Tuesday, January 31, 2012

French Health Issues


It seems to me the extra added boost of vitamin B6 might make a  huge difference in the results.
Years ago I discovered the French seem to have an addiction to magnesium. Magazine articles, bottles strategically displayed in pharmacies, television ads and often in conversation, the merits of the mineral are exalted for their rejuvenating properties. A French doctor and nutritionist, Kathy Bonan, even managed to get a publisher to buy an entire book on the subject, Les Secrets de la Force du Magnesium.

Magnesium and miracle both start with the letter "m" which, by my estimation, if the little white capsules  truly do what they're touted to do, they must certainly be some kind of miracle. Supposedly we can count on a month-long "cure" (we're big on extended cures over here) to alleviate fatigue, cramps of any sort, joint pain, anxiety, irritability and a general baisse de moral (the blues or the blahs if you will).

Obviously, I had to get some. I've self-diagnosed myself with anxiety and a very mild case of the blahs. So, yesterday I headed out to our local pharmacy to buy a miracle in a bottle. This is how the conversation transpired with my friend and pharmacist, Christine.

I took the first capsule last night. I'll be back to you with a report on the new, improved me after my month-long cure.
Moi: I would like some magnesium please.

Christine: Why?

M: Because I read in Elle it's the ultimate legal "drug" that promises energy, calm, bliss, etc.

C: That's nonsense. You don't need it.

M: Of course I do.

C: No you don't.

M: Well, let's just say I want it. I'm a believer. Is it dangerous?

C: No, it's not dangerous, but you could eat 20 unsalted almonds and a couple of squares of dark chocolate and voila, all the magnesium you need.

M: There are calories in those forms of magnesium.

C: OK, I'll get you one I've used.

M: You see!!! You admit it. You've taken magnesium. Did it change your life?

C: Yes I did and no it did not.

M: Do you think it will change my life?

C: No, it will not.

M: When and how do I use it?

C: With a large glass of water before bedtime.

M: Will it help me sleep, feel serene?

C: I doubt it.

M: Merci, I'll take it.

43 comments:

LuxeBytes said...

Sorry to hear you've got the mid-winter blahs. I get them every year as well. Just had them two weeks ago.

Magnesium and B vitamins are important in migraine prevention, and they're supposed to be good for allieving (sp) PMS.

Why can't I spell alleiving this morning? Argh!

Feel better, dear Tish!

xoxoxo

P.S. I polished my toenails on Sunday with NARS Jungle Red. Try it.

Pam @ over50feeling40 said...

This is hysterical...the conversation would wipe away the blahs for me!! I wonder if there is anyone who takes all of the supplements we are advised to take!

Rebecca said...

This post was my "upper" for the day!
Thanks!

Chicatanyage said...

Now I know why I am addicted to almonds and dark chocolate I think I will stay with that option it seems to have improved my cramps (not that I was eating them for that purpose)

vicki archer said...

How I love a French pharmacy... I want some now! xv

déjà pseu said...

Ah, I love Christine's no-nonsense approach! I do take magnesium for nighttime foot/leg cramps and find it effective. Other than that, no it did not change my life either.

Duchesse said...

I'll have the chocolate you're avoiding :)

kathy peck said...

My daughter is a doctor of Chinese medicine and she's very big on Magnesium and has "hinted", more than once, that I need it. Getting it today.

kathy peck said...

And such a funny conversation too. Perfect.

BigLittleWolf said...

Oh, you do make me laugh! (What a delicious conversation.)

I miss the French pharmacies... so sane, compared to the division of (impossible to see and talk to) physicians here, and the (cannot truly counsel you in the same way) pharmacists.

I think I would take the almonds and chocolate, personally, and then make sure I have a good bracing walk. Then again, wouldn't we all adore a pill or two that would work wonders?

I daresay life presents so many challenges that nudge us toward the blahs and the blues. But I think writing - and delightful reading (here!) - always makes things better. Of course, so does shoe shopping...

hostess of the humble bungalow said...

