Magnesium concerns: I'm considering taking... - AF Association

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Magnesium concerns


I'm considering taking supplemental magnesium to help control my afib and flutter episodes. My doctor has checked potassium, magnesium, electrolytes, etc. and all my levels are normal. In that case, would it still be helpful to take extra magnesium? Also, I wondered if magnesium lowers blood pressure. When I tried using it years ago, that seemed to be the case but now I think possibly my low blood pressure was just a coincidence. Thanks for any input and advice!

41 Replies

I too thought it was a good idea to take magnesium since I both AFB and Flutter. So I started take it what develope was the magnesium brought on Aura Migraines. When I stopped taking it the Migraines went away.

Jalia in reply to bmand

That's interesting to know. ....will bear that in mind ! Thanks!

JudyMarieC in reply to bmand

That's interesting about the migraines. I've had them for years but never knew magnesium could be a trigger.

SteM in reply to JudyMarieC

A cardiologist told me a few years ago that there is a possible link between migraines and hole in the heart which he confirmed I have so probably why I've always had them and the magnesium has not changed that at all.

Magnesium level in your blood tells you nothing at all about magnesium level in heart muscle, which is what you need to know. For that you would need a special Red Cell magnesium test or better yet, Intracellular Magnesium. I think there is only one lab anywhere that does the latter, so it is not easily obtained. Nor is Red Cell test. However, the assumption seems to be that virtually everyone will be low if measured by those standards... I take 200-400 mg daily of Magnesium bisglycinate, which is supposed to be a very absorbable form. And that is a very low dose by some people's standards. I don't think 200 mg daily could hurt anybody. However, if you notice problems then of course stop. Just my 2 cents. That's the way I'm doing it. But definitely some unknowns.

Absolutely agree Kim.

One good side effect of my taking magnesium nightly is that I no longer get crippling muscle cramps and restless legs.

However, because I only have one kidney left, Which I don’t want to get clogged up, I take the capsule form rather than the chalky pill.

In the US, you can't get a RBC Magnesium test through any physician or hospital--it's just not offered. The way around this is to request the test yourself through a specific testing site, and then you will purchase the test through the same site, then you get a lab requisition from them to use at an independent lab location where they will draw the blood. I don't know if the independent lab would even offer an Intracellular Magnesium test--it would be interesting to find out about this. I found an independent lab that was close to me, so I was going to order the test, but the COVID pandemic happened.

CDreamer in reply to Doggiemomma

Ditto in UK

I started taking magnesium a few years ago and at that time I was getting a lot of ectopic beats. I watched a post by Dr Sanjay Gupta who recommended a particular brand which I now take 200mg/day and the ectopic s have gone .I also suffer from the occasional aura migraine but have done for the last 40 years and they are no more frequent than before.

Physalis in reply to SteM

I watched that video too and went out and bought some magnesium capsules. I took one a day for three days and then I developed a bit of a headache so I stopped. The headache went on for a further couple of days. I might try it again to see if the same thing happens.

However, having suffered from aura migraines all my life, I think it will only be an experiment and then I will throw the lot away. I've never suffered from ordinary headaches.

bassets in reply to SteM

Hi, which brand did DR Gupta recommend please?

Thanks, that's great :)

SteM in reply to bassets

Magnesium Taurate from Cardiovascular Research I get them off Amazon.

bassets in reply to SteM

Thanks, that's very helpful :)

I agree. The blood tests you take are only to check if you are dangerously low or dangerously high on X. So it sounds like you aren't dangerously low on Mg. The idea of taking more Mg is to improve the situation. also as others have said there are different forms of Mg some more absorbable than others. Something else to consider.

CDreamer in reply to Omniscient1

The point is serum Magnesium will be maintained at the expense of cellular magnesium, hence if your serum Mag was low you would be so ill you would need to be transfused. An anaesthetic told me a few years ago that transfusion would only be affective for 20 mins so there is no way you want ever to become that deficient - period.

Getting the balance for every individual & the right way for you though is the tricky part. I prefer to eat foods high in Magnesium as my No1 preferred method.

One good thing you would never be able to take too much oral magnesium as anything not absorbed will go straight through!

Most people benefit from Magnesium and GP will only check serum magnesium levels unless they did a red cell test which is not available on the NHS. It is the magnesium level in the muscle cells which is important for function and calcium and magnesium work like a push me, pull me. Most populations are magnesium deficient and most people find magnesium helps arrythmias especially ectopics.

BUT - there are contraindications and they may lower BP if you take any sort Beta Blocker or calcium Chanel blocker because Magnesium will enhance the affect of the meds.

Other contraindications - if you have kidney problems or if you have Myasthenia gravis, Diabetes and take insulin, some antibiotics.

You may find this useful

I cannot take any oral Magnesium so do a weekly bath in Sea Salts and find that enough. Muscle cramping is the most obvious sign of Magnesium deficiency and I use Magnesium Spray - which is a safer way of taking up Magnesium through Osmosis.

Doggiemomma in reply to CDreamer

I use Ancient Minerals Magnesium Oil Spray but I don't know if it's helped or not. Also, does anyone happen to know if this oil spray ever expires? I often forget to apply it. I usually spray it on my wrists and the inside of my forearms as, in my mind anyway, the skin seems thinnest there and the spray is more likely to be absorbed, especially if I rub it in.

CDreamer in reply to Doggiemomma

Best absorbed after shower/bath when the skin is damp and left to dry, light massage into the muscle areas, not rub in and 4-5 sprays across the major muscle groups - I tend to get muscle cramps in my legs so that mainly where I use it or anywhere which is achy and spasms. Doesn’t matter about skin thickness.

