Hi folks - As promised I am updating you on how I have been getting on taking magnesium daily. I started taking it about six weeks ago after asking my doctor if it was ok to take with my other medications. She told me it wasn't a problem and that it might very well be beneficial, though could take a few weeks to show any benefits. Well, I am pretty sure that it has had a positive effect on how much I can do without getting exhausted - I have been gardening for a couple of hours at a time recently without feeling that I am walking up to my neck in water when I've finished! (Sorry that's my way of describing how tired I have felt at times!) I take 2 x 375mg a day, as per dosage on the tub. Not sure if it's ok to name supplier, but the only place I could get it locally sounds like they should sell footwear!

I asked my husband if he had seen an improvement and his response was that I am doing more now than I was. Just to fill you in I am now at 14 mg Pred. after a starting dose of 30 mg.

Hope this helps, obviously I still get tired, can't do what I used to do, but I'm sure it has made an improvement.

Thanks to everyone for this group - couldn't do without it - take care.

32 Replies

  • Good,

    Glad to hear it's helping you. Didn't know there was a chemist called Slippers 🤔

  • I boycott the wellyboot chemist (they charge far too much, especially now they are US owned) - but you can usually get these sort of things at the double barrelled health shop one. We're really lucky - magnesium is available in every supermarket here as they are an absolute staple!!!!!

  • Yes, I thought they were quite expensive - will ask hubby to go to the one you suggest in his lunch break for me.

  • I take Magnesium every so often. When I lived in France my GP prescribed it as' a bit of a booster' and it certainly works for me. I find I have more go, my head is clearer and I am more balanced. I only take it now if I know I am going to face a testing time in work, and I only take it for a month at a time. I can't tell you the dosage as I use liquid ampoules of 122mg , the magnesium is suspended in a solution that tastes just like the old NHS orange juice which I suspect most of us on this forum can remember. The brand I use is MAG 2 but only available in Europe. I am fortunate enough to have friends who regularly do a tobacco and booze run to Calais and they always bring me back a couple of boxes. It certainly works.

  • I buy Sainsbugs magnesium. About £3 for 30.

  • That's about the same as the shoe shop charges.

  • This is interesting, thanks for the update. I had heard Magnesium can cause stomach upset/diarrhoea. I presume it didn't cause you such problems? Do you need to take it with/after food etc?

  • It will if you take too much at one time - think Epsom salts when we were little! The sort I buy is an effervescent tablet and I think 2 is the RDA - I use one to make a pleasant drink anytime I think about it though obviously not several times a day. I have no idea if you can get anything similar in the UK, never looked.

  • No it didn't cause me any stomach upset at all, but I do take Omeprazole, so maybe that helped? It says to take with plenty of liquid, but does not mention food. I have been taking it mid-afternoon.

  • Magnesium would cause diarrhoea, not a sore stomach, as far as I know. Read in a book about magnesium that one woman loved her epsom salts baths so much she actually caused that symptom by bathing too often in too strong a solution. :D

  • I've been reading all about it and you are supposed to take it with calcium and Vitamin D for max effect.

  • Calcium is the bad guy here. If you have an actual magnesium deficiency, best not to take the supplement with calcium as calcium can interfere with its absorption, in order to make sure you get maximum benefit from the supplement. What can happen is we take calcium, D3 supplements, and after a while the magnesium/calcium balance goes out of whack. It can be restored more easily if magnesium is taken separately - like prednisone, or iron. Once there isn't too much calcium in the body in relation to magnesium I think it's fine to take them together. I wouldn't stress about it.

  • Gosh there's so much conflicting info out there! Thanks heronNS. I'll take the magnesium at a different time from the calcium/ vitamin D3 now. I'll get a handle on all of this at some point!

  • And lovely hot baths at night with epsom salts - grand!!

  • I get mine at Tesco, cannot remember the price but not expensive

  • That's really interesting. I took it as a muscle relaxant to cut down on cramps but my doctor said it was harmful to take long term. Now whether that has anything to do with my being type 2 diabetic I don't know. I am astonished at the differing opinions of various doctors over the same matter - it's a wonder any of us survive - good job we have a sense of humour!

  • Oh dear - then there's something else that will kill off the residents of mainland Europe...

    If all you are taking is the RDA then it isn't going to do any harm - large amounts that give you the runs probably would but that is a very different matter!

  • Consultation with Dr Google leads me to believe that magnesium overdose is vanishingly rare in healthy people, but can occur in those with chronic conditions, most particularly those with poor kidney function. In the case of type 2 diabetes it might be good to find out what an optimum dose would be. Don't forget if you are eating a well-balanced diet you are probably getting a decent amount of magnesium already. If your muscle cramps were caused by a magnesium deficiency it would also be good to try to figure out why.

