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Because of the competing nature of calcium and magnesium, excessive calcium intake from foods or supplements can lead to a magnesium deficiency. The symptoms of magnesium deficiency are identical with many of the symptoms of thyroid disease, especially hyperthyroidism. People of Asian descent who get hyperthyroidism often become completely rigid and may be found lying in the streets this way. The condition is called hypokalemic periodic paralysis and is highly associated with hyperthyroidism. It's possible that the origin of the disease is not from low potassium (hypokalemia) but from low magnesium, which we know is a factor in hyperthyroidism.
The principal function of magnesium that is critical in thyroid disease is that it enables muscles to relax. With inadequate magnesium, the muscles cramp. When this happens to the heart muscles the heart does not go through a complete relaxation phase, and the next calcium-driven contraction begins before the relaxation is complete. This results in rapid heart beat and irregular heart rate known as arrhythmia.
Deficiency Effects and Symptoms:
According to the Nutrition Almanac, "Magnesium deficiency can easily occur because magnesium is refined out of many foods during processing. Cooking food removes the minerals; the oxalic acid in foods like spinach and phytic acid found in cereals bind magnesium in the body, as do unbalanced amounts of salts....A deficiency can occur in people with diabetes, those who use diuretics or digitalis preparations, the elderly, those with pancreatitis, chronic alcoholism, kwashiorkor, pregnancy, cirrhosis of the liver, arteriosclerosis or kidney malfunction, those on low-calorie or high-carbohydrate diets, and those who have severe malabsorption such as that caused by chronic diarrhea or vomiting....Fluoride, high zinc levels, high levels of vitamin D, diuretics, and diarrhea will cause a deficiency of magnesium."
Also from N. A.: "Magnesium deficiency is thought to be closely related to coronary heart disease, including myocardial necrosis. An inadequate supply of this mineral may result in the formation of clots in the heart and brain and may contribute to calcium deposits in the kidneys blood vessels, and heart. Heart failure resulting from fibrillation and lesions in the small arteries is linked to a deficiency of magnesium, as is vasodilation, which is followed by hyperkinetic behavior and fatal convulsions."
"Symptoms of a deficiency may include gastrointestinal disorders, irregular heart rhythm, lack of coordination, muscle twitch, tremors, weakness, apprehensiveness, personality changes, disorientation, confusion, depression, and irritability. A deficiency interferes with nerve and muscle impulses. Long-term deficiency can lead to tetany as in a calcium deficiency, alcoholic hallucinations, unusual face and eye movement, alopecia (baldness), swollen gums, and lesions of the gums."
N.A.: "Magnesium is vital in helping prevent heart attacks....After a heart attack, it has been found that supplementation provided a much higher survival rate and showed far less life-threatening dysrhythmias....It has also proved beneficial in the treatment of neuromuscular disorders, nervousness, tantrums, depression, sensitivity to noise, and hand tremor....Supplementing helps control dizziness, muscle weakness, twitching, heart disease, and high blood pressure,....reduce blood cholesterol and keep the arteries healthy....used for controlling convulsions in pregnant women, premature labor, and epileptic seizures."
Chocolate is a good source of magnesium and has a high magnesium to calcium ratio (about 4:1). Magnesium is low in hypers and the craving for chocolate may be driving my a need for magnesium. Unfortunately, chocolate may also be high in cadmium which is a probably negative factor for hyperT. Thus the craving for magnesium, if satisfied by eating chocolate, could exacerbate the symptoms of hyperT.
In this first study we see that magnesium is depleted in the hyperthyroid state and treatment by Methimazole increases the magnesium content of both erythrocytes (red blood cells) and serum. This emphasizes the need for magnesium supplementation in hyperthyroidism.
This second study examines the effect of magnesium on the sodium-potassium pump in the heart. Magnesium deficiency is demonstrated to leave the number of pumps unaltered but to decrease the activity of the pumps. This appears to result in an increase of sodium inside the cells with consequent arrhythmias in the heart. This is evidence that supplementing magnesium can control rapid and irregular heartbeat experienced in hyperthyroidism.
The following study suggests that boron is essential for proper magnesium metabolism. Also, this study may shed light on why fructose increases the severity of a copper deficiency--it causes adverse effects when magnesium is low.
In the following study we see that nearly half of patients complaining of chronic fatigue symptoms and fibromyalgia (companion diseases to hypothyroidism) have magnesium deficiencies.
Subj: [hyperthyroidism] Re: InsomniaAnxiety
Date: 3/22/00 7:29:13 PM Pacific Standard Time
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Mary Ann Thomas)
Cire, You mention that you take 300mg of magnesium with 600mg of
calcium and there is a bit of talk surrounding whether or not these two
should be supplemented in a 2 to 1 ratio or 1 to 1 ratio. I think John
recommends something closer to a 1 to 1 ratio and I would like to share
my personal experience with calcium and magnesium supplementation.
I recently saw a Naturopath Physician who had me taking calcium and
magnesium in a ratio higher than two to one (I can't remember the exact
ratio right now). At this higher than recommended ratio I began having
trouble sleeping. Most nights I couldn't get to sleep and when I did I
would wake up a couple of hours later and be awake for several hours.
My back and neck also started giving me more problems than normal. I
had eye twitches and readily pulled muscles just from sleeping! My
thyroid grew to four times it's "normal" size.
When I finally reviewed my supplement list and discovered the imbalance
in the calcium and magnesium ratios I adjusted my ratio back to one to
one and all the above problems were alleviated including getting a full
nights sleep. I currently take 1200mg of magnesium to 600mg of calcium
and find that works about best for me. Perhaps you should consider
raising your magnesium.
Good Health to All!
Subj: [hyperthyroidism] Re: Insomnia/Anxiety
Date: 3/22/00 8:14:20 PM Pacific Standard Time
From: email@example.com (Cire)
Mary, i think you're right. I mixed a teaspoon of Epsom salts in water and
drank it this afternoon. I noticed i started to yawn and feel better.
I took another dose at dinner time and once again it seemed like it helped.
I will be looking into taking more magnesium. I know the plants like it so
maybe there's a link here? Wouldn't it be something if it was as simple as
magnesium deficiency? Thanks to all for the support and insight, I really