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Adrenaline is like an unstable accelerant that gets you all revved up with no place to go! It’s not just a theory that stress causes magnesium deficiency and a lack of magnesium magnifies stress. Experiments, where adrenaline is given intravenously, show that it decreases magnesium as well as calcium, potassium, and sodium. This proves that when you are in a revved-up state and burning adrenaline, you are also burning off magnesium.
There are more than a dozen major metabolic processes that are affected by bursts of adrenaline, including heart rate, blood pressure, blood vessel constriction, and contraction of all muscles, including the heart. Each of these functions requires magnesium to bring them back into balance.
When the adrenals are stimulated to release adrenaline on a constant basis, due to long-term stress, they can become depleted and the release of adrenaline can become erratic. Some alternative medicine practitioners call this adrenal fatigue. However, according to allopathic medicine, the adrenals are either working just fine or collapsed, a condition called Addison’s disease, which is treated with prednisone; there is no in-between place and no in-between treatment.
According to Hans Selye, the Canadian doctor famous for his work on stress, magnesium is depleted when the body shifts from a short-term fight-or-flight reaction to a chronic stress reaction. The adrenal glands produce stress hormones.
One is norepinephrine, which acts like adrenaline and is more a short-term stress hormone. Another is cortisol, a steroid hormone in the glucocorticoid class of hormones. Humans produce it in the middle or zona fasciculata of the adrenal cortex within the adrenal gland. It is released in response to chronic stress and low blood sugar. Elevated cortisol is an indication of chronic stress. Production of both norepinephrine and cortisol cause depletion of magnesium and both can be active at the same time.
Millions of people try unsuccessfully to cope with stress by taking pharmaceuticals or through addictive behaviors such as overeating, cigarette smoking, alcohol abuse, or use of street drugs, among others. We are a nation suffering a 32 percent incidence of stress-related anxiety, depression, and drug problems. Instead of treating stress reactions properly with magnesium, each year millions of people are introduced to the merry-go-round of psychiatric drugs and psychological counseling for symptoms that may, in fact, be rooted in magnesium deficiency.