My discovery of why our MAGNESIUM levels are a huge problem! (mine was)

1-Screen Shot 2015-01-14 at 8.02.21 PMThough this post was written several years ago, it’s information is applicable even to this day and time and has been updated.


I am blown away by the magnitude of what I have discovered just recently. And this potentially involves YOU.

I had several labs done just to keep track of how I stood in several areas. One was RBC Magnesium. “RBC” (red blood cell) measures the intracellular levels of magnesium–supposedly a more accurate picture than a “serum” measurement of your magnesium, which only measures 1% (and sadly, most doctors only measure your serum levels). i.e. even if your serum measurement was normal, your cellular levels may NOT be.

And my result?? My RBC magnesium measured at the bottom, very bottom, of the range. I was shocked. I eat healthy, and have been giving myself liquid minerals off and on for awhile. But clearly, I have been unable to raise my magnesium level. When I tried to raise my supplementation, I’d have to runnnn to the bathroom.

So I opened a book that a good friend gave me: Transdermal Magnesium Therapy by Mark Sircus, OMD. And I am blown away. Here is what I have learned, and YOU may need to as well:

Magnesium Deficiency

  • Affects at least 7 out of 10 reading this
  • Can be there even if you feel well (me); will be there if you have mal-absorption (think gluten issues)
  • Is common with diabetes, liver disease, and if you take or eat a lot of calcium
  • Is especially problematic if you drink alcohol, sodas, caffeine and excess sugar, have a stressful life, sweat a lot, or take birth control pills
  • Increases your risk of heart disease, strokes, muscles problems, cancer and many other illnesses
  • Is common in a stressful life (and especially so if you have adrenal fatigue/low cortisol, or you are a Type A personality)
  • Can be even worse than a serum lab test reveals
  • Is found in someone like me who eats right!!

How a deficiency of magnesium affects you

  • Can cause heart disease (and exacerbates my Mitral Valve Prolapse), plus strokes
  • Promotes tooth decay, muscle cramping (me for over a decade)
  • Lowers your immune system strength, energy levels, metabolism
  • Increases blood pressure (mine has risen at the same time I’ve noticed leg cramps…hmmmm)
  • Decreases your body’s ability to use Vit. C and E
  • Lowers the production, function and transport of insulin
  • Causes an increase of toxins and acid in your body (think cigarettes, radiation, toxins in food/water/air)
  • Makes you susceptible to host of diseases and conditions
  • Can cause tinnitus in the ears

Why you need higher levels of magnesium

  • Helps the metabolism of carbs, fats and amino acids and influences 325 enzymes
  • Counteracts and regulates the influence of calcium, which can harm you if too much
  • Is required for the body to produce and store energy (just like desiccated thyroid)
  • Calms the brain
  • Removes toxins along with Vit. C
  • Increases the efficiency of white blood cells (your immune system)
  • Helps prevent cancer and slows down the course of cancer (along with zinc and selenium!)
  • Can raise testosterone levels in men (and with zinc)
  • Relieves pain! (important news for those with arthritis or other pain issues)
  • Does the opposite of what is listed above about how deficiencies affect you
  • Is nearly miraculous for the depth and scope of its application
  • Saves billions of dollars as well as millions of lives

How will I treat my own low magnesium??

After confirming my situation via the RBC Magnesium lab test, I know I can’t improve it with oral supplements. The amount I would need simply causes diarrhea.

Instead, I am following the information I’ve read in this book and heard about from others: the use of “magnesium oil”, which is magnesium chloride, and I’ll be rubbing it on my skin and following the information on how much. That is apparently the best way to give myself enough magnesium. I have personally ordered the Ancient Minerals brand–found it on the net. I may also use magnesium salts in water, soaking my feet in it. I plan on making sure my husband is tested, as I strongly suspect he is low as a diabetic with digestive issues.

(Update: I eventually stopped liking the stinging feeling that the magnesium oil did to my skin, and I switched to Natural Calm powder in my morning drink…then later to other forms of supplemental magnesium!)

Yes, I feel really good with my natural desiccated thyroid in the treatment of my hypothyroid. But I want to be healthy in all areas, and this is one that looks important to me. (Thanks Stephanie)

Important notes: All the information on this website is copyrighted. STTM is an information-only site based on what many patients worldwide have reported in their treatment and wisdom over the years. This is not to be taken as personal medical advice, nor to replace a relationship with your doctor. By reading this information-only website, you take full responsibility for what you choose to do with this website's information or outcomes. See the Disclaimer and Terms of Use.

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154 Responses to “My discovery of why our MAGNESIUM levels are a huge problem! (mine was)”

  1. Cynde Liffick

    I have low cortisol and low thyroid. I am close to stabilizing the cortisol but in my last labs I discovered that my RBC magnesium is low. I want to raise it of course, but I was told that magnesium lowers cortisol, so I should only take it at night? Is that true?

  2. Daniel

    I have hashimotos and every time I take magnesium consistently it triggers hair loss otherwise it makes me feel better. Any ideas why? This also happens if I consume caffeine. I can’t figure it out.

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      That’s definitely odd as magnesium helps new hair growth. With caffeine, hair loss can happen when we consume too much caffeine.

      • Daniel

        Do you think it’s possible that magnesium is reducing my Hashimotos and therefore increasing my thyroid hormone levels which could be causing the hair loss? I also found out I have low iron levels so I’m taking an iron supplement and plan to try magnesium again after I get those levels up.

        • Janie Bowthorpe

          It’s a magnesium deficiency that “may” increase the risk of developing Hashimoto’s. But not proven. Improving magnesium levels if they weren’t optimal may have a positive effect on one’s immune system. The phrase “increasing thyroid hormone levels” is too vague to comment on. Hair loss can be from low iron, or not having optimal frees, or high cortisol from stress, or low collagen levels, or detoxing of toxins or heavy metals…on and on and on.

    • Kim

      Maybe the extra magnesium is displacing calcium and the lowered calcium is causing the hair drop? I’ve had low D/Calcium and I lose tons of hair

  3. Christina Haarhoff

    When we’re testing for magnesium, should we do what Quest is saying at the bottom of the lab requisition? It says: “Patient should refrain from taking vitamins, or mineral herbal supplements for at least one week before sample collection.”

    I had been taking my supplements faithfully for months in an attempt to get my magnesium, iron, D, and other things up, up, up to where they needed to be. And I desperately need my adrenal cortex to survive.

    Do I have to go off everything for a week in order to test for magnesium? I was going to test in the a.m. but don’t know what to do now.

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      You know, there are a variety of opinions out there as to when to stop taking something in order to test. In fact, there are a variety of opinions about a LOT of subjects. lol. But as far as opinions about when to stop before testing such as with magnesium, you’ll literally see to just abstain from taking magnesium the day before. So perhaps a compromise is good, such as staying off for 2-3 days.

      And we do NOT just get off cortisol like that to test.

  4. mamaligadoc

    With respect !!!

  5. Rowena

    Thanks to everyone who has contributed to this forum. I was just diagnosed with hyperparathyroidism (high PTH and high Calcium) and I am having two parathyroid glands removed. I am doing everything I can to learn more about it. I already use a magnesium spray on my skin (helps me get to sleep) from The Salt Box ( Any information you might have about improving magnesium levels through the skin would be awesome!!!

  6. Betsy

    I came here looking for answers after supplementing for low D and feeling awful on 10,000. After some research I found out that you need magnesium while raising D. Anyway, I was shocked that hasn’t been discussed here. I’m going in for labs tomorrow and I’m curious on results.

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      You are reading an older post, and we’ve learned a lot since then. But not everyone needs magnesium supplementation. Some have good levels already. Also, another reason for feeling bad on D is having a parathyroid problem.

      • Jacquie Greenwood

        Hello, just reading and reading galore…trying to understand how all of this works, or doesn’t. When you posted about Vit D and a parathyroid problem, I had to add that I researched Vitamin D earlier and found that if you overdose on it, it can increase calcium by up to 65% in the body, which is not good. So I guess we just have to keep getting tested because in North America it is estimated that about 70% of us are Vit D deficient. Can anyone else relate?

  7. Mary Deem

    Taking two types of Magnesium helped my hypothyroid issues.

    Magensium Citrate 9NOW brand) – Cured my life long constipation, allowing me to eat more food (I was living on close to air). Interestingly, despite taking 1400 – 2000 mg of Mag Citrate, my Magnesium levels were still low.

    Cheleated Magnesium Bisglyncate (Pure Micronutrients brand, ‘buffered w/ Mag Oxide) – This brought my Mag levels up to normal range. More importantly, it lowered my pulse and blood pressure (I have hypothyroid related hypertension)). I have had a high pulse issues since starting T3. After 5 days of starting Chelated Mag Bisglyncate , my pulse has gone from the 100-high 90’s to 78-88 range! My blood pressure has gone down to the point where I am considering dropping my blood pressure medication, as I am now having hypotensive episodes (95/53).

