What do you do when your doctor tells you to stop taking your nutritional supplements?
For most medical doctors nutrition was a three hour class they had one afternoon during their seven years of medical training. Who knows, maybe many of them played hooky that day?
So when your doctor starts giving you advice about magnesium, calcium, vitamin D and other nutritional supplements… you may want to seek out a second opinion.
Case in point: A reader wrote to tell me her doctor advised her NOT to take magnesium with an anti-anxiety drug called Ativan. Ativan comes with many severe side-effects (including depression, ironically) yet her doctor speaks about magnesium like some villain that is out to do her harm.
First, you need to understand that mankind has been consuming up to 600mg of magnesium a day for THOUSANDS of years. It’s only in the last one hundred years that modern farming has depleted our soils of this essential mineral.
Magnesium is not something foreign to our bodies. The problem is…
Magnesium Has Been Relegated to the
Bowel Purge Section of the Pharmacy
If a patient is going to have a colonoscopy a gastrointestinal specialist will often prescribe a magnesium citrate formula to clean them out before the “day of exploration.”
Just take a look at how Wikipedia defines this essential mineral: “[a] chemical agent used medicinally as a saline laxative.”
They usually have you mix up about 2,000 mg of magnesium (enough to move a Buffalo’s bowels) with something real healthy like artificially sweetened Kool-Aid. You then gulp down litre after litre of this mixture while running for the toilet.
How Much is Too Much Magnesium?
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) says the “maximum upper-tolerable is 350mg.”
Well, I regularly recommend 600mg to my patients. I, myself, take higher amounts. For some people 300mg is enough. But 350mg is hardly a “maximum upper-tolerable limit.”
Case in point, your typical colonoscopy bowel purge formulation like CitroMag contains 1,745mg of magnesium. That’s almost FIVE TIMES as much magnesium than the NIH warns against.
So, yes, I actually agree with the doc that you should not take 1,745mg of magnesium with your medication. In fact, you shouldn’t take that much magnesium with anything you want to absorb. If someone is trying to poison you, okay, sure, maybe 1,745mg of magnesium is a good idea.
How to Know When to Avoid Certain Supplements
I don’t want to say for any condition or prescription taking any supplements is okay (if you are on dialysis, for example, you need to avoid taking in too much potassium).
All I’m saying is… If a medical doctor ever says you can’t take a certain supplement you should get a second opinion. Speak to a naturopathic doctor or other natural health professional who actually understands nutrition. (You can always book a phone consult with me, also.)
How do you handle the divide between you and your doctor when it comes to your natural health regimen? Any suggestions for other readers? Please leave your comments in the comment box below…
Carolyn Dean MD ND
The Doctor of the Future®
RESOURCES: Along the borders and in the links of my web site you can find my books, writings, and my call-in radio show. Email your questions to: email@example.com.