Our immune system is so important to our bodies! Of course, our overall health depends on the immune system doing its job and doing it well. However, many women with PCOS have immune systems that don’t work the way they should. PCOS can trigger chronic inflammation that causes side effects like bloating, migraines, joint pain, migraines, acne, difficult weight loss, and fatigue. (Here’s more on the signs of inflammation.)
How does this all happen? Well, inflammation at its core isn’t a bad thing. When our immune system detects a foreign or harmful substance in your body, it sends inflammatory cells to attack the toxin and heal your body. Once your immune system finishes “cleaning up,” the inflammation is supposed to go down. However, when you have chronic inflammation from PCOS or other diseases, your immune system attacks healthy cells and non-harmful substances and leaves you with your intense inflammation symptoms all the time.
Inflammatory PCOS is a difficult thing to navigate. The pain and discomfort from the inflammation can make life really challenging, so many Cysters find themselves depending on anti-inflammatory medication and painkillers to get through the day. Though medications are definitely necessary from time-to-time, we should all have an exit strategy for daily meds if possible! That way, we can avoid the long-term ill effects and actually focus on fixing the problem instead of covering it up.
One natural supplement that has been amazing for many women like myself with inflammatory PCOS is magnesium! Magnesium is incredibly important for fighting inflammation and maintaining our overall health, yet 70% of the U.S. population have a magnesium deficiency. So, today, I’m dedicating this post to magnesium and how it can be helpful for a woman with inflammatory polycystic ovarian syndrome.
Here’s what you need to know:
Magnesium for Pain, Inflammation, & Other PCOS Symptoms
Magnesium is an essential nutrient that helps our body manage muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and protein production. To put it simply, magnesium helps raise insulin sensitivity, improve blood pressure, better sleep, and reduce inflammation and the pain and discomfort that comes with it!
Plus, inflammation can cause your adrenal system to release more cortisol in response to all the extra stress on your body, which can throw off other hormone levels too. High stress can result in high testosterone levels that results in even more annoying PCOS symptoms. This Cyster realized this when she started taking magnesium supplements and realized she was no longer growing extra facial hair:
If that wasn’t enough, magnesium can also help lower the risk of common long-term complications of PCOS including type 2 diabetes and heart disease! This is because of magnesium’s effect on blood pressure, blood sugar, and insulin resistance. There are so many PCOS benefits of taking magnesium!
Needless to say, finding a way to get adequate magnesium intake is so important for anyone’s health, but it’s especially important for a Cyster! You can hear more about why I’m all for magnesium supplementation in the episode of A Cyster and Her Mister called “What You Should Know About Magnesium & PCOS.”
Is Magnesium Good for Pain and Inflammation?
Magnesium is the ultimate anti-inflammatory supplement. With the proper magnesium levels, your inflammation goes down and you can find relief from inflammation-related pain. Plus, there’s another relationship between magnesium and pain relief! Magnesium prevents calcium ions from entering the cells, which has a natural pain-blocking effect. It’s pretty amazing!
So, if you’re a woman with PCOS that struggles a lot with chronic pain, magnesium can support you in more ways than one. Of course, talk to your doctor before taking a supplement, but magnesium supplementation should help bring some natural relief to your symptoms.
Best Magnesium Supplement for Pain and Inflammation
If you’re looking to get more magnesium in your diet, that’s a great first step to reversing this common nutrient deficiency. Magnesium rich foods include greens, nuts, seeds, dry beans, and whole grains. However, even with an intentional diet, it’s hard to get the recommended 360+ mg of magnesium recommended in a day.
As long as your doctor clears it, we recommend taking a high-quality, NSF-certified magnesium supplement. If you find yourself perplexed about selecting the right type of magnesium, don’t dwell on it excessively. Magnesium aspartate, glycinate, citrate, lactate, malate, and chloride are all readily digestible forms of magnesium! Magnesium oxide and sulfate are the ones not fully absorbed by the body, but you probably won’t find those offered as the main magnesium source in a supplement anyway.
