Wondering if anyone could help me figure this one out:
This all started six months ago. Had this girlfriend, Russian, who was having some green card issues, and was putting me under quite a bit of pressure to get married. I have some issues with trust/intimacy which makes getting to that "let's get married" place somewhat challenging, or at least not a terribly quick process. So this caused me a decent amount of stress. At the same time, I had some cavities filled. My left bottom molar in the rear died over the course of four weeks. I was in constant pain. Taking ibuprophen and tylenol like candy. Finally had to have a root canal. Lots more pain meds and antibiotics. Right about that time I also got in trouble at work for being impatient and rude with our customers.
Then this "thing" happened. I woke up shaking terribly. Basically like someone had just scared the absolute piss out of me. But it wouldn't subside. Went to the emergency room. They tested my heart and did a basic blood panel. Found nothing. Gave me a xanax and told me to go see a psychiatrist. I went to see my primary care physician and a psychiatrist.
I described my symptoms to them both: High heart rate, fast breathing, physically and mentally very jittery, poor appetite, difficulty sleeping. The sleeping thing I think may be an important sign. I go to sleep fine (around 10pm). But every morning around 4am something happens. That is when all the symptoms intensify up to the time I get out of bed. From 4am to 6 or 7am is just super crappy sleep. Then the symptoms slowly improve over the course of the day. They don't go away, just get better. Consider a scale of going from just being scared silly at 0% to fully back to normal at 100%. On a normal day, I wake up at around 30% to 50%. By the time I go to bed, I'm around 70% to 90%. Now, if this was psychological, why would my symptoms follow such a regular time schedule? What happens every morning at 4am? I don't recall having any bad dreams. The few times I do remember a dream, it's something silly - nothing to get excited about.
My primary care doctor ran more blood tests, had a 24 hour heart study, and a 24 hour urine collection test. Didn't find anything. So he was from that point convinced it was psychological. He had basically lost any interest any pursuing any other medical explanations.
I was willing to give the psychiatrist a try. It could have been psychological. I was under a lot of stress at that time. This guy thinks absolutely everyone who crosses his path has bipolar generalized anxiety disorder. Took medical leave from work and went to this clinic daily. Tried a bunch of different drugs on me. The only thing that worked was zyprexa, but of course, it's hard to notice any symptoms when your either unconscious or zombie like. They did test my thyroid level, which was normal. I did my own research online about other causes. Looks like vitamin B and magnesium deficiency can cause these symptoms. So I started taking both. Got fired from my job, since it was apparently too small to qualify for FLMA. But I did get somewhat better ver slowly. The only medication I am still taking is 150mg lamictal nightly. Which I think does actually keep my mood fairly stable, considering...
Three months later, I found a job. Extremely low stress. Great people. Very flexible. The ex-girlfriend and I are just close friends now. So all that pressure is off me. I have basically nothing to worry about, except this crap. Like I said, my mood is decent. But the symptoms are still not going away. I am not stressed, or worrying about anything (except this, which is understandable, but not obsessively), nor do I think I am having any kind of anxiety attacks. Had a decently bad spell for a few days. I had stopped taking my vitamin B complex and magnesium. Started again, and felt better in a few days. Had another really bad spell for 5 days. That time I had only stopped taking the magnesium. I was already having loose stool and thought the magnesium would only make it worse. I made an appointment with an endocrinologist. He ran a full endocrine system blood workup. When I realized this spell started 2 days after I had stopped taking magnesium, I started again immediately. Within 3 days I felt much better. Of course, the doctor told me he found absolutely nothing. I asked him about magnesium deficiency. He said that could be. And he gave me some paperwork to get a blood serum magnesium level test.
Since then I have done quite a bit of research on magnesium and it's deficiency. Every single symptom I have is associated with magnesium deficiency. And it seems fairly coincidental that I feel worse when I don't take it, and better when I do, usually. Turns out that 99% of your body's magnesium is intracellular, not in the blood. Even read a medical journal paper about a study where a group of people with a known intracellular magnesium deficiency, the condition was NOT detected by a blood serum test for 90% of them! Holy crap. There is some new ionized something test - don't know much about that. And there is something called the "exatest" where basically the doctor takes a skin scraping from under your tongue, put it on a slide, and send it to the lab. Supposedly it is a very accurate measure of intracellular levels. The only other way I have found it to actually be treated for it, with either IV drip or intramuscular injections. As long as your kidney function is good, you are okay. The various blood test show my kidneys are fine. I have also read in a few places (such as the book, "The Magnesium Miracle"), that rebuilding your intracellular reserves through oral supplementation alone can take 6 months to 2 years. Ouch. Since most forms of oral magnesium have a laxative effect, you can only practically take so much. More recently a few companies have come out with magnesium oil. Not really oil, just a super-saturated solution of magnesium chloride in a water base. It feels oil like. Just rub it into your skin. Those same sources said this method can take 6 to 12 weeks. Not super fast, but much better. I started doing that two nights ago. One rubbing before bed, and in the morning after showering.
The first night I felt amazingly calm and relaxed. In the morning, I felt a little crappy. But by lunch time I felt terrible and went home from work to sleep for a while. Went to bed fairly early. This morning woke up feeling quite shaky. But I still rubbed in some more oil. Slept most of the day, off and on, tossing and turning. Tonight I feel not too bad. Going to try doing the foot soak in the magnesium oil tonight. I am disappointed that I don't feel better, or at least not worse. It should always have a calming effect. The worse that should happen (as long as your kidneys are working properly) is you piss out the extra magnesium. I figure one of two things is going on: 1) My body has opened up a door, meaning, it sees much more magnesium in my blood, and has started to absorb it back into my cells, thus depleting it from my blood. or 2) The magnesium is having a calming effect, and without it, I would feel much worse than I already do. Maybe just having a sudden shift in my blood chemistry taking a little adjusting to.
Is there anyone out there who has had any experience with magnesium deficiency? Either being treated for or treating someone? I would love to hear how other people have experienced this issue. Maybe I am completely on the wrong track. Do my symptoms sound like they could be something else that standard blood tests don't show? Please share any thoughts you may have.