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Is Magnesium Good For Ibs

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Behavioral And Psychological Support

The Importance of Magnesium for IBS

There is a close relationship between the gut and the brain known as the brain-gut axis, and emotional stress and psychological factors can contribute to symptoms of IBS . And as might be expected with a chronic medical condition, depression and anxiety are not uncommon in people with IBS. A variety of therapies take advantage of the gut-brain connection to help reduce IBS symptoms and to improve quality of life. Therapies that may work together with medications to help control pain and discomfort include hypnosis, cognitive behavioral therapy, psychodynamic therapy, and mindfulness-based stress reduction.

Many, but not all, controlled clinical trials have shown that cognitive behavioral therapy improves gastrointestinal symptoms, mental health, and the ability to carry out normal daily activities. Benefits were seen for both individual and group therapy, and a few studies even reported benefits from online therapy.

Hypnosis and psychodynamic therapy have also been evaluated in smaller numbers of controlled trials with, again, some but not all trials reporting benefits for mental health and daily functioning .

Depending on your preference, the promising results on these therapies may be worth considering.

How Much Should You Take

Recommended doses of magnesium supplements are 200400 mg per day, depending on the brand.

This means that a supplement can provide you with 100% or more of the reference daily intake .

The Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine in the United States has set an upper tolerable limit of 350 mg per day for supplemental magnesium below which you are unlikely to experience any digestive side effects (

How Is Constipation Usually Treated

Many individuals who suffer from occasional constipation that isnt caused by a serious health issue may be helped by:

  • Getting more exercise
  • 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.

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Good Digestion Gives Physical And Mental Well

Many people find that their good mood returns and their headache and other symptoms disappear into thin air, once their constipation stops and they are able to empty their bowel completely 1-2 times daily, which is optimal.


Murakami K et al. Association between dietary fiber, water and magnesium intake and functional constipation among young Japanese women. Eur J Clin Nutr.

Lorn Alison. Magnesium and Constipation.

Vitamin Supplements For Ibs

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  • Vitamin D: Study shows vitamin D deficiency is highly prevalent in patients with IBS and results seem to have therapeutic benefits. Vitamin D supplementation could play a therapeutic role in IBS control. Increasingly, research is linking a lack of vitamin D to a host of illnesses including inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, colorectal cancer and depression.
  • B vitamins: Low level of vitamin B-6 absorbed among people who are depressed or anxious. Vitamin B-6 is require for the production of serotonin, the mood lifting brain chemical. Vitamin B-6 also help to quell nausea increase it by eating foods such as spinach, tuna, banana, and salmon, or take a supplement. Low levels of vitamin B-12 and folic acid can also cause anxiety. Vitamin B rich foods are oily fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, soybeans, bananas, and leafy green vegetables.

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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 cant tie your constipation to eating habits, its 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 whats causing constipation. This might include:

  • Blood work
  • A barium enema followed by intestinal X-rays
  • Other imaging of your GI tract

Magnesium Deficiency And Dehydration

A large Japanese study looked at 3,835 students, 26.2% of whom suffered from constipation. The participants’ fiber intake was relatively low, and their constipation was typically combined with a low intake of magnesium and liquids.

The laxative effect of magnesium is controlled via the following mechanisms:

  • Magnesium helps relax the muscles of the intestinal wall – including the sphincter between the small intestine and large intestine and between the large intestine and rectum. This facilitates the passage of food and feces through the digestive tract without inappropriate blockages caused by muscle tension
  • Magnesium attracts water in the large intestine, helping to soften the feces, whereby it can pass more easily through the intestine, helped by the peristaltic movements. For that reason, it is important that we get sufficient amounts of magnesium and liquid.

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Magnesium Citrate For Ibs

Magnesium citrate is magnesium in combination with citric acid.

Magnesium citrate is considered an osmotic laxative. It works by relaxing your bowels and pulling water into the bowels. The water helps soften and bulk up your stool, making it pass through more easily.

Magnesium citrate can be found in capsule, liquid, or powder formulations . You dont need a prescription to purchase magnesium citrate. It can be easily found in drugstores or online.

The recommended dose for magnesium supplements depends on brand, intended use, and how much magnesium you already get in your diet. Follow the dosage on the package instructions.

Understanding Irritable Bowel Syndrome

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Irritable bowel syndrome is diagnosed when someone has been experiencing abdominal pain, bloating, and unusual bowel movements for more than six months, and when diseases with overlapping symptoms, such as Crohns disease or inflammatory bowel disease, have been ruled out. Theres no biomarker or pathology for IBSthe intestine and blood tests look normal. Although there are treatments to help alleviate the symptoms, we do not know the underlying causes of the chronic symptoms, and we do not have a cure for the syndrome. Treatment largely consists of managing symptoms with diet and lifestyle changes and, if necessary, medication. Not understanding what is causing symptoms and the lack of effective treatment options make this condition frustrating for patients and practitioners. In the past, the lack of diagnostic lab tests that could verify IBS led to underdiagnosis and misunderstanding. But now, using symptoms as diagnostic criteria is accepted by the medical community .

