Cramping

I recently suggested that a rider suffering from leg cramps during a 1200 apply some topical magnesium.

His immediate response was
“Never! Magnesium is a muscle relaxant and I don’t want to go to sleep.”

It always amazes me how close-minded people can be.
Surely a cramp is a muscle spasm and relaxing those muscles would relieve the cramping?

I first suffered symptoms of what I now recognise as magnesium deficiency about 150km into a 400 when I started getting stabbing pains below my knee that I could not pin down to a specific location. It seemed to be in the shin bones.

Stopping for a few minutes relieved it for 10-15 km but it persisted to the point where I walked for about 5km to relieve it but walking ended up being just as painful.

Later my wife suggested using a liquid magnesium on my legs and I have found it to be very effective. She recommends multiple applications daily to ensure sufficient absorbtion of this vital mineral.

More on the cause of cramping

How to Avoid Heart Disease

Beyond Cholesterol — What Really Causes Heart Disease?

According to Dr. Thomas Dayspring, a lipidologist (expert on cholesterol), and Director of Cardiovascular Education at Foundation for Health Improvement and Technology (FHIT), most heart attacks are due to insulin resistance.

He has also stated that LDL “is a near-worthless predictor for cardiovascular issues.”

Evidence suggests high total cholesterol and even high LDL are insignificant when trying to determine your heart disease risk.

Your best predictor is your insulin sensitivity.
Your fasting insulin level can be determined by a simple, inexpensive blood test. Continue reading “How to Avoid Heart Disease”

The Cause of Cramps?

Could it be as simple as not having enough magnesium in your body?

Magnesium is much more than a simple electrolyte

– it is involved in more than 300 biological functions and is essential for heart health.
Any prescribed doses of magnesium are likely to be woefully inadequate because of a fear of possible side effects.

The symptoms of magnesium deficiency include:

Neurological:

Behavioral disturbances
Irritability and anxiety
Lethargy
Impaired memory and cognitive function
Anorexia or loss of appetite
Nausea and vomiting
Seizures

Muscular:

Weakness (SHERMER’S NECK?)
Muscle spasms (tetany)
Tics
Muscle cramps 
Hyperactive reflexes
Impaired muscle coordination (ataxia)
Tremors
Involuntary eye movements and vertigo
Difficulty swallowing

Metabolic:

Increased intracellular calcium
Hyperglycemia
Calcium deficiency
Potassium deficiency

Cardiovascular:

Irregular or rapid heartbeat
Coronary spasms

Among children:

Growth retardation or “failure to thrive”

Note that cramping is associated with magnesium deficiency
but not hypermagnesemia (too much magnesium).

Blood Tests

Only 1% of magnesium in the body is actually found in blood, and only .3% is found in blood serum, so clinical blood serum testing is not useful.

Risk Factors

  • Drinking carbonated beverages on a regular basis
  • Regularly eating pastries, cakes, desserts, candies or other sweet foods
  • Experiencing a lot of stress in your life
  • Major medical procedure such as surgery
  • Drinking coffee, tea, or other caffeinated drinks daily
  • Medications such as a diuretic, heart medication, asthma medication, birth control pills or estrogen replacement therapy
  • Drinking more than seven alcoholic beverages per week
  • Taking calcium supplements without magnesium or calcium supplements with magnesium in less than a 1:1 ratio

Possible neurological signs of magnesium deficiency:

  • Anxiety
  • Times of hyperactivity
  • Difficulty getting to sleep
  • Difficulty staying asleep

See also:

Endurance Athletes and Heart Health


 

References:

R.I.C.E. No Longer the Treatment of Choice for Injuries

Since 1978 when Dr. Gabe Mirkin coined the term RICE, Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation have been the gold standard for treating athletic injuries.

But now the ice age is melting, and a series of studies that show that injury treatment with cold therapy and total rest may actually delay healing has even Dr. Mirkin changing his mind.

Ice Age Melting: Rice May No Longer Be the Treatment of Choice for Injuries

Is endurance training bad for you?

In 2012, Belgium scientists published a study that concluded that repeated bouts of intensive endurance exercise at the elite level may result in the pathological enlargement of the right ventricle, which, according to the article, is associated with potential health hazards including sudden cardiac death.

