A deficiency in magnesium can be at the root of constipation. By taking a magnesium supplement you can find immediate relief. Magnesium is crucial for relaxing the muscles in the body, including the colon. It is believed that close to 70% of the population may be deficient in magnesium and constipation is one of many of the consequences.
The digestive system is basically one big muscle and it uses what is called peristalsis to keep things moving. If peristalsis is not working properly, then things can get backed up and constipation occurs. Adequate levels of magnesium are important for peristalsis; it relaxes the peristalsis muscle and it also increases water in the system, which softens the stole and helps peristalsis to move more smoothly.
There are many different forms of magnesium. Magnesium citrate seems to be the most effective form for constipation. I’ve tried a variety of different brands and my preferred brand is Natural Calm.
You need to be careful not to take too much though. If you get really loose bowels or diarrhea then you have taken too much. Additionally, I have experienced unusual heart fluttering or palpitations if I take too much magnesium, so you may want to watch out for that as well. So you may need a little trial and error and make some adjustments until you find the dosage that is right for your body. Every person’s nutritional needs are unique, so dosages will vary from person to person. Also, if you have kidney disease, you should be sure to discuss this with your doctor before supplementation.
Adequate levels of magnesium are also important for sleep, muscles, nervous system, chronic pain, managing stress, the cardiovascular system as well as many other important systems and functions in the body. Personally, I’ve found Natural Calm to be very helpful with muscle pain, stress, relaxation and sleep as well.
However, magnesium, like any mineral, should always be taken in conjunction with a multi-mineral. Minerals work in conjunction with one another, and too much of one can cause a depletion in another. Calcium is one of the minerals that can become depleted with high levels of magnesium, which is something you definitely don’t want to happen, as calcium plays a variety of important roles in our health.
Another common symptom of magnesium deficiency is cramping in your calves. The best way to identify whether you have a magnesium deficiency is with a magnesium loading test.
Even if you don’t have a magnesium deficiency, it will still provide immediate relief for constipation for the reasons we discussed earlier. So it can be used as an occasional laxative. However, you don’t want to get in the habit of doing this too often and become dependent. Constipation can also be caused by a variety of other issues like insufficient water intake, parasites, candida overgrowth, bacterial overgrowth, poor diet, adrenal fatigue and hypothyroidism.
So one should always make sure they have ruled out other possible contributing factors and discuss supplementation with their doctor. You don’t want to mask over other more serious issues with magnesium supplementation.