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I’m both over-joyed and incredibly embarrassed to be writing this today. I’m excited to share because I’ve finally managed to gain control over my crippling anxiety. However, I’m also a bit ashamed to say that the root cause of my anxiety and depression was because of how poorly I treated my body. I had no idea that a magnesium and anxiety went hand in hand.
My Lifelong Anxiety
My anxiety started as soon as I could talk. As a kid, I would worry about the house catching fire, if my pets were safe and I had terrible anxiety about losing things.
I’m just an anxious person and there’s just no way around it.
I always saw my anxious mindset as a mini internal motivator. For example, my anxiety made sure that the garage door was closed and checked in with friends to make sure they made it home safe.
I never saw my anxiety as a burden until I was a teen and my anxiety went from manageable, general anxiety to panic attacks and borderline OCD.
I just kinda learned to live with worry and anxiety. Even when I was ‘relaxing’ my brain would still run. Are parents were okay? Is my health okay? Are my pets were okay?
As a result of being anxious for so many years, I had learned to cope. I could talk myself back down to a rational level of just general stress and discomfort.
My anxiety slowly got worse the older I got. Which is a no brainer because getting older is just more stressful.
I got to the point where I went to the doc for some relief. I tried Ativan, Xanax, Prozac…. However anyone with anxiety can agree that sometimes anxiety meds make you anxious…. in short, prescription drugs just weren’t for me.
I started to lean on essential oils, deep breathing and meditation. I focused on spending time with my family, pets and Hunter to calm me down.
Aside from natural remedies and wine, my anxiety was an uncontrolled beast just waiting for its time to rear its ugly head.
Thursday night, I woke up at 3am with slight heart palpations. Which has been normal for me for years, but for some reason my brain went dark… like dark dark.
My hands and feet went numb, my breathing got sharp and painful, my brain couldn’t think anything other than ‘you’re dying’.
I was worrying if Hunter would know where the checkbook is and how to pay bills if I died before he woke up.
I shoved Hunter awake but all I could muster up was ‘Something’s wrong’.
The next 2 hours were hell. I tried everything to calm down. Deep breathing and watching funny TV shows. I even had Hunter bear hug me and cover myself with my weighted blanket. My brain said I wouldn’t make it till the morning.
Meanwhile, Hunter was Googling my symptoms. First result: severe anemia.
Well, yeah I knew I was anemic. I was diagnosed YEARS ago and didn’t take iron cause it upset my tummy…..
Because that made sense to me, I was able to chill a little bit. Hunter finally convinced me to take a Benadryl to make me calm down and sleep.
Fast forward to two days later, picture me falling out in Costco.
… and spending the next 2 days drugged up waiting for a doctors appointment.
The Diagnosis: Magnesium and Anxiety
I wasn’t dying.
My heart and lungs sounded healthy, my blood pressure was perfect. The heart attack I thought I was having was all in my head.
Luckily, my doctor isn’t one to just throw pills at me. She wanted to know if my brain caused my physical symptoms or if symptoms of something caused my brain to spiral.
I was in the best place I’ve been in my life. I’m not working 12-hour long shifts overnight and working 7 days in a row anymore. I work from home with my pets and get to see Hunter way more often. So WHY NOW?!?!
She asked me how I eat and what supplements I take….
My diet is best described as a child unsupervised at the Mall Food Court and I consistently take a Biotin, D3, B Complex and Probiotic…. when I remember.
She started laughing and said ‘Well, there’s your problem. You’re at that age where you really need to pay attention to nutrition‘.
WOAH DOC! That hurt.
Not only are you saying lay off the wine and Cheetos, I think you just sneakily called me old….
After more questioning, some blood work and diagnostics, we had a couple of answers. Along with a few smaller medical issues, she decided I was anemic and I had a pretty serious magnesium deficiency. She said that magnesium and anxiety are often interlinked…. so our quest begins….
Basically I was a clinical case symptom-wise. I hit every symptom on the head. She said that most women don’t eat or consume enough magnesium, so it wasn’t very surprising.
Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency
- Fatigue and muscle weakness
- Irregular heart beat or heart palpitations
- Digestive troubles
- Muscle cramps and twitches (I got eye twitches every day)
- Irregular sleep patterns or insomnia
- Mental disorders such as depression and anxiety
- High blood pressure
- Brain fog and forgetfulness
I’ve had most of these symptoms my whole life.
People joke about always being tired, but I feel like I take it to a whole new level. I’ve always been the lowest energy person I know and it sucks. I wanna be a go-go-go kinda person, but I’m more like a nap, sleep, nap kinda person.
I chocked most of these symptoms up to getting older.
Apparently, not everyone is an exhausted pigeon with tummy troubles, the twitches and anxiety from hell…. who knew?
Causes of Magnesium Deficiency
So, I wont lie. I kinda pushed back at the doctor. We live in freaking America. I can go to the grocery store and get whatever I want. I have access to unlimited clean water and eat a salad at least once a week…. how the frick could I be deficient?
Deficiencies only happen to people from third world countries, right?
