My Magnesium Level Won't Come Up..

by D. Wade

I've had Crohn's colitis for 22 years. Several years ago, I had 2-3 years of chronic diarrhea (at least 10 X a day) and finally, I found relief using helminth therapy (hookworms) which have brought my inflammation to normal.

During this time, though I began to drink 4-5 cups of strong black tea a day, and wasn't supplementing with any minerals.

Slowly, I began to experience "charlie horses", my toes and eyelids began to twitch. Eventually, my hands and feet began to go numb, and I had tingling in my lips. I was checked out by an MS doctor, had a full MRI and nerve conductivity test, and they were all normal.

The symptoms continued, and I began to experience intense PMS with anxiety, insomnia, and depression. I became pregnant and then had a miscarriage at 10 weeks, and lost a huge amount of blood. I tried an SSRI which worked for about a month, until my period came back, and all the symptoms of anxiety, insomnia, began, as well as the tics, twitches, and mild Peripheral Neuropathy.

I finally took a red blood cell magnesium test, and it was flagged as low. As well, my intact PTH was extremely low (normal is 10 - 64, mine was 4). My doctor concluded I had Magnesium Deficiency, and I began intermuscular shots, twice weekly, and supplemented with 450 mg. of magnesium glycinate a day.

I have been doing the shots for 2 weeks, up to 600 mg. of oral supplementation, and I am soaking in epsom salts baths and rubbing magnesium chloride on my skin. However, I am not noticing any relief. The shots seemed to help at first, for a few hours, but are not providing any long lasting relief.

I am slowly upping my magnesium dosage, and added mag calm yesterday, so took about 900 mg, without experiencing diarrhea. My doctor suggested proscribing a diaretic that makes you hold on to the magnesium, but I haven't started that yet.

My question is, for a magnesium deficiency which has been going on for 2 years without treatment, how long does it take to replete? I'm probably not absorbing the oral supplements perfectly because of the Crohn's (even though my symptoms are quite good; 2-3 soft BM a day, and no inflammation. But I thought shots would provide a rapid recovery?

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Do I just need to give it more time? It is very distressing to have the symptoms, and as my period comes around each month, any progress I feel I have made is reduced to anxiety, cramping, tetany, and tics. I cannot even flex my leg without my calf cramping within seconds.

I haven't reached my oral tolerance yet, (no diarrhea), so I'm hoping when I do, that will help. I also ordered Transdermal Magnesium Gel, since I was just using local magnesium chloride flakes.

Please help. My doctor has never treated magnesium deficiency, so he thought I should be replete by now. Now he's sending me to an endocronologist since he doesn't know what else to do.



Comments for My Magnesium Level Won't Come Up..

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Can't bring your magnesium level up...
by: Kerri Knox, RN- The Immune Queen!

Hi Debora,

OK. So, I do think it's a good idea to see an endocrinologist. Why you have a low parathyroid hormone is unusual, so that should be checked out.

And next, it's interesting that this all started AFTER your Crohn's symptoms improved, and leads me to believe that your digestive tract has NOT healed!! Just because you don't have any inflammation on lab tests does not mean that your digestive tract has healed and is absorbing nutrients.

In fact, it's obvious that's NOT the case because you are not absorbing well. But Debora, you and your doctor are making an assumption that the ONLY thing that you are deficient in is magnesium, but it's EXTREMELY likely that you are deficient in a LOT of vitamins and minerals- but magnesium is one of the few things that doctors have access to test for, so your doctor is treating it like a drug and not a nutrient.

But nutrients are NOT like drugs- they work in SYNERGY with each other. And if you are not absorbing your magnesium, it's probably because you have vitamin b6 deficiency also (which also causes premenstrual symptoms). Vitamin B6 is required to absorb magnesium. And zinc can't be absorbed without B6 and you can't make vitamin d when you don't have any magnesium, so it's VERY likely that you are SEVERELY vitamin d deficient too!!

Everything works together and JUST taking magnesium is a bad idea that is not taking your whole health into consideration. No one is JUST deficient in magnesium. How can your doctor explain that you can't absorb magnesium, but absorb everything else just fine!? It's kind of silly to think that.

So, you need to include other vitamins and minerals as well- particularly the B vitamins. But you should also INSIST on your endocrinologist checking your vitamin d level as well.

Also, Debora, taking only 450 mg of magnesium is a very very low dose. So, in answer to your question, you may NEVER get replete in magnesium if you don't get replete in everything else that your doctor will never even test you for!

So, please read my Magnesium Dosage page to tell you about how to take magnesium properly. And consider getting a High Quality Multivitamin and Mineral Supplement like Beyond Any Multiple that has a range of nutrients and also contains vitamin b6.

Also, if you'd like to discuss WHY you are not absorbing and what you can do about the CAUSES of your Crohn's, then let me know because you DON'T have to live with Crohn's- and decreased inflammation does not necessarily mean that you are absorbing nutrients.

Kerri Knox RN Immune Health Queen

Kerri Knox, RN- The Immune System Queen
Functional Medicine Practitioner
Immune System

other nutrients
by: Debora Wade

I forgot to mention that my D level was tested; it was 34, so on the low end of normal. I also have been taking B6 supplements along with zinc, a multi B formula. I just added a general multivitamin/multimineral and calcium, to see if that helps.

The PTH hormone can be low if one has low magnesium, but it will be interesting to see what the endocronologist says.

I've been eating a large amount of dark chocolate, as well as black tea, so that could be contributing to the lack of absorption. But I've gained 30 pounds in the last 2 years (which is a good thing), so it's hard to think I'm so incapable of absorption when I can absorb enough to gain weight?

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I've gone from 10-20 liquid bowel movements a day to 2-3 soft and formed BM's in the last 2 years, so although I'm sure I'm not absorbing optimally, something's going right! The mystery continues....

Macronutrients vs Micronutrients...
by: Kerri Knox, RN- The Immune Queen!

Hi Debora,

Neither chocolate nor tea should affect your absorption in the least. In countries where they drink lots of tea, the antioxidants contribute to very low cancer rates- and they tend to have low heart disease rates as well. If tea was affecting their absorption, these countries would be more susceptible to these types of problems.

And same with chocolate, it's got tons of antioxidants and certainly doesn't contribute to poor absorption in anything that I have ever read (except that the high amount of calories and sugar might be displacing better for you foods).

Just because someone is able to absorb MACRONUTRIENTS like proteins, fats and carbohydrates does NOT mean that they are necessarily absorbing MICRONUTRIENTS like vitamins and minerals.

And if you've been having this problem with low magnesium and probable low B6, that could be the case with you.

But I'm glad to hear that your doctors actually checked your vitamin d level- and 34 is actually not too horrible at all- so apparently you're absorbing fats and THAT is very good.

Kerri Knox RN Immune Health Queen

Kerri Knox, RN- The Immune System Queen
Functional Medicine Practitioner
Immune System

Crohn's Disease
by: Anonymouse Chris

I was interested to read the comments on my Mg levels wont come up. I have been diagnosed with Chron's for several years and am on serious amounts of medication for it including a 6 month stint on Humira. It is not uncommon for me to get cramps so an Mg supplement was suggested by Pharmacist. I wanted to get other advice on Mg and to see if it had any side effects.

I have also just started a course of isoniazid and Pyroxin for a possible susceptibility for contracting TB. I think I will go back and talk some more with my GP and specialist.

Thanks for the info.

My Magnesuym wont go up
by: alley

My Magnesium won't go up either , first Dr had me on 400 tablets then 800, then we added a liquid thinking it may absorb easier one called Ionic Magnesium I take 1200 with no side affects but it went down a point. This has been going on a year when we fount my Potassium only 1.7 my vitamin D only 20, calcium low but not much.

Vitamin d up to 27, Potassium is up but too long time and i take a liquid that needs a prescription and have checked every two months. Before this past year never had any of these problems , protein , iron was low too. Due to illness i do best with chew able or liquids. How can I get my magnesium Level up ?

You have Celiac Disease
by: Kerri Knox, RN- The Immune Queen!

So, if you have low potassium, low magnesium, low iron and low protein I hate to be the one to have to tell you, but YOU HAVE CELIAC DISEASE! You have it. Period. If no one has tested you yet Shame on them, they should not be calling themselves doctors if they are that clueless about Celiac Disease.

However, if you test negative, I guarantee that you still have a condition called Non Celiac Gluten Intolerance. You are not absorbing and gluten intolerance is one of the most commonly undiagnosed reasons for malabsorption.

While it's important to get those levels up in the short term, the reason that it's not working is because you are trying to fill up a leaky bucket. You need to fix the bucket and then fill it up....

Kerri Knox RN

Kerri Knox, RN- The Immune System Queen
Functional Medicine Practitioner
Immune System
Side Effects



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