Magnesium & Personality:
Mineral Deficiency After Weight Loss Surgery
by Kaye Bailey
Have you ever felt like you were completely losing your mind? Like the world was swallowing you up and little things were out of your control and unmanageable? Like you were confused, tired, out of sorts and simply wanted to collapse? Has everyday noise become intolerably loud in your head?
That’s how I was feeling a few months ago. I was confident I’d lost my mind and suffered a serious change of personality (for the worse, I may add).
My husband noticed my personality change too. He’s a good and wise man and quietly did some research. This is what we learned and how we set about correcting my “problem.”
As we know the gastric-bypass patient is at risk for vitamin and mineral deficiency. I religiously take my supplements. However, I was not taking the RDI of Magnesium which is 400 milligrams/day. Magnesium rich foods are raw rice bran, raw wheat germ, yellow cornmeal, corn, soybeans, soy milk, tofu, raw seeds and nuts, leafy greens, yellow vegetables and fruits, whole cereal grains, milk products & seafood. Meat and poultry are not particularly good sources of magnesium. Clearly, a weight loss surgery patient will not meet their magnesium requirements through diet.
From Dr. Bernard Jensen’s Guide to Body Chemistry & Nutrition” I quote:
“I want to point out here that the classical deficiency symptoms for magnesium include neuromuscular signs, such as tremors, weakness, muscle spasms and irregular heartbeat; gastrointestinal signs such as nausea and vomiting; and personality changes that display confusion, apprehensiveness and depression. In the “old days” people with magnesium deficiency were often (mistakenly) taken to mental institutions because they acted so radically different that they literally seemed to be mentally ill.”
In other reading we learned magnesium deficiency leads to a hyper-sensitivity to sound:
“It is well established that nutritional effects may result in hypersensitive hearing. Many individuals who are deficient in magnesium suffer from sound sensitivity, and they often experience an improvement after receiving magnesium supplements. A suggested 20 milligrams per each 10 pounds of body weight per day, is an appropriate amount of magnesium. Improvement would occur within a few days if the cause of the sensitivity is a magnesium deficiency.” This statement appeared in The Sound Connection, 1998, Vol. 5, No. 3.
I started immediately taking a magnesium supplement and within a few weeks I felt like a new woman back to my old self again. The hyper-sensitivity to sound diminished and life did not seem so overwhelming. Case in point – exactly two weeks after beginning the magnesium supplement my stepsons and their children arrived unexpectedly at our home for dinner. To make matters worse, we had the kitchen disassembled for a minor remodel project. I happily adapted and cooked dinner for 7 without having a breakdown. That’s when I knew the magnesium was working.
Patients should talk with their bariatric center if they experience these conditions or concerns. Annual blood tests will indicate if a patient is deficient in magnesium and other essential vitamins and minerals.
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