Migraines, Anxiety, and Magnesium

magnesium anxiety

Have you been given advice about taking magnesium for stress, anxiety, or migraines, but not sure what to take? Read a story in Teen Vogue about the best foods to eat to get more magnesium, and wondering what it's all about? Curious about what others are experiencing when it comes to magnesium? I wanted to share my story in the hopes of helping others figure out their own confusing magnesium needs.

Magnesium-rich almonds and spinach.

Magnesium-rich almonds and spinach.

My own path with magnesium supplements was fills with stops and starts. I first started experimenting with it back in June of 2014 when my UCSF neurologist gave me the advice:

Get Magnesium Ox 400 mg from Walgreen’s. Take 800mg. Take 1 at night to begin, then graduate to 2 at night after dinner, around an hour before bed. 

(I kept a Google doc of exactly what she said in an effort to make sure I was tracking and keeping straight everything that was happening at that time.)

Because I'm a perfectionist and rule-follower, I did exactly as she said. I bought Magnesium Oxide and slowly built up to 800 mg.

What I didn't realize at the time is that Magnesium Oxide has some pretty nasty side effects.

I confirmed on Reddit (as you do) that I was not alone in the side effects I was experiencing:

magnesium stress reddit
magnesium and anxiety

I was in the trial-and-error phase of magnesium. It wasn't pretty. From my pathetic notes of that era:

Magnesium Oxide could be to blame for the diarrhea problem. Have switched to Magnesium Glycinate and will see how that goes. Diarrhea caused enormous hemorrhoid so I now need to do more epsom salt soaks (which also, ironically, means more magnesium).

Bottom line (pardon the pun): If you've had a baby within the past few years, be cautious with your testing, as the ill-effects (as you see above) can last weeks!

A friend of mine was in a similar, not nearly as bad boat. I asked what she was taking and she said:  

"I take 240 mg a day of Magnesium Glycinate. But for one week before my period and a couple of days into it I take 480 mg a day. I'm taking the Pure Encapsulations gel caps just before bed, and it doesn't seem to give me any problems."

Here are some more first-hand experiences from fellow headache sufferers.

The biggest side effects that most people seem to suffer are: digestive issues like an upset stomach or diarrhea, fatigue, sleepiness. Psychology Today once called magnesium supplements "the chill pill," so it's a good idea to take your magnesium at bed. I take my mine at night because it does have a soporific effect. 

 I take 400 mg of chelated magnesium every day in addition to the magnesium I get from eating foods like almonds and spinach. 

 I take 400 mg of chelated magnesium every day in addition to the magnesium I get from eating foods like almonds and spinach. 

But it also has a positive effect on both my migraines and my anxiety. I would recommend magnesium to anyone who is up for trying new approaches to feeling better.  

Good luck! I'd love to hear what works for you. Share below in comments.