It isn’t fun when you can’t go.
Whether you have problems on a daily basis or are struck by occasional bouts of constipation, dealing with this problem can be both frustrating and embarrassing.
Thankfully, there are natural options when it comes to tackling this common gastrointestinal problem, including taking magnesium for constipation.
1) Some of the links below are affiliate links.
2) The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be used in place of the advice of a healthcare professional. While my wife and I have been taking magnesium supplements every day for years, I can't say how they might affect you. Always consult a doctor if you have health concerns: don't try to self-diagnose!
Symptoms Of Constipation
Most adults can easily tell when they are constipated. This painful condition is identified as times at which bowel movements become infrequent or irregular or when you simply can’t go at all.
The most common symptoms of constipation include:
- A reduction in the number of bowel movements
- Difficulty or strain when attempting to pass stools
- Hard or compacted stools that are painful to pass
- Cramping or stomach aches that go away with bowel movements
- Blood in the stools caused by hemorrhoids or tearing during bowel movements
- Leakage of wet, diarrhea-like stools between other bowel movements
What Causes Constipation?
There is no one cause of constipation, but many cases can be tied to lifestyle habits, changes or illness. Common causes include:
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Poor diet or sudden changes in diet
- Prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications
- Lack of exercise
- Hormonal changes
- Other illnesses
When To See a Doctor
Many people only suffer from constipation on an occasional basis. If you have bouts with constipation after eating certain types of food or making sudden changes to your diet, you most likely do not need to see a doctor. Simply try drinking more water and exercising to see if that relieves the problem.
Unfortunately, some individuals do suffer from constipation on a regular basis. If you are constipated more than once a week or can’t tie your constipation to eating habits, it’s important to see a doctor.
During your visit, your doctor may try to get a better understanding of the cause of your constipation by:
- Asking you questions about your lifestyle and exercise habits
- Talking with you about your symptoms
- Taking samples of your stools
- Conducting an abdominal or rectal exam
In some cases, it may be necessary for a doctor to conduct a more extensive exam to decide what’s causing constipation. This might include:
- Blood work
- A colonoscopy
- A barium enema followed by intestinal X-rays
- Other imaging of your GI tract
How Is Constipation Usually Treated?
Many individuals who suffer from occasional constipation that isn’t caused by a serious health issue may be helped by:
- Getting more exercise
- Staying hydrated
- Eating a well-balanced diet
- Including plenty of natural fiber and whole grains in their diets
- Using bulking agents
- Taking magnesium supplements
In rare cases, doctors will prescribe medications designed to help with chronic constipation. These medications are often given to young children and older adults who suffer from constipation caused by another medical problem.
In general, doctors suggest that OTC laxatives be avoided unless they are used only a few times every year.
Magnesium For Constipation
Like many medical problems, there are also natural solutions that can help with constipation. Among the most effective is a simple change in diet and exercise habits. The healthier you are, the less likely you are to suffer from constipation.
Some natural supplements have also been identified as powerful agents against constipation. One of the most popular is magnesium. This natural element is widely recognized by naturopaths and doctors to help relieve constipation.
Magnesium is particularly helpful in relieving constipation if you suffer from magnesium deficiency. I dealt with chronic constipation for years, and it was only when I started taking magnesium supplements for my some of my other health issues that my constipation cleared up completely.
Which type of magnesium though?
- It was Natural Calm Magnesium Citrate powder that took care of my constipation: Click here to see it on Amazon
How Does Magnesium Help?
Magnesium is a mineral that supports your body’s overall health. It plays a key role in muscle function, which may explain why it can be so helpful for individuals who suffer from constipation. After all, your GI tract is one long muscle that must be healthy in order to produce consistent bowel movements.
Magnesium can help to relax intestinal muscles, allowing bowel movements to pass without issue. Magnesium is also known to attract water. If you suffer from constipation, attracting extra water to your digestive system can help loosen and free up stools.
Because magnesium does attract water, it’s essential to drink plenty of water when taking magnesium for constipation. Indeed, magnesium can lead to dehydration if you fail to drink an adequate amount of water with your supplement.
You should also be sure that you are eating enough fiber to maximize the benefits of magnesium.
How Much Magnesium For Constipation?
While the decision to use magnesium to relieve constipation is a personal one, the supplement is considered a good choice by many because it’s natural and supports overall digestive health.
If you suffer from regular constipation, you may be like me and find that magnesium helps to relieve your symptoms. This is especially true if you suffer from magnesium deficiency.
As always, you are strongly encouraged to consult with your physician or other qualified medical professional to help determine your own optimal level of magnesium, and to see whether magnesium supplementation is right for you.
The US Recommended Daily Allowance for magnesium is 300-400mg, though your doctor can help you determine how much magnesium to take for constipation.
It’s also important to understand that magnesium has not been identified as an effective treatment for people who suffer from Constant-Predominant Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS-C). If you have IBS, talk to your doctor about using magnesium as it may still be helpful as a part of your whole treatment plan.
Alexander Jacques Sabucido says
A lot of reason why we experience constipation, but magnesium would be a big help since it relaxes your bowels and pulls water into your intestines.
