Carolyn Dean The Miracle of Magnesium

ISBN 13: 9780345445889

The Miracle of Magnesium

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9780345445889: The Miracle of Magnesium

“Magnesium is indeed the unsung hero and is a key nutriceutical that everybody needs to know about. . . . This book needs to be read by any individual wishing to improve their quality of life. . . . Dr Dean has the best credentials in bringing solutions to those suffering from the hidden magnesium disorders that affect most of us.”
–DR. STEPHEN T. SINATRA, M.D., F.A.C.C., F.A.C.N.
Author of Lower Your Blood Pressure in Eight Weeks

More than seventy-five years ago, medical scientists declared magnesium to be an essential nutrient, indispensable to life. When this mineral is part of your diet, you are guarding against–and helping to alleviate–health threats such as heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, diabetes, depression, arthritis, and asthma. But while research continues to reaffirm magnesium’s irreplaceable contribution to good health, many Americans remain dangerously deficient.

In The Miracle of Magnesium, Dr. Carolyn Dean, an authority on this mineral who has used it with dramatic success in her own practice, explains the vital role that magnesium plays in the control of many serious ailments–from painful muscle spasms and bladder problems to traumatic brain injury and complications of pregnancy and childbirth. Inside you will discover

· How diets and lifestyles can create a dangerous magnesium deficiency
· Which magnesium-rich foods keep your vital organs healthy and which to avoid
· Why other nutrients, including calcium, need magnesium to become potent
· What vitamins and minerals work with magnesium to treat specific ailments
· Why prescription medicines, such as birth control pills, can deplete magnesium
· Which magnesium supplements are best for you

Whether you need help with a serious health problem or merely want to protect the good health you already enjoy, The Miracle of Magnesium will answer all your questions. It may even save your life.

"Sinopsis" puede pertenecer a otra edición de este libro.

About the Author:

Carolyn Dean, M.D., N.D., is a medical doctor, naturopath, acupuncturist, homeopath, herbalist, and certified clinical nutritionist, and a regular guest on radio and television programs. She has written three other health books and is contributing editor to Natural Health magazine.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

PART ONE The History of Magnesium

CHAPTER 1 The Case for Magnesium: The Personal History of an Element

Mary joked that she felt as though she was constantly being run over by a slow-moving bus. Cramping in her legs startled her awake at night, making her an insomniac, and she had heart palpitations daily. Her doctor also found that she had high blood sugar-not bad enough to need injections of insulin, but he prescribed pills to try to stimulate more insulin production. Finally, frightening panic attacks came out of nowhere and made this vibrant, fun-loving woman afraid to go outside.

To try to relieve her leg cramps, Mary began taking calcium at night, having read that it was good for cramps and sleep. At first, the calcium seemed to help, but after a week or two, the pains got worse. If she yawned and stretched in bed, her calf muscles would seize up and catapult her to the floor, where she would lie frantically massaging her muscles to try to release the spasm. All the next day, she would limp about with a very tender, bruised feeling in her calf.

Although Mary's heart palpitations had improved somewhat after she'd given up her three cups of coffee a day, they too resumed after a few weeks. Every time the palpitations occurred, which was several times a day, they made her cough slightly and catch her breath. She found it frightening, even though her doctor said her stress tests for heart disease were fine and she didn't need further testing with an angiogram.

Both Mary's parents had had adult-onset diabetes, and Mary knew that she should watch her diet, but she was overweight and craved sugary and high-carbohydrate foods that were hard to resist. When the panic attacks hit on top of everything else, Mary knew she had to seek help, and came to my office. She was only fifty-three, far too young to be feeling so bad, and was worried about her future health.

Sam was only forty-nine and experiencing chest pains. At first, he thought they were indigestion, but sometimes the pains would occur in the middle of the night. Concerned, he went to a cardiologist, who found two slightly blocked arteries, not serious enough for bypass surgery. Sam's cholesterol was somewhat elevated, as was his blood pressure, which he attributed to his high-stress occupation and the fact that he had not exercised regularly for the past six months, when he was sidelined with back pain. The cardiologist observed that his arterial blockage would almost inevitably worsen over time and eventually necessitate surgery. The doctor offered him medication for his high cholesterol, told him not to eat butter or eggs, and gave him nitroglycerine to take whenever he had the pain. If the symptoms got worse, he would prescribe other medications. Sam couldn't imagine having to wait to get worse before doing something about his chest pain; he knew there must be something more he could do to avoid surgery and came to me for advice.

At thirty-five, Jan had actually begun to look forward to going through menopause. That's how bad her PMS symptoms were. As soon as those horrible feelings lifted, she was hit by the sledgehammer of menstrual cramps. She also had migraines, which for years had come before her period but now were occurring once or twice a week. She was so miserable that she was considering a complete hysterectomy, with removal of her hormone-producing ovaries, but wondered whether the migraines, since they were happening all month, were not actually hormonal.

