Why Magnesium Is Essential

A whopping 80% of Americans are believed to be magnesium deficient but what is it, and why magnesium is essential?  Calcium was considered to be the most important element in our bodies, second to air (oxygen, nitrogen and hydrogen).  Only in recent years, the medical industry is understanding how important the element magnesium is, labeled ‘macro mineral’, which the body requires in order to function to its maximum capabilities.  Magnesium helps turn the food into energy, keeping muscles, heart and nervous system all in check, while also maintaining bone strength and improving the immune system.


Benefits Of Magnesium

Today’s society is experiencing a decline of magnesium in the body due to present lifestyle influences like diet, environment, and certain medicines.  Many don’t recognize they are deficient blaming the symptoms on stress, fatigue or anxiety.  The assistance of magnesium in the body is essential for the following reasons:

  • Regulates insulin levels and the response of sugar in the body
  • Magnesium paired with zinc, copper and vitamin D all help strengthen bone density, assisting keeping osteoporosis at bay.
  • Helps keep the heart rhythm regular and guards the heart from muscle stress caused by sickness, constipation or indigestion.
  • Reduces lactic acid which causes pain after exercising.
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Assists with energy


Are You Lacking?

There are a number of symptoms that may suggest a lack of magnesium including:

  • sleep problems
  • Migraines
  • Mood swings
  • Fatigue
  • Skin problems
  • Constipation
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Food cravings

There are several indicators, and in these cases, visiting a doctor is advised.  They include, extreme thirst and hunger, frequent urination, dry skin, blurry vision and tingling in hands and feet as well as muscle spasms.


Magnesium In Food

If the symptoms are not severe, promoting magnesium naturally, by consuming certain foods, will help with the milder symptoms.

Some of these foods include:

  • Green leafy vegetables like spinach or Kale
  • Fish
  • Meat
  • Dairy foods
  • Nuts
  • Whole grain bread
  • Brown rice
  • Avocado
  • Beans
  • Dark chocolate

Taking an oral magnesium supplement may also help a magnesium deficiency, but it can have side effects on the stomach and may not be recommended for someone with a digestive issue like IBS or acid reflux.  There is an alternative that comes in a cream form (magnesium chloride cream), and this bypasses the digestive tract and enters the blood stream more directly.  In a recent study scientists have suggested that people with higher than average blood pressure may be magnesium deficient and will benefit from this cream.


Blood Tests

Making sure enough magnesium is present is imperative, but if any symptoms suggest a deficiency, then enhance the leafy greens and visit a doctor for further advice.  A doctor can give a blood test to see if a lack of magnesium is obvious.  It is important to remember that unless a severe deficiency exists, a serum blood test may not recognize the shortage of magnesium.  A RBC test is thought to be more precise, checking magnesium levels in your red blood cells.  The third test is an ionized test which uses a machine that isolates the magnesium ions.  This is the most accurate test, allowing doctors to get a truthful reading of magnesium levels.  The last test is a EXA test, which is basically a cheek swab using tissue gathered from the mouth.

So whether leg cramps, migraines, cravings, insomnia or heart irregularity, take magnesium seriously as there is one thing for certain, it’s a critical macro mineral we can’t live without.



Dr. Mark Sircus.  Why 80% of us Are Deficient in Magnesium

Magnesium Deficiency in Multiple Sclerosis

Magnesium rich food

Caring For A Parent With Dementia

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the number of people affected by dementia in the USA is on the rise, with over 6 million suffering with some form of the disease.  Dementia is a deterioration in mental capability, with 60-80 percent of these cases being Alzheimer’s and the second most common being vascular dementia, which can appear after a stroke.  Damage to the brain cells, which often happens with age, disrupts the cells interacting with each other and causes many debilitating symptoms.  What happens when a parent starts to show these signs and what can their child actively do to help them?



