Q: I had a hard time with the holidays this year, and I am still very stressed out. I exercise routinely and eat well, but I'm always worried about something and my wife says I'm "cranky and unreasonable." It's true. I wish I could relax more, but I don't know how. I'd like to try something over-the-counter before I see a doctor. - K.Y., Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
A: Magnesium: This mineral makes adrenal hormones, lowers blood pressure, relaxes sore muscles and eases fatigue. I feel safe recommending it to people with anxiety, panic attacks, depression and fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Since magnesium works within an hour, consider taking it when your team loses in the playoffs and crankiness sets in. Magnesium lifts serotonin, a 'happy' chemical, so taking lower doses throughout the day is better than taking one large dose. Some types of magnesium (citrate or oxide) tend to cause diarrhea. Dosage: Magnesium "chelate" or "glycinate" 100mg three or four times a day, every day. Add 25 - 50mg vitamin B6 for added punch, once daily.
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