How much magnesium for chronic fatigue syndrome

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Are adequate magnesium levels necessary for managing fatigue? If you feel lethargic, experience muscle pain and weakness, then this may be an indication that your magnesium levels are not optimal. Several studies suggest that magnesium deficiency causes easy fatigability and cognitive impairment. [1]

Clinical trials suggest that magnesium supplementation can treat low energy state, elevate mood, and improve overall health. [1]

According to NIH, the recommended daily allowance of magnesium is 400mg for men and 310mg for women. However, for patients suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia, healthcare professionals use magnesium hydroxide plus malic acid (Super Malic tablets). Moreover, 300mg of magnesium citrate daily for a period of 8 weeks is recommended to CFS/ME patients. Such patients are cautioned to start with a smaller dose and then ramp it up gradually.

Extreme fatigue is a classic sign of magnesium deficiency. | Photo credit: freepik.com

Today we have articulated this article to discuss the role of magnesium in chronic fatigue syndrome.

Introduction 

Magnesium is responsible for several vital functions in your body, such as moderating your heartbeat and regulating normal blood pressure. It is an essential trace element that is an important cofactor that helps regulate several enzymatic reactions, which are crucial to maintaining various physiological functions. [2]

 

You should consume a balanced meal rich in foods containing a high level of magnesium, for example, leafy greens, fish, nuts, seed, and dried fruits. 

 

Diseases like chronic fatigue, constipation, and muscle cramps can all be effectively managed using magnesium supplements. 

Magnesium plays a vital role in improving your heart and bone health. Following are some of the reported benefits of magnesium:

  • Migraine prevention 
  • Relieves constipation
  • Relieves muscle spasms and aches 
  • Calms nerves 
  • Helps in falling asleep 
  • Increases energy levels 
  • Improves mood [3]

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is most common among women ranging between the ages of 40-50, but anyone can suffer from it. There is no definite cause of CFS. 

Since the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome are similar to those of many other diseases, CFS can usually be hard to diagnose. 

Some commonly reported symptoms are as follows:

  • Fatigue for more than six months 
  • Muscle pain 
  • Memory problems
  • Cognitive problems 
  • Headaches
  • Joint pain 
  • Sore throat 
  • Tender lymph nodes [4]

The Link Between Magnesium and Chronic Fatigue 

Magnesium has proven to be beneficial for many integral functions of your body that lead to optimal health. Magnesium is relatively low in a western diet; this can be easily counteracted by using magnesium supplements, which will help reach optimal health maintain normal mineral concentration in your body to avoid deficiencies. [3]

According to recent data, 10-20% of a given population may have a subclinical magnesium deficiency. [2] It is a very widespread clinical issue that is often overlooked.

Magnesium deficiency and chronic fatigue syndrome share many symptoms. Studies show strong evidence that magnesium is beneficial for patients who have chronic fatigue syndrome. 

In a clinical trial, after patients were given intramuscular magnesium injections for six weeks, they reported:

  • Improved energy levels 
  • Improved mood 
  • A decrease in pain levels [3]

Lifestyle Changes to Manage Chronic Fatigue Syndrome 

The amount of research done on chronic fatigue syndrome is limited, and since we do not have a definite cause for CFS, it is advised to maintain a balanced and healthy diet as your diet plays a vital role in the prevention and management of many diseases. [4]

Some healthy adjustments you can make to your diet are:

1. Symptom and Food Diary 

Diet can play a crucial role in managing CFS. | Photo credit: freepik.com

Different dietary changes help different people; if something worked for one patient, it is unlikely that it will be beneficial for all. 

Keeping a food and symptom diary will assist you in figuring out what is helping you manage your symptoms and if there are any patterns that you would like to discuss with your doctor. 

Irritable bowel syndrome has symptoms associated with CFS, so it is advised that patients with CFS pay a close eye to bowel distress and upset stomach. [6]

2. Caffeine Intake

It is advised to limit caffeine intake as it promotes a false sense of energy, which may lead to a severely fatigued state later on. Caffeine is good in moderate doses as long as it does not impact your sleep pattern. [7]

3. Common Dietary Guidelines 

Food groups that have been known to cause problems are wheat, dairy, and gluten. Some changes you can make to your diet are; substituting alcohol, tea, coffee, sugary foods, and drinks with healthier options that do not drain your energy. 

Avoid drinking alcohol is you’re suffering from CFS. | Photo credit: freepik.com

You can also boost your energy levels by substituting bread, pasta, and cereals with wholegrain. Eating fresh food can have a bigger impact on your health than you think. Eating simple and wholesome foods helps in improving your energy levels and overall health. Incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet to increase your nutrient intake. For effective elimination of toxins from your body, consumption of fresh purified water and green tea is encouraged. [3]

 

Types of Magnesium Supplements 

Magnesium supplements can be bought over the counter and can be easily obtained from your nearest pharmacy. Following are a few examples of magnesium supplements:

  • Magnesium sulfate
  • Magnesium lactate
  • Magnesium malate
  • Magnesium carbonate
  • Magnesium oxide
  • Magnesium orotate
  • Magnesium aspartate
  • Magnesium citrate
  • Magnesium taurate
  • Magnesium chloride

Magnesium supplements are available in the following forms:

  • Tablets 
  • Sprays 
  • Pills
  • Gummies
  • Syrup
  • Powder
  • Capsule [3]

Role of Magnesium in Managing Chronic Fatigue

Magnesium plays a vital role in boosting your overall health. Patients suffering from CFS who take magnesium in injected or oral forms have reported an increase in stamina and helped them stay active. [8],[9],[10],[11]

Following are a few effects of magnesium on CFS:

1. Increases Energy 

Studies have shown that magnesium is beneficial for combatting many diseases. In patients of chronic fatigue syndrome, it was reported that magnesium played a vital role in improving energy levels and minimizing the associated symptoms. [12]

2. Pain Management

Research has shown that magnesium helps reduce established pain and plays a vital part in preventing an increase in the sensitivity of pain receptors. 