The publication was the cause of considerable debate among experts in the medical and sports communities.

Sports medicine physicians at Saarland University have now tested the conclusions of the 2012 study by examining the hearts of elite master endurance athletes.

Their findings refute the hypothesis proposed by their Belgian colleagues.

The Saarland research team could find no evidence that years of elite-level endurance training causes any long-term damage to the right ventricle.

Despite these findings, many endurance athletes are succumbing to heart problems.

Find out why I believe this is happening in this post:
Endurance Athletes and Heart Health


http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-05/su-iet053116.php

Endurance Athletes and Heart Health

Extremely fit and active people are increasingly succumbing to heart problems such as atrial fibrillation, heart attacks and strokes.

In many cases there is no obvious warning and the medical profession is unable to explain why such healthy active people are suffering these conditions.

John Hughes says:
“All the literature I’ve read is confused on … whether intense exercise, particularly endurance exercise, may cause adverse cardiac changes in some athletes”

Richard Stum:
“The local medical “experts” have not yet found an underlying cause for the stroke, despite spending four days in the hospital and many CT scans, MRIs, blood tests and an ultrasound.”

Dr. Carolyn Dean M.D., N.D:
“Atrial Fibrillation, an electrical disruption of the rhythm of the heart, is occurring in epidemic proportions. Medicine says there is no cure and only offers drugs and surgery for the symptoms.”

The World Health Organisation lists ischaemic heart disease, stroke, lower respiratory infections and chronic obstructive lung disease as the top major killers.

Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 4.49.23 PM

Why is there so much confusion about why this is happening to extremely fit and active people?

What is Health?

Health can be described as “our body’s ability to adapt to change”. [Heather Bruce]

We live on a continuum between wellness and death. When we are well we are full of energy and feel great. However we sometimes wake up feeling not so wonderful and wonder why.

Usually we soon feel good again as our body adapts to the changes that affected it and we get on with living.

When we don’t get over a feeling of unwellness we are likely to seek help.

The medical profession does a wonderful job of fixing traumatic injuries, but when it comes to health issues, they focus on symptoms rather than looking at the whole person and how they are living their life.

There are many occasions when we may feel unwell but doctors are unable to find a cause despite the vast array of tests at their disposal.

It is only when identifiable symptoms impact on our ability to live “normally” that doctors can diagnose a problem and prescribe a medication, which may or may not, solve the problem.

At that point we are likely to be much closer to the ”death” end of the continuum than “wellness”.

Is it your Genes?

Quite often our illness is blamed on our genes because our parents or siblings had similar problems. However it is likely to be epigenetic responses that are the cause rather than our genes per se.

Genes dynamically respond to the environment: stress, diet, behaviour, toxins, and other factors regulate gene expression.

As we grow and develop, chemical reactions activate and deactivate specific genes at different times and in specific locations without changing the underlying DNA sequence in our genome.

This can be seen quite clearly in identical twins. They develop from a single fertilized egg, so they have the same genome but they often grow to be very different people. Differences between “identical” twins are due to their environments, not genetics.

What else can it be?

Rather than blaming our parents for our problems, let’s look at our environment.

Over the last half-century or so a number of things have been condemned as unhealthy and to be avoided at all costs.

Many of these doctrines are now being refuted, sometimes by the very people who promoted them in the first place.

Fat

Fat has been condemned as a major contributor to the build-up of plaques in our arteries leading to heart problems

Perhaps we need to go back to the survival diets that our forebears had us eat (we are the ones who made it to here – and our mothers, not our genes, fed and nourished us).

Let’s look at the modern fat dilemma – not what Weston Price discovered – see all that is available on line from Sally Fallon – especially ‘The Oiling of America’.

It is difficult to find products in the supermarkets that are not “fat free” or “low fat” even though the fallacy of this demonisation has been exposed for some years.

See Time magazine: “Ending the war on fat” and “Where Dietary-Fat Guidelines Went Wrong”.

Fats are essential for the production of hormones, without which we cannot survive.

Cholesterol

Cholesterol is another victim of our fear of heart attacks with medical experts claiming High blood cholesterol is one of the major risk factors for heart disease.

