IV Magnesium for Heart Problems

IV Magnesium for Heart Problems

Julian Whitaker, MD

Magnesium is an excellent therapy for all kinds of cardiovascular problems, including high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, and arrhythmias. IV magnesium is an effective, but underused treatment for the prevention of fatal cardiac arrhythmias. When administered intravenously (IV), it immediately restores normal heart rhythm and saves lives. I know because, for years, we’ve been using IV magnesium at Whitaker Wellness for patients with either dangerous ventricular arrhythmias or more benign atrial fibrillation with predictably good results.

I once treated a young athlete who had sudden, incapacitating fatigue and an erratic heartbeat while riding his mountain bike on a hot summer day. He didn’t go to the emergency room but came to see us the next day. He had a ventricular arrhythmia caused by mineral losses due to heavy sweating, so we immediately hooked him up to IV magnesium sulfate. His skipped beats disappeared completely. He left the clinic with a bottle of magnesium supplements, and within a week he was back on his bike. If this young man had gone to the ER, he would surely have been run through the gamut of tests and given drugs to control his arrhythmia, and it’s likely he never would have returned to the activity he loved.

Another patient of mine was admitted to the hospital with a cardiac arrhythmia. He was stabilized but continued to have skipped beats, so I suggested to the physician in charge that magnesium, which was readily available, be added to his IV fluids. But the hospital wouldn’t allow it—they simply refused. As soon as this patient was discharged, he came to the clinic where we administered IV magnesium to replenish the low stores that were the likely cause of his arrhythmia. He also began a regimen of oral magnesium and discontinued the arrhythmia-suppressing drugs that had been prescribed in the hospital, and he had no further attacks.

It is astounding to me that hospitals and cardiologists ignore the therapeutic use of IV magnesium, which has been used worldwide to successfully treat patients with acute heart attacks and arrhythmias. Studies show that it is equal or superior to anti-arrhythmic and clot-busting drugs, not to mention much safer and less expensive. I guess it would be too much to expect physicians to be guided by the scientific literature. After all, “doctor knows best,” even if their “knowledge” is clouded by strongly held biases.

Recommendation

  • To learn more about how we use intravenous magnesium at the Whitaker Wellness Institute, call (866) 944-8253.

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