  • Forgetfulness and memory issues can happen to all of us and may be due to many reasons. Vitamin deficiency, depression, stress or thyroid.  When a parent forgets recently learned information, important dates or repeats a question a few times, this maybe a sign of dementia.
  • Lack of concentration. An inability to complete a simple task due to a wandering mind.
  • Logic and decision. An incoherency in logical thought pattern and the lack of decisive decisions.
  • Confusion with time and place. Trouble understanding the present and the future.
  • Fear and suspicion.
  • Repeating and sometimes forgetting words to use.
  • Changes in mood and personality. People with Alzheimer’s can become easily confused, anxious, depressed and even aggressive.
  • Not wanting to socialize. The early onset of dementia can be recognized by the sufferer, causing them to retract from social interaction or hobbies.


Caring For A Parent With Dementia


Once recognizing the signs, make sure the parent sees a doctor as soon as possible, in order to try and minimize the brain cell damage and provide drugs or therapy to help with memory loss and symptoms of confusion.  The  Alzheimer’s Association is in the process of researching and diagnozing symptoms before they fully develop, in the hope they may stop the disease before brain damage and mental capacity declines.




Dementia can be challenging, not only for the sufferer, but their family too. If possible, relatives should discuss living options with the patient, before the disease progresses to the stage where they don’t understand what is being said to them.  Many dementia suffers stay at home for the first years of the disease, but it is essential that the following care is considered, depending on finances and development stage:

  • Home care. There are many options for home care from domestic work, nursing healthcare, and agencies that specialize in dementia care.
  • Respite care. If relatives are taking care of the family relation, it is important that they have periodic relief from being the sole care giver.  Most care agencies offer a respite service.
  • Assisted Living. Ideal for patients who require help preparing meals, bathing and dressing but do not need any special medical needs.  They live in their own apartment or share a residence, which gives a feeling of independence.
  • Dementia special care. Special dementia care units are often found in residential care homes.  With staff who are especially trained for the requirements of a dementia or Alzheimer’s sufferer.




Staying at home maybe a feasible option for the first stage of dementia, but it is crucial to have certain safety measures in place, so the family member is protected and the caregiver has piece of mind.

Particular attention should be spent of securing certain areas of the home:

  • Consider taking knobs off the stove.  Appliances should have an automatic switch off feature and be away from any water sources.  Remove sharp knives.
  • Remove any hazardous chemicals and keep tools locked away.
  • Make sure chemicals are locked away.  Have safety bars installed so that the parent can lift themselves with ease.
  • Fire alarm/carbon monoxide detectors. Make sure all safety devices are inspected on a regular basis.
  • Keep the home well lit. Use natural light were possible avoiding florescent light which may aggravate dementia sufferers.




When a parent is in the early stages of dementia they are likely to feel scared, stressed and worried. Creating a regular routine will help them feel more secure in their home.  Encourage them and try not to be critical or frustrated with their behavior.  This is difficult at times, when the caregiver maybe tired and anxious too.  Giving small responsibilities in the early stages, for example polishing the furniture or laying the dinner table, will create self worth.  There are a number of devices to help a parent, especially in the onset of dementia.

  • Memory aids. Pictures used around the house to identify where things are kept.  An example of this would be a picture of mugs on a kitchen cupboard.
  • Hobbies. Going for small regular walks, food shopping, having family and friends visit are a few suggestions to keep active and engaged.
  • Diet and exercise is very important for dementia sufferers. The longer they have mobility and nutrition the better quality of life they will have.  A recent study from the AHA Stroke Journals states chances of suffering a stroke or getting dementia increases three times if an individual drinks soda everyday.
  • Schedule regular medical visits.
  • Join a support group.  It is important for the caregiver to have support too.  Depression in caregivers who look after dementia sufferers is very common so this is imperative.
  • Plan for the future. Know your options of living arrangements for when the disease progresses.
  • Simplify directions by sticking to one instruction, allowing time for response.
  • Avoid confrontation or disagreement. Dementia affects rationality and logic.
  • Paper work. Sorting parent’s financial affairs is important.  If possible, arrange power of attorney before the dementia has progressed.  Each state is different in terms of laws. Contact the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys for further information.




