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Magnesium is quite the buzzword—and for a good reason. This naturally abundant mineral in both our bodies and on our planet is full of health benefits. We usually get magnesium from our diet, but another excellent way to absorb magnesium is through our skin. For people with muscle aches and pains from hypothyroidism, magnesium oil may be a great way to soothe troublesome spots and increase your magnesium levels within your body.
The thyroid is the butterfly-shaped gland at the base of your neck that produces hormones that regulate your metabolic rate. When your thyroid hormone production drops, your body processes slow down and change, affecting essentially every system in your body.
Common symptoms of hypothyroidism include:
- Increased sensitivity to cold
- Dry skin
- Weight gain
- Puffy face
- Muscle weakness
- Elevated blood cholesterol level
- Muscle aches, tenderness, and stiffness
- Pain, stiffness, or swelling in your joints
- Heavy or irregular menstrual periods
- Thinning hair
- Slowed heart rate
- Impaired memory
Muscle aches are common in people with hypothyroidism. There is still some mystery as to why low thyroid hormone levels cause muscle aches and weakness. Current understanding suggests that a deficiency in the thyroid hormone thyroxine (T4) can lead to muscle atrophy in select muscle fibers. This deficiency may also cause inflammation due to an accumulation of glycosaminoglycans.
Muscle aches, pains, or weakness can make it hard to exercise. It can even make your daily activities difficult, like keeping up your house, walking the dog, and performing at work. A hindrance to your physical activity can exacerbate other common hypothyroid symptoms, including fatigue and lethargy, joint pain, depression and sadness, and constipation.
If you're worried about your muscle aches or other symptoms, consider taking an at-home thyroid blood test kit. Many labs only look at thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). Still, it's also helpful to measure free triiodothyronine (fT3), free thyroxine (fT4), and TPO antibodies to understand the big picture of what's happening with your thyroid function and where specifically to make improvements.
Should your test results indicate that your thyroid is underactive, thyroid medication is usually the first step in reducing symptoms.
Still, sometimes you need to tap into other solutions for relief. Natural remedies are often preferable over pharmaceutical pain relief, especially when you start to figure out what offers relief.
Magnesium is an essential nutrient that performs multiple functions in our bodies, including:
- Protein, DNA, and bone formation
- Balancing blood sugar levels
- Regulating nerve and muscle function
- Optimizing cardiovascular function, including blood pressure levels
- Supporting a healthy pregnancy and breastfeeding
Magnesium is partially responsible for over 300 enzymatic reactions in our bodies. Indeed, it is essential for the optimal functioning of every body system.
Magnesium is in green leafy vegetables like spinach, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. Generally speaking, foods containing dietary fiber provide magnesium. Tap, mineral, and bottled waters can also be magnesium sources, but the amount varies by source and brand.
You can also take magnesium in a supplemental form, such as in a pill or capsule.
The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of magnesium is 400 mg for adult men and 310 mg for women ages 19 to 30. People over the age of 31 are recommended 420 mg daily for men and 320 mg for women. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding between the ages of 14 to 18 should take 400 mg or 360 mg, respectively. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding between the ages of 19 to 30 should take 350 mg or 310 mg, respectively. And women who are pregnant or breastfeeding between the ages of 31 to 50 should take 360 mg or 320 mg, respectively.
Many people also apply magnesium oil to their skin.
Most of the available research on magnesium focuses on dietary sources or magnesium supplementation. Thus, there is very little research on how effective magnesium oil is when absorbed through the skin.
However, in a smaller study on fibromyalgia (a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain), topical magnesium chloride offers pain relief when applied to the upper and lower limbs. The body stores magnesium in the bones and muscles. Still, people with fibromyalgia may be deficient in magnesium, which may be why they experience these pains. The same may be true of people with other health conditions like hypothyroidism. However, no research currently supports this.
Nonetheless, anecdotal evidence suggests that magnesium oil has tremendous health benefits, especially pain relief. Does this mean it will cure your hypothyroid muscle aches? Not necessarily, but it may be worth a try.
Magnesium oil is not technically an oil but a solution. It gets that name because it sometimes feels like an oil when it comes in contact with your skin.
Most people spray magnesium oil onto their skin and allow it to absorb without rubbing it in. However, some people will bathe in it or even soak in Epsom salt baths (magnesium sulfate). You can find magnesium oils online, but it is also relatively simple to make on your own at home.
- 1/3 cup of magnesium chloride flakes
- 2/3 cups distilled water
- A glass measuring cup
- A glass spray bottle
- Boil the distilled water. Using distilled water is essential because it prolongs the shelf life of the mixture.
- Add the magnesium flakes into your glass measuring cup and pour the boiled water over it. Stir together until the flakes completely dissolve.
- Allow the solution to completely cool before using it the first time. Keep it stored at room temperature out of sunlight for up to six months.
For first-time use, test a small area on your arm first before spraying all over your body. Wait about 48 hours before applying all over the rest of your body. By testing, you can see if you react to the spray with a skin rash. After you have tested your spray for any adverse reactions, you can start using it on other areas of your body.
For regular use, spray directly on your skin and allow it to absorb. Where you spray and how much you use is up to your discretion.