Dec 19, 2022




Magnesium Citrate For Constipation


As embarrassing as it might be to talk about, constipation is a common issue that affects many of us throughout our lives. 

Magnesium citrate (Citromia) is generally used with other medications to clean stool from the intestines before surgery or specific bowel procedures, like colonoscopies. Sometimes it's also used for the relief of constipation. 

If you or someone you know suffers from constipation, magnesium citrate may help. Use the information below to help you determine if it is the proper medicine, but always consult your physician before starting any new medications. 

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What is constipation?

Constipation is often defined as having less than three bowel movements a week. In addition to having irregular bowels, other common symptoms may include:

  • lumpy or hard stool

  • painful bowel movements 

  • straining during bowel movements

  • stomach and/or lower back pain

  • feeling bloated 

  • feeling like you can't empty your bowels

Chronic constipation, which lasts for weeks or months, can lead to complications if not treated, such as:

  • hemorrhoids

  • anal fissures

  • fecal impaction

  • fecal incontinence 

  • rectal prolapse

Because chronic constipation could be a sign of a serious medical condition, you should consult with your doctor immediately about any bowel and stool changes. 

What causes constipation?

Waste that moves too slowly through the digestive tract and isn't able to be eliminated effectively can lead to stool becoming hard and dry, causing constipation. 

There are several reasons why this disruption may occur:

  • Imbalance of hormones due to pregnancy, diabetes, or problems with the thyroid 

  • Pelvic muscle issues 

  • Neurological problems, such as multiple sclerosis, stroke, Parkinson's disease, or a spinal cord injury 

  • Blockage in the colon or rectum caused by conditions like bowel obstruction, anal fissure, and colon or rectal cancer. 

Other risk factors of constipation

Other factors may increase your risk of becoming constipated or even developing chronic constipation, such as:

  • Not drinking enough water (dehydration)

  • Unmanaged stress

  • Being a woman

  • Getting older 

  • A low-fiber diet

  • Lack of physical activity 

  • Certain medications (i.e., opioid pain relievers, tricyclic antidepressants, high blood pressure medicines, and iron supplements) 

  • Resisting the urge to go 

How magnesium citrate can treat occasional constipation 

Magnesium citrate is in a class of medications known as saline laxatives. It makes stools softer and easier to pass by relaxing the bowels and pulling water into the intestines. 

Who should not use magnesium citrate for constipation? 

Magnesium citrate is only recommended for short-term, occasional constipation. Long-term use can make the body dependent on a laxative to pass stool. Therefore, if you experience chronic, long-lasting episodes of constipation shouldn't use magnesium citrate. 

In addition, people taking certain medications or who have certain medical conditions should also avoid magnesium citrate:

  • Some antibiotics 

  • Medicines to decrease calcium concentration in the urine( potassium or sodium phosphate)

  • Those on a low or restricted-sodium diet 

  • People experiencing rectal bleeding

  • Those with a major kidney disorder

  • Those with colon or stomach obstructions

  • People with high magnesium or potassium levels

  • Those with a heart condition

  • Those with low calcium levels 

What are the side effects of magnesium citrate?

It is possible to experience side effects when using magnesium citrate. Call your doctor if these symptoms don't go away or worsen. 

Common side effects include:

  • Diarrhea 

  • Upset stomach 

  • Mild cramping

  • Gas 

Serious side effects can also occur. If you experience any allergic reactions, hives, difficulty breathing, or swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat, seek medical attention immediately. 

You should also seek emergency medical treatment right away if you experience the following while taking magnesium citrate:

  • Irregular heartbeat

  • Muscle weakness

  • Severe diarrhea

  • Signs of dehydration (i.e., decreased urination, dry mouth, increased thirst, sunken eyes or cheeks, and becoming lethargic or confused) 

  • Rectal bleeding

  • Bloody stools

What are other treatment options available for constipation?

In addition to magnesium citrate, other over-the-counter laxatives are available as treatment options are available for occasional constipation, including:

Treatments for chronic constipation 

If OTC medicines don't work, or you suffer from chronic constipation, your healthcare provider may prescribe one of the following:

Your doctor may also recommend biofeedback training to relax and tighten pelvic muscles or surgery. 

What can you do to prevent constipation?

While magnesium citrate is a good short-term resolution, there are lifestyle changes you can make to prevent chronic constipation. 

  • Eating a diet packed with whole, natural foods

  • Add more fiber to your diet 

  • Limit or eliminate highly processed foods 

  • Avoid dehydration by drinking lots of water throughout the day 

  • Stay as active as possible

  • Manage stress 

  • Go to the bathroom whenever you feel the urge 

Final Thoughts

Magnesium citrate may be the best treatment for you or someone you know who suffers from occasional constipation. 

At CareCard, we are passionate about helping make your prescription payments more affordable, saving you up to 85% on prescription drugs and medications. You can search for a medication coupon here and learn how CareCard can help make your medication payments more manageable.

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