Louis Theroux Extreme Love Dementia

AHA Stroke Journal

 CBS News Lowering risk of dementia



Some Things to Know About Drug Abuse in Teenagers

Teenage years are extremely formative years. They definitely have a significant impact on an individual’s personality. However, there are also a number of biological and physical changes taking place in the body, which affect decision-making. Unfortunately, because of this (and other factors), we are seeing an increase in drug abuse in teenagers.

We Don’t Know Them; They Don’t Know Themselves

Being a teenager can be a precarious time. Aside from biological shifts, there are huge social challenges. Kids at that age are in the throes of figuring out who they are. With that, it’s almost impossible as parent to know who they are. There are constant changes. 

Teens often make decisions based on emotions. And, rational thinking is not quite their forte. Many of their decisions can be related to “not thinking”. Or, they are swayed by peers, society, or impulsive or, sometimes, self-destructive behavior. As parents, it’s truly a challenge for us to foresee our teens’ next choice. That’s why it’s especially important for adults to remain as “connected” to their youngster as possible. Check out some helpful parenting tips HERE.

Education for Prevention and Assistance

Parents and teens alike should learn about the dangers of drug abuse in teenagers. Additionally, a parent’s participation (and being a good role model) in their child’s life can help to prevent substance abuse. However, sometimes no matter what anyone does, the teen may fall prey to addiction.

If you feel your child may be using or abusing drugs, here are some associated signs and behaviors:

Signs of Drug Abuse

1.    Physical Changes

Some of the physical changes that occur when a teen becomes addicted to drugs are:

  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Regular nosebleeds
  • Dizziness
  • Excessive Fatigue
  • Pupils that are widely dilated
  • Frequent Tremors and/or Shakes

2.    Behavioral Changes

There are certain changes that you will witness in your teenage child’s behavior if they are involved in drug abuse. If your teen is showing more outbursts and is continuously engaging in harmful activities, there is a need to keep a check on their regular routine.

3.    Personality Changes

Being moody is not the only personality change that teens go through as a result of drug use. You may also find your child to be less sympathetic towards others or witness a trend of poor results in school.

Effects of Drug Abuse

As mentioned earlier, if an adolescent develops a habit of drug abuse at this stage, they are more likely to turn into drug addicts during adulthood. Moreover, there are many other dangerous linked effects. These include: poor decision-making, greater susceptibility to developing diseases caused by needles, and emotional and mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia. Thus, it is vital for parents to play an important role in their teen’s life during this time.


If parents play an active role in their child’s life during this time, they can help protect them from making further bad decisions. In his book, “The Teen Formula”, Dr. Dave Campbell provides parents with a guide that they can use to protect their teenagers from becoming victims of substance abuse. Many parents have reported seeing results within 30 days. 

In Conclusion…

The brain is still developing during an individual’s teenage years. This is why teens are drawn to drugs. But, it’s also one reason why the young brain can be harmed. And unfortunately, substance abuse amongst this age group is fairly common. Most noteworthy, a majority of substance abuse problems begin at this juncture.

Hence, it is extremely important for parents to keep a close eye on their child’s behavior and activities during this phase of their life. By incorporating positive parenting, adults can counsel their children, as well as be avid listeners. Hopefully, parents can prove to be a source of constant support. We can only do our best, so let’s do our best!

For more articles about parenting and teens, check out GetThrive.com

Running from Cancer, Did You Know that you can Significantly Reduce Your Risk of Getting 13 Types of Cancer?

Are you getting at least an hour each day of physical activity? How about 30 minutes of moderate-level activity five days a week? Or at least 20 minutes of intense workout three days a week? If yes, congratulations! If no, then you are not meeting the recommended minimum weekly exercise requirements—just like more than half of the American population.

Exercise boasts results such as: mood improvement, weight loss, hormone balancing, increased metabolism, clear skin, lower blood pressure, and the positive list goes on. But now, researchers have discovered that the more often you exercise, the less likely you are to develop 13 different types of cancer.