I hope that it works for you Tish. Feeling blah is not fun. If magnesium is the miracle tonic you've been searching for please report back to us so that we might get on the bandwagon!
I'd say eat the chocolates anyway.

Anonymous said...

What a delightful post! Thanks for bringing some humor to my day. On another note, you have my full sympathies for anxiety and the blahs . . . so much a part of winter, yes? Good luck with the magnesium, and do keep us posted. We're all ears for an easy cure for the side effects of living and being women . . .

Becky

Jacqueline said...

The doctor just told me my B12 levels are low. He wanted to put me on supplements...I just made beef liver for dinner! LOL!

ParisGrrl said...

There may be calories in almonds, but I refuse to believe there are any in chocolate.

Joni said...

Well, dark chocolate and almonds sounds much better. Love the candor of Christine.

Sherry said...

I have an eye twitch and magnesium is the only thing that cures it. I'm a believer!

Mouse said...

oily fish and walnuts
just saying...

Bea said...

I can't live without my magnesium! I started to take them to cure my restless legs that would keep me awake at night and they worked from day one! It was wonderful to finally get a normal night's sleep again after six months of waking up every two hours because of the pain in my legs.

A nice side effect is that they really help me to sleep all night. I used to wake up at four in the morning and not being able to go back to sleep again. With magnesium, I sleep until the alarm goes off.
My mother who is in her 60's had the same problem so I sent her a box of magnesium pills and now she too sleeps all night and calls them her miracle pills.

Magnesium is also great to help me undwind, so during stressful periods I double the dose of magnesium and vitamin b. My prefered brand is Thorne.

Jill Ann said...

I know this falls under the category of TMI, but I tried magnesium recently to see if it would help reduce blood pressure....didn't really help with that, but seemed to cause some, uh, digestive issues.

Looking Fab in your forties said...

I have only recently developed a nut allergy and hate dark chocolate, so I will buy some and take with a Creme Egg x

Tish Jett said...

I wish I could take all of you in to argue my case with Christine. I KNEW I was on to something.

She did ask me if my eyelids fluttered. I'll give her credit, she was trying to find a legitimate reason to give them to me.

If they help me sleep through the night I will be thrilled.

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

I get very bad cramp and I take magnesium daily. Sadly I am unable to get the S.African equivalent of SlowMag which is amazing, I used to take quite big doses when doing long distant cycling. No cramp. Diane

Northmoon said...

If it helps me sleep, I'm in! Lately I've been waking up at 3:30 am and lying awake for an hour or so. Not good.

sharon said...

Such a funny conversation, one I can't imagine having with a US pharmacist! It made me smile, and laughter is the best medicine.

Trish, I hope the magnesium helps you feel perkier. It's something I take regularly. Many have mentioned its benefits with mood, sleep, and leg cramps, but also it plays an important part in calcium absorption....just like Vitamin D...and we gals need strong bones.

Anonymous said...

Tish,I have just what the doctor ordered..... a project! I'm planning a 12 day transatlantic cruise New York to Paris followed by 4 days in the city, then a week in Belgrade. I must travel light! Help! What's a woman of a certain age to pack?
Merci par advance, BJ

Tish Jett said...

Oooops, I put one too many e's in my baise de moral -- maybe the magnesium has already kicked-in.

Joni said...

I love magnesium -- but as epsom salts. A couple of times a week, I'll take a bath with the salts and it makes me feel very relaxed and my muscles and joints feel great.

NotesFromAbroad said...

Oh,ma petit chou, It is mid-Summer here and I have the very same Blahs ...
I perked up at the thought, for just a moment, that a pill would fix things.
But then I remembered, they don't.
Not really.
As ordinary as it is and sometimes the last thing I want to do .. going out and taking a long hard walk, not a slow amble but a fast stride for blocks and blocks or however far you can .. works wonders !
I discovered this after my first ... how shall I say it .. Breakdown ? or would we just like to call it ... Mental collapse ? Nervous breakdown , or collapse, I was ruled by panic attacks and the doctor said, before drugs, let's see if you can walk it off.
I now walk miles every day, just because I enjoy it, where I live. But if I feel bad, I get out there and walk some more.
muchas besos.. C

Lily Lemontree said...

