What are the Side Effects of Magnesium



Magnesium is an essential macro-element which is naturally present in many foods. It helps the human body in protein synthesis, healthy bone development, maintaining a healthy heart, regulating blood pressure, controlling nerve impulses, regulating glucose levels in the blood, and energy production.

The Office of Dietary Supplements in National Institutes of Health recommends that adult men should consume 400 to 420 milligrams (mg), and women should consume 310 to 320 mg of magnesium daily. Foods like almonds, cashew, peanuts, spinach, and black beans are excellent sources of magnesium. However, some people suffer from hypermagnesemia which is a condition where the level of magnesium in the human body exceeds the standard range. Continue reading to know more about the side effects of magnesium in detail.

  • Gastrointestinal effects
    Gastrointestinal problems are a common effect of magnesium toxicity. It is a known fact that magnesium acts as a laxative, and this is the reason why it is a component of medicines for heartburn or acidity. However, if the level of magnesium rises beyond the tolerable value, the person suffers from diarrhea. Here, the individual discharges watery stools and suffers from abdominal cramping, nausea, vomiting, as well as fatigue. The U.S. Institute of Medicine advises patients against consuming magnesium supplements that contain more than 350 milligrams of this element.
  • Cardiovascular effect
    Irregularity in the cardiovascular system is one of the more common side effects of magnesium. Many individuals have reported a drop in blood pressure after consuming high doses of magnesium supplements. This condition is known as hypotension, and it may lead to lightheadedness, dizziness, blurry vision, and even loss of consciousness. Hypermagnesemia may also cause slow heart rate and arrhythmia (erratic heart rhythms). In rare cases, it may even induce a cardiac arrest.
  • Kidney damage
    Under normal circumstances, kidneys perform the function of removing excess magnesium from the blood vessels. However, kidney functions get impaired due to certain medical conditions like long-term diabetes, alcoholism, and drug abuse. Hence, it cannot remove excess magnesium from the system, which results in magnesium toxicity. In such cases, doctors prohibit the consumption of additional magnesium supplements as it leads to side effects like poorly controlled diabetes and slow blood clotting.
  • Respiratory problems
    Excess magnesium in the body may also lead to the impairment of a person’s pulmonary functions. Here, the individual suffers from breathing difficulties, decreased reflexes, and sleepiness. Discontinuing the magnesium supplement helps to improve the condition.

If you’ve been experiencing any of these side effects for a prolonged duration, then you must book an appointment with a doctor for a diagnosis.