The National Cancer Institute conducted a study over the course of approximately 11 years. Researchers focused on 1.4 million participants, how much they exercised, and whether they had been stricken with some form of cancer over the duration of the study.

JAMA Internal Medicine recently published the findings: over 186,000 cases of 26 different types of cancer had evolved. Here’s the good news—the people who exercised more frequently had a lower risk of getting 13 of those recorded cancers from the study.

The greatest reduction of risk (in those who worked out a good amount of time and with moderate intensity) was in esophageal cancer. A person who exercises regularly has a 42% less chance of getting it than someone who doesn’t exercise enough.

Other types of cancer where the risk was lessened was: liver, lung, kidney, colon, bladder, and seven others—including breast cancer, which had a 10% reduction risk.

The study also concluded that even taking yoga classes or walking quickly counted as forms of exercise. As mentioned, the researchers remained focused on physical activity as a possible deterrent to certain forms of cancer. Whether the participants smoked, drank, or engaged in unhealthy eating habits were not factors regarded in this particular trial.

The Centers for Disease Control want to remind the public that although 150 minutes of exercise per week may sound like a lot, it’s closely equivalent to the amount of time spent watching a movie or an evening of television. And, the upside is that workout time can be spread throughout the week (as long as some vigorous movement occurs at least three times or more.) Move with energy, stay healthy.


7 Quick Fixes to Boost Your Mood

On any given day, you may feel out-of-sorts, under-the weather, or plain bummed out. Feeling low is natural at times, but staying stuck in a blah mood can affect your psychological health as well as your physical health. If you want to feel better, here are 7 ways you can quick-fix your mood into a more joyful and positive place.

1) Dance

You don’t have to go to a nightclub or a wedding. You can dance anywhere, anytime, and definitely in the privacy of your own home! Research has shown that dancing (even if it’s doing the hokey pokey, the Macarena, or making up your own moves) can improve your mental health and boost your mood. If you break a sweat, great! If you just get your groove on by moving your body to some music, alone or with others, you’re sure to feel better inside and out.

2) Color

A recent study published in the journal Art Therapy revealed that coloring (for children and adults) improved mood and reduced anxiety. Painting has also been found to boost symptoms of depression. Grab some supplies, and paper or a canvas (or even a wall!) and create a happy masterpiece.

3) Go Media-Free

According to an article in JMIR Mental Health, social media may make your low-mood lower. Step back from checking your devices for an hour or more and see how that feels. Also, if you’re a News junkie, give yourself a break from reading or hearing about the woes in the world. Replace screen time with a phone call, a visit, a walk, listening to music, painting, dancing, even cleaning the house.

4) Get Green

Recycling is great, but you can also get your mind and body into green for a quick mood boost. Take a walk in nature. In fact, studies show that you don’t even have to necessarily leave your home or office to feel the effects of greenery. You can look at views out a window, stare at a painting, or visit with a houseplant. Nature loves you.

5) Make a Happy Face

Smiling has been shown to make you feel happy. According to Psychology Today, “Your brain actually pays attention to what your body is doing, and it affects your emotions.” So even if you’re not feeling your peppiest (or don’t necessarily feel like smiling), just move your facial muscles into the position; you’ll be amazed at how it can improve your mood. Even better, think of something that makes you laugh. Easy, peasy, happier heart.

6) Think “Thank You”

It’s no secret that an attitude of gratitude can boost your mood quickly and deeply. But sometimes we get stumped on what to be thankful for if we’re really in the dumps. Great news: You can choose the simplest of things! You can be grateful for the ability to take a walk, to see a beautiful flower, or to be able to read. Each time you practice gratitude, it becomes a greater part of your everyday behavior. Thinking “thank you” can truly improve your mood.

7) Get Clean

Taking a bath or shower can revitalize you and improve your mental and physical wellbeing. You can take the time to pamper yourself, or you can take a brief cold shower. Studies have revealed that a brisk shower can jolt the brain into alleviating symptoms of depression. Water can detoxify your body and mind, and adjusting your water to different temperatures can improve your mood and your energy level.

