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What Is the Connection between Fibromyalgia and Magnesium?

Fibromyalgia is a condition which causes chronic pain and tenderness in the soft tissues of the body, including muscles, joints, and ligaments. There is evidence to suggest a connection between fibromyalgia and magnesium, because magnesium supplements, in conjunction with other supplements, can help reduce pain and tenderness in some people with this condition. Magnesium is an essential mineral, known to be important for maintaining a healthy nervous system.

All of the organs in the body, as well as the teeth and bones, require magnesium. In addition, magnesium is involved in most enzyme reactions, supports healthy immune and nervous system function, and is essential for regulating the body's levels of many other vitamins and minerals. Magnesium deficiency is rare, but diseases such as hyperthyroidism, diabetes, and chronic gastrointestinal conditions can cause the body to suffer from a lack of this mineral. Symptoms of prolonged magnesium deficiency can include fatigue and muscle weakness, numbness and tingling, muscle cramps and contractions, and even seizures. These symptoms strengthen the link between fibromyalgia and magnesium because some are similar to those caused by the condition.

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The main similarities are that both fibromyalgia and magnesium deficiency can lead to fatigue and muscle problems, as well as heart palpitations, and numbness in the feet and hands. Another possible link is that magnesium is known to be important in maintaining a healthy nervous system, and fibromyalgia is a disease that affects this system. In addition, some people with fibromyalgia also develop irritable bowel syndrome, which can lead to magnesium deficiency. The nature of the connection between fibromyalgia and magnesium might, therefore, be that when irritable bowel syndrome also develops, the symptoms of fibromyalgia are worsened by magnesium deficiency.

Several studies of people with fibromyalgia have found evidence of magnesium deficiency or imbalance. The existence of a link between fibromyalgia and magnesium remains unproven, however, as other studies have had inconclusive results. For example, a study published in 2011 found no significant difference in blood levels of magnesium between people with fibromyalgia and healthy control subjects.

Advocates of magnesium supplementation treatment for fibromyalgia suggest taking a combination of malic acid and magnesium for at least two months. Malic acid is included because it has in the past been used to successfully treat chronic musculoskeletal pain. Some clinicians also recommend additional supplementation with calcium, as magnesium imbalance can interfere with calcium levels in the body.

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