Wednesday, April 7, 2010

What's Better with Me & Magnesium

We, chronically ill folks do a lot of focusing on the things that go wrong in our worlds.  I think it's time to address what's actually going right, despite my health problems.

Firstly, I've noticed that the tinnitus has improved recently.  My ears are not "ringing off the hook," as I like to say, the way they used to for weeks on end.  I had a very hard time hearing and concentrating with all that racket in my head.  I also worried, however illogical it may be, that the increasing instances and volume of the ringing meant that I would eventually progress into a single, solid, ring - deafness, essentially.  I would hate to miss out on all the great sounds I am able to hear now.  Having sustained a concussion, along with having Fibromyalgia, I'm not exactly certain why the tinnitus got so crazy, or why it's better for the moment. 

Next, my migraines have finally calmed down enough that I'd forgotten a bit about them.  Several weeks ago, they were coming and going so frequently I might just consider them one, long migraine with off and on pains.  I blamed them on weather changes, hormonal fluctuations, and some other factor that was the straw that broke the camel's back and triggered them.  

Another problem I'd been having for weeks on end is an underlying nausea.  I blamed the meds and supplements.  I take lots of both of them every day and can only imagine I have a bunch of little pills sitting around in my stomach after taking them.  I take my supplements right after breakfast, so they have a bit of a softer landing in my stomach, in the hopes that I won't be so nauseated.  Sometimes, though, I still have that awful feeling that I might have to vomit.  I've learned to recognize the "fake nausea" feeling - one that will not likely result in any vomiting - and distinguish it from the "real nausea" feeling - one that gets progressively worse until some vomiting is done.  The latter recently came with a terrible migraine headache, and I sure did puke from it!   

When I switched up my medications last February, it seemed the adjustment period affected many of my symptoms, including the quality and quantity of my sleep.  There were a couple of completely sleepless nights, and many nights of only half a night's sleep or less.  However, today, I feel that my sleep has finally improved for the past few weeks.  I'm taking Sonata instead of Ambien, because the Ambien seemed to keep me sleeping far too long in the mornings.  I could just blink and start dreaming in the mornings, but in the night I was still kind of wide awake until the drug kicked in.  With the Sonata, however, it seems the morning "hangover" is not a problem for me any more.  (Of course, this morning was an exception - I felt so sleepy, but I had a full night's sleep.)  My body is finally adjusting to all the medication changes and able to sleep.  It's lovely to be able to sleep again.

The pain in my upper back on the left side is finally starting to feel better, although I'm not quite through with it yet.  Each sneeze sets me back with excruciating pain that lasts several hours all over again, but after those episodes (I had one last night) I seem to be doing okay with it.  It's there, but it's diminished.  I'm still not sure if there is or was a crack in my ribs, but with my FM pain amplification, I wouldn't be too surprised if it was simply a minor muscle issue.  Perhaps a pulled muscle in a specific spot, between a couple ribs is causing this problem.  At any rate, it seems the treatment for either of these is pretty much a wait and see thing, especially if it's not an emergency situation.  I'll continue to wait and see on this.  Hopefully I won't be sneezing too much. For some reason I can't get away with a single day without at least one or two sneezes, but at least I'm not dealing with all the allergies or a cold, like my poor husband is right now.

I would like to claim that taking the Magnesium Malate twice a day is helping me with these and possibly other symptoms.  I've been on it for months now - perhaps it's finally making a difference.  I've been researching magnesium recently and there is a lot of relevant information about it, especially with relation to various health problems, including: Asthma, Migraines, Fibromyalgia, Diabetes, various heart problems, high blood pressure, Epilepsy, Autism, ADD & ADHD, various digestive disorders (including IBS and Crohn's Disease), Multiple Sclerosis, and Premenstrual Syndrome.  
I can only wonder why magnesium supplements are not the first order of treatment for all these health conditions!
My guilty pleasure, a daily spoonful (or so) of natural peanut butter is also adding to my magnesium intake as well, along with a healthy fat to help my body absorb it, too.  I also like olives and olive oil, avocados, and salmon, which also contain healthy (unsaturated) fats.

Certain conditions deplete magnesium in the body, causing a deficiency and further problems.  Calcium supplements usually include some magnesium as well, to help you absorb the calcium.  Calcium is apparently an antagonist, which means that if you have too much of it in your body, your magnesium levels get lowered, so I also stopped taking the calcium supplements recently, as a little experiment to see if the magnesium I'm taking could be put to better use in my body and help alleviate some of my symptoms. 

I am no doctor, but I know that I'm most responsible for my health, so I do research on my own and do my best to interpret and apply it, with the help of my professional medical team.  Nobody is going to care more about me than my own self and I don't expect anyone to.  Everyone has to look out for Number One before they can help others.  Do your homework and see what works for you.  

I share whatever I learn with my readers, so they can start thinking about the things that might be helpful for them.  Use those search engines and definitely discriminate based on the motives of the writers.  If they are trying to sell me a product, I move on to the next resource. 

If you have any information you'd like to share, please feel free to comment and provide your links.  I'm eager to learn how best to take care of myself.