There is a lot online about magnesium deficiency in the States. The fact seems to be that we should be worried about it here in Panama even more.
Magnesium deficiency seems to be connected to all manner of physical ailments. It is implicated in sleep disorders, muscle cramps and spasming, heart problems, kidney problems – in fact, it is needed by every organ in your body. A quick Google search will show you just how prevalent magnesium deficiency is now thought to be, and how serious it can become.
My friend Soraya was injured in a car accident several years ago and is on disability because the pain in her hip and leg is so debilitating. When she told me her doctor had put her on a daily dose of cloruro de magnesio (magnesium chloride) to help with it, I thought, “hmm.” My ears had perked because of my own knee problem. So I went to the local farmacia (pharmacy) and bought some.
You can seldom buy a whole bottle of anything here – what I got was a few tablespoons of crystals in a small white paper bag intricately folded to keep the crystals from leaking out. It cost less than a dollar. Because I had no idea what the dosage should be, I tried drinking a quarter teaspoon dissolved in water for a day or two. I actually did notice a bit of improvement. But I had read up on it and learned that most of the magnesium chloride available here in Panama very likely has heavy metal contamination, specifically, lead. So I was reluctant to continue taking it.
I tend to resist taking medication, anyway. I also tend to resist taking supplements, these days. Years ago, when I realized I was taking more supplements than food, I decided to stop and weaned myself away from them. The fact is, I do have excellent basic health (possibly because I took all those supplements) except for my knees and a recently-developed (within the past two years) allergy to soap/detergent. But when my doctor told me that he had just learned at a recent seminar that nearly everyone in Panama is short on magnesium, I thought, once again, “hmm.” It seems the soil is severely depleted here.
So I hit the internet to see if I could find a supply without any lead. An awful lot of what is sold seems to be contaminated by mercury, lead and heavy metals. I found Dr. Sircus, an acupuncturist who obtains his magnesium products from an underground lake in Eastern Europe. They are guaranteed free of contaminants. I read more on his website, and was most intrigued by his thinking. I was particularly struck by this remark: “Not taking magnesium for fear of heavy metals is like refusing to breathe because of air pollution.” (Unfortunately, I can’t seem to relocate the article I’m quoting, so I may be paraphrasing a bit.)
In any event, that encouraged me to buy some more of the local stuff and try it out in spite of the potential for ingesting lead. I read somewhere that heavy doses of Vitamin C will help the body excrete lead, so I added 1000 mg of C to my previously non-existent routine, as well as upping the magnesium to about 1/3 tbsp. Interestingly (but probably only to me), neither have affected my digestion negatively.
What I have noticed is that I am more cheerful, more like my old self. And you would think that as a retiree living in paradise I would have no stress, but, alas, I manage it anyway. I credit the magnesium with soothing my nerves enough that the situations that offer me opportunities for ragged nerves no longer do so. My knees had become sufficiently troublesome that I was finding it truly difficult to walk even short distances. Now, each day I see a minor improvement.
According to Dr. Sircus, it requires months of drinking that nasty glass of dissolved magnesium chloride (it really does taste ghastly) to resolve a deficiency, but transdermal application will fix you up in mere weeks. I believe I will buy a lot more and give the transdermal method a shot. I’m also going to buy a water testing kit to see if there really is lead in the product I get locally or whether I should just cough up for the shipping to get the zillion year old European lake stuff. I keep fantasizing about making a visit to my kids and bringing some back, but airline regulations might make that difficult, as it is a liquid.
Anyway, if you have health concerns and no objection to a bit of alternative medical thinking, Dr. Sircus has a website (of course), where he offers his books, articles he has written, and various products. While the books and products are perhaps a bit pricey, once you understand how to use the products, they are neither difficult to obtain nor especially expensive. I intend to buy his book Treatment Essentials, Second Edition, because it covers everything. (And no, I don’t make any money if you buy it, too.)