By Cat, June 5, 2016
I have had a problem with constipation since I was a baby; taking enemas is very familiar to me. This changed, almost 30 years ago, when I learned from my naturopath that I have a problem absorbing minerals from my diet. The bowels slow down in attempt to absorb more minerals – especially magnesium – from the bowel fluids, causing constipation. That doctor prescribed 80% magnesium chloride solution, and my life changed forever. I take this every day. I seldom get constipated, I sleep better, my mood has improved; in short, I’m a new person.
Many others struggle with magnesium deficiency but don’t know that is the problem, nor how important it is to overall health.
Magnesium is a very important mineral for humans. It is the activator of many body enzymes and plays a role in over 300 reactions in the body (1); it helps muscles to relax – especially those in the artery walls, as I learned six years ago when I had what is called a ‘false heart attack’ or vaso-spastic angina, because I was deficient in magnesium (see below for more).
Magnesium is an essential component of many biological processes, and adequate magnesium in the diet improves calcium absorption. Dietary deficiency of magnesium has been implicated in many disorders including hypoglycemia, insulin resistance, asthma and bowel disorders, along with many others.
For more on the importance of magnesium, see Walter Last’s article that relates much of the same information my naturopath told me years ago: Magnesium Chloride for Health & Rejuvenation (2), and Mercola: The Miracle of Magnesium. (3)
Although I take magnesium chloride orally, another popular method is to use magnesium oil spray on your arms, legs and tummy. If you don’t have a problem with constipation, I suggest using the oil spray. See Wellness Mamma’s post on Homemade Magnesium Oil Spray (1), made from magnesium chloride flakes (no prescription required). Her source is MagneticClay (4).
My false heart attack
I had cut back on my oral magnesium chloride when my stool became runny. I thought this happened because I had recently gotten rid of an intestinal parasite (ascaris). One evening as I was relaxing in my chair, I experienced the classic heart attack symptoms: pain in the chest that extended down my left arm. But then my adrenalin kicked in and I could not stop moving – atypical of a heart attack. I called my insurance’s Nurse-Helpline, and she advised I take it easy and call my doctor in the morning. She did not think it was a heart attack.
The next morning I called my friend Cheryl, to give me a ride to the hospital’s emergency room, on the advice of my doctor. Cheryl’s husband had experienced a heart attack several years before; she was surprised at how energetic I was. Even the emergency Docs did not think it was a heart attack since my EKG was normal. But then the result of the enzyme test confirmed it was a heart attack.
I was admitted to the hospital and spent Christmas there; no one could believe how energetic I was. During my stay, I underwent two tests that seemed to indicate no heart attack had happened:
- An echogram indicated no loss of heart muscle and no enlargement of my heart.
- An angiogram indicated 2 of my 3 coronary arteries were squeaky-clean and the third, the right coronary artery, had less than 10% plaque, with no occlusions. No stents were required.
Based on those tests, my cardiologist said I had not experienced a traditional heart attack. Instead it could have been one of two things:
- Vaso-spastic angina, which means the arteries go into temporary spasm, causing a momentary decrease in available oxygen. I do fit the profile for this: I’m a woman, over 50, and was at rest when the attack happened. The allopathic treatment for this is calcium-channel blockers, but I’m not taking this, as its side effects can be problematic.
- Coronary microvascular disease, which is more common in women than men. This condition affects the small arteries and capillaries, and has several causes including mental/emotional stress, plaque in the small arteries, damage to the small arteries, or spasm. People with insulin resistance are more prone to this problem (I have that problem, and is why I avoid sugar). See a Natural Institutes of Health (NIH) article (5) for explanation of this disorder.
I looked into both of these issues and learned that the vaso-spastic angina can be caused by insufficient magnesium. And I remembered that ever since my 20s, I would have episodes of what I thought were heart palpitations that would pass with time. These stopped after a few weeks of taking the magnesium chloride orally. But then they reappeared, right before the pain in my chest and left arm happened that Christmas weekend. Over the years, I had reported the palpitations to several doctors and even wore a monitoring device for a week, but there were no signs of palpitations on the device or any EKG that was performed. They said it was ‘all in my head.’ I now know those were not ‘palpitations’ but rather spasms of the muscles in my arteries (vaso-spastic angina) that cannot be detected by an EKG.
After that ‘heart attack,’ I increased my mag chloride dose back to where it was before I had cut back, and lived with the watery stool until I could see my acupuncturist/NAET practitioner. He found that I have a food sensitivity to the nutritional yeast I’d been using in my morning smoothie forever, and that food sensitivity traced back to MSG that is produced by the yeast. I stopped taking the yeast, and it wasn’t long before my stools returned to normal, and I’ve not had any more heart spasms.
I think that when I got rid of the ascaris parasite, I got rid of the film that had protected my intestinal walls from the parasite. The loss of that protective film allowed the MSG to irritate my intestinal walls. I no longer use nutritional or brewers yeast, and avoid all foods/spice mixes that contain MSG or ‘yeast extract.’
See also my article on Heart Disease (on my Diet and Health website) for more.
- Wellness Mama: How to Make your own Magnesium Oil; Magnesium deficiency
- Walter Last: Magnesium Chloride for Health & Rejuvenation
- Mercola: The Miracle of Magnesium
- MagneticClay: Source for Magnesium Chloride Flakes [link on magneticclay(dot)com deleted because of malware]
- NIH on coronary microvascular disease: nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/cmd/cmd_whatis.html