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Relieves Muscle Pain And Cramping

Not having enough magnesium available to our muscles can cause muscle spasms that often lead to pain, cramping or twitching. Taking a supplement can help muscles to contract and relax normally. If you experience painful or uncomfortable PMS symptoms, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends magnesium to relieve bloating, breast tenderness, and mood changes.

Magnesium Can Lower Blood Pressure

Studies show that taking magnesium can lower blood pressure .

In one study, people who took 450 mg per day experienced a significant decrease in systolic and diastolic blood pressure .

However, these benefits may only occur in people who have high blood pressure.

Another study found that magnesium lowered blood pressure in people with high blood pressure but had no effect on those with normal levels .


Magnesium helps lower blood pressure in people with elevated levels but does not seem to have the same effect in those with normal levels.

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Antibiotic Treatment For Sibo

Bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine may contribute to IBS. The goal of a clinical study at the University of Michigan led by William Chey, MD, is to better predict who will benefit from antibiotic treatment to kill the bacteria. SIBO will be assessed in people with diarrheal IBS using home-based kits that measure hydrogen gas in the breath. They will then be given the antibiotic rifaximin for two weeks and surveyed about any changes in pain, stool consistency, and other symptoms. The hope is that the results of the breath tests, indicating the extent of SIBO, will predict who will benefit the most from rifaximin.

Peppermint Oil For Multiple Symptoms Of Ibs

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The NIHs National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health rates peppermint favorably . Multiple clinical studies have demonstrated that peppermint oil in enteric-coated capsules is very helpful for multiple symptoms of IBS in both adults and children . Its thought to act as an antispasmodic that helps intestinal smooth muscle relax, likely due to the bioactive component menthol . The anti-inflammatory and potent antimicrobial properties of peppermint may also be important. Animal studies have demonstrated that it can even reduce GI pain and anxiety .

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Vitamin And Mineral Supplements

Diarrhea results in poor absorption of nutrients, which means that it is a good idea to eat a nutrient-rich diet and to take vitamin and mineral supplements. If fat is not absorbed, this causes a special problem. Fat forms complexes with calcium, magnesium, and zinc, leading to deficiencies of these minerals when diarrhea is chronic. The fat-soluble vitamins A, E, and K are also lost along with the fat, so a good selection of supplements will contain at least 100 percent of the daily values for these vitamins as well as minerals .

Are Magnesium Supplements Causing Diarrhea?

Beware: Too much magnesium, especially magnesium oxide, can cause diarrhea, and some people are very sensitive to this effect. If diarrhea is a concern, reduce the dose of any magnesium supplement and choose a product with magnesium citrate or malateproduct labels will state the form of magnesium. If constipation is a concern, magnesium may be helpful Phillips Milk of Magnesia contains magnesium hydroxide, which is quite laxative.

How Do I Choose The Right Type Of Magnesium Supplement

If youre not sure your daily magnesium intake can be met through your diet, supplements are an excellent option to consider. However, its important to understand the difference between the different types and how each works to benefit body health. To help you navigate the magnesium landscape, Nathan shares a few of the more popular types and identifies who should take which type and why.

  • MAGNESIUM OXIDE: fairly popular in pharmacies, its elementally dense and therefore, requires fewer capsules. Ideal for relieving constipation or treating indigestion.
  • MAGNESIUM GLYCINATE: because it helps to increase bone density, patients with osteoporosis are a key patent audience. Also benefits patients with heart disease, as well as type 2 diabetes because it breaks down sugars.
  • MAGNESIUM CITRATE: helps the GI tract and aids constipation, as well as IBS because it relaxes the bowels.
  • MAGNESNIUM MALATE: the go-to for patients suffering with fibromyalgia because it reduces muscle and pain tenderness.
  • MAGNESIUM THREONATE: not as dense, which means you can take less capsules. Best for patients with Alzheimers or dementia due to its neurological effect.

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Leaky Gut And Increased Intestinal Permeability In Ibs

Some people with IBS may have a gut barrier that is not working properly to keep bacteria and undigested food components from getting into the body. If intestinal cells do not form a tight barrier, toxins and allergens can enter the body and are thought to contribute to symptoms and the severity of IBS as well as low-grade inflammation. Testing for leaky gut involves ingesting two sugars, lactulose and mannitol, and measuring them in the urine. Mannitol should be absorbed and then excreted in the urine, but lactulose should not get inside the body and show up in the urine unless you have leaky gut .