All of the above tips are easy to try and won’t cost you a penny! Distract yourself with beauty, creativity, and joy, and you are sure to turn that frown into a smile—if not for a minute, perhaps the whole day! For many other helpful tidbits on optimum mental health, check out GetThrive’s archive of articles.







Which Drunk Are You?

According to research based on a study of 374 undergraduate students, there are four different types of drunks. They categorize as: Hemingway, Mary Poppins, Nutty Professor, or Mr. (Ms.) Hyde.

Three Sheets to the Wind

The “Hemingway” group, which comprised almost half the drinkers, were drunks who could handle their alcohol. They didn’t become too unorganized, didn’t start fights, and didn’t change character invariably-just like Ernest Hemingway.

Jeckyl or Hyde?

Almost 25% of the group had personality changes, mostly hostile and less responsible. These Hydes were actually half of the women and half of the men.

Up, Up, and Away

Fifteen percent were Mary Poppins, sweet as sugar when getting drunk, and another 12% were Nutty Professors getting goofier and more extroverted.

Besides the kitschy names, the study was conducted to see if addiction and recovery methods might vary and be more helpful depending on the drunk group to which you belong.


Are Both Mental and Physical Health Crucial to Success?

Does success mean merely reaching a goal, or does it including maintaining it? When our lives and work are thriving, that may be a more specific definition to the term “success.” If so, then, certainly, in order to attain and maintain success, both physical and mental health are crucial.

One Without the Other

Here are the real questions: Can we be physically healthy if our mental state is unhealthy? Alternately, can we be mentally healthy if our physical state is unhealthy? Not really.

So, the reality is—in order to be successful, it is crucial that both our bodies and minds get in healthy shape. Mental and physical health support and compliment one another; they work hand-in-hand.

And, unfortunately, your best health and opportunity for success decreases when one or both are lacking.

Paving the Path to Success

Let’s first explore the theory that optimum mental health cannot exist without proper physical health—and vice versa. If we can observe this as a proven hypothesis, then we can better understand that both are necessary for success. Here are some examples:

Lack of proper sleep definitely affects your body. You’re slower moving around, have less coordination, and you’re immune system can become weakened. But losing sleep affects your mental state, too.

Not getting enough rest can create mood swings, anxiety, depression, confusion, and memory lapses. According to Harvard Health Publications, chronic sleep issues may even increase risk for developing particular mental illnesses. This doesn’t sound like a recipe for success.

A poor diet can affect physical health in many ways. It can increase risk of:

  • tooth decay
  • obesity
  • high cholesterol
  • heart disease
  • some cancers
  • and a host of other negative conditions

On the flip side, not eating properly can also affect your mental state. Almost 95% of our serotonin is produced in our gastrointestinal tract. Serotonin is our “feel good” neurotransmitter. It’s constantly sending signals to our brain. We need healthy intake if we expect healthy mind-messengers.

Other mental consequences to malnutrition are: brain fatigue, general cognitive function, hypersensitivity, carelessness, and many other symptoms and behaviors that are not conducive to a status of success.

Lack of physical exercise, as we already know, has adverse effects on the body. Little or no physical activity affects blood sugar levels, muscles, joints, bones, the heart, and other organs. Weight control is deterred when we don’t exercise, which can lead to additional health concerns.

The mind can also be affected by not participating in physical movement. Anxiety, depression, and lack of motivation may be symptoms of not getting any (or enough) exercise. Low self-esteem may also be a side effect. If success is what you’re seeking, ignoring your body and mind’s need for exercise may not be a well thought-out plan.

Taking the Success Path

Now that we’ve established what can hinder your route to success, let’s, instead, take a look at the positive ways to approach your goals. Since both your physical and mental health are crucial (as we’ve also established), practicing skills that will improve both aspects will be to your advantage.

