Could Magnesium be the Answer You’ve Been Searching For?

Body Supplements

Around 80% of the population is deficient in magnesium, a mineral required for 300+ enzymatic reactions in the body. Are you one of them? Let’s take a closer look at magnesium deficiency and the many health benefits of this essential mineral.

Not so fun fact: I have a chronic bladder condition called interstitial cystitis that can be extremely painful.

Fun fact: I began supplementing with magnesium over a year ago and within a week felt great relief. Long story short, it was the answer I had been searching for FOR YEARS.

And after a little bit of research, it seemed that, hey, magnesium may be the answer others are searching for as well. Thousands, millions of others suffering from migraines, insomnia, anxiety, blood clots, hypertension, heart disease, arthritis, osteoporosis…. and so the list goes on.

Let’s backtrack for just a moment — what is magnesium?

Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the human body and is essential for initiating more than 300 enzymatic reactions in the body. It helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function, keeps the heart rhythm steady, supports a healthy immune system, keeps bones strong, regulate blood sugar levels, promotes normal blood pressure, and is involved in energy metabolism and protein synthesis.

Magnesium deficiency affects around 80% of the population and has been called “the silent epidemic.”

In the past, humans were able to get enough magnesium through a varied diet. (Oh, the simple days.) Unfortunately, modern farming methods and chemical fertilizers have stripped natural magnesium from the soil.

This, coupled with the fact that stress and certain medications (diuretics and antibiotics) decrease the absorption of magnesium, has led to what really could be considered an epidemic of magnesium deficiency.

According to Dr. Carolyn Dean, MD, ND — author of The Miracle of Magnesium — magnesium is very intimately connected to the following 22 facets of health and conditions:

Anxiety and panic attacks

Magnesium keeps stress hormones under control


Magnesium deficiency increases histamine production and bronchial spasms

Blood clots

Magnesium thins blood, much like aspirin but without the side effects


Magnesium deficiency causes constipation, potentially leading to toxicity, malabsorption of nutrients, or colitis


Magnesium deficiency can increase the frequency and severity of bladder spasms


Serotonin, which elevates moods, is dependent on magnesium


Magnesium is necessary for the natural removal of toxins and heavy metals


Magnesium enhances insulin secretion, facilitating sugar metabolism. Without magnesium, insulin is not able to transfer glucose into cells.


Magnesium is necessary for over 300 enzymatic reactions in the body. So when the body is magnesium-deficient and these enzyme reactions are not working properly, we can experience fatigue.

Heart disease

Mg deficiency is common in people with heart disease. Mg is administered in hospitals for acute myocardial infarction and cardiac arrhythmia. Like any other muscle, the heart muscle requires Mg. Mg is also used to treat angina, or chest pain.


Magnesium deficiency causes blood vessels to spasm and increases cholesterol levels, which lead to blood pressure problems.


Magnesium regulates insulin, keeping blood sugar levels constant.


Magnesium deficiency interferes with the production of melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep.

Kidney Disease

Magnesium deficiency contributes to kidney failure and throws off lipid levels.

Liver disease

Magnesium deficiency commonly occurs during liver transplantation.


Magnesium balances serotonin levels. Serotonin deficiency can result in migraines.

Musculoskeletal conditions

Fibrositis, fibromyalgia, muscle spasms, eye twitches, cramps, and chronic neck and back pain may be caused by magnesium deficiency

Nerve problems

Magnesium alleviates peripheral nerve disturbances throughout the whole body, such as migraines, muscle contractions, gastrointestinal spasms, and calf, foot and toe cramps. It is also used in treating central nervous symptoms of vertigo.

Female reproductive health

Magnesium helps alleviate PMS and menstrual cramping; plays an important role in fertility; helps alleviate premature contractions, preeclampsia, and eclampsia in pregnancy; helps alleviate morning sickness and pregnancy-induced hypertension. It is also given to pregnant mothers to decrease the risk of cerebral palsy and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). According to Dr. Dean, “Magnesium should be a required supplement for pregnant mothers.”


When combined with calcium and vitamin D, magnesium helps increase calcium absorption. For this reason, magnesium deficiency promotes bone loss.

Raynaud’s Syndrome

Magnesium helps relax the spastic blood vessels that cause pain and numbness of fingers.

Tooth decay

Magnesium deficiency causes an imbalance of phosphorus and calcium in saliva, which damages teeth.

So how much magnesium should we be getting?

The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for magnesium is between 350 and 400 milligrams per day. But this is just enough magnesium to ward off deficiency.

Twice the RDA is suggested for those suffering from the 22 conditions triggered by magnesium deficiency.