However, “America’s top nutrition advisory panel has decided to drop its caution about eating cholesterol-laden food, a move that could undo almost 40 years of government warnings about its consumption.” [The Press NZ]

What is Cholesterol’s Role in the body?

We make cholesterol if we are not consuming it, because we need it to make all hormones and to repair and grow our nervous system, especially the brain.

Without fat and cholesterol we can’t absorb minerals (see later) or have access to many vitamins essential – especially Vitamin E – for all arterial and venous circulation.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is very important for reducing hypertension, atherosclerotic heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.

Fear of skin cancers led to the development of ever-stronger sunscreens and the wearing of full-length clothing to avoid exposure to the sun.

Despite this, skin cancers have increased dramatically in recent decades.

Now we are told that Vitamin D deficiency is a major health issue in our populations.

Where do we get Vitamin D from? – direct exposure to sunlight!

Vitamin D and fat are needed to absorb many minerals which should be available in the food we eat.

Without these key ingredients we cannot use the essential building blocks of good health.

Soil Minerals

The mineral content of our food has diminished alarmingly as a result of industrialised farming methods and the development of chemical fertilisers, which promote plant growth while depleting the minerals in the soil.

In 1992, the official report of the Rio Earth Summit concluded “there is deep concern over continuing major declines in the mineral values in farm and range soils throughout the world”.

This statement was based on data showing that over the last 100 years, average mineral levels in agricultural soils had fallen worldwide – by 72 per cent in Europe, 76 per cent in Asia and 85 per cent in North America.      Over the last 25 years this rate of decline has continued to increase.

Without the necessary soil minerals the crops we grow cannot absorb them and hence the food is lacking in the elements necessary for our nourishment.

Different types of soil minerals hold and retain differing amounts of nutrients. Therefore, it is helpful to know the types of minerals that make up your soil so that you can predict the degree to which the soil can retain and supply nutrients to plants.

Environmental Toxins

Toxic heavy metals, pesticides, volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) and pathogen load, and how these poisons are prevalent in our environment and adversely affect our nutritional status.

A particularly critical example of the interference of toxins with nutritional status and biochemical function is the competitive aspect of Mercury and Magnesium.

Interactions Between Minerals

It is well recognized that the absorption, retention and metabolism of most essential minerals can be markedly influenced by the presence of anti-nutrient factors in the diet (i.e. fiber and phytate).

In addition, interactions can also occur between essential minerals. Indeed, under some circumstances, these interactions can be profound and have significant implications for human health.

Many minerals have a “see-saw” affect in the body. If you take too much calcium, for example, magnesium levels will be depleted and vice versa.

To maximise the benefit from vitamin D intake, you need other cofactors in your body, the most important being:

  • Magnesium
  • Vitamin K
  • Zinc
  • Boron
  • Vitamin A

Magnesium

Magnesium is extremely important for heart health.

Magnesium is lost through body processes, when under duress and through sweating.

It Is not replaced, but used up further through the ingestion of all processed foods and fluids and is needed to detox from sugar and caffeine/alcohol.

Taking calcium without the correct proportion of magnesium can lead to a heart attacks, strokes, and sudden death.

The body stores magnesium and must release it if the blood levels fall below 1% – so getting blood tests is not helpful. The body once totally depleted, can’t run the heart and then the attack happens.

When taking magnesium, calcium, vitamin D3, or vitamin K2, you need to take all the others as well, because they work synergistically with each other.

“According to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (1977) there have been more than 50 studies, in nine countries, that have indicated an inverse relationship between water hardness and mortality from cardiovascular disease. That is, people who drink water that is deficient in magnesium and calcium generally appear more susceptible to this disease.”

“Universal drinking water and beverages containing moderate to high levels of magnesium (10–100 ppm) could potentially prevent 4.5 million heart disease and stroke deaths per year, worldwide.” – http://www.mgwater.com/

Low Magnesium

Magnesium deficiency is often misdiagnosed because it does not show up in blood tests – only 1% of the body’s magnesium is stored in the blood.

Your body will transfer magnesium from other organs to maintain this 1% level in the blood as it is essential for heart health.

So even if a blood test shows normal magnesium levels you may well be severely deficient in this essential mineral.

