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Does Zinc Give You Diarrhea

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Stomach Pain And Diarrhea

What is Diarrhea? Causes, Signs and Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment.

Typically, stomach pain and diarrhea occur in conjunction with nausea and vomiting.

In one 2021 review on zinc supplements and the common cold, approximately 40% of participants reported abdominal pain and diarrhea .

Although less common, gut irritation and gastrointestinal bleeding can occur.

In one case study, an individual experienced intestinal bleeding after taking 220 mg of zinc sulfate twice daily to treat acne .

Zinc chloride is not present in supplements, but poisoning can occur from accidental ingestion of household products. Adhesives, sealants, soldering fluxes, cleaning chemicals and wood finishing products all contain zinc chloride.


Stomach pain and diarrhea are common symptoms of zinc toxicity. In some cases, severe gastrointestinal damage and bleeding can occur.

These symptoms occur in many conditions, including other mineral toxicities. Thus, diagnosing zinc toxicity can be difficult.

Your doctor may need your detailed medical and dietary history and blood tests for suspected mineral toxicity.

If youre taking supplements, be sure to disclose these to your healthcare professional.


Flu-like symptoms can occur due to toxic amounts of several minerals, including zinc. Thus, its important to disclose all supplements to your healthcare provider to ensure proper treatment.

Health Benefits Of Zinc

In addition to its role in supporting the immune system, zinc is required for the activity of more than 300 enzymes that aid with healthy digestion, nerve function, and metabolism.

Zinc also supports brain health. Compared to other organs in the body, zinc concentration is highest in the brain. A 2017 study, published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, concluded that while there are many unknowns, changes in zinc balance in the brain may affect conditions that include age-related cognitive decline, depression, and Alzheimers disease.

Another of zincs major roles is helping the body heal. Zinc is required for cell membrane repair, cell growth, and the maintenance of healthy skin. Zinc-dependent proteins play fundamental roles within cells, including in DNA repair. For these reasons, a zinc deficiency can lead to skin problems and impaired wound healing.

Too little zinc can negatively impact your senses and appetite. According to one recent study, 35% to 45% of adults 60 and older had zinc intakes below the estimated average requirement. One set of side effects tied to zinc deficiency involves diminished taste and smell, plus poor appetite. If youve ever lost these senses due to illness, youre aware of how much they affect the appeal of food. In healthy adults, zinc plays a role in maintaining these functions.

What Form Of Magnesium Causes Diarrhea

Magnes diarrhea and laxative effects are due to the osmotic activity of unabsorbed salts in the colon and colon, as well as the stimulation of gastric motility. Symptoms of magnesium toxicity, which usually develop after serum concentrations exceed 1.742. Hypotension, nausea, vomiting, and facial flushing, as well as urine retention, ileus, depression, lethargy, can be present in 61 mmol/L. The UL appears to be lower than the RDA for several people, and for those that are not, it seems to have less.

Also Check: How Much Extra Weight When Constipated

Finding A Healthy Zinc Balance

To best benefit from zinc without going overboard, focus on food sources. If youre an omnivore, aim for a variety of plant and animal foods. If youre plant-based, zero in on top plant sources and be sure to incorporate them often. If youre concerned about not getting enough zinc from your regular diet due to dislikes or dietary restrictions, talk to your doctor or dietitian for guidance and whether zinc supplements might be appropriate for you. Zinc is one of the most important nutrients for optimal wellness, but striking the right balance is vital for reaping its benefits.

Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, is Health‘s contributing nutrition editor, a New York Times best-selling author, and a private practice performance nutritionist who has consulted for five professional sports teams.

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Does Zinc Cause Other Intestinal Issues

26 Foods High in Zinc for Overall Good Health

Nausea may not be the only symptom you contend with. So, does zinc give you diarrhea or make you throw up?

Indeed, the mineral can contribute to intestinal issues like diarrhea, retching, vomiting and abdominal cramping, according to the ODS. This is often the case if you take too high a dose, eat a supplement on an empty stomach or ingest a form of zinc that isn’t supposed to be eaten.