And how can we best up our magnesium intake? Diet or supplements?

Leafy greens and nuts are great sources of magnesium, but likely not enough. One tablespoon of almonds has 33 milligrams of magnesium. So you would have to eat more than 20 tablespoons to consume the suggested amount! That’s a lot of almonds.

Fortunately there are many ways to supplement magnesium: oral supplements, magnesium oil (which is really just magnesium chloride diluted in water; this may irritate some so be sure to spot-test first), and magnesium flakes which can be diluted in water to make your own magnesium oil or sprinkled in baths. Since oral magnesium supplements can have a laxative effect and are not easily absorbed, applying magnesium topically is a great way to supplement.

Everyday after showering, I spray some magnesium oil (again, not really oil so it won’t stain clothing) on my legs and arms. It absorbs completely before I dress. I consider this a critical part of my daily routine along with dry body brushing and my morning warm lemon cayenne pepper water.

Don’t go crazy now! Though it is thought to be impossible to overdose on magnesium, you know what they say about too much of a good thing. Individuals with improperly functioning kidneys may not be able to handle magnesium supplementation and should consult a doctor. It can also cause loose stools. Furthermore, magnesium may interact with certain prescription medications, so be sure to do your homework!

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  1. I have a medical condition which causes me to lose potassium. I’ve found that supplementing with Magnesium helps to retain a lot of the potassium and water. The other great way to get magnesium is through epson salts. I’ve been bathing for a while in it and drinking quite a bit of coconut water (potassium) and haven’t had a major problem in nearly 2 years. God bless.

  2. To those who are wondering how we used to get magnesium naturally before there were supplements..well as you know magnesium is well absorbed trough the skin .. and the ocean has huge amounts of magnesium.Staying one hour in the ocean gets you soaked up with A LOT of magnesium.It is almost impossible to reach the same amounts with supplements or topicals.And in the early civilisations and before that people used to live near coastlines(trade,fishing etc.)So they were ralery deficient because swimming in the ocean was often done.

  3. Hi there,

    I am glad I came across your article. I have pelvic floor tension, triggered by taking a blood clotting drub 2 years ago called traneximic acid. I thought i had IC for a long time. I have been using the magnesium oil, taking epsom salt baths and supplementing with magnesium glycinate. Over time I am starting to see results. I was wondering how long it took for you to see real results and what form of magnesium worked best for you.

    thanks in advance,


  4. Hi all,
    Just want to share that magnesium flakes goes through a different process from magnesium oil even though the source may be the same. The best source of it would of course be the ancient Zechstein sea as it is the purest. The oil from there is food grade. The flakes are only for foot or body soaks. The “homemade” magnesium oils are not food grade and from personal experience I know that they’re less effective. My mum’s tried saving by making her own with the flakes but she went back to buying the oil. Also, to Zach and Calvin — I’m in Malaysia too! And I use the Elementz brand of mg oil and flakes. It’s Zechstein inside certified and registered with MoH.

  5. I have suffered from interstitial cystitis for four years. After numerous prescription drugs and treatments, including 20 Botox injections in my bladder, extremely painful and did not help at all. I started using bladder friendly foods, making whey protein smoothies with dates, almond milk, cacao nibs, I take lysine, magnesium citrate, hyaluronic acid with chondroitin sulfate, calcium, D-3, and I’m now pain free, and urgency and frequency stopped. Also, eliminated highly acidic foods such as vinegar salad dressings.

  6. Hi Zack, I am also from Malaysia. I wonder what magnesium oil you found from the local drug store. Do you mind sharing it and telling me the effect of it on your IC treatment?

  7. I think I have IC because I was diagnosed with a non-bacterial bladder infection. I have all symptoms that an IC patient will have such as bladder pain when it gets filled up, bladder spasms, and frequent urination. Also, there is no blood nor red or white blood cells found in my urine test.

    I have not heard of a magnesium treatment for IC, and I would like to give it a try. My physicians are out of clues on what’s actually happening on me. They kept giving me effervescent granules and say it could be a mild infection, which the medication clearly doesn’t help in improving my symptoms at all. Now with this magnesium medication, I have to try my luck. I will update you guys on my self-treatment. Hope to hear more results from you guys.

  8. It might be worth trying the Natural Calm Magnesium powder drink rather than a lotion or oil. When my bladder starts to feel irritated, I drink a glass of this and it seems to relax my bladder. I get the Natural Calm Magnesium only and not the one with both magnesium and calcium. You can buy it on Amazon and most natural food stores.

