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Magnesium supplements & spray 4 M.E weakness

Postby soulpoet on Tue Aug 20, 2013 9:55 am

Does anyone have anyone have any experience of, or comments on the use of magnesium supplements and spray to help with M.E muscle weakness (inc usual suspects of shaking, stiffness and painful lactic acid build up, etc), or the role of magnesium generally?

In March 2012 a friend signposted me to Dr Sarah Myhill's website, which had info on the role of magnesium in muscle recovery, and related advice for M.E and other debilitating conditions. So I upped my magnesium supplementation dramatically, plus started using a recommended magnesium spray daily.

Mid April to October last year saw a fragmented and small, yet noticeable improvement in muscle strength, shakiness, etc... HOWEVER, from the end of October onwards I had a drop in the previous benefits of all the extra magnesium, despite still continuing with the 'regime'. As my improvement had also run (no pun intended!) concurrently with the warmer season; so I was outside more than the previous six months; I am left wondering if the 'improvement' had more to do with fresh air and the odd bit of sunshine (have been largely housebound for over two years, so any fresh air is fab) than magnesium 'super dosing'.

I had stopped using the spray by last Xmas, as it was often exhausting and uncomfortable to apply anyway, so there seemed little point in spending money on something that no longer seemed to be of benefit. But, having had a relapse on Boxing Day, and still being physically weaker than this time last year, I'm wondering if perhaps I did not give the experiment enough time?

As my budget is very tight, and can't afford to waste more money on 'experiments' anyone's comments would be much appreciated!
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Re: Magnesium supplements & spray 4 M.E weakness

Postby Sue Luscombe on Wed Aug 21, 2013 11:11 am

Hello Soulpoet

I am sorry to hear that you are now less well and physically weaker. It can be very unclear what to do for the best, and relapses can be hard to understand when you seemed to be doing well previously.

Your situation certainly does highlight the frustrations and difficulties in our lack of understanding of the causes of CFS/ME. What is going on in our body to make us feel so ill and give so many debilitating, different symptoms? Unfortunately, we do not understand nearly enough and research in diet for CFS/ME is still in its infancy.

Doing nothing is not an option when the symptoms can really have such detrimental impact on our lives. Sometimes just doing something, (so long as it is safe), can actually be the start of some recovery. However, I would certainly support your decision to discontinue magnesium treatment if it no longer seems to be of benefit, so long as you do not have magnesium deficiency.


Treating CFS with magnesium gained ground when there was a small randomised controlled study (Cox et al 1991) where symptoms were improved in the short-term following intramuscular injections of magnesium. However later work did not confirm this benefit. Dr Charles Shepherd wrote in another thread. “I am aware of the Lancet paper relating to magnesium deficiency, (it is summarised in the MEA purple booklet), but this research has not been confirmed/validated and magnesium supplementation is now considered to be of no sound value”.

It is entirely understandable that people with ME want to try diets and treatments in the quest to improve their health. If it’s safe and works that’s great. Sometimes it takes courage though to say ‘this is not giving me benefit’ and stop or ‘ I tried that and it didn’t work last time so this time I won’t do that’.

During this online clinic I have focused on what is safe and evidence-based. At present, the evidence base for treating the symptoms you describe with magnesium is not there, and magnesium supplementation should be reserved for those with proven deficiencies and be given with medical supervision.

Research into understanding CFS/ME cannot come soon enough!
Sue Luscombe
Specialist Dietitian and Nutrition Consultant - R.D.
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