If you are having trouble with regular bowel movements, you aren’t alone –
“ Around 4 million people in the U.S. suffer from frequent constipation”
While it’s not considered to be a condition as serious as malignancy, constipation can lead to bloating, and indigestion and affect health in general. The toxic metabolites stay in the system and weaken your immunity. Well, of course, you can go for the usual medications and it is encouraged to take them in chronic situations. However, most medicines have side effects and aren’t a permanent solution to the problem.
In this article, we will talk about:
- What causes constipation?
- How magnesium can help in constipation?
- Benefits of Magnesium
- Side Effects of Magnesium
- How to treat constipation naturally?
Let’s understand the problem from its root cause.
- The body is crying for water: Constipation indicates dehydration, which makes the stool difficult to pass. Systemic conditions which affect fluid retention in the body such as thyroid and parathyroid disorders and diabetes or pregnancy can aggravate the situation. In order to avoid constipation 1.2l of daily water consumption is recommended.
- Insufficient quantities of fiber – Fibers aren’t digested but instead act as roughage that provides the bulk for stool formation.
- Changes in diet or normal activities– Your body is used to functioning a certain way. Any alteration to that can lead to constipation.
- Physical inactivity– Sedentary lifestyle may lead to reduced bowel movement.
- Holding stools for an extended period despite the urge to defecate- Our rectal smooth muscles relax once we try to ignore the urge to defecate. Once you ignore nature’s call. Your system silences the urge.
- Medications: Medications like narcotics, antidepressants and antacids (especially those that contain calcium and aluminum) have adverse effects on bowel movements.
- Neurological disorders: Conditions like Parkinson’s, stroke and motility issues can cause constipation.
- Muscle dysfunction– Muscle dysfunction including animus, dyssynergia and weakening of muscles can lead to poor bowel movement.
Also Read: Can Dehydration cause Diarrhea?
It is always better to opt for natural mineral supplements than commercial laxatives which may have long-term side effects. Magnesium – is a vital micronutrient which is a part of at least 600 metabolic processes. It is found in vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grain products.
Magnesium is being used in modern medicine as a natural remedy for constipation. Studies also show that daily magnesium supplement is better than bulk laxatives.
The first benefit of magnesium is that it relaxes muscles inside the intestines, making it easier for you to defecate. In addition, magnesium acts as an osmotic, pulling water into the intestines and softening stools.
Recommended dose for constipation: 500- 1000 mg per day (prescribed by doctor) as compared to the daily dose of 350mg/day for regular individuals.
So what form and timing should I follow for constipation remedy?
The dual action of magnesium citrate makes it an excellent gentle laxative. Based on the purpose, the dosage and timing vary. The best time to take magnesium citrate for constipation is early in the morning since you might get the urge to defecate middle of the night.
Know More: Do Magnesium Makes You Sleepy?
From gut health to heart health magnesium has got you covered. Let’s learn more about the benefits of this super mineral.
Metabolism– It is a necessary co-factor responsible for more than 600 reactions including energy generation, protein formation, gene maintenance, and muscle and nervous system regulation thereby having a direct effect on metabolism.
Enhance muscle power– A study claimed that nearly 2570 women who take magnesium supplements were shown to have higher muscle mass and endurance as compared to control group. It also has been known to protect against certain markers of cell damage and improve lactate metabolism thereby reducing fatigue.
Prevents diabetes – It lowers blood sugar levels, and controls and prevents the risk of type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, it increases sensitivity to insulin.
Maintains heart health -It reduces high blood pressure and has added benefits like reduced risk for stroke and controlling the levels of LDL and cholesterol according to recent studies.
Anti-Inflammatory – It has an active role in reducing oxidative stress and the levels of inflammatory markers like C-Reactive proteins and interleukin- 6 thereby reducing inflammation.
Prevent headache– A recent study claimed that patients who received one gram of magnesium had lesser episodes of migraine.
Pre-Menstruation- Syndrome – PMS includes water retention, cramps and irritability. Adding this mineral to your diet can show significant improvement in these conditions
Bone Health – Females are especially prone to fractures. A review of 12 studies linked magnesium with a lower risk for fracture.
Fighting Insomnia– In one study, magnesium supplements reduced the time it took for older adults with insomnia to fall asleep by 17 minutes on average. It is associated with the neurotransmitter GABA which regulates the sleep cycle.
Anxiety– Stress affects your bowel movements and sleeps quality. Magnesium is a great supplement for reducing anxiety and stress.
Lowered Colorectal Cancer Risk- It has been suggested that magnesium oxide supplements may help reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.
According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, high magnesium intake is linked to a lower risk of colorectal cancer. Magnesium reduces the risk of tumor development by 12% for every 100 milligrams consumed.
Check Out: Magnesium for Leg Cramps
- Everything in excess can do more harm than good
- Within 350mg of daily doses, it is usually considered safe. However certain side effects like stomach upset, nausea, and diarrhea, can be noticed in some patients.
- Doses above 350mg can cause heart palpitations, low blood pressure, confusion, slow breathing, and even death.
- In patients with bleeding disorders magnesium might increase the chance of spontaneous bruising and bleeding,
- Magnesium is contraindicated in patients with heart blockage, myasthenia gravis and chronic kidney disease.
Ayurvedic Scriptures claim that 95% of all diseases stem from the gut and taking care of gut health can significantly improve our quality of life, liberating us from ailments.
- Yoga and exercise – Regular yoga session have been shown to improve bowel movement.
- Dietary changes – Switch to a more plant-based diet rich in legumes and fibers and avoid processed food.
- Hydrate yourself – Replenishing your water reserve can help you prevent constipation.
- Say goodbye to caffeine – After overnight water starvation morning coffee aggravates constipation. It is advised to replace your morning caffeine with a glass of lukewarm water with lemon slices.
Most of our ailments originate from our gut. It is important to listen to our body for signs of deficiency and have a holistic approach backed by science to ensure a healthy body and mind. Opting for magnesium for constipation not only cures the condition but also ensures overall health.