Different as their symptoms are, Mary, Sam, and Jan all suffer from magnesium deficiency. While women and men seem equally susceptible to magnesium deficiency, women may become deficient faster than men due to hormonal fluctuations because pound for pound, they have fewer circulating red blood cells, which carry magnesium, and so perhaps less magnesium available. There are a few other gender differences. Because of magnesium's effect on hormonal regulation and vice versa, women can have deficiencies in pregnancy, when breast-feeding, with premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and with dysmenorrhea (painful periods). Osteoporosis, which affects more women than men, is evidence of a deficiency of both calcium and magnesium. An overactive thyroid, which afflicts more women than men, increases the metabolic rate, which uses up magnesium-requiring ATP (adenosine triphosphate-the energy packets made in each cell in the body. Without magnesium, ATP would not be produced). Let's follow Mary, Sam, and Jan and see how they overcame their magnesium deficiencies. When Mary visited me, I charted her health history in detail, according to procedures commonly used by naturopathic doctors, and found several symptoms of magnesium deficiency. In her case it had been made even worse by too much calcium, however, so simple magnesium supplementation wouldn't be enough for Mary. Her diet and lifestyle needed a complete overhaul. I gave Mary a list of magnesium-rich foods that she needed to start eating, which included nuts, beans, greens, and seeds such as sunflower and pumpkin. Mary realized that she'd been avoiding almost all of these foods: She thought nuts were fattening, beans gave her gas, and greens never seemed fresh enough at the supermarket. She had never even thought about eating seeds. After a week of enthusiastically eating a lot more magnesium-rich foods, Mary felt somewhat better. To make sure she could get fresh organic greens regularly, she tracked down a local community-supported agriculture (CSA) program and bought a share in a neighboring organic farm. Mary also learned how to soak and cook beans to prevent them from causing gas, and began eating nuts and seeds rich in magnesium and healthy oils, such as almonds, walnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds. After her second visit I recommended that she begin taking magnesium supplements. Starting with a dosage of 200 mg a day, we added another 200 mg every two days to build slowly to 600 mg. I cautioned her that it could take months to eliminate magnesium deficiency symptoms and that not all her symptoms would necessarily respond. Within two months, however, Mary was singing the praises of magnesium. Her palpitations and panic attacks had disappeared. Her cravings for sweets were fewer, she was able to control her blood sugar with diet alone, and tests for blood sugar were normal. Her leg cramps were gone, and with them her insomnia. At three months we added calcium along with magnesium so that she would not develop an imbalance of the two. Mary's internist was quite surprised at her improved health and told her to keep up the good work with her diet and supplements. Sam had an inquiring mind, and I encouraged him to start reading about heart disease. He found that up to 30 percent of angina (chest pain) patients do not have badly blocked arteries but may be suffering from an electrical imbalance that is driven by mineral deficiency, most commonly magnesium.1 An astonishing 40 to 60 percent of sudden deaths from heart attack may occur in the complete absence of any prior artery blockage, clot formation or heart rhythm abnormalities, most likely from spasms in the arteries (magnesium is a natural antispasmodic).2,3,4,5 Moreover, he found that magnesium deficiency has been linked to sudden cardiac death. Sam didn't want to wait around for that to happen to him; he was determined to find out what was causing his problem and treat the cause. The more he read, the more intrigued he became. When he read that magnesium deficiency is also associated with muscle pain, especially back pain, that really got his attention, since he had begun having back pain four or five months before he began to develop chest pain.6

With a packet of information on magnesium, Sam went back to his cardiologist. Before the doctor saw him, however, a nurse took Sam's blood pressure; it was unusually elevated, even though at home it was usually only a few points above normal. (Doctor-induced hypertension is commonly reported by patients.) The cardiologist swept into the room and immediately began talking about blood pressure medication. Sam countered with magnesium. The cardiologist visibly cooled and said that magnesium was used to control hypertension that occurred in pregnant women because there were no side effects, but that there were plenty of effective drugs for everyone else. When Sam said he would rather not have side effects either, the cardiologist gathered up his file and told him to come back when he was ready to take medications for his heart disease.

When Sam came back to see me, he was still pretty upset by this encounter; he didn't like the specialist refusing to discuss a possible magnesium deficiency as part of the picture. Sam and I agreed that magnesium seemed the best treatment for him to initiate at this time since he was not willing to take medications.

Sam began adding magnesium to his diet by eating magnesium-rich foods. After a week he felt much calmer, but he still had chest and back pain. So he added magnesium and calcium supplements, and in about three months he felt almost normal.

Among the studies Sam read was one that looked at the correspondence between type A personalities and magnesium deficiency. From the description, Sam realized he was a type A, an aggressive guy who lived on adrenaline, time pressure, and stress. This type of behavior drains the body of magnesium and leads to disorders such as heart disease, muscle spasms, hypersensitivity, and irritability.7 Prolonged psychological stress raises adrenaline, the stress hormone, which depletes magnesium.8 Both Sam's back and chest pain would hit when he was under stress. So Sam worked on ways to control his stress and added more magnesium when he knew he couldn't avoid it. On days when he exercised, Sam added an extra 200 mg of magnesium to his diet, since sweat loss during heavy exercise (cycling and jogging) and working in the heat deplete magnesium. Just drinking water won't replace all the minerals lost. By paying attention to the many factors that affected his mind-body health, Sam lowered his cholesterol and stress levels and reduced ...

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