    I cannot stress how much the type and brand of Magnesium make a difference. STTM has a great chart somewhere on the site, that has the benfitis of each type of Magnesium..and also the types to avoid. Brand makes a huge difference. Whenever I run out of my regular brands and resort to getting brands from the drugstore, my Mag levels drop, and my constipation comes back. Try different types and brands and find what works for we are all different. In my expierience, you get what you pay for when it comes to Mag…but the investement is well worth it.

    I have electrolyte panels every 3-4 months, since I have stage 3 kidney disease, so I have the opportunity to see the effeccts of type and brand Magnesium. Find doctor who will test your electrolytes on a semi regular basis, because it is so difficult to treat your thyroid and adrenal isues without knowing your electrolyte and vitamin levels.

  8. Jodi

    Does magnesium interfere with desiccated thyroid (if taken at the same time)?

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Hi Jodi. We know that it’s being stated. But here’s the deal: STTM is mostly about reported patient experiences, and there are people out there who have not found it to inhibit their thyroid treatment at all. Could others find it does? Maybe. The irony is that magnesium may play a role in the conversion of T4 to T3. It’s also like coffee with the tannin in it. We read that tannin inhibits thyroid hormones, yet some people reported taking their thyroid meds with coffee, to no ill effect. So if you have any concerns about it….or iron, calcicum and high fiber (all stated to inhibit), you can take thyroid meds or any those apart from each other. But do know that many don’t pull it away from their thyroid meds, and they are doing fine. Most things aren’t quite as black and white as you hear….

      • Jodi

        Thank you. Honestly I’ve not found info abt desiccated thyroid just synthetics. My daughter remembers her desiccated morning and night but keeps forgetting her magnesium in between. I’ve been wanting her to switch to taking it at night w her NDT so she doesn’t forget.

        • Janie Bowthorpe

          By the way, most of us find it works much better to do that second dose on NDT in the early afternoon, not a night. The reason: the direct T3 goes down after “about” 4 hours…that’s approximately when people started noticing a slight drag in their energy after taking NDT or T3…so taking it in the morning and again in the early afternoon, gives us that needed T3 when we are most active. If she wants to try that, then she can take magnesium in the evenings with food if there is any concern. Again, not everyone has had issues with magnesium and their thyroid meds, especially with NDT and its direct T3.

  9. Lianda

    There are many forms of magnesium- and citrate WILL give you diarrhea if you take too much. But that\’s not the best kind to take! This is a good video that will explain the different types of magnesium and their effect.
    I\’ve recently learned about BORON (which you can also investigate on youtube and other sources). I\’m about to start it, because even though I\’m taking over 700 mg of magnesium, I\’m STILL cramping and recently have become constipated again! My other Hashimoto\’s symptoms seem to be pretty much controlled – other than inability to lose and maintain any weight loss- but this is a problem for 95% of the population. No one understands about how to maintain weight loss – and dieting is stressful for the body (and mind) and is probably one thing that you can do that will virtually guarantee that you will gain weight in the long run.

  10. Balletmama

    Just started bluebonnet chelated mag. No runs. I thought I had phlegm due to allergies but mucous has cleared up after just a couple days of mag.
    I have another question. Does the feeding of gmos to pigs and the obvious affects of their health concern anyone else on porcine ndt?

    • Janie Bowthorpe


      You know, there are many things in the world we may not like, but we just have to continue with what works, and NDT works. It’s a very very very small amount, too. So the solution if anyone is concerned that much, is to avoid other GMO foods.

  11. Michele

    Hi. I found this when I was looking to see how far apart I should take my magnesium and thyroid meds. I also use Natural Calm and I’ve been taking 3 Tbls at night before bed. That’s not enough, so I’m going to take some in the morning too. When you say you take the Natural Calm in your “morning drink,” what is your morning drink (mine is coffee)?
    Thanks in advance for your help,

  12. Bob Kimball

    Lifelong (even as child) muscle cramper, I mean, ridiculous cramps all over. Only took me into my 50s to figure out magnesium deficiency. Most magnesium supplements sold don’t work because they are the wrong compound for absorption. Magnesium oxide – don’t bother. In my case, Magnesium Phosphate works fabulously well. You can get it on Amazon for very little $. The brand I buy is Hyland’s #6. Very small easy dissolving pills, slightly sweet to taste. Cramps disappeared almost immediately. To prove how well absorbed this is, if I ever do get a cramp (very rare) I take a few pills and let them dissolve on my gums. Cramp gone, within 5 minutes. Beat that!

  13. janet

    I was diagnosed with hypothyroid about 30 years ago by my Osteopath. I actually diagnosed myself and the blood draw simply confirmed. My wonderful Osteopath Dr. explained that when you have low thyroid function and begin supplementation, it will take about 3 months to stabilize because initially, not all the supplement is being delivered as some of it is being used to replenish the thyroid ‘storage’ and only some is available for uptake. Once the thyroid storage system has been replenished, then the full supplement is available for uptake. After 3 months, he retested levels and I have been on the same dosage for over 30 years-very stable. I use a slow release mag and if I don’t take it, I get terrible leg cramps which wake me up with the severity. If I awaken with severe leg cramps, I take CALM (a magnesium citrate powder which is added to warm water) which makes the leg cramps go away within a few minutes. If you have leg cramps and respond almost immediately with CALM, its a pretty firm confirmation you have a magnesium deficiency. If I were to take CALM daily, it would indeed cause loose stools, however, the slow magnesium, time release does not. I use MAG 64 which is cheaper than SLOW MAG. My research indicates the consumption of magnesium should be separated by 2 hours from thyroid medication. In response to someone’s comment about probiotics, I switched from consuming yogurt to Kefir regularly. FYI- Kefir has to have at least 12 different probiotics to be called Kefir, yogurt usually only has a couple. The most current research is confirming that a healthy immune system relies on a healthy gut flora.

  14. Traci

    Has anyone found a good solution for magnesium for adrenal health that doesn’t have any of the fillers that are bad for Hashimotos Thyroiditis people?

  15. Ana Maria Mackitarian

    Is Magnesium Cloride For Analises, good for your health?

  16. Robin Y

    Guys – transdermal magnesium therapy is a huge con and is unproven. It doesn’t work. Please don’t waste you’re money.

    • Maddy

      Robin, I respectfully disagree. Forever people have used epsom salts soaks for muscle aches, active stuff….Magnesium absorbed transdermally. I have a mag lotion, and an old whiplash injury which means my shoulders and neck area often feels like a rock instead of a muscle tissue. I was SHOCKED, totally blown away when I used the lotion there. So much better. And it is repeatable. If I go several days or a week without I can feel the stiffness return, lotion releases it.

      • Lisa Braun

        Magnesium is ABSOLUTELY absorbed through the skin! I take a hefty amount and it’s a nice stool relaxer 😉 (I tend to naturally be on the constipated side – but the magnesium helps tremendously!) anyway, one day I took a bath with 2 cups of epsom salts (MAGNESIUM)… the next day, when I went to the bathroom, it was as though I had prepped for a colonoscopy – no pain, no gas, no discomfort whatsoever -but it was SO STRANGE – then I remembered I’d taken a bath in magnesium the night before – that plus my oral intake … 😀

    • Sam

      We are not GUYS! Don’t be sexist, there are mostly females if not all females on here.

      • Janie Bowthorpe

        Sam, I think you took Robin too literally. In US English, we use “guys” to mean either sex. 🙂 It’s like saying “people”.

      • zazus

        Yes Sam, I’ll take credit (or blame) for this! 🙂 I started calling my female high school classmates “guys” way back in 1970 or so. 😛 And yes, it made many of them very cranky, just like you, which I found SO amusing I did it even more, ’til they finally had to give up. “Gals” just didn’t feel right to me, and I’m a gal. I guess I just needed more fun. 😀 I’ve found it’s served me well over the years as a test for either stuffiness or sense of humor. Imagine my delight when I found all of American adopting my penchant! 🙂 There’s absolutely nothing sexist about testing for positive personality; and it clearly still works – maybe even better! Life is tricky enough without adding a dollop of uptight on top! I recommend you give yourself a break, relax and save your reprimands for those who censor and wish to take away more freedoms – especially free speech!. For more consideration and support, check out: Here’s wishing you awesome good cheer! Always glad to help!!! +)

  17. Susan Wenzel-Bertelsen

    There is a brand that I use – it’s a Magnesium Gel to rub on the body or put in the bath…Dr Beckers BioNutrients. It is reasonably priced and they often times have a buy one get one free. They also have the mag tablets and many other very high-quality supplements. He also has a very informative television show.

