I keep reading on the benefits of Epsom Salts in a bath and I thought I would explain a bit about it!
Epsom salt is Magnesium Sulphate.
The only reason it works is because a little of the magnesium is absorbed through the dermal layers (skin).
Very little but enough to give a bit of relief and anything that gives relief is great.
(Magnesium Chloride is even better in the bath but it commonly irritates the skin)
I recommend suplementing Magnesium to the diet as the absolute primary route of utiliseing this essential nutrient .
Magnesium is a co-factor in over 300 functions in the body regulating many kinds of biochemical reactions and must be got through the diet.
It is thought by many nutritionists that somewhere between 60% to 90% of the population are very deficient in Magnesium.
Magnesium deficiency is a health problem of first cause. Magnesium is a nutritional element that is dangerously low today. Because of its essential role as a foundational building block of cell physiology, we have a huge health problem that our system of medicine is dragging its feet to address. Populations in the first world are dangerously deficient and are actually starving for Magnesium.
First symptoms of deficiency can be subtle – as most magnesium is stored in the tissues, leg cramps, foot pain, or muscle 'twitches' can be the first sign. Other early signs of deficiency can include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and weakness. As magnesium deficiency worsens, numbness, tingling, seizures, personality changes, abnormal heart rhythms, and coronary spasms can occur.Magnesium deficiency can affect virtually every organ system of the body. With regard to skeletal muscle, one may experience twitches, cramps, muscle tension, muscle soreness, including back aches, neck pain, tension headaches and jaw joint (or TMJ) dysfunction.
Also, one may experience chest tightness or a peculiar sensation that he can't take a deep breath. Sometimes a person may sigh a lot
Symptoms involving impaired contraction of smooth muscles include constipation; urinary spasms; menstrual cramps; difficulty swallowing or a lump in the throat-especially provoked by eating sugar; photophobia, especially difficulty adjusting to oncoming bright headlights in the absence of eye disease; and loud noise sensitivity from stapedius muscle tension in the ear.
The central nervous system is markedly affected. Symptoms include insomnia, anxiety, hyperactivity and restlessness with constant movement, panic attacks, agoraphobia, and premenstrual irritability. Magnesium deficiency symptoms involving the peripheral nervous system include numbness, tingling, and other abnormal sensations, such as zips, zaps and vibratory sensations.
Symptoms or signs of the cardiovascular system include palpitations, heart arrhythmias, and angina due to spasms of the coronary arteries, high blood pressure and mitral valve prolapse. Be aware that not all of the symptoms need to be present to presume magnesium deficiency; but, many of them often occur together. For example, people with mitral valve prolapse frequently have palpitations, anxiety, panic attacks and premenstrual symptoms. People with magnesium deficiency often seem to be "uptight." Other general symptoms can include a salt craving, both carbohydrate craving and carbohydrate intolerance, especially of chocolate, and breast tenderness.
Magnesium is needed by every cell in the body including those of the brain. It is one of the most important minerals when considering supplementation because of its vital role in hundreds of enzyme systems and functions related to reactions in cell metabolism, as well as being essential for the synthesis of proteins, for the utilization of fats and carbohydrates. Magnesium is needed not only for the production of specific detoxification enzymes but is also important for energy production related to cell detoxification. A magnesium deficiency can affect virtually every system of the body.
I suggest everyone with fibro look to Magnesium before anything else.
I recommend eating lots of Magnesium rich foods daily, Lightly steamed spinach is my favourite.
I also supplement Magnesium as Magnesium Citrate Powder.
It can be got cheaply on an online auction site.
I recommend the powder over capsules as there is very little in the caps and they are expensive.
I know people think that 1000mg sounds like something really great but it is a marketing ploy.
Write it as 100,000ug and it looks like they are stuffing a lot more into those little capsules but it is still only 1000mg or a mere 1gm.
I like Magnesium Citrate as it is a nice clean form that is well tolerated and a bit more bio available than most of the others,, including some amino acid chelated forms of Magnesium.
I dislike Magnesium Oxide which is the usual type kept on shelves of multinational health food chains.
Magnesium Oxide is a very cheap mineral but it allows these companies to make maximum profit as 99.99% of the population see just see Magnesium and readily hand over the money.
Magnesium Oxide is not much better tolerated Oraly than Epsom Salts, they both have laxative effects but they are sources of Magnesium and Epsom Salts can be taken in a little warm water but I do not advise it as it is not great if your goal is to raise the levels of magnesium in the body.
I use 1/3 tsp 3 times a day, breakfast, evening and before bed.
Just stir it in a half glass of water and drink,, not much taste to it.
The before bed is essential and you will rest more easily.
All Magnesium can soften the stool, I suggest when you first start using it only use about 1/4 tsp once or twice a day and step it up.
If you get a soft stool just cut back a bit, you will soon know how much is right for you.
It works rapidly you will not have to take it for months to see results,, but I say take it regular not just when you get sore or have a cramp in the middle of the night, see it not as a medication but a nutrient that is deficient in the diet!
For anyone taking medications to reduce or stop stomach acidity they will most likely have difficulty absorbing magnum via the digestive tract and I would recommend as many epsom salt baths as they can manage but dermal absorption really is a secondary and inferior way of getting magnesium into the body.
Sorry for the long post but I felt it necessary to try and explain a few of the issues.
I hope you find the information of benefit to your health and symptoms.