This is the truth about hypothyroidism and magnesium supplements that nobody is talking about.
It’s the reason why magnesium supplements by themselves just don’t work.
Now, if you’re currently using a magnesium supplement, I’m not saying that you should stop.
Especially considering it’s estimated that 60 to 80 percent of adults are actually deficient in this essential mineral.
And if you suffer from hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, then you can almost guarantee that you fall into that group.
However, sometimes we have to stop for a minute to look at the bigger picture and ask ourselves…
“Is this really the right way to do this?”
The short answer is, NO.
Simply supplementing magnesium is only really addressing a smaller part of a bigger problem.
Imagine for a second…
You’re sitting in a small boat.
Suddenly you realize that the boat has sprung a leak and is starting to sink.
So, you do what makes sense. You grab the nearest bucket and begin bailing water as fast as you can.
But unfortunately, the boat is taking on water too fast.
So, what do you do?
Option 1: You can continue bailing more and more water while you’ll likely end up sinking.
Option 2: You find the leak and you stop it first, and then bail the water out.
Now… since you read our articles, that means that you’re already far smarter than most.
So, I’m sure you picked Option 2.
Always fix the underlying problem first. (Well, at least that’s how we do things.)
It’s really the only option that makes sense, right?
Well, if you’re deficient in magnesium and all you’re doing about it is taking a magnesium supplement then you’re just bailing water.
You’re struggling to keep your boat afloat.
But more importantly you’re missing the bigger underlying problem.
Hypothyroidism and Magnesium Deficiency: The Bigger Underlying Problem
Many studies have shown that hypothyroidism leads to the rapid loss of magnesium, also known as magnesium wasting.
In fact, that’s why many of the symptoms of magnesium deficiency are the same as those of hypothyroidism.
Common Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency (Also Associated with Hypothyroidism)
- Muscle Cramps
- Edema (Water Retention)
- Blood Clots
- Poor Blood Sugar Regulation
- High Blood Pressure
- Restless leg syndrome
- Bone loss, osteopenia, osteoporosis
- Angina (Chest Pain)
- Heart Disease
And when it comes to hypothyroidism and magnesium wasting, there are many factors involved.
You compensate for your hypothyroidism by over-activating your body’s stress response. And stress itself causes magnesium wasting.
We also talk a lot about estrogen dominance that occurs due to hypothyroidism’s effects on your liver.
And most people don’t know this, but estrogen dominance also leads to magnesium wasting as well.
Serum ionized magnesium and calcium in women after menopause: inverse relation of estrogen with ionized magnesium.
“CONCLUSION(S): Serum levels of Mg2+ and total Mg were inversely correlated with the estrogen concentration in menopausal women.”
This is the real problem.
With hypothyroidism, you’re wasting magnesium very rapidly.
And this is that hole in your boat that we need to stop to prevent you from sinking.
So, instead of focusing on supplementing magnesium, it should make sense to focus your attention on preventing this wasting process and instead retain more magnesium.
In other words, the less magnesium you waste and the more you retain the less you become dependent on magnesium supplements.
(Note: Want to learn a simple way to help reduce magnesium wasting while helping to boost your thyroid at the same time? Download this super-simple, quick, and easy 60 Second Thyroid-Boosting Carrot Recipe we use with all our clients.)
3 Ways to Help Retain Your Magnesium Instead of Wasting It
As mentioned previously, hypothyroidism, stress, and estrogen dominance all play a large role in the magnesium wasting process.
So, here are three ways you can very effectively improve your magnesium levels without supplementing it.
1. Thyroid Hormone (T3)
Thyroid hormone (or T3 specifically) is very effective at improving your ability to retain magnesium by increasing your cells’ ability to absorb magnesium.
The more magnesium we can keep in your cells, the less you’ll be wasting.
By directly opposing many of the actions of estrogen at the cell level, progesterone is also very effective at keeping magnesium in your cells where it belongs.
Magnesium isn’t the only mineral you waste rapidly in hypothyroidism.
Sodium is wasted rapidly as well.
Getting adequate salt in your diet helps to increase magnesium retention from the magnesium rich foods you eat, while also decreasing its loss or wasting through your urine.
Problems with Oral Magnesium Supplements
We’ve already covered why supplementing magnesium isn’t the solution to your problem.
However, that doesn’t mean that you wouldn’t benefit from getting some extra magnesium.
However, oral magnesium supplements are not always the best choice.
There are many different forms of magnesium supplements and not all are created equal.
In general, oral magnesium supplements don’t have great absorption.
Generally speaking you might absorb 20% to 50% of the magnesium in the supplement you use.
However, with poor digestion which is directly associated with hypothyroidism, that absorption rate is likely much less.
Hypothyroidism leads to decreased enzyme production, low stomach acid production, and intestinal inflammation which can impair your ability to break down and absorb these forms of magnesium supplements.
The good news is that there is a better way.
3 Safer and More Absorbable Forms of Magnesium
With hypothyroidism and magnesium deficiency, there are oftentimes better options available that most people don’t know about or don’t get enough of.
1. Magnesium Rich Foods That Are Easy to Digest
I’d like to say that first and foremost, we believe in getting nutrition from foods.
However, some of the best foods for hypothyroidism sufferers to get magnesium are oftentimes unnecessarily avoided because the public has become quite misinformed regarding the safety and therapeutic effects of these foods.
So, keep in mind that we use almost all of these foods with our clients because they are all extremely therapeutic with hypothyroidism.
- Orange Juice
- Bone Broth
- Vegetable Broth
If you’re not using these foods to your advantage, then you’re truly missing out on something that can really help with your thyroid condition.
2. Magnesium Oil
Magnesium Oil (magnesium chloride) is a great way to get more magnesium that is generally better retained.
Instead of taking it orally, it comes in a spray bottle and it’s massaged directly into the skin where absorption rates are better than most oral magnesium.
It’s colorless and odorless.
And because it’s applied and absorbed through the skin, it bypasses your digestive tract, which is best for those with digestive issues.
You can find what I use/recommend with my clients by clicking here.
3. Epsom Salt
Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) is another good and safe source of magnesium that is absorbed through your skin to bypass your digestive tract.
All you have to do is add the Epsom salt to bath water, and let it dissolve while you soak in the tub and absorb it through your skin.
I oftentimes recommend warm baths for many clients to help increase their body temperature and help them feel better early on.
So, why not add some Epsom salt to your bath for even better results?
Now you know the truth.
Supplementing magnesium alone isn’t the solution.
At least not until you plug the leak and fix the real underlying problem.
And the only way to do that is to stop wasting so much magnesium and instead follow the guidelines I’ve just given you to make your magnesium work for you.
While you’re at it, make sure you’re using this super-simple, quick, and easy 60 Second Thyroid-Boosting Carrot Recipe we use with all our clients.
1. Wentz, Izabella. “Studies on Magnesium and Thyroid Health – Dr. Izabella Wentz.” DR. IZABELLA WENTZ, PHARM D, 16 Oct. 2018, www.thyroidpharmacist.com/articles/new-studies-on-magnesium-and-thyroid-health/.
2. Trentini, Dana. “Two Vital Nutrients for Your Thyroid: Not the Usual Suspects.” Hypothyroid Mom, 18 Sept. 2018, www.hypothyroidmom.com/two-vital-nutrients-for-your-thyroid-not-the-usual-suspects/.
3. Weil, Andrew. “Best Source of Magnesium? – Dr. Weil.” DrWeil.com, 8 Feb. 2017, www.drweil.com/vitamins-supplements-herbs/supplements-remedies/best-source-of-magnesium/.