  18. Jessica

    If anyone is experiencing loose stools or GI problems with Magnesium intake please add a good probiotic to your daily regime as this will certainly help control these issues. A good probiotic should have 14 billion good bacteria – like PB 8 brands for example. I eat one yogurt per day. Let me also say that gout or pseudogout sufferers will be helped a lot by magnesium supplementation and lots and lots of water. I am interested in learning about iodine and in what format it should be taken in to remove bromine. Can anyone share info or loinks on this subject for more detail please! Thanks…Jess

  19. handtalker

    MK7 necessary for our calcium to work right and not get lost in our organs. I use Bone Up. It has a great nutrients for helping bone density, The formula for calcium in this works for me. Made by Jarrow. I bought at my health food store. 240 caps, 3 2x day.

  20. Angie G

    No one mentioned Graves Disease or Hyperthyroidism.. Would magnesium work well for these symptoms?

    • Xylinda Morpheus

      while i wouldn’t say it would be a cure for these symptoms, it wouldn’t hurt to get the mag rbc test … you could also join the magnesium advocacy group on facebook and the ftpo thyroid groups to get info

  21. Teresa

    I was put on synthetic Synthroid aprox. 20 years ago due a TSH blood test, extreme fatigue, 1/3 end of eyebrows missing, etc. At the time, I knew nothing about the thyroid much less the fact that I had one. The synthetic Synthroid worked well for awhile but a new DO doctor said I was not converting the T4 to T3 so she put me on desiccated Armour Thyroid which contains both T4 and T3. I did better on the Armour but to get my T3 in a good lab range, she let my TSH go below the lab range which is very controversial among many doctors. To make a verrrry long story short, my DO doctor left town and I went through several other doctors that sent me on a roller coaster ride between Synthroid again and then back to Armour and as a last resort, a compounded med of T4 and T3 to get my lab ranges corrected. I had educated myself on hormones in general and was taking every supplement recommended to support the thyroid and adrenals. During this timeline, I was also diagnosed with extreme Adrenal Fatigue 2X using saliva tests.

    To say the least, I was fed up with the doctor appointments, their lack of knowledge, lab tests and begging for the right medication. By accident, I ran across an article on magnesium deficiency which led me to the website of Dr. Carolyn Dean ( and the rest is history…that was 7 months ago. I followed her advice, blogs and supplementation recommendations and was able to get my body to work on its own. No more thyroid medication, iron supplements or adrenal meds. I now take 3 of her products…ReMag, ReLyte & ReAline plus iodine and her recommended supplementation regiment. Dr. Dean’s liquid mineral products are 100% absorbed and do not cause the side effect of diarrhea before you reach the therapeutic effect your body needs. Please do not do this if you are not totally committed to the process and educating yourself first. I listen to my body unlike my doctors……and I feel great.

    • HT

      The first thing doctors do is develop a line of products for themselves. There are thousands of supplements out there. If a doctor is selling me their stuff, I run away.

  22. Margaret

    I have recently had bloodwork done and my white blood cell count is high, all other results are within normal ranges. Could magnesium supplements be responsible for my high blood count? I am very anxious about this and have to wait 6 weeks to be retested to see if my count has come down (the Dr has also prescribed a course of anti-biotics).

    • Cher A

      Yes, I have found a very strong correlation between high inflammation and/or high white blood cell count, and a substancial magnesium (glycinate) deficiency with my RA diagnosis.

  23. viral

    Please can anyone suggest me any laboratory which is testing for RBC Magnesium in INDIA..Or any other international laboratory to whom I can send blood sample directly to check..

    • Michelle

      Hi Viral, were you able to track down a diagnostic lab in India which tests RBC Magnesium, or the international lab which accepts blood samples from India? Have been looking for one with no luck so far.

    • Madhavi

      Hi Viral,
      Did you find a lab in India that does the RBC Magnesium test?

  24. Kristina


    What is the recommended dosage for topical magnesium oil?

    Thank you.

  25. Mary

    Please also consider adrenal supplementation as it assists thyroid.. isocort or endodren are good to take. Magnesium threonate citrate or taurate are good absorbable forms. Mag helped me with my anxiety but I also I started mercury chelation which has also helped tremendously. Get your metals checked with dmps challenge test. Find alt. Med doc to help. Mine were really high.mercury affects your thyroid a lot!!

  26. James

    I have had numbness and tingling in my right foot and calf for at least 5 years. It was uncomfortable to walk and was often hard to sleep. I went to several doctors to no avail.
    After I started taking Magnesium gluconate at 600mg/day, all my symptoms went away. I have
    intemittent diarrea problems and am looking into reducing oral magnesium and taking some
    by nebulizer or by spraying epson salt solution on my skin and rubbing it in. Does any one have a solution to my problem. If I reduce the oral Magnesium my symptoms come back.

    • Louise

      As I said in reply to Shannon, chances are it’s the form of mag that you’re on that’s giving you the runs. Try glycinate and see if that helps any. You could also try oxide, which is often said to be less easily absorbed, but it worked well for me. Oxide and glycinate are not known for causing diarrhoea.

  27. Shannon

    I am hypothyroid, have heart PVCs or premature beats. Nine days after taking magnesium citrate and two days after being on 500-600 mg the palpitations and irregularity got better! I still have the irregular beats but the severity is not so often. I have not been on it long so it will take awhile to get into my cells. I also have muscle twitches all over under my skin and anxiety and depression. I am also using magnesium oils and lotions since I cannot tolerate more than the oral dose I mentioned due to the bowel issues. I strongly agree that magnesium works. I was near losing my sanity and quality of life and feel that it is slowly coming back.

    • Louise

      Your bowel issues are because you are using the citrate form of mag. You can get around this by spacing your doses out through the day, or switching to a different form of mag, such as glycinate. xx

  28. Sandra

    I have gained 30 pounds in the last 11 months and just keep gaining no mater what! My hair texture has change to that of (as my hairdresser says)as horse’s tail. I feel like I can’t concentrate. It isn’t menopause because I am 47 years old and had a complete hysterecomoy at age 29. My chloresterol suddenly went high 12 months ago and I have been on two meds and no change in levels. Stopped taking them because I simply could not tolerate them as they caused terrible leg pains and just felt terrible!! Thyroid test level was a 2.8 (per doc.). Recently was told I have high levels of magnesium in blood and should retest in six weeks? Family history of thyroid disease…..My Mom was hypothyroid. Anyone have any suggestions?

    • Sandra

      Forgot to mention when I asked my doctor about posssibility of hypothyroidism his reply was “your symptoms are the same as depression. I can prescribe something for that.”. I Am NOT depressed!

  29. Shanae

    Hello all! My doctor tested me for low magnesium levels and my value was 1.8 the normal range for serum magnesium value is between 1.7-2.8 even though I am in the normal range is it still low ?

  30. melrob

    I was just recently diagnosed in February of hypothyroid and also found out I was in full-blown menopause. At that point my doctor put me on 30 milligrams of armor. Also I was put on estrogen progesterone bioidenticals, testosterone cream. My bloodwork came back that all levels were much better. My t3 was a 3.2 after 3 weeks on armour…. but then she increased it tom 60mgs…. at first I was feeling a lil hyper like energy. (On the 60mgs) Then 3wks into it we tesred again and now my levels of t3 were at 4.0… I asked about my heartreat/pulse becuz it was about 90 beats.and a explained that I feel a little hyper. And that I could feel my heartbeat ing when I was laying down. That was last friday,over the course of the weekend and into the beginning of the week I found myself waking up with sweats, leg cramps muscle tenderness and frequently going to the bathroom along with heart palpitations and extremely vivid nightmares and waking up quite often. When I call the doctor she simply told me that it was anxiety that I was experiencing. And that I could lower the dosage of armor bye cutting it in half and to come back and see her again for blood work in 3 weeks. Does anyone have any suggestions well what they think might be happening because I felt fine until we did the increase and I noticed all these other issues coming about over the course of several weeks and now she’s telling me its anxiety??? Any information or help would be great… Thank you

  31. ger her has been disabled. what book is she talking about for info on magnesium?

    • April P.

      I believe she is talking about her book, Stop the Thyroid Madness”. You can also check out “The Magnesium Miracle”. Ebay or Amazon has a good selection of new and used.

      • Janie Bowthorpe

        The book I’m referring to is the one this blog post referred to: Transdermal Magnesium Therapy by Mark Sircus, OMD

        But for those with thyroid disease, yes, the Stop the Thyroid Madness book is a detailed outline of what patients have learned about better thyroid treatment and their wisdom. The above book, though, is the one that was so good about Magnesium.

  32. shtove

    I’ve been messing around with magnesium for a couple of months.

    Tried mag malate pills + mag chloride spray, but the best is epsom salts spray. Works well for sleep, for me at least.

