The four-chambered heart is made from special cardiac muscle that conducts electricity. Beats are generated by electrical impulses in the atria (top chambers of the heart) and are then conducted to the ventricles, where they produce the powerful muscle contraction that pumps blood. The generation and conduction of these electrical signals, as well as the muscle contraction itself, depend on the flow of sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium through cardiac cells. Imbalances in the levels of these minerals, as well as damage to cells (e.g., from surgery, oxidants, toxins, or drugs), can prevent impulses from forming, cause them to form prematurely, or prevent their proper conduction through the heart. The result is an arrhythmia.
Ventricular fibrillation is a life-threatening arrhythmia responsible for more than 50 percent of deaths from cardiovascular disease in the United States each year (Heart Rhythm Society 2004). It begins abruptly, causing the ventricles to quiver rather than contract, which causes immediate cessation of blood flow.
Both magnesium and potassium are intricately involved in the heart’s electrical stability (Cybulski J et al 2004); consequently, maintaining normal functional blood levels and ratios of each is important. Potassium is found in every cell of the body, and magnesium, the second-most-abundant intracellular mineral, is involved in many chemical processes (Swain R et al 1999). Magnesium deficiency may result in irregular heartbeats, muscle weakness, and irritability. Conversely, an excessive amount may cause a very slow heartbeat (bradycardia), dizziness, blurred vision, or breathing difficulty.
Magnesium deficiency is usually due to inadequate dietary intake or depletion. Most present-day diets include inadequate amounts of magnesium, and aging is a risk factor for deficiency. Insufficient magnesium may contribute to the symptoms routinely associated with aging (Durlach J et al 1998). Medications such as diuretics, used to treat chronic diseases, may be responsible for more loss of magnesium. Magnesium deficiency is more likely among older people who are institutionalized (Durlach J et al 1998).
MDs, NDs, DOs, PAs, RNs, PharmDs, PDs, holistic hypnotherapists, chiropractors, oriental medicine practitioners and anyone else interested in optimal health through integrative medicine are invited to attend our 3rd annual symposium on science-based medicine!
- Presenters are preeminent in their fields.
- Protocols were never covered in traditional medical schools.
- Topics are provocative, insightful, filled with practical applications.
- And continuing education credits are part of the package!
Daniel G. Amen, MD, CEO and Medical Director
of Amen Clinics. New York Times Bestselling
Author of Change Your Brain, Change Your Body
Come learn from other skilled health professionals. Explore nontraditional, science-based methods and treatments. Learn about the political and legal ramifications of an integrative/alternative medical practice. Find out how to integrate nutraceuticals and natural products into your practice.
$799 Full tuition (with or without CMEs) up to 16 credits
$599 Early discount (with or without CMEs):
Pay by December 27, 2010 and save $200
$199 Consumer (only) discounted rate (non-CME)