Magnesium Deficiency

Adequate magnesium is necessary for nerve conduction and is also associated with electrolyte imbalances that affect the nervous system.

Low magnesium is also associated with personality changes and sometimes depression.

We need the vitamin D and fat to be able to use the magnesium that until recent farming practices and ‘refining of foods was very prevalent in our diet.

Magnesium should be the 4th most common mineral in a body.

People who are only slightly deficient in magnesium become irritable, highly-strung, and sensitive to noise, hyper-excitable, apprehensive and belligerent.

If the deficiency is more severe or prolonged, they may develop twitching, tremors, irregular pulse, insomnia, muscle weakness, jerkiness and leg and foot cramps.

Their gut does not work properly. Within 4 days of being magnesium depleted the ‘bad’ bacteria take over as the good ones are fed through magnesium. Then we get the IBS/Crohn’s and ulcer diagnoses.

Symptoms of magnesium deficiency include:

  • Muscular weakness (SHERMER’S NECK?)
  • Muscle spasms (tetany)
  • Tics (especially in the face)
  • Muscle cramps (EXERCISE-ASSOCIATED MUSCLE CRAMPING?)
  • Irregular or rapid heartbeat (ATRIAL FIBRILLATION)
  • Coronary spasms

leading to:

  • Chest pain (angina)
  • Cardiac arrhythmias
  • Coronary artery disease and atherosclerosis

Risk Factors

If you answer yes to any of the following questions, you may be at risk for low magnesium intake:

  1. Do you drink carbonated beverages on a regular basis?
  2. Do you regularly eat pastries, cakes, desserts, candies or other sweet foods?
  3. Do you experience a lot of stress in your life, or have you recently had a major medical procedure such as surgery?
  4. Do you drink coffee, tea, or other caffeinated drinks daily?
  5. Do you take medications such as a diuretic, heart medication, asthma medication, birth control pills or estrogen replacement therapy?
  6. Do you drink more than seven alcoholic beverages per week?
  7. Do you take calcium supplements without magnesium or calcium supplements with magnesium in less than a 1:1 ratio?
  8. Do you experience any of the following:
  • Anxiety?
  • Times of hyperactivity?
  • Difficulty getting to sleep?
  • Difficulty staying asleep?

These may be neurological signs of magnesium deficiency.

Treatment

Mercury specifically competes with Magnesium and interferes with all Magnesium-dependent metabolic pathways.

Before taking magnesium supplements consideration should be given to detoxifying the body and removing any mercury contamination.

Start by looking in your mouth.
How many silver-coloured amalgam fillings do you have?

Even if you have had them removed the residual mercury that was leaching out (no amount is safe) has been retained in your tissue – especially the brain and the heart muscle.

The presence of mercury in the body stops the absorption, not only of magnesium but also selenium, without which the iodine (and hence fluid metabolism problems) start.

Removal of mercury-containing amalgams needs to be done under controlled conditions to avoid further toxication from mercury vapour.

But the mercury that was leaching every second it was in your body is still there, along with all that your mum bequeathed you as the minerals came out of her bones (along with all pesticides and heavy metals) to make you in utero.

Heavy metals in the body tissues can be removed by taking a reputable brand of activated liquid zeolites. These work and are often instantly responsible for a feeling of wellbeing as the magnesium previously not able to reach your tissues now can.

Beware cheap products made from inferior zeolites, which may not be up to the job.

Magnesium Supplements

Magnesium supplements come in many forms

1) Magnesium tablets & capsules

  • Pros – Easy to swallow, widely varying price range, widely varying brands to choose from, no preparation required.
  • Cons – Usually have to take 2 – 4 capsules or tablets to reach the recommended dose, which can be a lot if you’re not used to taking pills.
    Also –they are filled with other chemicals known as tableting aids/excipients which can cause bowel disruptions when the gut is compromised due to lack of magnesium. This might lead you to think that you don’t need it as you have the runs after taking them – again – rethinking needed.

2) Magnesium powder & salt

  • Pros – Stirred into water or tea, very rapidly ingested into GI tract.  Put into a bath, the magnesium absorbs rapidly into the skin.
  • Cons – Preparation required, over-dosing can cause diarrhoea, not many brands available, some online reviews complain about the taste (of powder).
    Same excipients as tablets/capsules.

