Magnesium Side Effects
A healthy adult body contains an average of about 24 grams of magnesium. Magnesium is an important mineral that our body needs for more than 300 biochemical reactions. Our nerves and muscles especially need magnesium to function properly.
without sufficient magnesium, they stop functioning altogether! Because the human body has such high demand for this nutrient, it is important to avoid taking too much magnesium.
Magnesium overdose symptoms include severe diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting, excessive thirst, severe muscle weakness or cramps, slowed breathing, or decreased alertness. In the most serious cases of magnesium toxicity, patients may go into shock and enter a coma! Severely elevated levels of magnesium in the blood may also cause abnormal heart rhythms.
The Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) for magnesium, beyond which the risk of side effects increases, is 350 mg per day for adults. It is estimated that about half of Americans over 18 years old do not meet their daily recommended intake levels of magnesium. Insufficient dietary intake of this nutrient may lead to headaches, nausea, fatigue, or weakness.
A study of 10 healthy male volunteers showed that using magnesium citrate in amounts over the UL (350 mg per day) may cause side effects such as diarrhea, flatulence, and bloating. Magnesium overdose is rare; however, it can be very dangerous for people with impaired kidney function or certain heart conditions.
Magnesium overdose treatment usually involves drinking plenty of water or milk, and sometimes includes using laxatives to eliminate the excess magnesium. In serious cases, doctors may use glucose injections to treat low blood sugar levels caused by decreased breathing, which is a common result of severe magnesium toxicity.
Magnesium can also cause other side effects that are not life-threatening but are still quite annoying. These include upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, heartburn or indigestion, increased thirst or urination, muscle weakness or cramping, and decreased energy levels.
When taking magnesium supplements for therapeutic purposes (such as treating a magnesium deficiency), you should consult your doctor before using them. This is because magnesium can affect the way other supplements or medicines work in your body, and it may interfere with some medications. Also, magnesium is not recommended for pregnant women or people who have kidney problems.
The dosages of specific magnesium supplements vary widely depending on their form (such as citrate, oxide, glycinate, etc.) and purpose (preventing or curing a magnesium deficiency, or treating certain health problems).
how long does magnesium stay in your body?
the half-life of magnesium varies depending on the person, the severity of the deficiency, and the duration of magnesium depletion. for example, if someone is experiencing hypomagnesemia (low blood levels) due to excessive vomiting or diuretic use, it is very common that their symptoms will subside almost immediately once they start ingesting magnesium supplements. in such an instance, the half-life of excess magnesium is almost instantaneous.
however, if someone becomes deficient due to a strict vegan diet or simply does not ingest enough dietary magnesium on daily basis, it will take much longer for them to restore their levels and alleviate their symptoms since there’s no quick fix here and the effects of chronic magnesium deficiency cannot be reversed overnight.
in such a case, the half-life of magnesium (the time it takes for your body to eliminate 1/2 of the amount you ingest on daily basis) is variable and will depend on multiple factors such as age, gender, overall health, diet, and medication use.
for example, the half-life of magnesium in an elderly person is generally longer since they are more likely to have other ailments that require medications that interfere with the absorption or excretion of magnesium.
however, this does not mean that healthy people will have a significantly shorter half-life than elderly people. the difference is usually insignificant (i might be off by a few hours either way) but, on average, healthy adults have a half-life of ~12 to 14 hours while elderly have a slightly longer one (~14 to 16 hours).
Magnesium glycinate side effects?
short answer: no
the reason I recommend magnesium glycinate to all of my clients is that it has a very high bioavailability rate (exactly 100%) which means that all of the magnesium contained in this supplement will be absorbed by your body and only what your body cannot absorb will be excreted through urine or other bodily waste.
this means that magnesium glycinate is very unlikely to cause any side effects because your body will utilize its entire content without having to store it.
the only thing you need to keep in mind here is how much magnesium you should ingest daily and whether or not you’re taking other supplements that may interfere with either the absorption or excretion of magnesium.
Do magnesium citrate supplements work for constipation?
there are many reasons why you might experience constipation (some of which include age, diet, medication use, or various health conditions) but the main cause is usually related to an increased intake of fiber and/or increased fluid intake while simultaneously decreasing your intake of fats and proteins.
however, in order to be effective for constipation relief, magnesium citrate supplements need to be taken in much higher dosages than what is recommended.
it’s important to understand that when it comes to effective usage, these supplements work only if the bowel movement is stimulated by increased water intake.
in order to achieve the maximum effect, you need to drink at least 2 liters of water before taking these supplements. if you fail to do so, you are unlikely to see any improvement in constipation symptoms.
in many cases, magnesium citrate supplements will also cause abdominal bloating and flatulence but this is just a temporary side effect that will vanish once you restore your magnesium levels.
can magnesium supplements trigger muscle cramps?
magnesium is one of the most important minerals involved in almost every single metabolic process taking place within our body so there are literally thousands of bodily functions that can be affected by its deficiency (some more than others).
when deficient, people report experiencing various symptoms such as muscle cramps and weakness, fatigue, constipation, digestive issues, sleep disturbance, loss of appetite, irritability, anxiety, brain fog, depression, etc.
if you’re not sure if magnesium deficiency is the main cause of your symptoms then please read my article about how to restore your magnesium levels in 30 days or less.
Do magnesium supplements help with chronic fatigue?
chronic fatigue is a vague term used to describe the feeling of extreme tiredness that lasts for more than 6 months. it’s most commonly caused by serious conditions such as hypothyroidism, low testosterone in men, depression, fibromyalgia, autoimmune diseases, sleep disorders among others.
if your fatigue is caused by one of these conditions, magnesium supplementation will probably do nothing to help you because the actual cause needs to be treated.
however, if your chronic fatigue is associated with low potassium levels then taking a magnesium supplement might prove beneficial since it’s often used in combination with potassium supplements for this purpose.
let me also add that if you suffer from symptoms such as heart palpitations, muscle weakness or cramps, or abnormal sweating associated with your fatigue symptoms then please read my article about the symptoms of magnesium deficiency and make sure to take a look at its possible causes.