  9. Hi. I female and am in my late 40’s and also have IC. I had been relatively pain free for 2 years and have just been in pain for a week now…after thinking I had this under control! Your info on magnesium oil is very interesting. I believe that I have a magnesium definiciency. Can you let me know if you felt worse before you felt better? I have applied the oil to my belly and feel like the pain is worse….many thanks

  10. Two years ago I found out I was anemic and last year I found out I was Vitamin D deficient. Now, a year later, I am having some symptoms again that something is off. Off and on I thoughout the day I feel light headed, almost like my blood sugar plummeted and I also have a feeling of tetany in my hands. I used to have tetany in my hands as a child and my pediatrician thought is was a magnesium deficiency. It makes me wonder because I was extremely low in iron and also Vitamin D, what else am I low in? Has anyone experienced my symptoms or had experience in being low in many vitamins and minerals?

  11. I have been taking mag (3 kinds at one time) directed by a nutrionist who knows nothing of IC but I got no results for the bladder which I had under control already and when a tragedy struck and I went into shock it sent out toxins into the bladder and OMG and for a week on meds with no result. If mag worked for her she really has not got a very severe case of IC. luck her.

  12. I developed IC on my honeymoon and needless to say it was an awful, torturous experience. However I bought some probiotic restorartory pessaries (vaginal suppositories) while in Europe and they helped a great deal! I know it seems odd but I shoved them pretty far up inside of me and doubled up on the dosage the first day (I was desperate and out of ideas) and it helped within 30 minutes. I keep using them every now and then and keep ordering them from various International sites, as the US doesn’t make these wonderful items. However, they don’t seem to be a cure, so I am willing to try magnesium. I have been doing my research on it. Has anyone tried the magnesium lotion?

  13. I bought the CALM – raspberry, lemon powder at GNC and have put it in my shake in the morning with blueberries, raspberies, powder protein and fiber….I feel like I have prepared for a colonoscopy. I am assuming I put too much in?

  14. Hey Nadia ,

    I have IC since 2 months ,and i’m on Cystistats installations ? Have you or anyone here tried it,???

  15. I simply bought some tablets and they wOrkney for me, I don’t over do the tablets though 1 or 2 a day or every 2 days.

    I find doing more just isn’t worth it.

    The tablets I have have 4 types so better than just 1 type, they also have potassium which is important to have as well.

    I see results within mins

  16. I have read all of the above statements, but I’m still confused on which magnesium to buy, since there is about 9 different one’s. Please let me know which one to purchase. I suffer from chronic IC.

  17. Hi, at last today I managed to find magnesium oil at 1 local drugstore in Malaysia after many days of looking out. Your advice and feedback from the rest suffering from IC seems encouraging. Am feeling a bit disheartened after many visits to the specialist without seeing any improvement since last august. My symptom kicked in with more frequent urination than usual. Subsequently, I felt like having bladder spasms every now and then. Last week there was blood in my urine which require me to be warded for 2 nights. Nothing much was done actually but i believe it was initial side effect from Elmiron which I was prescribed the previous week. The treating doctor, who’s not my normal urologist advised me to continue with Elmiron and asked me to go back to my urologist. Gosh, seems like this is a urologist’s worst nightmare I guess. I believe I’m on my own now. Thanks for the tips folks, and wish me luck. Will keep you all updated on my progress!

  18. Hi- I am so glad I found your story as I was sitting up in the middle of the night with a migraine and inability to sleep. 6 months ago, I had severe dizzy spells and migraines and was admitted to hospital- my bloods came back as having low potassium levels. They have me a supplement for a week and I was ok again. This time, I started feeling dizzy and headachey in November. It has been getting progressively worse- I have see a neuro, an ENT, cardiologist, been to a and e about five times and been to my GP pretty much every week. I can’t concentrate because of the headaches so I’m finding it hard to work, and my muscles have now started to spasm and ache. In hospital, my bloods all came back ok so they told me it is not a deficiency this time. They didn’t test purely for magnesium – just a general blood test for electrolytes. I don’t know what to do – my symptoms all add up with the magnesium problem, but should I take it without the doctors say so? They’re trying to convince me I’ve got a serious neurological disorder that needs to be looked in to as all my scans and bloods keep coming back ok. I’m desperate and it’s affecting my daily life so drastically- which you just couldn’t believe a vitamin would do! Any advice would be great!

  19. For ideas on magnesium, see my post dated December 15, 2014. Brands I like are Thorne, Metagenics, Doctors Best, and Ancient Minerals. Magnesium Oxide is the cheapest forms and very poorly absorbed. Also look at the other ingredients. There should be no gluten, fiilers, etc if its a quality brand. Do a little research online regarding the best and worst forms of magnesium. You want highly absorbed forms.