About 2 months ago I added a "cocktail" of vitamins to my diet and one of those was Magnesium. Here is an excellent article from http://pcosdiva.com about the effects of this vitamin on those of us with PCOS.
Magnificent Magnesium: A PCOS Mineral August 25, 2014Why is magnesium important?
Magnesium is an essential mineral in our bodies and is a co-factor in over 300 body processes including muscle building, maintaining nerve function, keeping a healthy heartbeat and sustaining optimal immune system function. Magnesium is found in all of our tissues — but mainly in our bones, muscles, and brain.
When we are stressed our bodies become deplete of magnesium. Magnesium regulates cortisol as it calms our nervous system and prevents excessive cortisol. When we are under loads of stress, it means we are also losing magnesium. We burn through magnesium, because it helps support our adrenal glands, which make cortisol.
We also must have magnesium for our cells to make energy. Magnesium enhances insulin secretion, which facilitates sugar metabolism. Without magnesium, glucose is not able to transfer into cells.
Magnesium is also necessary for maintaining a healthy heart. This important mineral aids in the proper transport of potassium, calcium, and other nutrient ions across cell membranes. These nutrients help promote healthy nerve impulses, muscle contraction, and a normal heart rhythm.
Magnesium helps keep anxiety and depression at bay and relaxes our muscles. Adequate levels of magnesium help promote sleep too.
Why do I not have enough magnesium?
The amount of magnesium most of us are getting has plummeted over 50% during the last century. It is estimated that 80% of us are deficient in magnesium. Dr. Carolyn Dean, author of Magnesium Miracle explains, “Magnesium is farmed out of the soil…A hundred years ago, we would get maybe 500 milligrams of magnesium in an ordinary diet. Now we’re lucky to get 200 milligrams. People do need to supplement with magnesium.” Even organic soils are depleted of minerals. And non-organic farming is severely deplete in minerals.
Many women with PCOS are on the birth control pill, which also depletes magnesium. And to add to the issue, many women with PCOS have sugar and simple carb cravings. To process excessive sugar in our diets requires a great deal of magnesium, and a refined diet that is based mostly on white flour, meat, and dairy (all of which have no magnesium) adds insult to injury. High glucose levels make the body flush magnesium from its system. If it isn’t added back in by eating magnesium rich foods and taking supplements you will become deficient.
In a recent study, people with diabetes who took magnesium supplements had improved insulin and glucose levels Another study showed that women with PCOS had a 19x greater risk of magnesium deficiency than the control group. (2)
How do I know if I am deficient?
Most of the magnesium in your body is inside your cells, so you can’t measure with a blood test. Only 1% of magnesium in your body is distributed in your blood, so a serum magnesium blood test highly inaccurate. You have to look at symptoms. Magnesium is often referred to as the relaxation mineral. So if anything is tight, irritable, crampy or stiff whether it is your body or even your emotions/moods it is a sign of magnesium deficiency.
Here is a list of some magnesium deficiency symptoms. For a more complete list see – http://drcarolyndean.com/2010/06/gauging-magnesium-deficiency-symptoms/
What type of magnesium should I supplement with?
Not all forms of magnesium are the same. When you want to increase magnesium levels, it is important to choose the right form. Magnesium glycinate is a chelated form of magnesium that tends to provide the highest levels of absorption and bioavailability and is typically considered ideal for those who are trying to correct a deficiency. The typical dosage is is 500-1000 mg magnesium daily. Spread out the dosage and take it with meals to slow down transit time through the intestines and enhance absorption.
Besides taking a supplement, another way to improve your magnesium levels is to take regular Epsom salt baths or foot baths. Epsom salt is a magnesium sulfate that can absorb into your body through your skin. Magnesium oil (from magnesium chloride) can also be used for topical application and absorption.