A deficiency isn’t only from a lack of food. It can be affected by so many things other than just not having enough to eat. Many of us don’t eat like we should, but sometimes it’s not just our fault.
Our foods aren’t the same as they were 30 years ago. Crops are grown differently and the soil is over-worked. A lack of nutrients in the soil results in a lack of nutrients in the produce. Even someone who eats a healthy, organic diet can have deficiencies.
Medications, alcohol consumption, and medical conditions can all affect your vitamin and mineral levels too. Your birth control pill or acid blocker may be causing magnesium deficiency as well.
Even water isn’t the same as it use to be. Unless you’re on well water, you probably drink water that is treated, filtered and stripped of all its nutrients. Bottled water and tap water can be void of any benefits other than hydration.
Most importantly, stress can deplete your body of everything you need to function. Like I said, magnesium and anxiety go hand in hand. Your body is low on magnesium which causes anxiety…. which further depletes your magnesium levels and causes more stress…..
Treating Your Magnesium Deficiency
Please do not read this and treat yourself.
While magnesium is a relatively safe supplement, you really should see your doctor. Especially if you’re having any extreme symptoms like I was.
I know it’s scary to go to the doctor, but sometimes the diagnosis will put you at ease and make it all easier on your anxiety. Plus, you could be like me and have more than one thing going on, so it’s worth the check.
I suggest trying to eat some magnesium-rich foods and see if it affects how you feel. Tofu, almond, spinach, dark chocolate, avocados, bananas. I start every day out with a banana, peanut butter and honey. It does wonders for my energy levels!
However, anyone considering trying magnesium supplements should do their own research. I shoot for 320mg of magnesium a day now, but I didn’t start out taking that much.
Your tummy will tell you if you’re taking to much. I consider starting out with a very low dose or you’ll spend the day in the potty!
Supplements For Magnesium Deficiency
I started taking Calcium/Magnesium/Zinc pills but I didn’t like how big the pill was.
The CalMag pill was so big that it didn’t fit in my vitamin sorter. The instructions say to take one tablet three times a day with a meal. I am not that much of an adult. Also, they make me sleepy so I like taking magnesium before bed.
My doctor recommended Nature Vitality Calm + Calcium drink. It’s raspberry-lemon flavored and tastes like Crystal Light.
I also have the Calm Gummies for days that making a drink is inconvenient. They’re suuuuuper yummy and they’re even kid-friendly! Lots of moms and dads say they help with ADHD, anxiety, anger issues and learning difficulties in kids.
My doctor also recommended Adrenal Support supplements so we can get my cortisol levels back to normal. It has a very small dose of magnesium but has made a huge difference. I call it my ‘normal pill’ because it just keeps me from feeling like a basket case. I can tell if I didn’t take it and I’ve started keeping extras in my purse just in case.
My mom went to her doctor after I was diagnosed. She had a lot of the same issues I was having. Her doctor said she should absolutely be on a magnesium supplement, but also on trace minerals too.
Trace minerals are basically all of the nutrients and minerals that should be in your food and drinking water that have been stripped out.
These are the trace minerals that we take. They are drops, so you can take them in a billion ways. However, I suggest breaking up your dose throughout the day. It’s extracted from Utah’s Inland Sea, the Great Salt Lake, so take a guess what it tastes like…..
You guessed it! Salt! It’s not a terrible taste and definitely not enough to keep me away. It also has iron so it helps with my anemia. We even add a few drops to our pups water and they’ve stopped eating salads every day (that’s what we call it when they graze on the grass like cows)
Magnesium and Anxiety… and Your General Health
At the time of my ‘Incidents’, I had a bunch of medical krud going on. Partly because of terrible genetics, but mainly because of poor self-care.
As an anxious person, I tend to focus on everything but my own health.
However, I truly believed I was going to leave this Earth and never see my family, Hunter or my pets again. It was a real wake up call for me and we’re working to get me back to 100%.
Turning It All Around
Since seeking help, stress, anxiety and fear have become a smaller part of my world with every passing day. I’m able to rationalize my thoughts and drive out the anxiety with positivity. For example, I’ve been using the Law of Attraction to change my thoughts, emotions and create a healthier life. You can read more about that here.
I’ve also had more energy so I’ve been able to get more done. I’ve been better about cleaning house and tackling my dreaded chores. Obviously being more productive and doing more will affect your mood and make you feel better.
Also, I’ve been sleeping like a normal person. Sleep was always the bane of my existence. I wanted to sleep because I had zero energy, but I could never get any decent rest. I would toss and turn for hours trying to get to sleep. Now my brain shuts up and I drift off right away. If I wake up, I can go back to sleep almost immediately.
In conclusion, my body and brain are healthier than they’ve ever been.
So, take it from me: if you are suffering from anxiety, go see your doctor! I know it’s hard to take that step because society makes you feel like only weak people have anxiety or battle with depression. However, the truth is that the strong people face it head on.
Good luck on your journey and thanks for reading!
I’d love to hear from you! Is there anything you do to combat your anxiety or deficiencies?