    There’s a robust discussion on sulphate v chloride at this link:

  33. Karen

    My experience and research shows that T3 increases the CoA line of nutrients which can quite quickly deplete magnesium. If one can’t get magnesium levels up and if blood pressure is rising or fluctuating, check insulin levels. Magnesium opens cells and allows insulin to be properly used. If insulin gets too high, you have insulin resistance and it doesn’t allow magnesium into the cells. Just another avenue to investigate.


  34. Gigi

    I am so thankful that naturopaths are able to open up and be honest about mineral deficiencies. For more than 30 years (since the birth of my eldest child) doctors have kept me on high dosages of inderal to prevent anxiety and migraines. Now, 30 years later, I went from 127 lbs. to 200 lbs. (a side effect of the medication) have developed fluid around my ankles and abdomen, have no energy, and still have tension headaches. I did my research to find natural remedies for anxiety and got over 30 interesting hits on magnesium. I rushed to the local supermarket and picked up a bottle. I feel better than if I had take two 40 mg tablets of my medication. Sadly, My doctors over the years have never suggested that I stop taking inderal which was creating the potential for serious health issues. I would love to involve myself in a support group for this wonderful mineral. I know that exercise, a sensible diet, rest, and the right supplements are key to losing this exorbitant amount of weight. Drastic weight loss surgery is no longer an answer for me. I have found my answer. When I am successful with the weight loss, I will write a book journaling my experiences.

    • Larry

      You Go Girl!!!

      Make sure you also research iodine. The story is the same as for magnesium. We MUST have it and don’t get it. We are instead poisoned from bromine and fluoride. You don’t need a lot, it is easier than magnesium to get but you may have some initial adverse effects due to your body dumping accumulated bromine (look up bromine poisoning, my daughter had every symptom listed after starting iodine, but lost 8 lbs and all her breast lumps in about 1 week!!)

      We have found magnesium glycinate to be a pretty good source to take orally. Transdermal is good, but I realized (when I tried adding more orally with each meal) that I was not getting enough that way. .

    • Dianna Muselmann

      How’s it going Gigi? Very well, I hope

  35. Cindie

    Help my son 23, is very ill! High cal ,low mag! His nutritionist put him on a cal/mag/zinc supplement! I asked about the transdermal mag .. She said he needs this combo? Is ths true.?
    What diff between nutritionist and naturopath..?? I worry she selling her products!!

    • Gwen B.

      I’ve recently listened to an interview with the doctor who wrote ” The Magnesium Miracle”. She encourages 2 times the magnesium of calcium in any supplement and she actually discourages the use of calcium supplements all together. She says we have so much in our blood and most of us eat dairy, etc. She says we get more than enough calcium in most cases and are terriby magnesium deficient as a nation. This causes atrophy in our bodies and calcification of our hearts. I through away my combo mag/ cal. supplements. They were hurting me rather than helping.

      • Debbie Stevens

        Thanks Gwen B. I recently started taking a supplement that included vit D, calcium, magnesium, and zinc because I thought they were needed for the vit D to work better. I have taken just extra calcium before and I got some chest discomfort (I believe it was my heart), so I stopped taking it and the discomfort went away. I thought it would work better with these other elements. I have hypothyroid and osteopenia.

    • Stacy

      While my grandfather was much older than your son and I don’t know anything more about magnesium then what stated above, the parathyoid’s ONLY job is to regulate calcium. I would look into that. Not to scare you but I feel I should let you know that my grandfather was high for years and no one ever looked into his parathyroid. He had the symptoms associated with hyperparathyroid and it wasn’t until 2mo before he passed away that I was able to get my mom to question the docs and take a further look. His body was riddled with cancer at that point. Just add it to your list to check off…better safe then sorry! There is a wonderful doc in Florida that wrote up an awesome guide. He even took the time to email me when I was desperate on finding why my grandfather kept going downhill and how to approach the doctors.

      • Larry

        You are correct about the parathyroid. However you’re grandfathers problem and likely most people who have calcium regulation problems is related to magnesium deficiency.
        Take a look at this website as just an example

        The magnesium deficiency problem is HUGE and is the underlying cause of a majority of the health problems afflicting people today.

        • B. Mack MD

          Agree that magnesium is very important. But parathyroid hormone MUST be evaluated in any patient with hypercalcemia

    • Joshua S


      I would highly recommend against any calcium supplementation. Any Chelated Magnesium supplement is good, but make sure it is from a reputable brand that doesn’t have any fillers, most likely at your local health food store. Zinc is important but it is fairly easy to get it from food sources. I know from personal experience that The Synergy Company has very high quality Organic multi vitamins. Switch your son to a whole food organic diet and get him off the Standard American Diet. Get a high quality Activated Carbon water filter as chlorine/chloromines can also greatly affect your health. I highly recommend anybody here take a trip to It has all the info you could need to know about healing and regaining health. I also read an interesting article about 6 very effective ways to increase magnesium, I use a few of them myself –

    • Aaryn

      Cindy, I know that this is an old post but please have your sons parathyroid gland checked out. After much research of my own, this is the best site I have some across I suggest you go through it thoroughly . High calcium is very dangerous and is one of the symptoms of parathyroid malfunction which is often overlooked. Magnesium deficiency is not always the answer in super high calcium readings and it is too serious to be overlooked, often taking many years to be diagnosed. To the others, thanks for the info on the magnesium oil and slow release brand, I am definitely getting myself some of this. I would like to add don’t forget about taking baths in food grade magnesium salts. You can order it online here ( Australian company)
      Good luck.

    • Kathy W.

      Hopefully by now you have discovered Dr. Normans website, There is only one cause of high calcium and only one cure. A parathyroid tumor can destroy your life. I know because by the time I had mine out, I had been misdiagnosed for 10 years. Read the website, the solution is simple. Dr. Norman and his staff are top notch. I would not have the surgery done anywhere else. Both my sister and I had the surgery at Dr. Normans clinic.
      Calcium readings over 10 mean there is a parathyroid tumor, just that simple. My doctor “watched” mine for years. Lucky to still be alive!!!
      Also, read about supplementation on Dr. Normans site. My doctor had me supplement with calcium. Very dangerous!

    • B Mack MD

      If your son’s calcium is high, make sure your doctor checks his parathyroid hormone level (PTH) When calcium is high, or even in the high range of normal, PTH should be LOW. A great explanation is on

  36. Sway Johnson

    I have been on the magnesium journey myself. My doctor wouldn’t order it so I used an online lab testing company. My naturopath told me that although I scored on the low end of normal, I should have a reading of 6. So I am taking supplements now. They are slow release so that helps a lot to avoid diarrhea symptoms.

    • Bluestone

      Sway Johnson, et al: Can you please share the name / brand and dose of the slow release magnesium you are taking? You wrote a positive remark on this last April 2013 – How is it working now, 8 months later? Thanks.

      • Linda Becker

        Jigsaw makes a great time release product.

      • Epi

        You only need a spray bottle of what’s commonly referred to as ‘magnesium oil’. It’s not expensive (put it this way, if it’s horribly expensive, pass it by – you’re just paying for someone’s wealthy lifestyle and their product is no better than any others on the market).

        Magnesium oil is – in a nutshell – simply water that’s been taken from deep within various oceans.

        Of course, it’s not really an oil at all, but it has a salt-water-and-oily feel to it.

        Spray all over the body and either rinse off after half an hour, or leave on.

        What this article failed to mention is that Vitamin C is as important – if not more so – for heart health as magnesium – and some doctors (the smart ones, at least), if asked, will give massive doses of vitamin C intravenously to patients who’ve either suffered heart attacks or are at high risk of doing so.

      • jon w

        Magnesium Bis Glycinate is 100% absorbed due to its chemical structure. Other Mg supplements (including mg glycinate) are only partially absorbed and the remainder goes to the colon, where the mg causes the body to secrete water into the colon, causing loose stools. I have been taking the Bis-glycinate form for several weeks. Now I sleep 8 or more hours and have no loose stools.

        • Sharon S

          I have just added Bis glycinate to my hypothyroid program for a little over a week. Started with about half tsp and am now doing 3/4 tsp. It tastes yuck, noticed that my Bowles are a little loose ( which is better than the other option) my question for you is the bad breath part, I’ve tried adding it to juice nothing works . Any advice.

          • jon

            I use Periodic brand magnesium bisglycinate tablets, available thru Amazon. Never have loose stools, nor bad breath.

    • Donna M

      With Magnesium, you shouldn’t be using supplements orally. you will only take in about 20-at most 50% of the pill while the rest is pushed from your system. One thing is that using oral can cause damage to your liver over time. I know i’m what 2-3 years later, BUT look into the spray Magnesium EASE. You can’t overdose on that as it regulates itself through your skin. It comes down to purity and instead of the pill going into your stomach and not getting what you need, go with a spray so you can get it into your skin and it goes right into your bloodstream.

