Dr. J is back and this post is largely for my reference. Here goes:
In retrospect, I began having symptoms of magnesium deficiency since 2011. My hair test had been consistently showing a tissue magnesium level no higher than 3 since 2009 and usually had been stuck at 2 (ideal is 6), leading to extreme imbalances in my Na/Mg (adrenal ratio) and Ca/Mg (blood sugar). My best race to date is the 3M half in Texas in January of 2012 (1:28:12) but even then, I was not even close to balance. My claim that I have elite potential that is consistently being stolen from me does bear much weight given the times that I have achieved in spite of the imbalances.
I found that during periods in which I basically abstained from caffeine and limited my sugar and alcohol, my performances would improve significantly. Because caffeine depletes magnesium, this makes total sense now. However, in the end, it proved to be not enough to stave off deficiency symptoms despite the fact that I had been taking a Cal/Mag supplement. It got to the point in which I could not even tolerate those Naked Juice smoothies with no sugar added. Fortunately, I was able to enjoy another good stretch of running from October 2012-January 2013 thanks to a product called Fructosin, which acts to convert fructose to glucose thanks to the enzyme xylose isomerase. I still endorse that product but have since learned that fructose malabsorption is linked to a magnesium deficiency and while fructosin does eliminate the symptoms of sugar intolerance, it does nothing to raise tissue magnesium levels and is also very pricey.
Fast forward to March 2013- my medical report looked as good as it ever had with 3 of the 4 key electrolytes (Ca, Na and K) all within the normal range but that darn magnesium remained stuck at 2 and the symptoms of a high Ca/Mg ratio became more problematic that the high Na/Mg. I responded by adding more Mag to my formula in the form of Magnesium citrate. After 2-3 glorious days, I went steadily downhill and eventually reached a point in with my body rejected the Mag citrate, leaving me with overwhelming fatigue and depression if I took any. Okay, so now the medical report should show my Mag is no longer a problem right? Wrong! The Mag rose only 1 point while the Na and K went through the roof again.
In June 2013, as a last resort, I tried some transdermal magnesium gel in the form of magnesium chloride. The company made some hard to believe claims such as the following:
-no chance of an overdose because the skin has a unique ability to self-regulate
-it can regulate other chemicals in the cells; thus, no need for other supplements to balance cell chemistry. Therefore, instead of 12+ pills, I can simply rub some gel on my skin.
I have mixed reviews on this product. The good is that since starting it, my summer allergies have been almost non-existent. Also, I was able to get off both Thym-Adren and Fructosin while my training runs improved gradually. However, once again, I was not "freed" from the pills. I was forced off. Taking a single Thym-Adren made me sick. That's very unusual and made me feel uneasy. Too much gel caused a mild rash, some urinary retention and sore muscles. Finally, I read an article from a trustworthy source that using transdermal magnesium often causes a low Na/K ratio. That's one of the key indicators of adrenal fatigue and that result must be avoided at all costs.
I plan on using the transdermal magnesium on an occasional basis at least until the next medical report. Slathering it on every day like suntan lotion is not the answer. The only thing that has PROVEN to be effective in BOTH lowering my Na and K AND keeping that all-important ratio where it should be (between 2.5-4.0) is Thym-Adren. I have found that after starting magnesium malate, I have had more energy this week that I've had for 6 months. In addition, it has been the recommended source for athletes with chronic fatigue. Moreover, research shows that it is effective in detoxing Aluminum, which has always been mildly high on my report. High levels of Al have been linked to dementia and there is some Alzheimer's in my family. I've determined that I will not fall prey to it.
I'm fine with having a need to take pills but NOT okay with a "desperate need." As of now, if I miss a day or two of pills, I will be okay and that's how I want to keep it. Once again, it is not the imbalances that prevent me from dating, it is the INSTABILITY. I NEVER EVER x infinity want to go back to X # per day or else while shooting at a moving target. I'm going with Mag malate, Thym-Adren and Mag chloride up to but not past the point of Thym-Adren intolerance. I still don't know how this will all play out but I do have some new hope.