Diary of Unknown Symptoms

Mystery of the Internal Vibration

Entry for January 07, 2007

Depression & Anxiety Treatment with Diet

The Links to Magnesium Deficiency

A recent study noted that people with optimistic outlooks were more likely to live longer, and that pessimists were more likely to die from heart disease. The results of the study are often interpreted as optimism helps people live longer. I think that the study results may not have necessarily been interpreted correctly. Association does not equal cause and effect. Just because optimism and better heart function statistically occur together does not prove that either one causes the other.

Magnesium deficiency is a known factor in heart disease as well as anxiety. Another possible reason people with more optimistic attitude live longer is that they may be happier and less worried because they have sufficient magnesium levels, which in turn may also have a protective effect on their hearts.

Undoubtedly there are many factors involved in anxiety and depression, and a magnesium deficiency may be just one of many possible factors. However, studies do show that:

In the U.S. and many other industrialized countries, magnesium deficiencies are relatively common in the general population, especially in women.

Anxiety disorders are also highly prevalent among the general population, especially with women.

Multiple studies, readily available on PubMed, have confirmed that magnesium deficiencies can be a cause of anxiety and other nervous disorders.

Anxiety disorders are more common in people with conditions such as migraines, TMJ, hypermobility, irritable bowel syndrome and especially mitral valve prolapse (MVP). Perhaps it is not a coincidence that these conditions have also commonly been linked, either directly or indirectly, to magnesium deficiencies.

A recent report from Britain linked poor diet to rising cases of depression, ” Increasing rates of anxiety, depression and irritability could be due to a poor diet that lacks the essential chemicals to keep the brain healthy, according to a leading mental health charity.”
If you put all of these known facts together, then it would seem highly logical to screen people suffering from nervous disorders, anxiety and depression for magnesium and other nutritional deficiencies before putting them on antidepressant drugs or treating them with counseling type therapy. This would be especially true for people manifesting other symptoms commonly associated with a magnesium (Mg) deficiency such as heart palpitations, mitral vale prolapse, migraines, fibromyalgia and TMJ.

In the U.S. the most common forms of treatment for anxiety seem to be counseling and/or drug therapy. Yet these treatments are illogical and may be counterproductive when nutritional deficiencies or other biochemical anomalies are the main cause of a person’s anxiety and depression. One can spend hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars talking to a therapist, but it seems like a pointless attempt at a solution if a person’s mental health issues stem from a nutritional deficiency effecting his or her nervous system.

Anxiety and Psychiatric Disorders

Magnesium deficiency causes increased levels of adrenaline, which can lead to a feeling of anxiety. Rats who become magnesium deficient have an increased level of urinary catecholamine excretion (a by-product of adrenaline).

People who have mitral valve prolapse have also been found to have an increased state of anxiety and have an increased level of urinary catecholamine excretion, the exact same condition found in rats who are Mg deficient.

It is not surprising then, to find that people with mitral valve prolapse are usually low in magnesium, and that magnesium supplementation alleviates the symptoms of mitral valve prolapse and reduces the level of urinary catecholamine excretion, i.e. it also reduces the anxiety symptoms.

Researchers in Spain found a correlation between anxiety disorders and hypermobility. In fact, they found that patients with anxiety disorder were over 16 times more likely than control subjects to have joint laxity. If you put the study results together, then there’s a link between anxiety and hypermobility, a link between anxiety and mitral valve prolapse, and a link between mitral valve prolapse and hypermobility.

These studies tell us that anxiety disorders occur in many people who simply have mitral valve prolapse and/or joint hypermobility, meaning anxiety disorders are not specific to EDS or any particular connective tissue disorder. Marfans also have mitral valve prolapse and joint hypermobility which would lead one to conjecture that they, too, have anxiety related disorders. As it turns out, a connection between Marfans and anxiety related disorders has been noted.

January 7, 2007 - Posted by | Health | , , ,

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