Academic facilities across the United States are racing to identify biomarkers and ease the diagnosis of disease. In April 2019, the Stanford University School of Medicine released news that they had successfully created a blood test to flag chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), which up until now lacked a reliable diagnostic test. (1) Multiple sclerosis (MS), a disease that poses similar diagnostic challenges, is also being closely examined for new biomarkers and lab tests by researchers at Purdue University, Indiana University, and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. (2, 3)
Obviously, a cure to these illnesses would be welcome news for many people, but the tie between diagnosis and treatment of disease is closer than you may think. Researchers can expose the blood of patients with CFS or MS to various medications or treatments and observe how the disease’s biomarkers, or biological indicators, change. A drop or improvement of a CFS or MS biological indicator with exposure to new drugs could offer new hope to people living with these diseases in the future. Additionally, biomarkers offer CFS and MS patients faster and earlier access to appropriate care, treatment, and support. When living with a difficult illness, like CFS and MS, having time on your side is of huge benefit! (1)
CFS and MS are diseases that present and impact patient’s in mysterious ways. For CFS, diagnoses have been a longstanding challenge. (1) Patients with CFS experience numerous symptoms, fatigue only being the most notable, which makes the work of healthcare professionals more difficult during diagnosis. (4) Likewise, MS mimics and presents like other diseases. For example, MS may appear like or as apart of Bell’s Palsy, vertigo, seizure disorders, and erectile dysfunction. With symptoms commonly appearing and disappearing during MS development, patients regularly experience this disease for years without a diagnosis. (5) Overall, misdiagnosis, incorrect treatment, and little validation of illness from healthcare professionals is typical among CFS and MS patients. (1, 5)
With no known cure, CFS and MS treatment is focused on symptom relief. (4, 5) With CFS, treatment of depression (medication for depression, sleep, or pain), working with a counselor, and gradual intensity exercise is of benefit. (4) There are more disease-modifying medications available for MS than CFS, but lifestyle changes can also benefit MS patients. (5)
Researchers will likely test countless drugs and treatments for benefit against the biomarkers of CFS and MS in the years to come. Based on past research, magnesium will no doubt make the list.
Some people believe deficiencies of minerals, vitamins, and nutrients, including magnesium, is the root of CFS and MS. As well, magnesium deficiency is common among CFS and MS patients (45-50% of CFS patients have a magnesium deficiency). Certainly, more research and testing of magnesium upon CFS and MS is needed, but CFS and MS patients with a magnesium deficiency have definitely seen symptom improvement, especially a reduction in fatigue, with supplementation. (6,7) Long term use of magnesium supplementation may also more effectively relieve CFS symptoms. (6) For those not wanting to add more pills to their life, a topical magnesium treatment may be the easiest way to up your magnesium intake.
Magnesium plays a complex role in the human body, assisting chemical reactions, reducing inflammation, and producing healthy red blood cells. Similarly, CFS and MS create illness across a variety of biological systems in the body. Now that CFS and MS are being better understood through biomarkers, more applications of magnesium as treatment may too be uncovered! (7)
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I don’t often align myself with products but this is one that I just had to share! My name is Michelle Toole and I am the founder of Healthy-Holistic-Living.com.
Some of you may already know, years ago, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.
I can still recall what it felt like to have my life change overnight…
I went from an Executive Director of a non-profit organization, running marathons, rock climbing, hiking canyons and kayaking to being completely bedridden and staring at a wall for 15 hours a day.
I’d pretty much turned-over every rock trying to find relief for my pain, sleep issues and a myriad of other symptoms…
Fast-forward 18 years.
I was determined to climb one of the true wonders of the natural world, Machu Picchu, the mystical home of the Incas in Peru.
It was there, after a grueling day when my feet, knees, legs, and lower back hurt so bad, that I thought I would have to abandon hopes of our next climb which was Rainbow Mountain! That night I pulled out a little spray bottle of “aceite de magnesio” that a friend had given me before I left on my trip.
What the heck, I thought. I was desperate. And I applied it all over my body before bed.
Because of the grueling day, I woke up expecting to be immobilized, but instead we were off to climb Rainbow Mountain and…I was totally pain-free!
I know it sounds impossible, but it’s 1000% the truth.