of supplements throughout the day is better generally than one big dose once a day. Start low, work up.
There aren't readily available tests for Mg levels in the blood, because most Mg is inside the cells, and by the time the blood levels get so low as to cause problems, it's because the cells are tapped out, and symptoms are significant. I think that's why standard blood panels don't test for Mg levels.
Or you could do the [foot]bath/Epsom salts method, but it's hard to tell how much you're taking in that way.
I started too high 500 mgs and really messed up my GI.
I stopped altogether and then I was really in for it as Jackie points out on anohter post antibiotics cause mag depletion too. It leads to twitching
Eek! I'm sorry about your bad experience with my fave electrolyte. I've read in a few places that the 'only' downside of too much magnesium is diarrhea, but nothing else -- but not like that's inconsiderable.
I notice when my Mg levels are going down because my heart begins to flutter (like if I stand up quickly and walk fast down the hall) and my digestive system gets sluggish (as in no gut-muscle activity).
In addition to whatever Mg I take in from diet, I find 250 mg/day is plenty. But that's just me, everybody is different. Try again with a little bit and work up?
Do you mind if I add a couple thoughts here? In terms of Magnesium supplementation I believe that the commonest form that is found, magnesium oxide is also the poorest. I have been recommending high-grade Magnesium supplements for years, mostly for cardiovascular health and hypertension, but the principles apply here, too.
Mag oxide is used in all but the best supplements because it is dirt cheap. It is also not very bio-available. The body's absorption and use of it is a little hit and miss.
The best forms of magnesium are other salts like:
mag orotate (my personal favorite)
Typically you can use less of these and get better supplementation. In their commonest formulation you can one (or one twice a day) and get better levels and less GI stuff - usually diarrhea. I can't give exact milligram doses, because each salt has a different mass/weight.
This is a pearl that I picked up from some really great nutritionist, one of whom was also an outstanding cardiologist.
BTW - How common is magnesium deficiency in Lyme? I know someone with a whole raft of problems which include neuro symptoms and Mag deficiency and I haven't known what to tell her. Mag deficiency is actually not a common medical problem.
Magnesium seems to help me also but I agree with Quix that you have to take the right kind. I'll need to double-check what I'm taking right now, but I believe it's a better source than magnesium oxide.
I believe most decent LLMD's suggest that Lyme depletes our magnesium. I have also heard that magnesium is tough to test for because the blood count doesn't matter so much as the count within the cells.
Dr. Burrascano recommends magnesium L-lactate.
I eat a fairly healthy diet but my potassium dips down also. I wonder if Lyme plays a factor into that?
I agree from my scant reading that Mg oxide is the least useful but the most common and cheapest.
I've recently ordered liquid Mg chloride, and will see how that does.
I find however that even cheapo Mg oxide does in a pinch. I started low with the dose and stopped at good effect.
Bryan Rosner, who writes on Lyme stuff, is a big believer in Mg supplementation, and I found his writing after I discovered for myself that it works ... it also explains why I was having severe dehydration and heart irregularities that were fixed however briefly by an IV of electrolytes etc.
There is a company in Oregon that says it has a patented test done with a buccal (cheek) swab for intracellular Mg; blood levels of Mg are always stable as long as anything is available to scavenge from the cells, so I read, so you are right, checking serum levels is pointless until you're so depleted there is nothing left in the cells to replenish levels in the blood.
This may not affect many or even most people, but it sure does me, and it makes sense in that Lyme is alleged to use Mg in its reproductive cycle, making it somewhat unique.
I feel brighter, clearer headed and low to no twitching when I'm on Mg. For what it's worth; I'm no doctor.
A related question - brought up by Jackie. How often does Lyme affect cardiac rhythm - such as tachycardia, syncope, heart block with slow heart rate, etc?
For me, a lot. That is the bulk of my symptoms any more. If you peruse other Lyme forums or Lyme information, it seems Lyme affects around 10-20% of patients with cardiac issues. The co-infection of Babesia is attributed to being a cause of cardiac symptoms.
I know that I have read quite a number of postings by other Lymies that almost nail my symptoms exact (tachycardia, heart skips (PVC's), chest pain, shortness of breath) when all of the standard cardiac tests come back clean.