Magnesium Citrate For ConstipationDec 19, 2022
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 like you can't empty your bowels
Chronic constipation, which lasts for weeks or months, can lead to complications if not treated, such as:
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)
Being a woman
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:
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:
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:
Signs of dehydration (i.e., decreased urination, dry mouth, increased thirst, sunken eyes or cheeks, and becoming lethargic or confused)
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:
Stimulants- bisacodyl (Dulcolax) and sennosides (Ex-Lax)
Osmotics-Magnesium hydroxide (Milk of magnesia), lactulose (Constilac), polyethylene glycol (Miralax)
Enemas and suppositories
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
Go to the bathroom whenever you feel the urge
Magnesium citrate may be the best treatment for you or someone you know who suffers from occasional constipation.
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