      • Kirk

        Please cite your assertions that magnesium hepatotoxic!

        • B. Mack MD

          Magnesium is generally safe for almost everyone and not a problem for the liver. I avoid prescribing magnesium to patients with certain kidney problems. People with kidney disease should discuss with their doctor before taking magnesium.

          • dan

            Just an FYI.
            My blood test came in this morning, and my Creatinine Serum went from 1.30 to 1.23 mg/dl down 7 points (normal is 0.15-1.17mg/dl)
            and my GFR reference range went from 55 to 58 up 3 points ( normal is 60) in just 2 1/2 weeks from taking Dr. Deans ReMag and ReMyte, 1/2 tsp.mixed in a 16 oz. water bottle drinking it through out the day, and organic baking soda 1/4tsp. 2 times a day on an empty stomach, in 4 oz of water. Dr. Dean was right!!! You can reverse kidney problems with Magnesium and Mineral supp. Can’t wait for the next test.

  37. David

    Ana – Not yet. I just received results of RBC Mg and my level is just above the minimum. I got the Mark Sircus book Janie recommends on kindle and am reading it now. I will order the supplements soon.

  38. Ana

    David, have you tried whole body or foot bath in Epsom salts? Did that help?

  39. Lisa

    Magnesium glycinate (try the “pure” brand) seems to be one of the better tolerated and better absorbed magnesiums.

  40. David

    Several years ago I was seeing a nutritional MD, and on three occasions I had an IV of Mg Sulfate (don’t take orally!). For five days after I felt wonderful – even small aches and pains disappeared, any stiffness gone. I have never been able to get to that point supplementing orally, though I have tried many different forms (it doesn’t bother my intestines at all). Glad to have the suggestions here to try some more options.

  41. Vicki

    Hi Janie,
    Thank you for your wonderful information.
    I have just come back from seeing my Gp and they said that I shouldn’t know anything about magnesium and why was I asking so much about it.
    I am disappointed with my doctor as I have had a thyroid condition for more than twenty one years and this is the first time I have heard of magnesium.
    Maybe we are just backward in the lucky land of Australia.

  42. Regula M.

    Good Morning Janie
    Thank you very much for this inspiring Website! I bumped into it, while I was looking for an intelligent treatment for my hypothyroid issue. I usually write in the forum It’s a german Forum about chronical Magnesium deficiency. There has been more than 20 years research in Germany, about this disease and treatment for affected people…
    Since there is also a subject about thyroid included, I also added your Website:
    You might want to read it with the Chrome Browser that provides you the translation in english!
    Since four days I take NDT with an impressive succsess.
    Wishing good health to you and everyone!

    (From Janie: I’m so glad you are informing folks of the German version of the STTM book as well as the website. It was a risk for the publishing company to invest into the creation of a German translation—translations are extremely costly and risky. But we figured it would help reach more people since so many lives are compromised thanks to T4-only and more. And your mention of http://www.laughinggrapepublishing will help spread the word and get copies of this important book into more hands. It changes lives! Glad you are doing well with NDT!)

  43. Mavi

    Even when using transdermal magnesium u can still get side effects… Itching, insomnia, heat sensation….

    Three of us tried it… One has hypothyroid rubbed it on their soles n she got itches all over and couldnt sleep most of the night… Her feet also had a warm sensation

    I also had similar effects even though i dont have hypothyroid

    My mom in 70s tried it and also complained she couldnt sleep.

    I have talked to ancient minerals rep and they said it can be side effects of body’s deficiency in magnesium…i think can be true but just a warning that taking magnesium can be toxic to the kidneys…

  44. Susan

    Different types of magnesium have different rates of absorption. Magnesium oxide is very common, but will give someone the runs, so it’s typically prescribed for constipation. Citrate is better absorbed. I prefer chelated magnesium glycinate formulated by Albion laboratories. There are several brands that use Albion in their formulation including Bluebonnet, Solgar, Swanson, and Doctor’s Best are some available at health food stores and supplement shops. It’s well absorbed and doesn’t cause diarrhea.

  45. Julie

    @ the LDN(Low dose Naltrexone) comments: I am far from the expert on LDN, but just wanted to throw out that we tried this with my son with autism a few years ago. Though I do know some who respond very favorably (in fact, I think MOST do), there are some rare cases of it increasing aggitation/aggression in people. Unfortunately, my son was one of those. It only took 2- 3 days and he was a different child. It is so rare that the dr. who prescribed it to me simply told me that it could cause him not to sleep at well at night (as in that would be the only possible side effect). When the aggresion started, a friend of mine researched it back to the dr. who began using LDN in autism and found the aggression listed as a rare side-effect. Just be careful and be aware!

    • Random Reader

      I agree re LDN. I took it for around three months and it was amazing after a week or two adjusting (really rough adjustment). However, after I plateued, I stopped it. Then, maybe a year or two later, tried it again. At that time it literally made me feel like I was going off the deep end. And this adjustment period did not seem to be ending…even after a few weeks. I stopped it and felt much more sane! Not to mention I slept!

  46. Amy

    I am confused as to which type of magnesium should be used? Should i be tring the oil???

    (Most of them work. Some have favorites. Janie)

  47. Patti

    For all the people out there that keep going in to get your blood tested and it always comes back “normal” this happened to me over a long period of not being healthy. To the point where a doctor advised that I needed to get councelling because I have no medical issues. I admit I live a very healthy lifestyle, but knew I was not well for at least a year. I suddenly became very exhausted, dragging myself to work daily, finally took some sick days for a week. Then one morning I couldnt get out of bed, I literally could hardly stand to walk 10 feet to the bathroom. I had a pre-scheduled Dr. Appointment that week and dragged myself there. She advised there was nothing she could do, all my tests were normal. And told me to go to emergency if I get worse. After 3 weeks in bed I finally went to emergency at around the lunch hour, I sat there through the night waiting for a doctor, finally at 5:30 am the doctor ordered my blood to be tested for a couple of things. By 6:30 am the results were in and my thyroid results were through the roof “way off normal”. Immediately I was put on medication. I had always gone for bloodwork during the daytime, between clinic hours of 9 am and 4 pm. With this experience I learned my thyroid would actually recover enough during the day and register as normal. As annoying as it was to be in emerg for a day and a half, I was so glad that they were able to draw the 5:30 am blood test. Now of course I’m on medication and I have my blood tests during the daytime (always normal), however I know my true reading results only show during the night when I should be sleeping. I slowly started to recover from this crash, and a year later I am still not 100%. My Dr. hates to consider increasing my dose as long as I have “normal” results, even though my symptoms are still mildly there. I plan to go back to emerg to get tested in the middle of the night if I need to for accurate results. For now I am just living with it. This may be a common thing as alot of people have the symptoms but have “normal” results. Hope this helps 1 person get the help they need.

  48. Mart Nyikos

    My doctor tests minerals(magnesium) thru a lymphocyte test. Will this give me as accurate a reading as a red blood cell test?

    (Mart, sounds interesting. Can you do some internet research one this and come back and teach us here?.)

  49. Nate

    The biggest deficiency in the Western world today is Iodine!!! Take Lugol’s Solution 2% or potassium iodide and watch your THYROID problems and entire health increase exponentially!!! It’s just incredible how quickly fibromyaglia pain, brain fog, and a host of other ailments just disappear over a relatively short time!!!! I’m 57yrs old and suffered from all of the above and now i feel like a real person again…thank the Good Lord!!!

  50. girl

    Before my Hashimoto’s diagnosis, I was experiencing “latent tetany” of magnesium deficiency — even though I was already taking a magnesium supplement!! My endo prescribed the specific formulation “MagTabSR” – a time release formula that’s very easy on the stomach and very easy to absorb. It worked for me and helped with a lot of low mg symptoms I was having.

  51. Sue

    Just discovered the greatest magnesium supplement from Jigsaw. It doesn’t cause digestive side effects and is extremely absorbable and affordable. My son has Multiple Chemical Sensitivity and absorption problems and we’ve tried them all including prescription magnesium. Soaking feet in the transdermal is great too but harder to do on a daily basis.

    • Barbara

      Jigsaw is a high quality supplement line, but is regrettably not suitable if you for any reason cannot swallow whole tablets — all of their sustained release products are tablets. I have two esophageal strictures narrowing to 1/4″ — in order to take supplements, pills have to be crushed to powder and capsules have to be pulled apart and both have to be mixed with food. Yes, Jigsaw has various powder formulations, but their website states powdered formulas are designed for RAPID assimilation.

  52. alicia

    There are so many kinds of Magnesium supplements listed in the above comments its overwhelming to try to understand what is the best type to use. can someone help narrow it down? I soak in epsoms daily, but someone mentioned that mag isnt right?
    I feel confused.

