Can Magnesium be a Natural Alternative?
One thing that has stuck out as interesting to me about the Magnesium business is that it's considered “all natural”. From the magnesium salt to the ingredients that make up the smell, there is not a lot of complexity in the formula. The products are simple to the point of almost being deceiving, lacking adornment while logic keeps telling you that this CAN'T be the answer to your chronic knee pain or high blood pressure. It's just too little of something to be a big anything. I think a little of this comes from the conditioning that pharmaceutical products are somehow superior to natural remedies. But effectiveness of each aside, pharmaceutical drugs has had a long track record of abuse and addiction. Can something like magnesium really be an alternative to prescription medication?
Medication and Pain
It's important to understand the reason for prescribed medication. For the sake of time, we will stick to one common ailment that is commonly medicated: pain. The Institute of Medicine of the National Academies reports that 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain complications. According to the American Academy of Pain Medicine, 45% of Americans who claimed disability did do due to lower-back pain, and also stating that 20% of Americans have their sleep disrupted a few times each week due to pain. Like it or not, pain seems to be pretty prevalent in our culture, which begs the question, “What is the best approach to dealing with pain?”. Well that's where it gets a little fuzzy. The American Academy of Pain Medicine says that of the Americans who visit their family doctor for pain, 58% stated that the prescription medications were fairly effective. So your odds are a little better than half for effectiveness, but some would argue that these pain relievers treat only the symptoms of the problems and not the actual cause, therefore never truly addressing the problem. Abuse of pharmaceutical drugs is also the #3 health issue in America according to the National Council of Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, beating out cocain, heroin, and methamphetamine addiction.
Natural remedies have become a recently recognized and viable alternative to this practice. In my last entry, Delicious Sources of Magnesium,we discovered that magnesium naturally does A LOT in terms of how important it is to your well being. The idea is to fight ailments with natural elements that your body naturally works with. Magnesium, for example, is helpful when dealing with muscle pain because that's one thing magnesium does naturally in the body; it helps relax muscles. Jacob Teitelbaum, MD of doctoroz.com says that tests even show a correlation between efficient magnesium levels and lower neurological pain.
Try Magnesium Yourself
In the end, the decision is yours. Yes, issues need to be addressed about the health and safety of prescription medication use, but it's a part of our everyday life. Parting with it just seems so permanent and scary. On the other hand, natural products almost sound too good to be true, and like most natural remedies they are not FDA approved. Either way it always seems that you're taking a risk. But being a newly converted magnesium believer, I'd suggest you take that plunge: It's cheap, it's available in health food stores, and could be the simplicity that you need to start feeling better. And magnesium isn't the only natural option out there so feel free to check out this link for more natural alternatives to prescription drugs.