The best way to take Magnesium that will bypass all the digestive issues associated with taking it in pill form, is to take it transdermally–in other words, thru the skin. If you do a search on Magnesium Oil (it’s called oil but it’s not oily) or Magnesium Gel, you can find out more. I use Life-flo because it’s the cheapeast. It’s been a miracle for me.
really nice post! thanks a lot for talking about it! it really helps.
I was taking a table spoon of CALM every morning and evening and I was finally able to use the bathroom regularly. After about two weeks I notices that the dosage was supposed to be a teaspoon instead of a tablespoon. I take the table spoon like it recommends now but it definitely doesn’t work as well. I want to go back to taking the tablespoon but don’t know if taking almost three times the recommended does of magnesium would be harmful in the long run. I just want a normal bowel movement!
****I talk the TEASPOON like it recommends now but…**** Typo
John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt says
I love Magnesium so much that even though I have explosive, liquid stools that leave a strange ring around the water level of the bowl, I continue to take tons of it regularly.
If I need a break from the explosive diarrhea, I usually take Calcium with my Magnesium or only go with the Glycinate form.
For some reason, I have no stomach cramping with Mg diarrhea, just the need to find a bathroom fairly quickly. Stomach cramping would probably make my amount of intake a no-go.
My top 3 choices and why:
1. Magnesium Malate–This form actually gives me energy, albeit a relaxed kind of energy.
I like to take this in the morning and never at night. Prefer the Source Naturals brand. Diarrhea effect is a 1-2 on a scale of 10, but increases with increased dose. Mg Malate helps me to have a good day at work and more pleasant mood.
2. CALM– (Magnesium Citrate) The orange flavor one tastes fantastic. Although it is the main culprit for diarrhea (due to it being
Magnesium Citrate and the ionized Mg pooling water into the intestine), it creates a near immediate, relaxed
feeling in my body. My muscles loosen up in a flash. The orange flavor is great alone or mixed with something like Gatorade.
I take this 2-3 times throughout the average day and have some before bed. Sleep quality is greatly enhanced. The manufacturer now even makes one designed specifically for sleep that has other natural relaxants or sleep aids in it such as Theanine and Melatonin. The regular kind works just as well for me so I figure keep it simple.
I do take an occasional Melatonin seperately though, due to some night shift work…it helps get sleep cycle flipped back around. As a bonus, the citric acid in the drink has cut my desire for soft drinks at least in half, if not more. I feel the need to brush my teeth more often since I started with this stuff. Probably the citrate.
3. Magnesium Glycinate— This is one form of Magnesium I can take however much of I want and it doesn’t cause any diarrhea. The Magnesium is wrapped in a couple of amino acids so it doesn’t have the water pooling effect of something still so strongly ionized. This allows for more time spent in the gut absorbing. I prefer the Drs. Best tablets for this variety. I will warn that although you can get this form of Mg in a powder IT IS NOTHING similar to CALM. While CALM fizzes and dissolves easily in water, Mg Glycinate powder is hard to dissolve and tastes like chalk. Go for the pills unless you can’t swallow them. The effect of Mg Glycinate for me I would describe as a mellow relaxation. I take this at bedtime and a glass of CALM.
My Magnesium benefits:
-Calm, focused, lowered anxiety, better quality sleep and wake up fresher with less sleep, good for the restless leg nights in bed and a no brainer to relieve muscle tightness.
Morning: Vitamin D, Fish Oil, TUMS for Calcium (and Vitamin K2, available, online or a decent vitamin store, to make sure most of the calcium goes to my bones and less to my kidneys, arteries and muscles), Mg Malate pills, CALM. Breakfast of champions right there.
Evening/bedtime: Mg Glycinate, CALM, sometimes a little Melatonin.
Ok, this is a bit embarrassing, but I’m taking magnesium citrate and the fecal incontinence has gotten to be too much. I have suffered from constipation for years and the magnesium really helped. However, now I have the other extreme of the issue. I decreased my intake to only 250mg every other day and the problem still persisted. Now, that I haven’t taking it for 4 days, I’m not having the incontinence issue anymore. I guess I need to go 250 mg every 3-4 days? While constipation is a big problem for me, I’m not willing to deal with a diarrhea/incontinence issue either. Any advice/suggestions are appreciated.
Ellen Langston says
Have you tried one of the other types of magnesium? I’ve heard that the magnesium citrate has a more explosive type result. It really takes awhile to find the right one for your body.
constipation is sometimes ignored and gets full attention when the condition aggravates.. i know the feeling of how bloated a person can get and it affects almost all of the days work..i learned to cope up with fibers from the fruits and herbs that i eat..papaya, fennel, and drinking enough water for the day.. my only problem is when I am on travel… i won’t be able to eat these fruits ..looking for an all natural replacement of fibers which can be carried easily like tablets or capsulized form of these fruits and herbs.
Andrew McVagh says
Great point Kathreena. My constipation was always worse when I traveled.
Now I just pack my magnesium with everything else and if I stick to my usual dosage I don’t seem to have a problem when on the road.
Was wondering how much magnesium that you take?