We are continuing the discussion of Step 3: Take the right amount of magnesium.
Let's say you have already tried taking magnesium citrate malate 200 mg twice daily with meals. It's been two weeks and your low magnesium symptoms have not disappeared. Now, the right amount of magnesium is the maximum you can take without shortening your gut transit time below 16 hours.
Here's how to discover your gut transit time, which is the time it takes what you've swallowed to go through your digestive tract from end to end. There are several markers you can use. The simplest is corn. Eat some whole kernel corn and don't chew it very well. Write down when you swallow the corn and the next time you see it again. Do the math and that is your transit time. You can use other markers such as a tablespoon or two of sesame seed. Probably the most elegant is charcoal. You can get some activated charcoal capsules from a pharmacy or a health food store, take five or six before a meal and watch for the charcoal to show up again.
If you don't want to go to the trouble to do a gut transit time, there is a down and dirty way that may work. You can increase your dose to 200 mg three times a day and see if you start having more bowel movements. If not, and if your low magnesium symptoms don't go way, after a few days, say three or four, you can take 200 mg four times a day, with meals and at bedtime. If after a week on that dose nothing has changed, better do the transit time and follow the protocol in Step 4.
Step 4: Take magnesium at the right times.
With a magnesium, timing is important, like in a trapeze act. You will only absorb a certain amount of magnesium with each dose. If you exceed the amount you can absorb you will absorb even less because of the shortened gut transit time. Frequent small doses work much better than a single dose of the same total number of milligrams. Ordinarily the right times to take magnesium are three times a day with meals. Some people will need to take four doses a day with the fourth dose taken at bedtime.
In the unlikely event that you are by now taking 200 mg four times daily and nothing has changed, you can increase your dose by 100 or 200 mg daily until something does change. If what changes is the disappearance of your symptoms, it would be neat to post a comment about that. If the change is a short transit time or a belly ache, that's worth a comment also and you might want to look for a physician in your area who understands magnesium and may be able to help you. You can see a good doctor finder page by clicking www.acam.org.
Well, this turned out to be little more complicated than I anticipated and I have run out of time for now. I intend to really finish this up with Step 5 in the next post. I'm not sure when that will be because I have discovered I'm going to be out of town for a week and I don't know how much time I'll have available for blogging. I do plan to check e-mail and my blog daily and look forward to responding to any comments that come in. In the meantime, may your magnesium experiences be spectacularly successful. I've been hearing some great magnesium success stories lately and wouldn't mind hearing a few more.