3) Magnesium oils and sprays

  • Pros – Bypasses the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and absorbs directly into the bloodstream.
  • Cons – Relatively expensive, relatively time consuming, some online reviews complain of a slight burning sensation on their skin.
    [This is likely to be a symptom of mercury contamination in your body.]

4) Magnesium water

  • Pros – No preparation required, highly absorbable.
  • Cons – Relatively expensive as with all oral forms, over-dosing can cause diarrhoea, not many brands available.

Remember that taking magnesium on its own may not help if you are deficient in the other minerals necessary for its absorption, particularly vitamin D.

The recommended daily doses of most minerals and vitamins are woefully inadequate.
For any therapeutic benefit you much more than the dose on the labels.

With the right balance of minerals and vitamins your body will adapt to the stresses of life and look after itself.

What have you got to lose?

It is not dangerous to become better nourished. You may find you lose the need to be taking also – most all of the medications previously supplied to you.

Maybe ask yourself – did your forebears ‘need’ these?

With enough sun exposure, and having supplemented yourself up to the top of the artificial ‘upper’ limit on blood tests and being replete in magnesium (which may take three years of using 10 applications topically a day) you may be surprised with how you feel:
Well and vibrant and highly unlikely to drop off your bike dead.

Conclusion

Of course there is no consensus of opinion on this topic. These are my opinions based on personal research and experience.

Conventional medical wisdom says: “a healthy diet can easily provide enough magnesium. Whole grains, nuts, fish, meat, dark green vegetables, legumes and many fruits contain significant amounts of magnesium”.

If you, or people you know, have suffered any of these symptoms, have the medical profession been able to help?

As John Hughes said: “All the literature is confused”

Please do your own research.

Decide for yourself whether to rely on doctors who admit they don’t have the answers or try something that just might make a difference.

Do you have your car serviced regularly, before problems show up, or do you wait for it to break down before seeking help?

More info

If you have questions or would like to know what products I take, on the advice of my natural health practitioner (my wife), feel free to contact me.

References:

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8502756
www.westonaprice.org/know-your-fats/the-oiling-of-america/
www.ancient-minerals.com/magnesium-deficiency/symptoms-signs/
www.ancient-minerals.com/magnesium-deficiency/need-more/
www.nature.com/scitable/knowledge/library/soil-minerals-and-plant-nutrition-127881474
articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/01/19/magnesium-deficiency.aspx
naturalsociety.com/16-magnesium-deficiency-symptoms-signs-low-levels/
drsircus.com/medicine/magnesium/magnesium-deficiency-symptoms-diagnosis
www.vitamindwiki.com/Overview+Magnesium+and+vitamin+D
www.mgwater.com/listc.shtml#head
www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/well-good/teach-me/66042934/dietary-cholesterol-warnings-set-to-change
www.westonaprice.org/press/cholesterol-danger-a-myth/
www.mahlanen.com/varasto/Ending the War on Fat.pdf
time.com/2863227/ending-the-war-on-fat/
www.ion.ac.uk/information/onarchives/soilmineraldepletion
articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/05/28/vitamin-d-deficiency-signs-symptoms.aspx
www.onlinewellnesscommunity.com/blog/2010/12/magnesium-supplements-how-to-chose-the-best/
www.resultsrna.com/treat-magnesium-deficiency-by-removing-mercury/
www.naturalcellulardefense.com/index.php?d=192991

Better Thinking Skills and Memory

Activities that maintain cardio fitness – such as running, swimming and cycling – led to better thinking skills and memory 20 years on.

Researchers at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, tested almost 3,000 healthy people with an average age of 25.

They underwent treadmill tests of cardiovascular fitness during the first year of the study and again 20 years later.

Dr Simon Ridley, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “A growing body of evidence suggests exercise may reduce the risk of cognitive decline and dementia, and much research has shown a link between healthy habits in mid-life and better health in old age.

“This is one more important study that should remind young adults of the brain health benefits of cardio fitness activities such as running, swimming, biking or cardio fitness classes”

Dr David JacobsUniversity of Minnesota, Minneapolis

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