Recent studies have suggested that magnesium may have a role in managing chronic pain conditions. [13]

3. Insomnia 

Studies have shown that low magnesium levels are associated with a lack of sleep or poor sleep quality. Borderline hypomagnesemia is often manifested with restlessness and disturbed sleep patterns.

Low levels of magnesium results in poor sleep quality. Photo credit: freepik.com

Magnesium affects your cellular timekeeping and your circadian rhythm that means high (optimal) levels of magnesium will increase the quality of sleep and help manage insomnia. [14]

Conclusion

Magnesium deficiency is an under-recognized and relatively undiagnosed problem. Maintaining adequate magnesium levels is of utmost importance for a better quality of life. A healthy and well-balanced diet can improve overall health, and if required, supplementation can also help treat symptomatic deficiency.

Always use supplements with caution, and in case of any adverse effects, contact your health care provider immediately. 

References:

  1. Schwalfenberg, G. K., & Genuis, S. J. (2017). The Importance of Magnesium in Clinical Healthcare. Scientifica, 2017, 4179326. https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/4179326
  2. DiNicolantonio, J. J., O'Keefe, J. H., & Wilson, W. (2018). Subclinical magnesium deficiency: a principal driver of cardiovascular disease and a public health crisis. Open heart, 5(1), e000668. https://doi.org/10.1136/openhrt-2017-000668
  3. Sanchez, A. (2020, May 08). The best magnesium supplement. Retrieved August 07, 2020, from https://www.chicagotribune.com/consumer-reviews/sns-bestreviews-health-the-best-magnesium-supplement-20190805-story.html
  4. Chronic Fatigue - The Facts. (2019, December 02). Retrieved August 07, 2020, from https://www.nutriadvanced.co.uk/news/chronic-fatigue-the-facts/
  5. (n.d.). Retrieved August 07, 2020, from https://www.jwatch.org/jw199104160000003/1991/04/16/magnesium-and-chronic-fatigue-syndrome
  6. Schultz, K. (2017, April 27). 12 Things Only Someone with Chronic Fatigue Would Understand. Retrieved August 07, 2020, from https://www.healthline.com/health/12-things-only-someone-with-fatigue-would-understand
  7. LA. Jason, M., M. Evans, M., LA. Aaron, R., C. Hausteiner-Wiehle, P., SE. Kim, L., TG. Dinan, J., . . . LS. Poritz, L. (1970, January 01). Fecal metagenomic profiles in subgroups of patients with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome. Retrieved August 07, 2020, from https://microbiomejournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s40168-017-0261-yFerreira, M. (2017, May 26). Chronic Fatigue Diet: 12 Hacks. Retrieved August 07, 2020, from https://www.healthline.com/health/diet-hacks-to-reduce-chronic-fatigue
  8. Ferreira, M. (2017, May 26). Chronic Fatigue Diet: 12 Hacks. Retrieved August 07, 2020, from https://www.healthline.com/health/diet-hacks-to-reduce-chronic-fatigue
  9. Jahnen-Dechent, W., & Ketteler, M. (2012). Magnesium basics. Clinical kidney journal, 5(Suppl 1), i3–i14. https://doi.org/10.1093/ndtplus/sfr163
  10. Cox, I. M., Campbell, M. J., & Dowson, D. (1991). Red blood cell magnesium and chronic fatigue syndrome. Lancet (London, England), 337(8744), 757–760. https://doi.org/10.1016/0140-6736(91)91371-z
  11. Erica Verrillo • ProHealth.com • January 1, 2. (2018, June 10). Magnesium: An Essential Supplement for ME/CFS. Retrieved August 07, 2020, from https://www.prohealth.com/library/magnesium-an-essential-supplement-for-me-cfs-31782
  12. Al Alawi, A. M., Majoni, S. W., & Falhammar, H. (2018). Magnesium and Human Health: Perspectives and Research Directions. International journal of endocrinology, 2018, 9041694. https://doi.org/10.1155/2018/9041694
  13. Na HS, Ryu JH, Do SH. The role of magnesium in pain. In: Vink R, Nechifor M, editors. Magnesium in the Central Nervous System [Internet]. Adelaide (AU): University of Adelaide Press; 2011. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK507245/
  14. Djokic, G., Vojvodić, P., Korcok, D., Agic, A., Rankovic, A., Djordjevic, V., Vojvodic, A., Vlaskovic-Jovicevic, T., Peric-Hajzler, Z., Matovic, D., Vojvodic, J., Sijan, G., Wollina, U., Tirant, M., Thuong, N. V., Fioranelli, M., & Lotti, T. (2019). The Effects of Magnesium - Melatonin - Vit B Complex Supplementation in Treatment of Insomnia. Open access Macedonian journal of medical sciences, 7(18), 3101–3105. https://doi.org/10.3889/oamjms.2019.771

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