It was very frustrating to read this article “Shortage of Antianxiety Drug Leaves Patients in the Lurch” because nobody has to be left in the lurch. There is so much more to preventing and treating anxiety than drugs.
In Chapter 3 of The Magnesium Miracle I talk about magnesium deficiency and anxiety, depression and sleep. I begin the chapter with the following facts:
1. Magnesium supports our adrenal glands, which are overworked by stress leading to combined magnesium deficiency symptoms and adrenal exhaustion symptoms of anxiety, depression, muscle weakness, fatigue, eye twitches, insomnia, anorexia, apathy, apprehension, poor memory, confusion, anger, nervousness, and rapid pulse.
2. Serotonin, the “feel-good” brain chemical that is artificially boosted by Prozac, depends on magnesium for its production and function.
3. Magnesium deficiency has been strongly linked to sleep disorders, which can either cause or increase anxiety.
I continue with an overview of anxiety and depression:
How do we graduate from being a calm person in control of our nervous system to an anxious, fearful individual? I think it’s due to a gradual but chronic decrease in magnesium reserves. When the body is stressed – and it can be for a dozen different reasons, our magnesium reserves dump this crucial mineral into our blood stream and we immediately become one of those people blessed with the ability to cope. We are both calm and alert. Our friends and relatives think it’s just who we are but it’s really how much magnesium we have in reserve.
If the stress continues and we don’t rest or replace our magnesium between episodes, our magnesium stores become depleted. Then, when you are faced with the next stressor, your stress hormones (adrenalin and cortisol) don’t activate your magnesium reserves with a calming effect. Instead, adrenalin revs up your heart rate, elevates your blood pressure, and tenses your muscles in a fight or flight reaction.
Millions of people try unsuccessfully to cope with their problems or medicate their stress with overeating, cigarettes, alcohol, street drugs, and other addictive behaviors to suppress their pain. We are a nation suffering a 32 percent incidence of anxiety, depression, and drug problems. Instead of treating stress reactions properly with magnesium, each year millions of people are introduced to the merry-go-round of psychiatric drugs and psychological counseling for symptoms that may in fact be rooted in magnesium deficiency.
You’re stressed out, not sleeping, tense, and irritable and you don’t know that simply taking a good magnesium supplement could pull you out of that downward spiral. All these symptoms are interwoven as you can see from the following cases of people who fortunately discovered that much of their suffering was due to magnesium deficiency.
Why can’t the media report these facts about magnesium deficiency and its effects on the nervous system instead of implying that drugs are the only way to treat anxiety and making people even more anxious by reporting a shortage of those drugs?
Oh, by the way, the reason for this shortage and many drug shortages is strictly economic. When the patent runs out on the drug and generic brands are produced at a far lesser cost, other companies may or may not make and provide the drug in a predictable fashion.
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Carolyn Dean MD ND
The Doctor of the Future®
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