Luckily, you can address these digestive symptoms in much the same way as nausea. If you take supplements, lower your dosage and take your pill with a meal. Otherwise, stick to food sources of the mineral whenever possible.

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The Role Of Zinc In The Body

Zinc is an essential trace element and has a number of roles and functions in the human body.

  • It is an essential component/cofactor for more than 300 enzymes involved in the synthesis and metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, nucleic acids and other micro-nutrients.
  • It stabilises cellular components and membranes and so is important for cell and organ structure and integrity.
  • It is essential for cell division and is needed for normal growth and development during pregnancy, childhood and adolescence.
  • It is involved in DNA synthesis and the process of genetic expression.
  • It is important for immune function .
  • It is involved in wound healing and tissue repair.
  • It is needed for the senses of taste and smell.

Zinc Supplementation To Reduce Diarrhea Rates In Adults In Western Kenya

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details.
First Posted : July 21, 2010Last Update Posted : July 22, 2010
Condition or disease

Diarrhea has been a major cause of morbidity, hospitalization, and loss of duty days for military personnel for centuries. In fact, diarrheal illness is the most common medical problem for U.S. troops during operational deployment. Soldiers are especially prone to diarrhea because of travel, consumption of locally procured foods and the use of nonpotable water, or ice. High rates of occurrence continue to be reported in soldiers deployed to recent conflicts. Furthermore, high morbidity rates from enteric disease have been reported by other military forces in areas of current combat operations: up to 53%-69% of Soviet troops had major gastrointestinal infections during the Afghanistan war, and up to 69% of British troops and 36% of Australian troops reported diarrhea in Iraq during Operation Safe Haven in 1991.


Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Why Zinc Is Given In Diarrhea

Zinc is a mineral that is found in the intestines. It is also found naturally in foods such as milk, cheese, and eggs. Zinc helps to prevent the formation of gas and diarrhea. Zn is used in many different ways to treat diarrhea, including: 1. In the treatment of constipation 2. As a laxative 3. To help with the absorption of food 4. For the prevention of urinary tract infections 5. to help prevent urinary retention 6. as a diuretic 7. for the control of blood pressure 8. in treating the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome 9. and as an antidiarrheal 10. zinc supplements are also used to reduce the risk of developing heart disease.

Which Forms Of Magnesium Have A Laxative Effect

Acute Diarrhea | Approach to Causes, Enterotoxic vs Invasive, Watery vs Bloody Diarrhea

Magnesium citrate is one of the most popular magnesium supplements and is easily absorbed by your body. Its mainly used to raise magnesium levels and relieve constipation. Magnesium oxide is a form of magnesium and oxygen. This form isnt often used to prevent or treat magnesium deficiencies. Instead, its more frequently used for short-term relief of uncomfortable digestive symptoms, such as heartburn, indigestion, and constipation It may also be used to treat and prevent migraines Magnesium is often used to relieve digestive complaints like heartburn.

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Report Problems To The Food And Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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Aamodt, R. L., Rumble, W. F., Johnston, G. S., Foster, D., and Henkin, R. I. Zinc metabolism in humans after oral and intravenous administration of Zn-69m. Am J Clin Nutr 1979 32:559-569. View abstract.

Abba, K., Gulani, A., and Sachdev, H. S. Zinc supplements for preventing otitis media. Cochrane.Database.Syst.Rev. 2010 :CD006639. View abstract.

Abdolsamadi, H. and Hamian, M. An investigation on therapeutic effect of zinc sulfate in patients with geographic tongue. J Dent 2006 18:63.

Abdulhamid, I., Beck, F. W., Millard, S., Chen, X., and Prasad, A. Effect of zinc supplementation on respiratory tract infections in children with cystic fibrosis. Pediatr.Pulmonol. 2008 43:281-287. View abstract.

Addy, M., Richards, J., and Williams, G. Effects of a zinc citrate mouthwash on dental plaque and salivary bacteria. J.Clin.Periodontol. 1980 7:309-315. View abstract.

