When we started the GAPS diet eight months ago the practitioner that is helping us taught us to use magnesium and it has changed our lives.
Remember my severe insomnia that I’ve had for the last three years and mildly for the 15 years before that? It was always worse when I was pregnant or stressed which is a fabulous time to be sleep deprived. Guess what?
It was a magnesium deficiency.
Don’t you just love it when you find a simple solution to such a huge problem? And don’t you hate yourself for not finding it sooner?
I always need extra magnesium if I have stayed up too late, if I have exerted myself too much or if I am having more stress than usual. I know I’m low on magnesium when my eyes pop open in the middle of the night and I can’t go back to sleep. Now instead of laying in bed and suffering for hours I get right up, take some magnesium, and I’m literally asleep 30 seconds later. Magic I tell you.
I have a child that could never nap and has woke up at 4 or 5 in the morning every day of his life. He is five now and he is finally napping for first time and sleeping in until 6:30 in the morning. It’s heavenly.
I also know my magnesium is low when I start getting muscle cramps. If I’m playing the violin and my hand seizes up like a claw then I know. When I wake up in the middle of the night with excruciating pain in my legs I know. When I get a headache or even a hiccup, I know. I take magnesium and the cramps are gone seconds later.
My daughter that used to get migraine headaches so bad that she threw up, hasn’t had a headache in 6 months.
A couple years ago when I was in Guatemala and pregnant I ended up in the hospital from a severe pain in my side. That was not a fun experience. A few months ago I was allowed to try raw vegetables for the first time since starting our diet and I got so sick that I almost went to the emergency room again. Luckily this time I knew about magnesium so I took an industrial strength dose and was able to get the pain under control within a few minutes.
Mood and Brain Disorders
Magnesium and diet have almost completely cured my pregnancy related depression and anxiety. It’s difficult to say which of them helped more because I started them both at the same time and they have both been essential to regaining my health. When I start feeling depressed, anxious, irritable or sad I need more magnesium. When my son is having an autistic episode and starts bouncing off the walls he needs more magnesium. When my daughter can’t remember any of her violin songs she needs more magnesium. In fact I don’t practice with her until she has had magnesium or she can’t get through the first Twinkle.
How We Take It
You can buy magnesium pills but from my experience the body absorbs it better through the skin which means we go through a lot of Epsom salt.
We all take baths with 1-6 cups of Epsom salt or we take a foot bath with it. My girls take it once a day. I take it twice a day and my son has to have it three times a day. I give him a foot bath while he’s eating his breakfast and lunch and then he takes a full bath in it after dinner. If he still has trouble going to sleep like he did tonight then he gets another bath and it always puts him out. No more bedtime fights.
I have learned through trial and error that the effects of magnesium are accumulative. You will notice a difference right away but if you stick with it you will notice even bigger benefits. If you stop taking it you might feel good for a couple days but eventually it will wear off and your symptoms will gradually return so don’t stop taking it just because you are feeling better. Stick with it because I read an article that said it can take years for the brain to recover from a magnesium deficiency.
I am not a doctor so whatever you do don’t listen to me.
Also when you first start taking magnesium it can cause diarrhea and it is sold as a laxative but after a while your body will get used to it. At least ours have.
I know it is hard to believe that one little salt could do so much. I have had people watch my son in the middle of a screaming fit, watch me give him the magnesium, watch him calm down within seconds and they still don’t believe it.
Suit yourself but the next time you are up all night with insomnia, muscle cramps, or stress you might want to try a magnesium bath. Next time your children are driving you crazy try magnesium. For all of you. If you have pain anywhere in your body try magnesium. No need to send me a thank you note when it changes your life. Send magnesium.