Here are my recommend magnesium supplements:
Magnesium Citrate is the most bioactive of all magnesium variations (that means it’s absorbed the best into the body). It’s combined with citric acid and its biggest benefits include improved bone health, digestive health, and cardiovascular function in addition to reduced inflammation and pain relief.
Pure Encapsulations is one of my favorite supplement brand, because they’re NSF-certified and are free from most allergens and unnecessary add-ins like GMOs, fillers, and artificial dyes.
Magnesium Glycinate also includes the amino acid glycine. Glycine naturally abounds in fish, meat, and dairy. If you’ve eliminated dairy due to PCOS, incorporating these sources can provide an additional boost of glycine. Glycine is helpful for producing important proteins that support plenty of body functions. Whereas magnesium citrate has lots of digestive benefits, glycinate is best for sleep support, stress relief, and overall nervous system regulation.
Again, all forms of magnesium are likely going to help all of these symptoms and improve your pain and inflammation. Each type of supplement just focuses on a certain pain point for added benefit. The Pure Encapsulations magnesium glycinate supplement, like the citrate variation, is NSF-certified, hypoallergenic, GMO-free, and contains no artificial ingredients.
If capsules are a struggle for you, this magnesium powder is another smart option for Cysters! “Whole food” is another good phrase to find on supplement bottles, because it implies that the nutrients are all natural from real food, rather than artificially created. The Garden of Life brand is also non-GMO, vegan, NSF-certified, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, sugar-free, and Kosher!
The magnesium variation in the powder is magnesium citrate. That combined with the included probiotics makes this a great supplement to help with inflammation and pain, but also digestive health, which is another common side effect of chronic inflammation. Here’s more on probiotics for PCOS and more on PCOS gut health.
This whole food NSF-certified supplement has both magnesium citrate and glycinate, plus another bioactive form called magnesium malate! Magnesium malate stands out as the optimal choice for alleviating inflammation, mitigating anxiety, and effectively managing pain. That means this may be the best supplement on the list for Cysters dealing with chronic pain as a result of chronic inflammation!
These are 300 mg capsules that come at a really great price for all they offer! They’re also non-GMO, gluten-free, and vegetarian. However, this one doesn’t seem to be dairy-free or soy-free if that’s something you’re looking for.
Thorne is another great choice! This one includes magnesium citrate and malate, so you have extra benefits for reduced inflammation and better digestion. These supplements are NSF-certified, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, and contain no artificial flavors. They use top-quality ingredients, sustainable practices, and lots of extra testing to make sure their supplements are the best of the best. Even with all of that, Thorne Magnesium CitraMate comes at a reasonable price.
Here’s another Magnesium Glycinate variation from a trusted company. Designs for Health is NSF-certified, GMP-certified, vegan, non-GMO, gluten-free, dairy-free, and soy-free. Remember, glycinate is great for sleep support and stress relief.
If you have a sensitive stomach or don’t normally react well to magnesium supplements, this Designs for Health supplement might be best for you! This is because the bond between the two glycine molecules and the magnesium ions is more stable than other brands. It’s much less likely to cause the GI symptoms you may be used to from magnesium supplementation.
Magnesium can help with chronic PCOS inflammation and pain.
You can reverse your PCOS and thrive symptom free. There is no magic pill to undo PCOS, but there are plenty of ways to naturally reverse your symptoms and thrive! Taking intentional research-backed supplements is one way you can get started on taking control of your PCOS symptoms.
For more on natural PCOS relief, head over to the PCOS Weight Loss blog and listen to the A Cyster and Her Mister podcast! Every week on both platforms, I break down some must-have PCOS info that’ll help you ease your symptoms and reach all your health goals. Plus, if you download The Cysterhood app, you can join a whole community of women going on the same journey as you. Whatever you need, I’m here to support you!