Pins and Needles

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Cartoon by Science World British Columbia to promote development of a knowledge-based society in British Columbia.

“Pins and needles is often a warning signal of magnesium deficiency,” wrote Francine Prince in Saturday Evening Post two decades ago. (I found this while trying to understand the forms of magnesium and which is most easily and efficiently absorbed and therefore best.)

Pins and needles sensation reduced by B12

My doctor associated the pins and needles feeling in my feet with low vitamin B12. I’m sure he was right because my pins and needles sensations vastly reduced as I had B12 replacement.

Magnesium Overcomes many Diseases

My friend Christena sent me an email that began:

  • Many of the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease can be overcome with high magnesium supplementation.
  • In a trial with 30 epileptics 450 mg of magnesium supplied daily successfully controlled seizures.
  • In an American study the death rate due to diabetes was four times higher in areas with low magnesium water levels.
  • Many studies have shown an increased cancer rate in regions with low magnesium levels in soil and drinking water.”

I wasn’t particularly struck by the email because I don’t have Parkinson’s, epilepsy, diabetes or cancer. But, like a fertile seed, the article took root in my mind. I began remembering a women’s health newsletter in which the pharmacist-authors were zealots for magnesium, and convincingly so.

Month after month they emphasized the necessity for, and the strengths of magnesium. I became convinced. I bought magnesium and began taking a tablet each time I ate anything with calcium in it. (A main thrust of the newsletter was that we consume a lot of calcium in the United States which does more damage than good unless it is accompanied by magnesium.)

I fully expected the magnesium to make the calcium in my food usable for my body thus making my bones nice and dense even though I was nearing my sixties.

When I had my bone density tested and my bones were dense, I wasn’t surprised, though the administrators of the test appeared to be. They were giving the test for free, then instructing people on the medication for increasing bone density. Presumably they were being paid by the medication manufacturers or distributors.

B12, Back Pain and Magnesium

For a long time I didn’t think much beyond, “Magnesium is needed for bone density and it sure seems to work.” But now that I’m beginning to get over the tetanus I got last year (2004) when I had failed to have a tetanus shot in 30 years, I am keenly aware of serious, debilitating pain in my back, similar to that I had prior to B12 replacement therapy.

Here’s the crunch: for all these years I thought the pain in my back went away because of having had cyanocobalamin injections as B12 replacement therapy.

For a fact the pain in my back dramatically decreased, and for a fact I was having B12 replacement therapy. But, what I forgot was that at the same time that I had money for B12 replacement, I began to buy and take magnesium so that I could follow the advice in the newsletter. (I also began to eat more protein which may have had an affect.)

At the time I got the cheap K-Mart brand of magnesium, which I expect was Magnesium Oxide, just as the cheap Wal*Mart brand is the Oxide form today.

When I got tetanus, which is a very unpleasant disease, to say the least, I stopped taking magnesium because I could no longer control my own diet ~ I was too sick to make meals and my meals were delivered by Kitchen Angels. Tetanus ~ When gardening becomes life threatening ~ Read more.

So, I have not had much magnesium during the last year, while at the same time I have had a lot of cobalamin (B12).

Therefore, if it were the cobalamin which reduced my back pain, I should not have back pain now. But I do.

When I had this realization, the day before yesterday, on September 28, 2005, I immediately decided that I needed to go back to taking magnesium with calcium-containing-food, and to get a lot more cheese and yogurt into my diet so that I would in fact be taking more magnesium. (Years ago I had taken one magnesium tablet each time I had a bit of yogurt or a piece of cheese. In total I was probably taking anywhere from three to six or nine tablets a day.)

Magnesium and Sleep

The first day of my renewed interest in, and consumption of, magnesium a friend got me a pizza and I had five tablets over two meals and one snack of heavily cheesed pizza. (I hadn’t had any pizza in 50 weeks.)

That night I slept particularly soundly, and even dreamed. Usually I don’t fall deeply enough asleep or sleep long enough to dream. (Prior to B12 replacement I seldom got four hours’ sleep a night unless I took a strong sleeping pill. So, I’m certainly not complaining about the 7 hours of sleep a night that I get now.)

Based on the sense of relaxation that I feel, I believe that in less than six months I am going to experience a dramatic reduction of pain in my back.

Foods containing magnesium.

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