Today I’d like to show you a test used by doctors who practice integrative medicine which will also allow you to test how vulnerable you are to stress, and detect whether you are at risk of magnesium deficiency.
The close ties between stress and magnesium
I’ve already addressed this topic several times: magnesium deficiency and stress are closely linked:
- Magnesium deficiency increases your vulnerability yo stress
- Stress increases urinary magnesium losses
And moreover, the symptoms of magnesium deficiency are also symptoms commonly attributed to stress: palpitations, nervosity and hyperreactivity to noise…
An electrical conductivity problem…
You’ve almost certainly heard the expressions: “I’m buzzing right now” or “I’m highly charged”.
They are funny as they aren’t merely theoretical.
Magnesium deficiency is responsible for the electrical activity in our muscle and nerve cells.
…in the muscles…
And all the muscles are affected…
The skeletal muscles, also known as the red or striated muscles.
The lack of magnesium in the muscles brings on very unpleasant cramps and delayed onset muscle soreness after exercising.
The heart is also a striated muscle, albeit of a specific genre. This is why palpitations, tachycardia and extrasystoles are some of the signs of magnesium deficiency.
But did you know there’s another category of muscles?
The smooth muscles, existing in all our organs and our blood vessels.
These smooth muscles are also subject to ‘cramps’ when they lack magnesium.
The consequences include several annoyances:
- Stomach cramps and flatulence
- Intestinal spasms
- Pain during menstruation
- A tingling sensation in the arms and legs
- A ‘lump in your throat’ which is actually a laryngospasm
…and in the neurons !
At neuronal level, magnesium deficiency causes poor transmission of nerve impulses and excessive reactions:
- Trouble sleeping and morning fatigue
- Phosphenes or ringing in the ears
- You are startled by the slightiest noise…
How to find out if you are low in magnesium
As I already mentioned in another article “Why do (almost) all of us lack magnesium in our diet?“, blood tests aren’t always reliable for determining whether you suffer from magnesium deficiency. The clinical test performed by the doctor (the famous Chvostek sign) as well as your own perceptions are much more dependable.
Now test yourself !
How to answer this questionnaire
To answer the questions, think of how you’ve felt over the past week, with the exception of any questions about menstruation which are, of course, about how you’ve felt over recent months.
Give each question a score from 0 to 4 according to the scale of the problem.
The scale goes from:
0 – No
1 – Rarely
2 – Sometimes
3 – Often
4 – Very often
|Over the past few weeks, have you felt…||0||1||2||3||4|
|First group of questions|
|1||Cramps or a tingling sensation in your arms and legs?|
|2||The feeling of having a lump in your throat?|
|3||Nausea, stomach cramps or flatulence?|
|4||Abdominal pain, colitis or bloating?|
|5||Painful menstruation? (over recent months)|
|6||A twitching jawbone?|
|7||Ringing in the ears or had eye floaters?|
|8||Muscle or joint pain?|
|Second group of questions|
|9||Significantly more tired in the morning than the evening?|
|10||Palpitations or extrasystoles?|
|11||Breathing problems or a heavy feeling in your chest?|
|12||Difficulty falling asleep or sleep disorders?|
|13||Highly sensitive to noise, light or the weather?|
Understand your results
In theory, you should have responded 0 to each one! But I highly doubt this is the case J
If you have given positive answers to more than 5 of the 8 questions in the first group and to more than 3 of the 5 questions in the second group, you are showing signs of spasmophilia.
Now examine your total score:
Less than 5: you are not very sensitive to stress.
Between 5 and 20: stress plays a few tricks on you during your daily life. Seasonal courses of magnesium may help you.
More than 20: you are very sensitive to stress. You are undoubtedly someone who finds it difficult to retain magnesium and should take a regular supplement. Re-read our article “Complementary approaches to stress“
Feel free to take this test regularly to measure your progress.
Santé Intégrative (Issue 4 – July/August 2008)