Constipation is all too common for many people, and finding a solution can be challenging. In recent years, magnesium has become a popular remedy for constipation.
Magnesium softens the stool and stimulates the intestines to move the chair, relieving constipation. In addition, magnesium can help reduce abdominal pain symptoms and bloating that often accompanies constipation.
Although magnesium can be a supplement, it can also be found naturally in many foods, such as nuts, legumes, and leafy greens. Adding these foods to your diet can naturally increase your magnesium intake and help relieve your constipation.
What is constipation?
Constipation is a condition marked by abnormally infrequent bowel motions or trouble passing feces. Constipation is a common condition that occurs occasionally and is not dangerous. However, if you are experiencing chronic constipation, it is essential to address the cause of your constipation to prevent long-term damage to your health.
There are many different causes of constipation. These include dehydration, certain medications, low-fiber diets, stress, and lack of physical activity. Additionally, certain health conditions can increase your risk for constipation, including Irritable Bowel Syndrome, pregnancy, lactation, and aging.
Causes of constipation
- Dehydration: Your colon needs water to function correctly. You could develop constipation if you don't drink enough water..
- Certain medications: Some medications, such as antidepressants, anti-seizure drugs, and iron supplements, can cause constipation.
- Low fiber diet: Fiber helps to regulate the movement of stools through the digestive tract and prevent constipation. A low-fiber diet can cause constipation.
- Stress: Stress can also cause constipation, particularly in younger individuals.
- Lack of physical activity: Physical activity is essential in maintaining regular bowel movements. If you are not getting enough exercise, you will likely experience constipation.
- Certain health conditions: Some conditions that can increase your risk for constipation include IBS, pregnancy, lactation, and aging.
- Other causes: Overeating meat and not enough fiber, drinking too little water, or taking certain medications can also cause constipation.
How does magnesium help with constipation?
Magnesium is an electrolyte that is key for proper bowel function. It regulates muscle function and helps to maintain average fluid balance, including within the colon. Magnesium has been found to help prevent and relieve constipation by improving bowel movement.
As magnesium helps to regulate the activity of stools through the digestive tract, it can prevent or treat constipation. Additionally, magnesium softens the stool and may help reduce symptoms of abdominal pain and bloating that often accompanies constipation. With these effects, magnesium can treat all types of constipation, including physical and psychological constipation.
Magnesium supplement vs. dietary sources of magnesium
There are two main types of magnesium: dietary and supplemental magnesium. Dietary magnesium comes from foods in your diet, while extra magnesium is added to your diet as a pill or tablet.
Dietary and supplemental magnesium differ in both the amount of magnesium present in the source and the absorption rate. Dietary magnesium is absorbed in 12% to 35%, whereas supplemental magnesium is immersed at 25% to 50%. Additionally, dietary magnesium comes from a wide range of foods, whereas extra magnesium comes from a small variety of products.
Foods that are high in magnesium
As mentioned above, many common foods are high in magnesium. Some of these include nuts, legumes, and leafy greens. Magnesium is a mineral abundant in nuts and seeds, especially almonds, cashews, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds.
Additionally, many types of beans and legumes contain high magnesium levels, such as black beans, lentils, lima beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, and navy beans. Magnesium is also abundant in leafy greens, including spinach, Swiss chard, and collard greens. Other foods high in magnesium include whole grains, wheat bran, soybeans, and yogurt.
Recommended magnesium dosage
Unfortunately, there is no recommended daily amount (RDA) for magnesium. However, an adequate daily magnesium intake is believed to be around 400 mg. If you experience constipation, your doctor may recommend a higher dosage of magnesium, such as 800 mg daily. If you have other conditions, such as IBS or diabetes, your doctor may advise you to take a higher dosage of magnesium.
Magnesium supplements and side effects
As with any supplement, it is essential to be aware of the possible side effects. With supplemental magnesium, you may experience gastrointestinal side effects such as diarrhea, abdominal cramping, and vomiting. Additionally, long-term use of magnesium supplements may cause magnesium toxicity, which can harm your health.
As with any supplement, it is essential to speak with your doctor before taking magnesium. If you need to take a magnesium supplement, your doctor can advise you on the correct dosage and whether you should.
Other treatments for constipation
If you experience occasional constipation, you can address it with dietary changes. If you are experiencing chronic constipation, finding the cause and determining the best course of treatment is essential.
If you need to drink more water, increasing your daily fluid intake can help to relieve constipation. If your diet lacks fiber, increasing your intake of fiber-rich foods can help regulate stools and prevent constipation. If you cannot resolve your constipation with dietary changes, your doctor may recommend a laxative, stool softener, or fiber supplement.
Prevention of constipation
To prevent constipation, it is essential to balance your diet with enough water, fiber, and exercise. You can also use supplements such as magnesium to help regulate bowel movements further and prevent constipation.
It's crucial to remember that many of the precise causes of constipation can be avoided. If you are getting enough exercise and drinking enough water, you will likely not experience constipation.
If you feel at risk for constipation, you can use a magnesium supplement to prevent or treat it. You can also make dietary changes to avoid constipation and improve overall health.
Constipation is a condition that affects many people, and there are many possible causes. One way to address constipation is to increase the amount of magnesium in your diet.
Magnesium may help to prevent and relieve constipation by improving bowel movements and softening stools. Eating foods high in magnesium, including nuts and leafy greens, will help you consume more.
If you experience constipation, you can use a magnesium supplement to address it. With dietary changes, you can prevent constipation and improve your overall health.