Oh now you have my curiousity going!! I am always searching for something to chase away those dreaded blahs around this time every year-it hits me like clockwork. You must keep us posted as to your results...in the mean time, I think I will pop out tonight to my local drug store and pick up a little of my own! :)

Tricia Rose said...

The easiest way (and without the risk of taking too much) is an Epsom Salts bath, but the thing which cures my blahs is 5-HTP, and if I feel anxious (a maddening function of age, I am convinced), I take GABA. Both are harmless amino acids, there is a lot about them on the internet and I'm sold!

karen gerstenberger said...

I am a friend of Allegra's and came over from hers because I love the name of your blog. I am of French heritage, am "d'Un Certain Age" (or is that d'uncertain age? Mais non), and love what I've read here. (I wish we had pharmacies here in the U.S. like the ones in France, where one can actually get sound medical advice - you are fortunate to have your Christine.)

Carol said...

l'm so sorry to hear you have the ' blahs' l do hope they disappear quickly.

l take Magnesium for cramps and to aid sleep. l do think it helps..

Susan said...

I have been taking magnesium now for about 4 years, and I swear by it...I certainly know when I miss taking it.....the cramps are horrendous. There are quite a lot of other health benefits from it...but the main thing for me is preventing those dreaded cramps deep in the night. Also, just an aside, I remember reading on your blog last year of the benefits of apple cider vinegar, one of which was helping with arthritis.....pleased to say I've been taking a tablespoon daily for 6 months and so far so good. keep up the great work Tish...love reading your informative and ever so practical health and beauty tips!!!!

Linda said...

My doctor started me on magnesium-I'm not sure why-and I lost a kilo of weight (never any more). She told me that they are a natural diuretic. I had no idea they could help with sleeping. I've been taking mine in the morning but I think I will try them at night now.

The enchanted home said...

I am out of the loop!! Please do tell how it works? Would it be asking too much for it to be instant? LOL....dying to know, very intrigued! I am shocked my mother (who seems to know it all when it comes to health and medical issues) hasn't enlighted me!

pve design said...

I have a dear friend who swares by it and also a large glass of water with lemon followed by metamucil in the morning. I also think she follows that by cigarettes and she is french.
pve

Mary Timmers said...

So funny, Tish! And remember the plecebo effect-- 50 per cent! If you think you'll be better you will! It's Feb. 1st. Spring is on the way!

Tish Jett said...

PVE, hilarous.

Mary I am a TOTAL believer in the placebo effect.

Tina, you're just like me -- instant gratification, but judging from what Christine told me I must be patient.

I'll keep everyone au courant.

xo

24 Corners said...

We take a supplement that has Calcium, Magnesium, and Potassium in it, supposedly they are all supposed to work well together and help each other out, but after reading these comments, maybe all we need is the Magnesium, will give it a try next!
Loved the repartee yo had with Madame C!
xo J~

Rubiatonta said...

When I asked my very proper elderly French landlady why there were so many ads for Contrex mineral water (lots of magnesium) in the run-up to bikini season, she replied without blushing, "Bah oui, ça fait chier." ("It makes you s*&t.")

Yes, well...

Anonymous said...

My gynecologist here in Belgium gave me two different Magnesium products against Menopause troubels. According to her, it helps against hot flushes, fatigue, insomnie, irritabilité, stress. Mais attention, in the evening don(t take the same as in the morning. The morning magnesium wakes you up, the night-time magnesium is supposed to help you sleep. Have not noticed any major change so far anyway. Sleep a little bit better maybe.
Thiouth

Susan Tiner said...

This is so funny. Christine doesn't think it will change your life but it changed hers?

Well, did it help you?

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