  53. Mumzy23

    Try time released Magnesium. Improved muscle function, stops irregular heart beat, and keeps you regular (10 years of IBS diagnosis)without the runs to the bathroom. Finally found a Dr. to put me on Thyroid (always in low normal range) after 10 years of suffering and CFS diagnosis, so very sad I lost a decade of my life. Since on Thyroid, Magnesium w/SRT, Adrenal, and Low dose Naltrexone I feel better than I can even remember and have lost 20 pounds without change in diet or exercise level. It is wonderful to find a Doctor (Dr. Shahrzad Orona in Tempe, Arizona) who doesn’t suggest you have a mental health issue and I even knew how the system worked since I am a RN.

  54. Gary

    im 36 my mg. has been very low for about six months (between .5 – .9).im always in pain,and depressed. my dr. has me on magox,calcium,vit.d,and potasium. i cant work icant hardly get out of bed . if it wasnt for my kids id probably kill myself. i get mg ivs 1 or twice a week but it dosnt help. whats my problem?

    (From Janie: Gary, sounds like you need your doc to test your thyroid. )

  55. Jerzy

    My Magnesium RBC was 3.0! I was soooo sick for 3 months prior to that and no doctor could help me. Now after two months of oral Mg supplementation it’s going up a little bit and I am feeling much better. Had to stop wheat and gluten too. Amongst other things, I found that sustained high norepinephrine levels (arising from various illnesses, stress, physical exertion, sleep deprivation, and so on…) can make your intracellular Mg spiral down.

  56. jared

    When you said your Magnesium RBC was low, how low was it? I just got my results back and they were 4.4. The range is 4.2-6.8. Def on the low end. I am always fatigued and have burning, bloodshot eyes 24/7. Help. Thanks

    (From Janie: the bottom of the range, lower than yours. For feedback about your fatigue, go here: )

  57. Lisa

    Every time I told my Endo I was having heart palps while trying to raise my dose of NT she wanted to switch me right away to Synthroid. I refused and started on Magnesium the palps disappeared and thanks to this site especially and others I am on my way to a full recovery from Graves treated with RAI. I am fully insured yet have to argue to get Vitamin levels tested, adrenals, ferritin, etc. it should be criminal the way that thyroid disease patients are treated.I find it astonishing that technology and modern medicine is advancing so quickly yet the field of Endocrinology seems stagnant.
    Why do I always seem to know more than my DR???

  58. Tom

    Coffee causes magnesium deficiency. You can play with supplements or other add ons all day long but until you lose the caffeine you will be lost.

  59. Marushka France

    have your tried himalayan salt (minerals), ingest, bathing in, and have you tried or heard of marine plasma? purity of Himalayan salts, 84 minerals in it.

    1st one:
    i am working on list of info if you want a lot more than that. check out his videos. bathing in solution will take toxins out, minerals in. also i can highly vouch for the klamath blue green algae also available at this website. usable protein, bioavailability, micronutrients, enzymes… i highly recommend.

    i’m working on the marine salts/plasma info also – if you have not heard of before. pls let me know

    just reffered to your website and i am learning sooooo much already! thank you! m

  60. ReD

    Have you ever tried ZMA?

    (From Janie: )

  61. Isabell

    Contact Sales or Denis (he IS sales) at Info on contact page. It is the correct type and delivery method for magnesium. The reason you can’t get your levels up with oral magnesium is it must remain in the intestines about 10 hours and it’s impossible because it creates diarrhea. Their magnesium is in the form of magnesium chloride which had only been available through IV prior to their company and hospitals use it to save lives! It’s kept hushed up but Mag Chloride is helpful for many things. This magnesium chloride is transdermal (through the skin) and has a proprietary energy process that gets results! The other companies simply can’t measure up. The energy process is the crucial part I believe. I use Subtle Energy brand and a friend went out and bought what she thought was comparable locally. I was shown it by the health food store owner. While ingredients are the same/mostly the same, it simply is not working like Subtle Energy Therapy. Also due to my recent experience with it (been on it nearly two years) you need to pay attention to the fact that stress can suddenly deplete you again and it’s best to up the use of your magnesium salts just like you used in the beginning. The salts are for foot soaking. Epsom salts are not the same type. I also had to start using my gel form again when for many months all I’d used was the spray oil. You will also use up more magnesium in the beginning than you will later (so what may be expensive for some initially does go down in cost due to needing fewer products/using product once a week as in the salts). I don’t get commission or anything like that but I like for Denis to know you were sent by me. He has been so helpful and good to me. Expect at first to have some urgency or even loose stools. This goes away soon. Also, when you spread the gel or spray on you will get really sleepy. As my stores built up I didn’t get sleepy from that. You may detox. In my case my hair got greasy pretty quickly through the day. It soon passed. I was able to avert several panic attacks simply by rubbing the gel on when I felt one coming on. Lately, I’ve had a lot of trauma on top of still trying to find the right thyroid for me and have re-activated adrenal fatigue so haven’t been able to stop a panic attack with it. But I think using the gel all over my feet, legs, thighs, arms, has helped me sleep a little better. I still use the oil on my back but it’s personal preference . Anyway, tell him Isabell Bailey referred you. I wish you the best with your experience with these wonderful products. They kill pain right away. A few months later I discovered Upper Cervical Care and that further reduced pain (even from fibromyalgia) I was bedridden most of the time due to crash with chronic fatigue, adrenal insufficiency, bald spots (from the adrenal issue instead of thyroid), hypothyroid problems mixed in. This type of care is specialized care of the C1 and C2 vertebra. Read why it makes such a difference for all types of illness and IS different than general chiropractic which I’d had for many years at (there is also a doctor locator at the site) or get the book “What TIME Tuesday?” by James Tomasi at site James and Rhonda Tomasi are now friends of mine on Facebook and the Upper Cervical Specialist I went to see due to serendipitous events turned out to be my cousin! I discovered this in conversation about families, etc. and he is the son of a cousin I had not seen since we were teens! I had also made a name change but we still would have needed this chat to discover our relationship. UCC was all I could concentrate on until I got more strength. My hair stopped falling out by the second visit! My recent deterioration has been in part when I went 8 weeks without being able to get my UCC adjustment and as I said a number of shocks and traumas in addition to seeking the right meds for hypothyroidism. I’m very thankful for the info here regarding what helps the adrenal fatigue that’s OTC.

  62. Judy Abbie10

    Very interesting. Did not know you could do an oil on skin.
    I was expecting to read you did an IV to get the amount you needed.

  63. Ashley

    Lots of good information on magnesium on this site –

    Magnesium is particularly important when it comes to ensuring the health of the heart and bones. About 99% of the body’s magnesium stores are found in the bones and tissues and heart tissue is particularly rich in this important mineral. About half of the body’s magnesium stores can be found in bones, so it is clearly a very important mineral as far as osteoporosis prevention is concerned. Only 1% of the body’s magnesium is actually present in the blood so a standard blood analysis is a very poor way of determining overall magnesium status.

    Magnesium absorption tends to decrease as body stores are replenished so there is little chance of overdosing; nevertheless, patients with end-stage renal disease should not supplement with magnesium. Vitamin D is required for optimum absorption so it is important to get adequate unprotected sun exposure daily or to take a vitamin D-3 supplement when using oral replenishment of magnesium.

    Magnesium oxide is the most dense magnesium compound and the one most often used in mineral supplements and multivitamins. It contains 300 mg of elemental magnesium per 500 mg tablet, but is extremely poorly absorbed. Only about 4% of its elemental magnesium is absorbed or about 12 mg out of a 500 mg tablet.

    Magnesium carbonate contains 125 mg of elemental magnesium per 500 mg tablet, but is poorly absorbed.

    Chelated magnesium (magnesium glycinate) is magnesium bound in a complex of glycine and lysine. It is easily absorbed and highly bioavailable. The magnesium (elemental) content per tablet or capsule is usually 100 mg.

    Magnesium orotate contains only 31 mg of elemental magnesium per 500 mg tablet. However, it is well absorbed and has been found highly effective in daily intakes of 3000 mg (186 mg elemental).

    Magnesium citrate contains 80 mg of elemental magnesium per 500 mg tablet. It is far better absorbed than is magnesium oxide. The water soluble form (Natural Calm) contains 205 mg of elemental magnesium per teaspoon, is totally soluble in hot water and is highly bioavailable.

    Magnesium maleate contains 56 mg of elemental magnesium per 500 mg tablet.

    Magnesium gluconate contains 27 mg of elemental magnesium per 500 mg tablet. It is easily absorbed and quick acting.

    All forms of oral magnesium supplements are better absorbed when taken with a meal.