Doggiemomma in reply to CDreamer

That makes a lot of sense, CDreamer! I had read about trying the spray after a shower/bath, but I guess I only read it as an afterthought, not that it's the more correct way to use the product. Thank you!!!

CDreamer in reply to Doggiemomma

PS - I’m not promoting this brand - actually I use another I buy from the pharmacy but here is the guide for using Mag oil/gel/lotion etc.

Doggiemomma in reply to CDreamer

Thank you for the link!!!

JudyMarieC in reply to CDreamer

Thank you - very helpful information. I do take blood pressure meds so I guess I'd have to be very careful taking magnesium.

CDreamer in reply to JudyMarieC

That really applies more to oral mag - if you use the spray & use at night then there will be less likelihood of an interaction.

I tried magnesium , first tablets then then I settled on the zechstein spray. It did not appear to help my afib ( but it would be a gradual thing over a period of time not an instant fix anyway I would think) . However I did appear to sleep better (bad sleeper normally ) so I continued my nightly spray for two and a half years, even after my ablation on that basis.

I've been taking Mag Taurate one capsule per day for a few years now. It has certainly helped stop my ectopics and I have no side effects.

Bad luck having atrial flutter. It’s especially hard to cope with in my experience. Some people claim success with taking extra magnesium but sadly, it did nothing for me at all. I haven’t been able to find any good scientific evidence that it helps, either, but there is one heart doctor (a Dr Gupta - a Google search will find plenty that’s very useful from him) who thinks it might help in some cases, but my own doctor pooh-poohed the idea.

As a mineral, it’s in all green vegetables, so a normal diet will supply it to your body in the very best form that your body can use. Some say that modern farming methods deplete it but I doubt this since it exists as chlorophyll and that’s aplenty!

If you do try it (and why not?), it can do no harm and all forms are easily absorbed by the body, despite the hype and pressure you’ll find to buy an expensive and esoteric form. If you take too much, it’s can be a wonderfully effective laxative, so watch out! 😉


JudyMarieC in reply to Ppiman

My doctor poopooed it also when I asked him about it a couple of years ago. I may just increase my intake of green vegetables and other magnesium rich foods. Thanks for your reply.

Jalia in reply to JudyMarieC

I would recommend reading Dr Carolyn Deans book The Magnesium Miracle !

Ppiman in reply to JudyMarieC

That sounds a sensible way to go to me. It’s such an unpleasant thing to have to deal with that it’s worth trying different things - but the internet is simply awash with misinformation and hype. The Dr Gupta videos are worth a look on YouTube, though.


I recently asked a consultant EP if he agreed with taking magnesium, his reply was ''If you think it helps go ahead and take it''

I have for some years been taking half the daily recommended dose to supplement a diet rich in magnesium and recently experienced daily long runs of ectopics . I realised that since March and lockdown when I was unable to get some foods I usually eat and that this might have affected by magnesium levels so I increased the dose to the RDA of 320mg and the ectopics have almost stopped except those that precede an episode of AF.

We are told that a deficiency in magnesium can contribute to arrhythmia so it seems logical to make sure we are not deficient .

Hi I do not know if this helps, but I was diagnosed with A Fib, and under went a a Cryoablation at the London A.F centre which went wrong so never had the procedure.

I then got better I went to see another E.P in Oxford who diagnosed me with Flutter and operated on this back in February this year.

The flutter procedure is much simpler and straight forward than the A.F procedure and is about 90% successful, I would suggest to any body that if you are not sure if its Flutter or A.F to get a second opinion and not to hesitate to have this procedure.

I have not looked back since, and have no Tachycardia problems now, which was the main reason for getting tested in the first place.

On the subject of Magnesium, I have found that 400mg of Magnesium Glycinate once a day and it seems to work well for me, I have tried other types but but found the interfered with my bowels and made me loose this type does not.

I have a 27 year history of AF and just about every treatment known to man. I was occasionally given IV mag in A & E in an attempt to get me back in NSR so I knew that I some times ran short on this.

I started taking mag taurate a few years back and immediately noticed a reduction in my fast AF( persistent) episodes. I changed to magnesium glycinate about 2 years back as the taurate was getting ridiculously expensive and the effect remains the same .

I've read magnesium needs to be checked within the cells not in the blood. Drs don't do that. I take extra magnesium as it helps with rhythm. But yes it can lower BP so have to be careful. I always take it with food. I eat some salt since I normally have low BP anyway. Sometimes these meds we're put on affect BP also. Look up your meds on and read about ALL the side effects of the meds.

Thanks for your reply. Good suggestion about salt.

Also a side effect of these meds is they deplete us of our nutrients. That's a reason Drs should test for deficiencies. But they turn a blind eye to our concerns. That's why we're on this forum.

Also try the Himalayan pink salt. It's what I use and I believe another person who answered here said they use the pink salt. I've seen others on here say they use the Himalayan pink salt.

And please look at It also has a place to look up drug interactions if you don't know about something else you take. Also a list of drugs you shouldn't take with other drugs. Very informative. Take care.

Thank you. I'll try to find the pink salt and give it a try.

You are so welcome. Best to you.

HiloHairy in reply to JudyMarieC

At least for me any kind of salt is an afib trigger. It's made eating in Asian restaurants difficult.

One caution - for anyone who might have trouble with loose stools or such bowel issues, magnesium might make it worse.

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