I remember being curled up in a ball on the floor wondering if I was going to make it through this one. From day one, “that time of the month” was always painful. My MD prescribed more than double the label dose of ibuprofen and the pain was *barely* livable. I lived that way every month for 15 years. Then the shoe fell. Too high of a dose, for too long was frying my kidneys. My days of ibuprofen use were over. The next month found me curled in a ball on the floor vomiting from the intense pain. Now before you call me a lightweight, I will have you know that I endured a 43 hour un-medicated natural birth of an 8.5lb baby… and it didn’t hurt like that, not even close.
After surviving the most miserable few days of my life, I got off the floor and started looking for answers like a mad woman. Afterall… I only had 25 days to go if I didn’t want to live through another one of these! The classic answers of infection, endometriosis, and others didn’t apply to me… my recent fertility work up gave me a clean bill of health.
I am sorry to say that the answers didn’t come in just 25 days, but my monthly time bomb kept me hard on the path for answers. Then, I read a farming article talking about the need for Magnesium supplementation in plants. It turns out that Magnesium in plants has taken a nose dive of up to 80% in the last 70 years! Pesticide and fertilizer use have depleted the soil of many essential nutrients and made the uptake of them impossible for plants. The result: crops that are deficient in magnesium. (Source)
How Deficient Dirt Causes Pain
Food crops that are deficient in magnesium lead to people who are deficient in magnesium. With a magnesium reduction of up to 80% in the soil and further processing of some crops leading to a total magnesium reduction of up to 95%, it’s easy to see how someone could miss out. Current estimates say 75% of people aren’t getting their minimum daily requirement of magnesium. Several studies suggest that some women need higher levels of magnesium, particularly if they deal with stress and the resulting high cortisol levels. (Hello! That’s only EVERY woman I know!)
A quick glance at magnesium deficiency symptoms stopped me in my tracks. Chronic diarrhea, Celiac disease, Muscle Cramps, Irregular Heartbeat, and others. Two years previously I was in the cardiologists’ office for an irregular heartbeat. A year after that I started a gluten-free diet for symptoms of Celiac. Diarrhea was a weekly issue, even after the Celiac diet. Do I even need to mention the cramps?
Don’t pop pills, eat nuts?
The easy answer looked like a bottle of magnesium supplement, but further research suggested it wasn’t that simple. Magnesium supplements are not well absorbed, and can cause a significant case of the “runs.” (how nice) Not looking to replace one problem with another, I looked for other solutions. Foods high in Magnesium include most nuts. Being a particular fan of cashews, (#3 on the highest Mg foods list) I viewed it as an excuse for a trip to Sam’s for the “big tub” of cashews. A few days before my monthly time bomb I started eating cashews like a kid with a cookie jar. Breakfast: eggs and cashews. Lunch: cashew salad. Dinner: eh… how about just cashews for good measure.
The morning of truth
I might have had a stomach ache from all the cashews, but I managed to pull the fuse on my time bomb.
For the first time in my entire life, my cycle didn’t hurt, not even a little.
Delighted with my discovery, I was somewhat less than delighted with cashews after that. Surely there needed to be another way to get Magnesium.
It turns out Magnesium is readily absorbed by the skin. A 20 minute magnesium sulfate (Epsom Salt) bath, or a magnesium oil spray, work wonders for keeping your levels up. But seriously, what mom has an entire, uninterrupted 20 mins for a bath? Maybe one with a full time nanny but that’s certainly not me. I’m lucky if I can get my teeth brushed without an “emergency.” Magnesium oil works great but I have to remember to DO it… and I forgot… a little too much… and the pain came back.
A better solution with added benefits
I struggled with the balance for a long time. Then, in doing research on how to make baking soda-free deodorants work better, Magnesium showed up again. This time in a research study done on chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is a well known deodorizer for the body. Everything from poo to armpits has been deodorized by the use of chlorophyll. However, one study took it a step further and isolated the magnesium in chlorophyll and removed it. The result: chlorophyll no longer deodorized.
I began adding magnesium to my personal deodorant formula and removed all other “active” ingredients. The changes were startling. Not only did I not stink, I could go 48 hrs without reapplying. In case you’re wondering, YES I sweat… I have 5 kids, a business, 30 goats, a garden and I live in the South! Sweat comes with the territory.
Through its unique actions on the body and natural detoxifying effects, magnesium actually deodorized from the inside out. It didn’t mask odor, it helped my body stop producing it.
No more cashew induced stomach aches
The benefits didn’t stop there. I no longer needed my cashew diet to keep monthly pain away (although they’re still a welcome snack.. just not a meal plan!). I went off my gluten-free diet and symptoms didn’t come back. Hormone tests showed my out of control cortisol levels were returning to normal, I was shocked. Magnesium plays a vital role in many bodily functions such as:
- Producing energy 1
- Building bones and cells 1
- Converting food into fuel
- Relaxing muscles
- Regulating body temperature
- Digesting and utilize proteins, carbs and fats
- Building RNA and synthesizing DNA 1
- Filtering out toxins
- Producing the “liquid gold” glutathione antioxidant
- Carrying calcium and potassium across cell membranes
- Supporting Thyroid function
- Balancing Estrogen
- Detoxifying the liver
- Reducing stress and the resulting cortisol
- Stabilizing blood sugar
- Normalizing production of hormones like progesterone, estrogen and testosterone
- Promoting better quality sleep and fighting insomnia
- Improving your mood by supporting natural production of seratonin.
Deodorant as a health supplement?
We might all be familiar with the dangers of traditional deodorants and make the switch to natural deodorant as our family did years ago. However, the change from using natural deodorant as a “safe alternative” to using it as supplemental to to my well- being revolutionized my life. I am healthier from the inside out, don’t produce as much body odor, and live a much easier life without waiting for monthly torture.
Our new deodorant formula with magnesium is now online in several scents. You can check it out here.
Please note: This article is to be taken as informational and biographical. None of these statements have been evaluated or supported by the FDA and no products or supplements mentioned here should be used to treat any medical conditions. Please direct all medical concerns to a Doctor.
- Rude RK. Magnesium. In: Ross AC, Caballero B, Cousins RJ, Tucker KL, Ziegler TR, eds. Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease. 11th ed. Baltimore, Mass: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2012:159-75.