  64. Pam

    here is a magnesium product, Oxy-C, that I have used on and off for a couple of years. I really like it – it makes my heart feel steady and it doesn’t make me rush to the bathroom like the magnesium my ND just sold me. I feel better when I take it and your post reminded me to order some again, as I was out and trying to use the stuff my ND had sold me, which was half the price but, like you, had me running to the bathroom right away.


  65. Catherine


    I was born with Mitral Valve Prolapse, had severe arrhythmia problems, restless leg syndrome, insomnia, muscle twitching, anxiety, hyper sensitivities to all meds and supplements, etc. I was the poster girl for magnesium deficiency.

    Like you, I was very sensitive to magnesium supplements, but my arrhythmia became so bad they were going to do either ablation or put in a pacemaker. This was not acceptable, so I researched like mad and found I could tolerate magnesium taurate (the taurine is specifically to calm down over-sensitive heart tissue) and Peter Gillham’s Natural Calm. I had to very slowly titrate up over many weeks, and I took 3-4 small doses during the day instead of one big dose. The Natural Calm which is ionized Mg citrate and highly absorbable you can make into a large glass and then sip it slowly all day so you don’t get big doses at once that over stimulate your intestines.

    After 20 years of heart-rhythm problems, all my arrhythmia and palps totally stopped and have never returned. All other problems such as RLS and insomnia were cured within weeks. I recently had an echo which showed I now have NO MVP and NO regurgitation! There is research that shows MVP people have an innate mg deficiency which affects the hyaluronic acid and collagen on the heart valves. So with your MVP, your really have to stay on top of this.

    And one of the best things is I can now tolerate thyroid meds better and B vitamins and D that i couldn’t take before.
    So try magnesium taurate (doesn’t affect intestines–stabilizes heart) and the Natural Calm in very low doses many times a day and slowly titrate up. I have used the transdermal oil also, but it does not give me nearly the effect of the other two.
    Good luck, Catherine

    • suze gomez

      Catherine, I also have MVP. two years ago I was diagnosed with GERD. Now I have been diagnosed with hypothyroid. I would like to know more about how you manage your meds and what to expect.
      Just read your entry from 2010 and was so happy to find someone else with MVP! I am 73 and sort of scared about all that is happening to me.
      Can you email me? not sure how this blog works tho’.
      Any advice you can give would be gratefully accepted.

    • Diane T

      Hi Suze,
      I also have had MVP and all of the same issues/sensitivities as you! I’ve been trying to get my RBC mag level up for a couple of years! Can’t seem to get it above 4.7….can you tell me how much mag taurate you took and how much Nat. Calm you took? Every time I try to add in T3 with my T4, I get worse pals. I’m a poor converter T4 to T3. How long did it take you and how did you titrate up?

  66. GW

    estrogen dominance can lead to thyroid problems and magnesiumdeficiency. Maybe something to think about.

  67. Susan Z Swan

    Thanks, Janie, for–as always–sharing such useful information. Guess this will teach me to actually USE what I have in the cupboard! Epsom salts! They are also remarkably cheap when bought in large bags.

    My research from a year or so back found several scientific studies that showed that a good bath soak in Epsom salts (just feet or preferably full body) should last at least 8 minutes followed by a quick rinse and pat dry. As someone else said above, 2 cups mixed into the bath is the best amount — the addition of appropriate essential oils is a nice side touch to make it smell nice and to create other benefits. Epsom salts draws out toxins and adds back good things like magnesium.

  68. Judy

    Dr Russell Blaylock Wellness Report, Stomach health, Oct. 2005, pg 14 said:
    As for magnesium, it comes in a variety of configurations. Each differs in
    terms of cost and how well it is absorbed. Magnesium oxide is the most common form on the market and it is about 60% absorbed by most
    However, some absorb only 20%. Magnesium oxide is very cheap. If you develop diarrhea, you’ll know that the supplement is being poorly
    absorbed. The best-absorbed varieties include the malate, malate/citrate, citrate and gluconate forms. But the latter supplies too little magnesium;
    the one containing malate prevents aluminum absorption. I recommend either the malate or malate/citrate form.
    Magnesium malate/citrate gives you 150 mg. of
    magnesium per capsule. Take two in the morning
    and two in the evening – and make sure it’s
    consumed with food. This powerful supplement
    also helps to induce sleep. Avoid the aspartate form
    since aspartate is an excitotoxin that inhibits
    melatonin release from the pineal gland

  69. debbie

    Listen I have started taking Fish Oil and Mag along with Iodoral,selinium, Vit C and once and awhile DHEA here’s what I have to say you are what you eat! So, are animal and vegitation. You eat what they eat. Look at the ingredience even in the vitamens especially fish oil ie…what kind of fish honestly Samon I hear is the best but just like caring for a salt water fish tank and getting the eco system going just right are bodies are no different!

  70. Alana

    I don’t know an awful lot about magnesium… but, when I first started on my quest for better health, when I finally decided it was time to quit being so embarrassed about 3 years of chronic constipation and do something about it, I looked up what could be causing it online and magnesium popped up as one of the potential causes which jumped out at me (along with hyperparathyroidism and candida overgrowth – hypothyroidism was also a potential cause which I ignored due to consitently being told my thyroid function was normal thanks to years of ‘normal’ TSH results even though my TSH had jumped from 0.477 to 2.98 since commencing on a new brand of Levo-thyroxine, GSK Eltroxin in July 2009). I seemed to have nearly all of the symptoms of low magnesium, a number of them which are very similar to that of hypothyroidism and low cortisol (which I also, almost certainly, had at the time). I even went to my doctor and asked for a blood test for magnesium but of course, the serum magnesium test was ordered and I was told I was normal (which ultimately contributed to my diagnosis of a depressed hypochondriac by the same doctor – he was annoyed that I kept coming in with internet print outs and asking for tests – I think I asked for 3 simple tests all up). Anyways, I started taking magnesium for the constipation which worked for a short time (it was THAT bad – even magnesium didn’t help much!) and that was when I noticed it was helping with the cramps I was getting in my left foot whenever I pointed it, other muscle cramps and twitches I was getting in my left leg, I suppose it also could have helped with the SEVERE lower back pain I had at the time and it definitely helped with the SEVERE heart palpitations and chest pain I was experiencing (thanks to being SEVERELY hypothyroid with PROBABLE low cortisol issues thanks to 8 years on levo-thyroxine and 6 months on the new formula of GSK Eltroxin). I noticed that if I did not take the maximum dose of magnesium daily, my heart palps and chest pain was much worse to the point where I regretted not taking it. Soon after that I discovered STTM and realised it was mainly thyroid causing my trouble (you can imagine my reaction) and was diagnosed a depressed hypochondriac by my (ex)doctor. I have also since read of links between hypothyroidsim and magnesium deficiency in some old journal articles from the 50’s and 60’s online. I wonder why it is we remain deficient when we are well, thyroid wise, and we take supplements and eat a good diet? Why do we need so much of the stuff to bring it to normal levels in our body these days, I wonder??

  71. GW aka Dutch girl

    From what I understood Janie (because I’m still learning about this too) is that by administering a low dose of naltrexone during the night, it temporarily blocks the endorphine receptors. The body thinks “where are my godd$#& endorphines?!?” and raises endorphine production during the night. Endorphines are the most important immunomodulators.

    According to the New England Journal of Medicine (November 13, 2003), “Preclinical evidence indicates overwhelmingly that opioids alter the development, differentiation and function of immune cells, and that both innate and adaptive systems are affected.” Bone marrow progenitor cells, macrophages, natural killer cells, immature thymocites, T- cells and B-cells are all involved. Thus the whole gamut of cells that we associate with the immune response is dependent on naturally produced opiates.

    Dr. Behari has proven that people with auto-immune diseases actually have lowered endorphine levels and thus compromised immunesystems. An immune system without navigation so to speak. Someone with a flamethrower that is also wearing blackened goggles. 😀

    So by increasing the endorphines, they start regulating the immune system and start increasing T-cells. Immunomodulators reduce antibody production in patients with excessive antibody production. The body stops attacking, in the example of hashi’s, the thyroid.

    Here’s more info:

    Sorry for my English> it’s not my native tongue…

  72. Linda


    You don’t have to give them up. Just soak them properly. I thought I posted the link to the article but guess I didn’t. Here is some info on phytates and how to remove them:


  73. T

    My doctor told me low magnesium can lower your T4 levels, just another thing to think about.

    You need magnesium glycinate or chelated magnesium. Other types of magnesium can cause diarrhea and actually cause you to loose more magnesium, my doctor told me this too.
    I also had low RBC magnesium and I take magnesium glycinate and it worked for me.
    You might also want to stop eating all gluten, this helped me absorb food better and made me feel a lot better.