The great news is when you feed and treat your body with good things, your mind reaps the benefits, too. So, perhaps focusing on indulging in factors beneficial to your physical being may be a smart way to improve your mental state and wellbeing. After all, you’ll need both in good shape to experience success.

Exercise as a Priority for Success

If exercise is not part of your routine, the idea of making it a priority may be horrifying. Please trust that it’s not as scary as it sounds. Exercise can be walking, biking, hiking, gardening, having sex, swimming, dancing, and a multitude of other activities that get your body moving.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) published a postgraduate physicians’ academic paper outlining the benefits of exercise (of any kind). Here are some of their entries from a compilation of research and studies:

  • Reduced stress
  • Increased energy and stamina
  • Great self-esteem
  • Improvement in mood
  • Improved sleep
  • Increased interest in sex
  • Increased mental alertness
  • Reduced fatigue
  • Weight Reduction
  • Improved cardiovascular fitness
  • Lower cholesterol

It appears that exercise covers a tremendous part of getting your physical and mental states in success-rendering shape. If you add smart, healthy eating and consistent proper rest to this mixture, it looks as if you’ll have a solid recipe for reaching your goals and maintaining them.

GetThrive.com has wealth of information that may help you in all areas on your path to success. If you like what you see, sign up for the newsletter and get up-to-date tips sent to your email weekly!











Study Finds New Way to Beat Postpartum Depression

After giving birth, many women suffer from depression; it’s a very real, scary, and, unfortunately, common condition. A new study reveals that “mindfulness” training and classes during pregnancy reduce symptoms of postpartum depression. It may sound hokey, but there are a few reasons why this method may be substantiated.

During Labor

Research, last year, out of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center revealed that reduced pain during labor is linked to reduced risk for postpartum depression. Women who had opted for an epidural had a lesser chance of becoming depressed after giving birth.

That study wasn’t necessarily suggesting women have an epidural. The findings showed, however, that those who experienced less pain during delivery felt better afterwards.

This year’s study at the University of Wisconsin discovered similar results. Their research, however, focused on mindfulness. The researchers noted that the women who had taken mindfulness training classes before giving birth had fewer postpartum symptoms than women who took a standard childbirth course.

How Does it Work?

The experts involved in both studies speculated on why either meds or mindfulness kept fewer women from becoming depressed after delivery. One theory is that pain creates inflammation, and inflammation in the body can lead to feelings of depression. So, with relieved pain comes a lesser chance of inflammation.

Another thought was the fear factor. Many women are scared of childbirth. In fact, those participants in the study who took a “regular” childbirth class left with their fears even more heightened.Those deep feelings of anxiety (and perhaps for a prolonged time) could lead to postpartum depression. The study out of Wisconsin revealed that women who trained in and practiced mindfulness had reduced fear; hence, their risk of depression was also reduced.

The ability to cope with childbirth was greater for the women with mindfulness skills. Additionally, during those first few months after delivering, they experienced overall better mental health. They were better able to adjust to “mothering” as well.

Postpartum Condition

One in eight women are affected with depression after giving birth, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Symptoms of postpartum depression may include:

  • Excessive crying
  • Severe mood swings
  • Overwhelming tiredness
  • Anxiety
  • Feelings of inadequacy
  • Trouble bonding with baby
  • Withdrawing from friends and family
  • Reduced interest in doing what you formerly enjoyed
  • Perceiving that there’s no support
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

Following a healthy, daily routine can help minimize some of the more negative feelings. New mothers need to rest. Eating a nutritious diet and getting fresh air and exercise are also paramount to an improved state of mental health. Letting others help after the baby is born is a sign of strength.

If you fear you are suffering from postpartum depression, don’t hesitate to reach out to your doctor, friend, or relative for guidance and support. And, of course, if you are having thoughts or harming yourself or your baby, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.

If you are an expectant mother, it may be a helpful idea to take a mindfulness course. Another discovery made in the recent study was that fewer women opted for opioid-based medication during labor. They were better able to manage the pain. All of these options, of course, are highly personal. You and your loved ones will, no doubt, make decisions that best fit your specific needs.