Magnesium plays a central role in the activation of NMDA receptors. NMDA receptors are triggered after prolonged glutamate activation when a Mg2+ ion plug is replaced by a Ca2+ ion. The NMDA glutamate channel has a magnesium block.
Experimental magnesium deficiency induces hyperalgesia, which is reversed by NMDA receptor antagonists.
Magnesium supplementation has been shown to reduce post-operative pain and its addition to anaesthetics reduces anaesthesia requirements.
Magnesium deficiency leads to NMDA receptor mediated hyperalgesia and hence enhanced sensitivity to chronic pain and to visceral pain. Magnesium deficiency has been found in IBS patients and in Fibromyalgia patients.
We have shown that magnesium deficiency leads to abnormal smooth muscle contraction and visceral hyperalgesia, the two necessary and sufficient conditions in A Fundamental View of IBS.
Before addressing the causes of magnesium deficiency we detail some Circumstantial Evidence of Mg Deficiency.