    Another thing is natural thyroid had way too much T3 in it for me and made me hyper thyroid with low free T4, I felt like it was draining me and depleting me of my nutrients so now I’m back on compounded T4 and its working very well because I fixed all my other health issues not related to my hashimoto’s hypothyroidism. I feel like once you fix everything else health wise that’s wrong with you then T4 converts way better to T3 and you can actually feel good and stable on T4. This is just my own personal experience.

    (From Janie: I’m going to try the Magnesium Chloride, as it’s the same as in nature. We’ll see. Thanks. By the way, be prepared that T4 is not going to cut it long term without issues, no matter how well you feel you convert. 🙁 )

  74. GW aka Dutch girl

    Also I forget to mention that synthetic medicine uses extra magnesium and vitamin c through the liver to cleanse te body of toxins since the body sees synthetic medicine AND synthetic vitamins as toxins. So another reason to only take natural dessicated thyroid medicine! 🙂

  75. GW aka Dutch girl

    Hi Janie,

    I have the same issue as you: magnesium supplements keep rushing me to the bathroom. I don’t know if magnesium oil really works. Some say it does, some day it doesn’t which leaves me confused. Also there seems to be a lot of discussion on curezone on which magnesium is actually good or not. A lot of magnesium-supplements are really toxic.

    You might want to read the Magnesium Miracle. I ordered it. She’s the foremost expert on magnesium. Maybe she’s available for an interview? 😉

    I’m getting a biopsy and possible gene testing in june to see if I have a glutenintolerance or not (since I tested negative for it via a blood test) but that could also explain the magnesium deficiency.

    BTW Janie, what do you think about Low Dose Naltrexone?

    (From Janie: I think LDN is very promising for Cancer and other conditions–just not sure yet with Hashi’s.)

    • Joan Johnson

      i use magnesium oil. its awesome works great.

      • Harry

        Is it true that natural calm magnesium affects the levels of ceruloplasm which can result in iron dys regulation. This citrate form should only be used for constipation and not recommended form for supplementing.
        I used to take natural calm until I read these details . what is your feedback?

        • Janie Bowthorpe

          All we know Harry is that people’s experiences have not always fit the strong opinions one hears out there, or even fits certain research implications. Research is not perfect. Might some see problems? Of course. But we haven’t see that problem with citrate and ceruloplasmin in all people… So if you have any concerns, you could look into other forms of magnesium.

  76. Linda


    Do you eat legumes, nuts, seeds and grains? You may already know this but phytates, which chelate minerals and inhibit enzymes, exist in these foods and must be prepared properly in order to remove them.
    According to the following article from the Weston A. Price Foundation, “research suggests that we will absorb approximately 20 percent more zinc and 60 percent magnesium from our food when phytate is absent.”
    So perhaps phytates in your diet are causing you to not absorb magnesium as well? Just a thought.


    (From Janie: Yes, daily. But not willing to give them up, so will use the magnesium oil, plus plan on being prudent with Vit.C, zinc and more. Thanks for telling us about this.)

  77. Carol Norris

    This is VERY interesting.

    I supplement magnesium, but have awful cramps still and want to see if I’m magnesium deficient (maybe potassium?). I’ve searched the web, but can’t find how long you have to stop supplementing magnesium before you can take the RBC mag test?

    Thanks much!

  78. L. Morgan

    Interesting…my blood levels (magnesium) are always on the low side even though I supplement. But, I do take a lot of calcium due to osteoporsis –probably due to GD and/or meds. Then again, over periods of time, I have had issues with other vitamin levels including vitamin D, etc. I have Grave’s Disease and have had RAI. Life has been H***. But, tryin’ to make the besgt of it. I can’t gain weight (except on the occasions when I’ve been hypothyroid. When my levels (TSH) are “correct,” I can’t gain weight. I stay around 113. This is not good for my height. I often hear people complain about not being able to lose weight. But, I experience distress from not being able to gain. I’m pretty sure I have malabsorption issues, but the Gastro has never diagnosed it as one of my problems.

    • Mary Deem

      L. Morgan – Have you had your cortisol levels checked (via 4 point saliva test)?

      I have hypothyroidism and a very slow metabolism. When my daytime cortisol levels dropped last year, I suddenly had to eat more to keep my weight- a new experience for me 😉 Now that I am on a low cortisol replacement (adrenal cortex glandular), my normal slow metabolism has returned…no more problems keeping weight on.

  79. Janet Wilson

    Okay, this is SO weird that you’re bringing this up. I’ve had some issues with (*warning: TMI).. eh.. Well, some pelvic floor pain when I have an orgasm. (okay, embarrassing… but, it’s an unpleasant fact of my current sex life) My OB/GYN just told me Tuesday when I was there to start taking Magnesium because she thinks it may be a muscular problem. How interesting that you’ve come across some information that may help me even further with this problem. Thank you SO much for this information. As usual, you’re ahead of the game. 🙂

  80. Melissa

    Thanks for sharing this Janie. I always thought I might be deficient in magnesium but serum levels were okay. I never would have guessed you could still be deficient at a cellular level! I had all kinds of problems when I was pregnant at the age of 30. After learning more about magnesium I found that supplementation may have prevented or reversed my gestational diabetes. Of course my doctor never mentioned this! I am definitely going to look further into this. Is the cellular test “standard” with any other panel of lab tests?

  81. Toni

    You can soak your whole body in epsom salts, if you take baths before bed. 2 cups in hot water and submerge as much of yourself as possible.

  82. Heather

    I will be getting my Magneseum levels checked also after reading this…wow!!!….I got my Ferritin levels checked two years ago and it was at 4. I was told from a Natural Path that alot of people on thyroid medication do have low levels and to have it checked. I was told normal levels should be in the 90’s I have been taking iron supplements and a vitamin C each night to bring my levels back and have raised it to 76 which took me two years to get it back up…but if I stop taking the iron my levels drop very quickly! I was having hypothryoid symptoms and kept blaming my thyroid….however alot of the sympotoms were because my Feritin levels were so low….eg. hair loss, cold, depression, lack of energy. This is very similar to the symptoms of low Magneseum! Its amazing what we all can go through with our thyroid problems….I really think when you are on thyroid medication it blocks the absorption of alot of things!!!

  83. Judy Abbie10

    I thought most knew how good it is to take. Those women who do calcium daily will find adding about four Magnesium over the counter tablets are a good thing. It stops most of the concrete effects of calcium and also (sorry) pee more.
    My doctor called me after blood work, CBC, and my potassium level was too low. After a week on a scrip I feel an interest in doing something and less body pain. Had no know reason for this to be low plus had on going headache, it’s about gone. Connection I do not know. I do know I was about useles.
    Gone to hit magnesium now had stopped taking it. Just get so tired of taking pills and rebel.
    FT3 FT4 in balance so they were not gone to have me do an adjustment to change the TSH.

  84. Gennifer Johnson

    You may be running to the bathroom because you need something like tomato juice or apple juice to get more absorbtion instead of “running”. I use Magnesium Citrate and Calcium Citrate capsules by Solaray Vitamins. Dr. Wilson from Adrenal Fatigue. Org also says there is some citric acid something(you’ll have to look at the website) specifically to take if you continually have the “running” problem. This Citric something makes sure that it deffinately gets into your system. That’s why your “running”. I can’t sleep w/o my magnesium I
    always take it before bed time.

    (From Janie: thanks for that tip. Unfortunately, the amount I’m doing to need to raise my cellular levels can’t be done orally, I fear, even with the juices mentioned. But I’m glad you shared this!)

  85. Alyssa

    I have a terrible time with my metabolism, as well, even though I have been on dessicated thyroid for 1.5 years. My weight continues to go up. I recently started seeing an RD for the weight issue, who is also hypo. She recommended Epsom salt foot baths and/or Magnesium oil as a way to be able to tolerate more iodine, in which she thinks I am deficient. (I have recently started with a liquid iodine supplement.) Since doing that, and increasing my iodine, I have found that my depression improving (Magnesium is also said to alleviate depression), as well as my energy level. No change on my metabolism yet, but I am hopeful….I’d be interested to hear others experiences, as well.

    • Sarah

      From what I’ve read and experienced, iodine supplement can increase weight slightly until you are optimal.

  86. Lynn

    What do you mean you have to eat like a mouse? Small amounts or just low carbs? If it the former, it seems to me that maybe something is till wrong ala RT3 or thyroid resistance?

    (From Janie: No RT3 issue: no thyroid resistance. Have plenty of energy and feel great. Just have to eat very low calorie as if I still have a slow metabolism. Will be interested to see if raising magnesium helps, since it improves muscle mass, and muscles are your major calorie burners. Am also being more diligent in adding Vit. C, as research shows that it oxidizes 30% more fat during a moderate exercise bout. I’m an avid walker. Will report on my results, if any)


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