30 September, 2011
Magnesium & Raynaud's Syndrome
Magnesium is a mineral crucial to the body's functioning and health, and it may especially benefit those with Raynaud's syndrome. There are medications for this condition, but a magnesium supplement may help reduce symptoms in some individuals. Before using magnesium for your Raynaud's, talk with your doctor to make sure it is safe for you to consume.
Raynaud's syndrome, also known as Raynaud's disease, is a condition in which your fingers and toes become blotchy or blue due to narrowing of blood vessels. The condition can also affect the nose, earlobes and lips, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Your fingers and toes may tingle or feel cold during an episode, which is typically caused by stress or cold weather. The exact cause is not known, but risk factors include smoking cigarettes, some medications, previous frostbite and other medical conditions like lupus or arthritis. Along with making lifestyle changes to reduce stress, avoiding caffeine and getting regular exercise, treatment may involve medication. Talk with your doctor about your Raynaud's syndrome and what treatment options are best for you.
According to the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements, magnesium is the fourth most common mineral in the body. Approximately half of the body's magnesium is stored in the bones, and the rest is found in organs and tissues, with 1 percent in the blood. This mineral helps stabilize blood sugar levels, promotes a healthy immune system, helps maintain normal blood pressure and aids with muscle and heart functioning. Dietary sources include almonds, wheat bran, peanut butter, lentils, bananas, soybeans, oatmeal and halibut.
Effects of Magnesium on Raynaud's Syndrome
If you have Raynaud's syndrome, magnesium supplementation may benefit you. The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends taking 200 milligrams of magnesium three times daily with meals for Raynaud's syndrome. This can help the blood vessels dilate, allowing blood to flow to the fingers and toes. A 2008 article in "Rheumatology International" states that individuals with fibromyalgia, which can coincide with Raynaud's disease, were found to have lower serum magnesium levels than healthy subjects. There is an overall lack of research studies on the specific relationship between magnesium and Raynaud's disease, so consult your doctor before using it to see if it may benefit you.
Talk with your doctor before using magnesium for your Raynaud's syndrome to make sure it is safe for you to consume. To avoid adverse interactions, tell her about any other medications and supplements you are taking. Magnesium is not meant to replace any treatment your doctor has prescribed; it is merely a supplement, and it may not help everyone.
- University of Maryland Medical Center; Raynaud's Phenomenon; Steven Ehrlich, NMD; March 2010
- National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements: Magnesium
- "Rheumatology International"; The Relationship Between Serum Trace Element Levels and Clinical Parameters in Patients with Fibromyalgia; O.F. Sendur, et. al.; May 2008
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