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Hubby's doctor in Dallas is a pain specialist with a masters in pharmacology as well. He's a wonderful doctor, and we're feeling quite fortunate that John ever got in to see him.

We discussed all the things that could have caused John's episode at work last week, then I said "well, let's back up a little bit to what happened the night prior to the day the event happened" I explained that John had insisted upon staying up late and using the shop-vac to clean out the gas fireplace, since the ferret was crawling around in there and getting dirty. That John had been forced to use his albuterol inhaler and this raised red flags for the good doctor. He said don't use that one any longer, use this other one because it has no cardiac interactions. During John's visit he had another cardiac event. I noticed he was distressed by the expression on his face and said something, we got him on the table, and they tried to hook a monitor up to him immediately, but the cuff wouldn't register. The cuff that supposedly ALWAYS registers didn't register. Le sigh. The doctor and his nurse both got manual readings, though, and they both know that he was definitely in distress.

After John calmed down and re-counted his experience(s) to the doctor, explaining the different types of chest pain he's been getting and how frequently he's been getting it, we got on the topic of magnesium.When John first had his appointment with the doctor in April, he ended up getting an IV infusion of magnesium because he was low. Low like if the average is 5, John was at a 4.1. So he got some magnesium in a bag because if you take it in a pill, you don't absorb it. If you try to get it in foods, you don't absorb it, either.

So when John was in the ER last week, I asked the ER doc to check his magnesium levels, thinking I was doing a good thing. I told the headache doc this and he said "here's the problem with this, he wouldn't have found anything, because he'd only have checked the blood levels, not the intracellular levels. You've got to check the levels of magnesium within the red blood cells and if it's low, you've got to boost it with an IV. I've seen incredible results with fibro, with headaches, it doesn't matter, once we get that magnesium level up, suddenly a lot of those patients are in a lot less pain."

Speaking for my husband, I know this is true. The doctor here in town had transformed his common migraines into cluster headaches which had at least tripled in frequency, severity,  and duration over the 14 months John saw him. He saw the doctor in Dallas for a three-day visit  which included the magnesium infusion and his headaches greatly decreased in severity and frequency and duration. He got back to having less than one or two per month, and with the rescue drugs was even able to mask when he was having one which kept him from being put on full disability at work.

So, I guess what I'm trying to put out there is something a lot of us don't know. We should insist that our loved ones have their magnesium checked at the red blood cell level, and if it's low, give it a boost. It could greatly improve someone's quality of life.

By the way, hubby's doctor is John Claude Krusz, and his website is www.anodyneheadachepain.com/index.html


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 24th, 2010 05:14 pm (UTC)
So glad John got some relief! And you both got relief in the form of some answers. Sometimes just knowing what is most likely the issue is the biggest comfort.

Wow! I had no idea digestible magnesium wasn't bioavailable! I'm going to look into this and see if it could help Mark. He doesn't get chronic pains like that but he will occasionally have headaches for unknown reasons.

Thanks for sharing, as always =)
Sep. 24th, 2010 05:43 pm (UTC)
It's seriously not bioavailable. None of the metals are.

One problem the doc has been seeing with some of the patients he's been doing magnesium IVs with is that they're excreting it in their urine at an alarming rate, He said he talked to a couple of his urology buddies about it and they say it should happen, so he mentioned that there's a paper in there somewhere.
Sep. 24th, 2010 06:16 pm (UTC)
Meant to say "shouldn't happen".
Sep. 24th, 2010 05:42 pm (UTC)
"if you take it in a pill, you don't absorb it. If you try to get it in foods, you don't absorb it, either." I've been taking magnesium supplements for bone density. Are there certain circumstances when you DO absorb it?

Sep. 24th, 2010 05:44 pm (UTC)
IV infusions.
Sep. 24th, 2010 05:46 pm (UTC)
Seriously, he mentioned that, too. He talked about calcium absorption rates for people with osteoporosis. It's not looking good because the metals just don't get absorbed like we'd like them to.
Sep. 24th, 2010 06:19 pm (UTC)
Just spoke to hubby and he said that when you take an oral supplement and the dosage is 500 mg, then you're only going to absorb 10 to 20 percent of that. It also flushes through your kidneys so quickly that the IV therapy is a much more durable way to administer the dose.

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )