The Hormone Rescuer

July 7, 2017
Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Award-winning nutritionist and New York Times bestselling author.

Restore your calm during the change—and after.

If you’re in the throes of perimenopause or otherwise feeling betrayed by your body, there is relief in sight. You might not even realize that you’re experiencing deficiency-related symptoms. Do any of the following resonate with you?

• Anxiety
• Apathy
• Body odor increase
• Concentration problems
• Constipation
• Depression
• Irritability
• Memory loss
• Muscle cramps
• Muscle tremors
• Nervousness
• Perspiration increase
• Urination increase

These are all common perimenopause and after related symptoms caused by a magnesium deficiency.

A combo of magnesium and certain vitamins may be necessary to get your hormonal systems back in balance. M ’n’ M is one of my famous Peri Zappers found in the New York Times Bestseller Before the Change—to which I just completed a full update.

It’s a marvelous supplement mix for the mind as well as the body, helping to smooth out mood swings and combat fibromyalgia, panic attacks, insomnia, anxiety, tissue dryness, and water retention. Involved in more than 350 biochemical processes of the body, magnesium is notoriously deficient in most women in the perimenopausal stage of life. It works with vitamin B6 and zinc to alleviate a broad spectrum of perimenopause symptoms.

The Power of Magnesium

Think of it as a hormone rescuer. Magnesium has a role in the production and regulation of hormones, preventing excess cortisol, increasing insulin sensitivity, and allowing the production of thyroid hormone. It can help slow aging by reducing oxidative stress, supporting production of the protective antioxidant glutathione, and keeping telomeres (the ends of chromosomes) long, tight, and together, which also reduces the risk of cancer.

Used in emergency rooms to treat heart attacks, this marvelous mineral acts in part as an electrolyte in the body and helps electrical processes like neural communication and the beat of your heart to occur. Your brain and your heart, the most electrical parts of your body, are the two places with the highest levels of magnesium. It is a cofactor in hundreds of bodily reactions and plays a critical role in the utilization of energy, DNA, and vitamin D.

Overall, magnesium helps to relax your body on a cellular level. Called the “original chill pill” by Psychology Today, magnesium can improve any malady that involves overstimulated muscles or nerves, such as anxiety, fatigue, asthma, fibromyalgia, and muscle tension. As you can see, you and your cells literally cannot live without magnesium.

Because magnesium acts as a sedative within the body, one of the most significant symptoms of a deficiency is a feeling of extreme edginess— which can make sudden sounds send you into a panic. Going easy on dairy products and avoiding foods artificially enriched with calcium should help. Taking a magnesium supplement of approximately 500 to 1,000 milligrams a day will build up your tissue level and help regulate your hormones. Also note that magnesium works with vitamin B6 and zinc in very special ways to alleviate a broad spectrum of perimenopause symptoms.

Magnificent Sources

Aside from magnesium supplementation as I mentioned above, there are also many dietary sources rich in this hormone-balancing mineral.

You can easily find dietary magnesium in leafy green vegetables, seeds, and tree nuts, especially spinach, almonds, cashews, peanuts, and black beans. If you feel adventurous, you can also try some “weeds,” which are loaded with magnesium, namely nettles and chickweed. Don’t feel like foraging on land? Well, the ocean presents a broad mineral-filled frontier. In fact, magnesium is the third most abundant mineral in the ocean. This means kelp and other sea vegetables have high amounts of magnesium that they absorbed from their ocean home. Even a high-quality unrefined sea salt can provide a good source of magnesium.

Just like plants in the ocean, you can get in your daily magnesium by bathing in it. To do this, take an Epsom salt bath. Epsom salt is simply another name for magnesium sulfate, and soaking in it allows magnesium to absorb directly into your skin. Alongside the benefits of magnesium, sulfate in magnesium sulfate helps in the formation of brain tissue and joint protein, and strengthens the digestive tract’s walls. Epsom salt baths are also especially helpful for sore muscles.

Avocadoes are another fantastic source. These nutritional champions pack fiber, protein, and sexy, slimming fat into a single beautifully balanced fruit. They have as much potassium as a banana, are a good source of vitamin E and carotenoids, and have a high chlorophyll content—a natural source of magnesium.

The same holds true for dark chocolate. Dark chocolate has antioxidants; minerals, including magnesium, calcium, and potassium; and healthy fat, including oleic acid. It can reduce bad LDL cholesterol, it lowers the risk for blood clots, and it increases arterial blood flow. But chocolate also has a high copper content and must be consumed in moderation for this reason. I recommend sticking to 1 ounce of unprocessed dark chocolate—at least 60 percent cacao—twice a week.

Before the Change

For more tried-and-true wisdom to restore your body to a state of hormonal harmony—naturally—pre-order your copy of Before the Change. To extend my gratitude for your purchase, all pre-orders also receive access to three FREE bonus gifts. They include:

Before the Change Companion Workbook
• Report: 3 Steps to Hormone Happiness
• 20% Discount on Natural Progesterone Crème

The change before the change can—and should—be a smooth transition. Rescue is on the way.

Related Articles and Podcasts

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, is an award-winning New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty books including The Fat Flush Plan series and her latest book, Radical Metabolism. She’s been rewriting the rules of nutrition for more than 40 years and is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the field of diet, detox and women’s health issues. 

For a FREE daily dose of tips and strategies for maintaining healthy weight, conquering insomnia, and much more…check out my Radical Health Tips.

I’d like to meet and greet you on my Facebook groups, so won’t you check us out at the Radical Metabolism RevolutionFat Flush Nation, or my Inner Circle!


  1. Kelly Ghilarducci

    I am 52 and have just been deemed “in menopause” by my doctor. This book is for someone entering menopause correct? I need a good book to explain how to best take care or myself now and continuing to age after menopause. Any suggestions?

  2. Lisa3002

    Kelly, I highly recommend any work / book by Ann Louise Gittleman. I, too, am 52 and find her protocols for peri-menopause, menopause and women’s health extremely beneficial. I have reaped numerous benefits from her nutritional wisdom and have found going thru this changing life stage a generally smooth, less rocky, stage than anticipated (and previously experienced) by sticking with her recommendations. Recently I incorporated more magnesium into my diet as this article indicated and I am amazed at the benefits I have seen and felt. (No affiliation to ALG or the company, just a very very happy customer.)

  3. Susan

    What are your recommendations during the change? Night sweats, hot flashes. Increased belly fat etc?

  4. Barb Rowe

    where do you find the M n M supplement mentioned?

  5. Ann Louise

    Dear Ladies: Thank you all for your posts and a heartfelt “thank you” to Lisa3002. Basically, all your questions will be addressed in my updated “Before the Change.” The M n M supplement refers to the Uni Key Health Systems’ Female Formula, Barb Rowe. My gift of a “free” cookbook is sure to help night sweats, hot flahes, and belly fat — so please take advantage and click on the link above.

  6. Joann Furst

    Looking forward to hearing how to combat belly fat. It’s been a real struggle. Will this also help with hair loss? I’m 53 and it’s thinned a great deal by more than half in 3 years. I was happy to turn 50, until I actually did. Dealing with the things out of my control cause depression. Is this literature the light at the end of the tunnel?

    • Team ALG

      Joann, yes Ann Louise addresses all these issues and so much more in the new Before the Change! Very exciting to have this resource coming soon!


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