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Magnesium Citrate for Constipation: How This Key Mineral Gets Your Gut Going

Magnesium for constipation

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Many people experience occasional constipation, and it’s usually not a cause for concern. 

However, constipation can be uncomfortable or even painful. If you struggle with constipation, you may find relief by supplementing your diet with magnesium citrate.

Read on to learn more about how you can use magnesium citrate for constipation.

How Magnesium Helps with Occasional Constipation

Magnesium citrate naturally eases elimination and prevents recurrences of constipation problems. The laxative effect of magnesium is achieved through one of two pathways:

  • Stool softening: Magnesium helps draw water into the intestines, working as a natural osmotic laxative. This prompts bowel movements and makes stools easier to pass.
  • Relaxation of muscles: Magnesium relaxes the muscles in the intestines, leading to a smoother flow as stool moves through the bowels. 

Supplementing with magnesium is likely a better solution for constipation than using over-the-counter laxatives. 

Carolyn Dean, M.D., author of The Magnesium Miracle, says:

“Laxatives, in general, are not recommended because you can become dependent on them and they can flush out beneficial intestinal bacteria and electrolytes. It is far better to supplement the diet with magnesium-rich foods and, if necessary, magnesium supplements to relax the bowel and allow normal action.” 

Increasing magnesium intake can also help alleviate some symptoms for patients who have constipation-predominant irritable bowel syndrome (IBS-C). However, IBS patients should always consult with their doctors before taking supplements.

What Causes Constipation

Causes of constipation

According to the Cleveland Clinic, constipation is defined as “Having fewer than three bowel movements a week…However, how often you “go” varies widely from person to person.

Some people have bowel movements several times a day while others have them only one to two times a week. Whatever your bowel movement pattern is, it’s unique and normal for you – as long as you don’t stray too far from your pattern.”

“As food normally moves through the digestive tract, nutrients are absorbed. The partially digested food (waste) that remains moves from the small intestine to the large intestine, also called the colon. The colon absorbs water from this waste, which creates a solid matter called stool. If you have constipation, food may move too slowly through the digestive tract. This gives the colon more time – too much time – to absorb water from the waste. The stool becomes dry, hard, and difficult to push out.”

— Cleveland Clinic

Although anyone could have an occasional bout of constipation, certain lifestyle conditions or health situations can make constipation more likely to occur. 

Common lifestyle causes include things like not drinking enough water, not getting enough exercise, eating large amounts of milk or cheese, or eating foods that are low in fiber.

Some medications can also cause constipation, including strong pain medicines, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, antidepressants, antacids, and allergy medications. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have questions or concerns about how your medications might be affecting your digestive system.

Will Magnesium Supplements Cause Diarrhea?

Will Magnesium Supplements Cause Diarrhea

High doses of magnesium can cause cramping, nausea, and diarrhea.

The key to avoiding these negative effects is to take the right kind of magnesium for your needs and avoid overdoing it on the dose at any one time.

Your body best absorbs magnesium in moderate doses. When you think about it, this makes perfect sense. If you were consistently eating magnesium-rich foods, you might get 100 mg of magnesium in a very healthy meal. You wouldn’t get 200 or 300 mg or you would have eaten far too much!

Always follow package directions and doctor recommendations for magnesium supplementation.

Find out more about Recommended Dietary Allowances for magnesium.

Who Should Not Take Magnesium for Constipation

In some cases, chronic constipation is a sign of a more serious health condition. Speak to your doctor if you are experiencing long-term constipation, or if you notice sudden changes in your bowel habits.

Magnesium is also contraindicated for patients with certain medical conditions, or for people who are taking specific medications. 

Dr. Dean Carolyn Dean notes, “Magnesium is contraindicated in patients with nausea, vomiting, appendicitis, intestinal obstruction, undiagnosed abdominal pain, or kidney disease.”

How to Take Magnesium for Constipation

How to Take Magnesium for Constipation

Studies show that 70% of people are deficient in magnesium, and most people don’t get enough of this vital nutrient from diet alone. You can take a magnesium supplement to support digestion, reduce cramping, and ease constipation.

But not all magnesium supplements are alike. Supplements in tablet form are not always easily digestible, because the body has to work much harder to extract magnesium from a compressed tablet. 

Magnesium taken as a liquid (like Natural Calm) does not need to be broken down before entering the bloodstream. Liquid magnesium supplements are more digestible than tablets. 

Natural Calm rapidly dissolves in liquid to become ionic magnesium citrate, a form that has been proven to be more easily absorbable than tablets. For the magnesium molecule to be released into ionic form, it needs to be fully dissolved. 

For best results, dissolve Natural Calm in hot water and give it a gentle stir. You can also prepare Natural Calm in cool or cold water, but you will need to wait about 15 minutes for full dissolution to occur. The liquid will bubble and fizz, then settle and become crystal clear. 

The fizzing is a natural reaction, and nothing to worry about –  but some people with sensitive stomachs may feel discomfort if they consume the fizz and bubbles before the Natural Calm settles. If you have indigestion, try taking Natural Calm magnesium between meals.

Constipation Prevention Tips

Constipation Prevention

You can also help relieve occasional constipation by changing a few lifestyle habits. Consider:

  • Increasing your intake of fiber-rich foods like fresh fruits and vegetables or whole grains
  • Getting regular exercise. Adding a few minutes of walking into your routine every day can make a big difference
  • Drinking plenty of water (Try adding an additional 2 to 4 glasses a day)
  • Limiting processed food 
  • Going to the bathroom as soon as you feel the urge (Waiting can cause constipation)

Of course, you should see your doctor if magnesium citrate supplementation and lifestyle changes don’t relieve your constipation. Your doctor can help you determine the source of your constipation and recommend additional treatment options.

Consider Natural Calm® Magnesium Citrate for Constipation

Natural Calm® Magnesium for Constipation

“Chronically constipated individuals have been led to believe that their only choice in prevention and relief is a fiber supplement—one that can potentially lead to more trouble if an inadequate volume of water is consumed,” says Andrea Bartels, Registered Nutritional Therapist. “Alternatively, the use of inferior magnesium products as laxatives can lead to sudden and urgent bathroom trips that interrupt your workday. There’s a better way.”

One of the biggest benefits of magnesium citrate supplementation is that it can keep us regular naturally, without having to use over-the-counter laxatives. 

Award-winning Natural Calm® magnesium citrate powder is an easily-absorbable magnesium supplement that is gentle on gentle on your digestive system. Try it today to relieve the discomfort and stress of constipation symptoms.

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