The Science Of Vitamin D And Ibs

Is Magnesium Any Good For SIBO?
People who have IBS are often also are deficient in Vitamin D. There are two strong, probable causes that these two issues go hand-in-hand:
Not Having Enough Vitamin D is causing IBS
IBS-induced diarrhea is preventing Vitamin D absorption
According to one study that was published in 2018 in the Saudi Journal of Gastroenterology:

Recent studies have suggested a relationship between vitamin D and IBS. Vitamin D has a potential role as immune modulator, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial agent that can explain its role in IBS. Furthermore, vitamin D receptors are expressed in the gut affecting gut function, motility, and IBS symptoms. Moreover, depression, which initiates or aggravates IBS symptoms, is more common in vitamin D deficiency .

Saudi J Gastroenterol

A lot of the symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency trigger symptoms of IBS. When our body is lacking an essential nutrient in cell production and vitamin absorption, it may cause joint pain, GI issues, and inflammation. All of this stress may cause someone to develop IBS.

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Helping Body Mechanisms Work Efficiently

Magnesium is a necessary nutrient for overall body health. Its present in our body cells and required for our bodies to function properly. Magnesium is known to be an anti-inflammatory and it can also enhance exercise performance, as well. According to Nathan Worthing, PharmD, Clark Professional Pharmacy owner and pharmacist, magnesium assists with several hundred mechanisms working within the body.

Along with providing a vast array of health and medical benefits, magnesium also aids diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, Alzheimers and dementia. It can help with conditions and disorders such as Irritable Bowel System , fibromyalgia and PMS.

Natural Sources Of Magnesium

Magnesium is present in both animal and plant foods. Foods rich in fiber are often also rich in magnesium, like:

  • Dark leafy greens, like spinach and kale
  • Nuts and seeds: sesame, almonds, pumpkin seeds, etc.
  • Fish, especially mackerel
  • Whole grains like brown rice and quinoa
  • Organic pulses and lentils like white beans, soy and black eyed beans
  • Fresh fruits like avocado, bananas
  • Dairy products like yoghurt and cheese
  • Dry fruits like figs, prunes and apricots

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Possible Causes Of Ibs

While we do not know for sure what causes IBS, it is a multifactorial disorder that likely involves an interaction between the GI tract, bacteria in the gut, the nervous system, and external factors, such as stress.

Although not proven, theories exist as to factors that influence IBS symptoms, including:

  • neurological hyper-sensitivity within the GI nerves
  • physical and/or emotional stress
  • the amount or pattern of physical exercise
  • chronic alcohol abuse
  • abnormalities in GI secretions and/or digestive muscle contractions
  • acute infection or inflammation of the intestine , such as travellers diarrhea, which may precede onset of IBS symptoms

The GI system is very sensitive to adrenalin the hormone released when one is excited, fearful, or anxious and to other hormones as well. Changes in female hormone levels also affect the GI tract, so IBS symptoms may worsen at specific times throughout the menstrual cycle. Since these hormones can affect the transit time of food through the digestive tract, this might account for the predominance of IBS in women, although direct evidence is still lacking.

It is important to note that since there is no definitive proof of the source of IBS, many promoted potential causes and advertised cures of this syndrome are simply speculation.

Potential Causes Of Ibs And Related Health Concerns

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We dont yet understand what causes IBS, and there are likely multiple causes, just as there are multiple ways that IBS can manifest. Genetic, environmental, and psychological factors can affect the risk of developing IBS. IBS frequently develops following gastrointestinal infections. Stress and physical and/or sexual abuse early in life may play a role in causing IBS, as may depression and anxiety. Its onset can be triggered by food intolerances and chronic stress, among other things .

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Irritable Bowel Syndrome With Constipation

Irritable bowel syndrome is a chronic condition that can cause symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, and changes in bowel habits. People with IBS who experience constipation rather than diarrhea most of the time have a subtype of IBS known as IBS-C.

Constipation occurs when a person does not pass bowel movements often enough. Typically, this is fewer than three times per week.

In this article, we will discuss IBS-C in more detail, including its symptoms, causes, diagnosis, treatment, and symptom management.

three IBS subtypes. People with IBS-C mainly experience constipation.

Its opposite is IBS with diarrhea , which primarily causes frequent or loose bowel movements. People who have episodes of both constipation and diarrhea have mixed IBS, or IBS-M.

These subtypes can help people more accurately describe their IBS symptoms.

IBS-C is not the same as chronic functional constipation. People with IBS often have abdominal pain and cramping. By contrast, those with chronic constipation alone typically do not experience pain.

The main symptom of IBS-C is frequent bouts of constipation. This may result in:

  • straining
  • bowel movements that are hard, painful, or uncomfortable
  • a feeling as though bowel movements are incomplete
  • the need to change position or push on part of the body to have a bowel movement
  • secondary health problems, such as hemorrhoids

Magnesium Hydroxide For Ibs

Magnesium hydroxide works as a laxative by pulling water into your intestines, which helps soften your stool and ease its passage.

The recommended dose varies based on the product.

Phillips Milk of Magnesia, for example, recommends taking 2 to 4 tablespoons per day, with each tablespoon containing 1,200 mg of magnesium hydroxide.

While this is considered above the safe upper level, the laxative effect of this is desired in such a case.

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