Posted by Dr. Angelina Alejandro on September 20, 2016
Dr. Angelina Alejandro, NMD graduated from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Dietetics from the University of Arizona. She is an expert in clinical nutrition. Through her clinic (myangelclinic.com) she guides clients to embrace whole foods and healthy eating. She recommends botanicals and nutrition to combat and prevent fatigue, disease, stress and sleeping disorders. Through her knowledge of clinical nutrition and plants she has designed ways to get the proper nutrients that create healthy, high-functioning bodies to develop a passion in life!
Must We Suffer Women? No!
It is common for women to get those monthly aches, pains, and emotional imbalances during the female cycle. I’ve learned that it does not have to be this way.
There are natural therapies that I have come across that have helped me decrease these problems significantly. Let me explain what I have discovered about magnesium and Omega-3 fish oil that helped me lessen these typical monthly symptoms.
What is Magnesium?
Let’s start with magnesium. If you didn’t know it already, magnesium is an essential mineral in over 300 enzymatic reactions in metabolism. (1)
Magnesium is the second most abundant cation in cells, after Potassium (K+). Magnesium does not float freely in the blood. Rather, it is bound to many different organic compounds in the body, such as ATP (the body’s energy source) and mitochondria (the body’s cellular power plants), to name just a few. (2)
A deficiency in magnesium can cause a variety of symptoms in men and women, such as irritability, moodiness, confusion, and muscle aches. (3) Most people don’t even realize that they may be very deficient in this very important mineral.
Why Do We Get Cramps?
A magnesium deficiency can easily make monthly cramps much more intense. Interestingly enough, magnesium plays a role in estrogen detoxification and excretion. (4) And when estrogen levels are elevated during the female cycle, your body requires more magnesium than usual to deal with the excess estrogen. (5) Without additional magnesium, you become even more deficient.
And the more deficient we are in magnesium, the more likely we are to have muscle spasms and other pains. In particular, magnesium helps relax the smooth muscle tissue of the uterus. (6) (This alone has been a wonderful discovery for me!)
Craving Chocolate? You’re Magnesium Deficient!
If you’re like me, you probably start getting those chocolate cravings during certain times of the month. Guess what -- chocolate (cocoa) is naturally high in magnesium!7 So, be aware of the warning signs, and increase your magnesium intake. And of course, that includes indulging in a few small portions of high-quality dark chocolate!
How Do Fish Oils Help?
Pain during the female cycle can also be caused by the action of inflammatory prostaglandins upon the uterus. Prostaglandins regulate contraction and relaxation of muscle tissues. Omega-3 fish oils (DHA & EPA) limit the production of prostaglandins. (6)
Magnesium taken in combination with Omega-3 fish oils has a wonderful effect on abdominal tensing, leg cramping, and head pain.
Which Magnesium Supplement Do I Take?
I started taking Jigsaw Magnesium w/SRT (sustained release technology) 4 years ago and it helped get me through those difficult times in the month, especially when I was in medical school. I specifically like that I get a dose of magnesium for 8 hours. Because of the sustained release technology there is a sustained stream of magnesium available to conquer those “female cycle blues.”
I also like that Jigsaw uses magnesium malate in their formula. Malic acid (malate) is a natural fruit acid that is present in most cells in the body and is an important component of numerous enzymes, key to ATP synthesis and energy production. (1)
What Fish Oil Do I Take?
There is a variety of different fish oils out there, but I have found that when I take Jigsaw Health’s Essential Omega-3 Fish Oil + Vitamin D3 I am decreasing the production of those inflammatory pathways. I also found that according to the Vitamin D Council, magnesium is one of the most important cofactors for Vitamin D to be more utilized in the body.
Therefore, when I take these two in combination (both of which are found in Jigsaw Basic, Jigsaw Complete, and Jigsaw Ultimate), I take care of the pathways responsible for making me feel crampy, bloaty, and uncomfortable during my female cycle. It’s that easy!
Clearly all the systems of the body are connected. And the symptoms that women typically feel during the female cycle can be minimized. It is no big secret: Give the body what it needs and it will find a way to heal itself.