  • Kidney function is ok. The tablets didn't give me any problems. My doctor has put me on Quinine Bisulphate now which I only take if my diet has included fat and sugar - this seems to trigger the finger and leg cramps. Sometimes one just has to indulge! Having visited my doctor yesterday she asked "Who put you on steroids" to which I replied - you did. Oh yes, you have PMR. Having finished the 15mg a week before (getting a visit was impossible) I now have to take 10mg for 2 weeks and 5mg for 1 week and apparently everything in the garden will be lovely. During the week without I got chronic backache andan aching pain in the backs of my thighs and very bad headaches, so I do hope she is right!

  • Oh dear, what is she thinking? That your short term of pred has cured your PMR? Or that you do not have PMR at all and this is to quickly wean you off steroids?

  • The tests I had definitely indicated PMR. I think she is having trouble trying to balance the benefits with the possible side effects as I am on the cusp of being diabetic 2. As this has been the case for some years, I think my levels are my norm, but she can't seem to accept this. I noticed a deterioration in one of my eyes but I think it's just the cataract has grown a bit faster over the last few months, I also have trouble with balance and walking generally. I have to say, I've been to the doctors more in the last year than in the previous 7, not a situation I like. We'll see how things go.

  • There are no tests that DEFINITELY indicate PMR - it is a clinical diagnosis and the blood tests of ESR and CRP merely play a supporting role in the overall picture - and even they aren't accurate since up to a fifth of patients don't have raised values. PMR is just the outward expression of an underlying disorder and there are quite a few which need to be excluded before settling on PMR.

    However - balance and walking problems are quite common - as is dropping things! Lots of us fell over for no apparent reason and dropped a lot of glasses/cups/plates!

  • I did correct the 'definitely' in my text, but the edit seems not to have happened.

  • It is possible to balance the benefits of pred with the side effects. We are all different and start our PMR journey from different places. As anyone who's read my posts will know I don't believe in taking drugs, but the afternoon my new doctor diagnosed PMR and sent me off with a prescription I went straight to the pharmacy before going home, and took my first dose as soon as I could. I responded in the classic way with symptoms easing within hours and completely pain free within three days - even the non-PMR pains vanished, although they've come back with tapering. However I very quickly developed high blood sugar and increased ocular pressure. Also was diagnosed with low bone mass but don't really know how much of that was due to the first four months on pred before my scan. But I had no choice, without pred I had no life and was becoming rather disabled. But I changed my ways. Had always lived as healthily as I knew how, but I learned more, and upped my game regarding exercise and reducing carbs and sugar in the diet. Couldn't do anything about the eyes except hope for the best. And, indeed, as I tapered towards the 7 mg level blood sugar returned to near normal, and eye pressure close to my previous level. In the meantime I've been able to enjoy life much better. I can do up my bra at the back, and wash and brush my hair without pain, I can get out of bed without having to plan every move. Back in pre-diagnosis days I can remember being on the floor to do my usual yoga and physio exercises (with difficulty) and literally taking half an hour to get back up again. Climbing out of the bathtub became nearly as much of an adventure as getting out of bed. No one can tell me that pred, for all it's evil ways, is not better than having to live like that. We just have to learn to manage those side effects and be grateful for the ability to live an active life again, even if we aren't really up to speed when it comes to energy and stamina. It's still so much better than it was. 🐉🐉

  • I could have written that - I haven't had a bath for over 10 years as I'm too scared I won't get out again! Getting off the toilet was bad enough!

    I had to plan how I would turn over in bed - did you?

  • Haha. Yes. Of course one would wake up to do that, so one thing pred gave me was a good night's sleep!

  • Oh dear - that is exactly what the second rheumatologist did to me: a 6 week taper, 2 weeks each of 15/10/5 and stop. Within 6 hours of taking the first 15mg dose I was back to normal, within 6 hours of missing the first 5mg dose I was in bed, in tears and worse than before (or maybe it was just the contrast). Whatever - I'd been OK on the 5mg, I never got down to 5mg again until a couple of years ago.

    With a doctor with that recall and knowledge about PMR is there any chance you can see another? there must be another in the practice. And show them this paper about the management of PMR:

    It's not perfect - but it does at least emphasise the chronic nature of PMR.

    And do beware of that headache - that really does worry me as PMR can be a symptom of GCA, and so is a bad headache.

  • Thank you, that paper is really interesting and shows just what a hit and miss due to lack of knowledge PMR can be. I am waiting until the hot days have passed to see if the headaches pass. I have also spent a lot of time with two daughters, 5 grandchildren, 2 great grand children one son in law and one grandaughters partner!!! They take very good care of me when we are out but despite their loving care I find role reversal very difficult to cope with.

  • Don't ignore it if it gets worse - and most especially if you get any visual symptoms. Then you need A&E immediately, just as if you thought you had had a stroke.

  • I understand, thank you.

  • I too have been taking liquid magnesium for the last couple of months, it is called .' ReMag' it is quite expensive, however I checked all the info and reviews before I purchased. I know I feel better for it!


  • Anything that makes us feel even a little bit better has got to be worth it! Just hope there are no long term side effects to worry about, looking at some of the posts here! Got to be positive though, I'll ask my doctor if she thinks there is a problem in my case.

    Many thanks to everyone who has posted about this - it is so good to have all the various feedback information. Take care out there!

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