Afkhami-Ardekani, M., Karimi, M., Mohammadi, S. M., and Nourani, F. Effect of zinc supplementation on lipid and glucose in type 2 diabetic patients. Pak J Nutr 2008 7:550-553.

Agren, M. S. and Stromberg, H. E. Topical treatment of pressure ulcers. A randomized comparative trial of Varidase and zinc oxide. Scand.J.Plast.Reconstr.Surg. 1985 19:97-100. View abstract.

Stick To Food Sources

Whole foods are typically the best source of zinc , according to the Mayo Clinic.

So if your zinc capsules make you queasy, it may be best to stick to natural sources of the mineral. You should still get enough zinc, per the Mayo Clinic, just without the side effects associated with the higher or more concentrated doses of a supplement.

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Take Your Supplement After Exercise

People who exercise are probably no stranger to the effects movement can take on their GI tracts. In fact, some 30 to 50 percent of athletes experience intestinal problems related to exercise, according to a May 2014 review in âSports Medicineâ.

“Exercise notoriously gets things going,” Dr. Jouhourian says. She recommends taking a supplement after a workout, and perhaps more importantly, while eating, which can help settle the stomach.

Do One A Day Vitamins Work

Zinc Supplement  Nature

If youre taking a multivitamin, its probably because you want to do everything you can to protect your health. But there is still limited evidence that a daily cocktail of essential vitamins and minerals actually delivers what you expect. Most studies find no benefit of multivitamins in protecting the brain or heart.

Can taking vitamin B12 cause diarrhea?

Side effects of B12 are rare but may include: diarrhea. constipation. skin rash suggesting an allergy.

Does Vitamin B Give You Diarrhea?

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You Ate It On An Empty Stomach

For some, taking any amount of supplemental zinc on an empty stomach might make you feel queasy. That may be because zinc pills dissolve in one spot when they get to your stomach, which can lead to irritation in the area, according to October 2013 research in the ââInternational Journal of Alzheimer’s Diseaseâ.

Supplements That Can Cause Diarrhea

If you take a vitamin or mineral supplement as part of your wellness routine, making healthy lifestyle choices is likely a priority for you.

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But when it comes to certain supplements, what you’re putting into your body might actually stir up your gastrointestinal tract, leading to diarrhea.

Osmotic diarrhea occurs when you consume something that prevents proper water and electrolyte absorption, according to âClinical Methods: The History, Physical, and Laboratory Examinationsâ.

This type of diarrhea is most commonly associated with things we ingest, like certain supplements, Dr. Caroline Renee Jouhourian, MD, a gastroenterology specialist in North Chelmsford, Massachusetts says.

While it’s not uncommon for people to experience a bout of diarrhea that subsides after a couple of days, even brief episodes of diarrhea can result in dehydration. That’s why it’s important to pinpoint what might be causing GI distress â such as these common vitamin supplements that cause diarrhea â and take steps to prevent it.

Is Your Diet Missing Certain Nutrients?

Track your daily nutrients by logging your meals on the MyPlate app. Download now to fine-tune your diet today!

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May Improve Immune Function

Many over-the-counter medications and natural remedies feature zinc due to its ability to boost immune function and fight inflammation. Thus, it could potentially help treat certain types of infection if used when symptoms first appear.

One review of 7 studies showed that zinc lozenges containing 8092 mg of zinc may reduce the duration of the common cold by up to 33% .

Zinc may also act as an antioxidant, reducing inflammation and protecting against chronic conditions like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes .

According to a review of 28 studies, some evidence suggests that taking zinc could even prevent symptoms and shorten the duration of certain respiratory tract infections .

Enhancing Healthcare Team Outcomes

Chronic Diarrhea: Approach to Cause, Secretory vs Osmotic vs Inflammatory, Watery vs Bloody Diarrhea

It is crucial for those working in developing countries to suggest zinc supplementation for a child with diarrhea. Many physicians and healthcare providers are unaware of the benefits of zinc therapy because of the lack of education on minerals. Zinc is highly cost-effective in treating diarrhea.

