I was interviewed for the Beyond Pain Summit at the same time the Annals of Internal Medicine published a report that almost 40% of Americans were prescribed addictive opioid painkillers in 2015. Also in August the CDC reported that prescription opioids and heroin killed more than 33,000 people in 2015, more than any year on record. Nearly half of all opioid overdose deaths involve a prescription opioid.
The prescriptions for opioids are mostly given for pain and the recent reports just underscore the fact that no one seems to have a safe solution for chronic pain. However, I was able to shed some light on the prevention of inflammation and pain in the Beyond Pain Summit with Dr. Audrey Schnell which launches Sept 5, 2017 and runs for 11 days.
In my second year in medical school I sought out one of the two acupuncturists in Halifax, N.S. and did an elective so I could have a means to control pain for my patients. Over the years I added homeopathic and nutrient solutions. I found that inflammation can be triggered by magnesium deficiency and relative calcium excess. That means if you are magnesium deficient, or have an excess of calcium (usually due to taking calcium supplements) an injury, trauma, or surgery will be more painful because magnesium isn’t available to control the inflammation.
Inflammation is basically a localized condition where part of the body becomes red, swollen, hot, and painful, especially as a reaction to injury or infection. Neuritis and neuropathy are general terms for inflammation of a nerve or the general inflammation of the peripheral nervous system.
Myositis refers to any condition causing muscle inflammation. Weakness, swelling, and pain are the most common symptoms of myositis. Myositis is caused by infection, injury, autoimmune conditions, and drug side effects. However, muscle spasms, like leg cramps or Charlie horse can occur in any muscle – including the heart muscle due – to magnesium deficiency. Again, if you become infected or injured and you are already magnesium deficient, the pain and inflammation will be worse.
In the new edition of Magnesium Miracle (2017) I cited the following: “A U.S. study, reported in the July 2006 issue of the journal Nutrition Research, found that a daily magnesium supplement could reduce the levels of inflammation, as measured by C-reactive protein.”
In 2013, the journal Anaesthesia reported that “Persistent mechanical irritation of the nerve root sets up a series of events mediating sensitization of the dorsal roots and dorsal horns in the spinal cord. Current evidence supports the role of magnesium in blocking central sensitization through its effect on N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors.” In the study all the patients were already being treated with anticonvulsants, antidepressants and simple analgesics. Additionally, 40 patients received placebo for 6 weeks (control group), while another 40 patients in the magnesium group received IV magnesium for 2 weeks followed by oral magnesium capsules for another 4 weeks. The researchers said, “Our findings show that a 2-week intravenous magnesium infusion followed by 4 weeks of oral magnesium supplementation can reduce pain intensity and improve lumbar spine mobility during a 6-month period in patients with refractory chronic low back pain with a neuropathic component.” I’m sure the people who responded best to magnesium were the ones who suffered magnesium deficiency.
In my interview, Dr. Schnell was interested in exploring the root causes of pain and inflammation. I told her they were mineral deficiency – especially magnesium – and yeast overgrowth.
Carolyn Dean MD ND
The Doctor of the Future®
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