I was going to write an article explaining how to inform your partner what PCOS is really like. I was researching other things and found this article. It explains it perfectly so I figured I would just share it instead! It's from http://www.pcosdietsupport.com
This one is for your partner, family and significant other. One of the lovely ladies in the PCOS Diet Support community recently asked me to write an explanation of PCOS for our partners and significant others. Something that makes PCOS easy to understand.
I was diagnosed after being married for 3 years and my hubby has been amazingly supportive. I’ve written this article with him in mind (even though he knows most of it anyway).
What is PCOS?I have PCOS or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. I know that you think of it as “woman issues” but it’s important that you know what is happening with me and my body because it affects both of us and I’m really going to need your help in coming to terms with it, living with it and getting it under control.
So, I do have “woman issues”. Basically I don’t ovulate every month, which means that my cycle is very irregular. I also might have some cysts on my ovaries. The biggest thing, though, is that I don’t process carbohydrates properly and my body is over sensitive to insulin. This means that I produce too much insulin for the carbs that I eat. The insulin also makes my ovaries release too much testosterone (all women produce testosterone – I just have too much of it).
PCOS is pretty common. Every 1 in 10 women have it so I’m not abnormal or alone in it.
The SymptomsThe symptoms of PCOS are pretty rough for me to deal with and can make me feel unattractive. I sometimes struggle with my weight. It’s not for lack of trying, I promise! All of that insulin quickly stores my carbs as fat and makes it difficult for me to lose it.
I have hair where I really don’t want hair and I may lose some of my hair on my head. I also may have bad skin (think teenage boy acne). It’s that darn testosterone.
One of the hardest things about PCOS is that having babies might be a struggle. It’s not impossible by any means but might take longer than we’d like.
What I need to do for me PCOS is not a death sentence and I’ve made a decision that although I have PCOS, it doesn’t have me. There are things that I can do to manage my PCOS and help with my symptoms.
The biggest thing I can do for me is to lead a healthy lifestyle, keep active and eat properly. This will make my symptoms easier to manage (exercise and diet are huge in dealing with the insulin which will help with the testosterone). The way I eat is not necessarily aimed at me losing weight (although it will help) but on getting healthy. So we can change the way we eat and get healthy together. There are also some supplements that I take regularly which have been really helpful in managing my symptoms.
I can get help from my doctor or endocrinologist (hormone doctor) and there are medications I can take.
If we’re not ready to think about a family, I can also take birth control, which will keep my symptoms in check for a while. As soon as I come off the pill, though, my symptoms will come back so birth control is a temporary fix and can have unpleasant side effects.
If we do decide to have a family and we’re struggling to, we can go to see a reproductive endocrinologist to look into fertility treatments. They’ll want to check you out too and treat both of us if need be.
What I need you to doThe biggest thing I need from you is your love and support. There are times when living with PCOS is going to make me angry, depressed and feel unattractive. Please just love me through it.
I’m going to do everything I know to do to eat properly and exercise. Please help me by eating healthy too and being active with me. Let’s go for lots of long walks, take up mountain biking or ballroom dancing. If you do have treats (which you’re totally entitled to), please hide them from me so that I’m not tempted by them. Also, please share with them with me once in a blue moon because I also deserve a treat every now and then.
Bearing in mind what I said about feeling unattractive, when I’m having an “ugly” day (and they do happen), please remind me how beautiful I am. Encourage me to get my hair done, have a pedicure or a massage. Sometimes I get so caught up in the daily grind of work, keeping a home and our family, looking after my health, that I forget to take some time just for me. I need you to help me do that.
Thank you, seriously!It sounds a bit trite but thank you so much for taking the time to read this. It shows me that you want to understand what I am going through and want to support me and that means the world to me. Thank you for loving me in spite of my many faults (PCOS included) and thank you for choosing to walk this road with me. Having PCOS is not easy but with you by my side, it makes it a little more manageable!
Small town girl who loves bubble baths, fitness, family, and friends. Follow as we navigate through the world of adoption! Baby Benson coming soon!