When taking a medication history, nurses need to look for supplements such as zinc and specifically prompt the patient to provide such information. Many patients think they do not need to include OTC supplements in their medication history. Pharmacists need to guide patients to proper OTC dosing, and the treating clinician can coordinate with the pharmacist to make recommendations where supplementation is necessary and beneficial. While zinc is generally benign and available without a prescription, it merits attention, and the entire interprofessional healthcare team, including clinicians, nurses, and pharmacists, should follow the patient’s use of zinc, to avoid interactions as well as optimize the benefit where zinc is beneficial to the patient.

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How Is Zinc Used In The Treatment Of Diarrhea

Zinc plus oral rehydration therapy reduces stool production and duration of diarrhea in hospitalized children, a randomized controlled trial. Additionally, Zn has been shown to be effective prophylactically in reducing pneumonia, diarrhea, and mortality in a large randomized trial in Bangladesh.

Can we have too much zinc in the stomach?

No. The zinc will dissolve in the hydrochloric acid in your stomach, essentially neutralizing it. But then you have to deal with zinc toxicity. Too much zinc, above 225 mg/day, can cause nausea, vomiting, pain, cramps and diarrhea.

How much zinc should I give my child for diarrhoea?

There are two simple and effective treatments for the clinical management of acute diarrhea: the routine use of zinc supplementation, at 20 milligrams per day for children over six months or 10 mg per day for those younger than six months, for 1014 days .

How is Zn loss related to acute diarrhea?

Intestinal losses of Zn have been reported in children with acute dehydrating diarrhea. Effect of diarrhea on serum zinc concentrations in infants and children. These findings prompted studies of Zn supplementation in children with diarrhea. The incidence of persistent diarrhea and dysentery was also reduced by Zn supplementation.

Zinc Supplements Reduce Diarrhea In Children

Laurie Barclay, MD

May 15, 2014

The benefits on growth, health, and survival from preventive zinc supplementation in children outweigh the harms in areas with relatively high risk for zinc deficiency, according to findings of a review May 15 in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.

“We should remember that supplements are not a substitute for a well-balanced diet,” senior author Zulqar Bhutta, PhD, from the Center of Excellence in Women and Child Health, Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan, and the Sick Kids Center for Global Child Health, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, said in a journal news release. “However, in countries where zinc deficiency is common, supplements may help to reduce child deaths and related diseases in the short-term.”

Zinc is essential for proper growth and function of the immune, nervous, and reproductive systems. It is not synthesized by the human body and must come from dietary sources. Zinc deficiency is prevalent in Southeast Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, and parts of Latin America affects more than 1 in 6 people worldwide and contributes to an estimated 1 in 58 deaths in children younger than 5 years.

“Eating foods with balanced energy and protein and multiple micronutrients would probably have a larger effect for many malnourished children,” said lead author Evan Mayo-Wilson, PhD in the release.

Zinc Supplements Linked to Lower Morbidity

The authors have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

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Is It Ok To Take Zinc Everyday

Zinc is a mineral that is essential for your body. It is also a good source of iron, which is needed for healthy bones and teeth. and zinc is an essential nutrient for the body to function properly. Zinc helps to prevent and treat many diseases, including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, depression, Alzheimers disease and many others. The body uses zinc to build and maintain healthy cells, to repair damaged tissue, as well as to help with the production of hormones and neurotransmitters. In addition, zinc helps the immune system to fight off infections and other diseases.

You Ate Zinc That Wasn’t Meant To Be Eaten

Zinc Supplement  Nature

Zinc oxide poisoning can result from accidentally ingesting certain skin creams and ointments that contain the mineral, like sunscreen, diaper rash cream and calamine lotion, according to the NLM. Besides zinc-induced nausea, this can also cause symptoms like:

  • Yellow eyes and skin

Avoid this issue by making sure your zinc supplement is intended for oral use before you eat it.


Long-term use above the recommended upper limit of 40 milligrams of zinc per day increases your risk for side effects, per the ODS.

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