Chronic bowel problems, Magnesium and Side effects

Posted by EllAmster @ellamster, Apr 16, 2019

Hi all. I am new to this forum so I hope it’s okay to first do a short introduction.
I am in my fifties and single (and happy with it!), living with two cats. I am a teacher and love this work. As I am a writer too, i am hardly at a loss for things to do.
But since a few years I have had lots of problems with my bowels. I had a problematic childhood and youth which left me with these problems. I can hardly ‘go’, if you know what I mean. The doctors gave me meds to help with that but I react to hardly anything. The new doctor gave me magnesium since that can cause diarrea. Which it did. The dose was, as she put it, up to me. She advised I would take 2 tablets per day, then try 3 if that didn’t do the trick, and that I could even take 6. The tablets each contain 750 mg. of magnesium though. She said there were absolutely no side effects.

However, ever since I have been taking this supplement, I have been feeling strange. I have been diagnosed with a heart rhythm problem way back in 2007 (I had a TIA and my heart stopped at some point, months later) and I am a bit concerned the magnesium is messing up my heart. Last week, I started getting brainfog and my head felt like it was swelling up, then I would smell blood and eventually there would be blood in my nose. Very strange. I had a strange way of walking, felt uncoordinated, just plain sick 🙁
Does anyone of you have had magnesium to treat constipation, and have you experienced similar problems?

@ellamster hi, and welcome to Connect.
I have no advice for you but I am sure someone here on Connect will have some thoughts or experience that will be helpful.

I was taking 800mg of magnesium a day at one point but had no problem with it, and I do often have problems with medications. Have you spoken to you doctor about your concerns? He or she may be able to either put your mind at ease or want to look into the causes of the problems, if it is not the magnesium.
I will be curious to hear what the doctor says.
JK

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Thank you @contentandwell
My doctor (not at Mayo Clinic) said there were no side effects at all, and it may not be related. But since I have heart problems I am concerned, especially since since three days my back is acting up, it is pulsating with pain! Especially when I sit down. I hope someone will have some thoughts. In the mean time, my neurologist told me he would schedule an appointment.
The meds were 750 per tablet, so in total I took 1500 per day which is quite high. I am curious about what others have to say about it, thanks for your message!

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Hello @ellamster and let me add my welcome to that of @contentandwell.

That sounds like a lot of magnesium that you are taking by supplements. I take magnesium supplements because of a deficiency caused by some upper digestive surgeries. Have you tried cutting down the dosage and letting your doctor know why? I understand that low levels of magnesium can cause heart problems, but I don't know about high levels of magnesium.

Here is an article about an overdose of magnesium which states that the amount of magnesium you take as a supplement should not exceed 350 but that the magnesium you get from food is Ok.

Here is the link to the article, https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/magnesium-overdose-whats-the-likelihood. Some of the problems that can occur if you take too much in the form of supplements do sound like some of the problems you have mentioned. Please read the article and give your doctor a call.

Will you provide an update on how you are doing?

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Thank you very much for the link, very informative. I have tried finding information but then thought, why not ask here, with so many people in these fora of a well respected hospital. I am glad I did ask.
The update today: I have more and more pain in the back, and my head feels like it is swelling. I have periods of rather intense headache and feel my nose starts running quickly after that. I still am dizzy 🙁 And just don't feel right. My heart seems to be stabilizing now that I have stopped taking the magnesium though, which is great because I was so incredibly tired by that weird rhythm. I could hardly move without it racing.
I will keep you posted, hopefully the neurologist can see me soon. Thanks for your reply and your welcome, does me a lot of good 🙂

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Do you, or have you by any chance been exposed to mold?

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Dear @niijii8 yes I have been, but quite a while ago. It was mold that was inside something, not black mold (the bathroom for instance never was moldy). This was a few years ago and I remember thinking 'oh jeez' when I breathed it, hoping it would be okay. I can't even remember when it was, but I do remember the event quite vividly. It was this whole cloud of mold and I breathed it when I opened it and threw it away. I don't remember what it was though, I think it was something that had been in a cabinet and that I completely forgot about… That is very rare, which is why I remember it.

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@ellamster

Dear @niijii8 yes I have been, but quite a while ago. It was mold that was inside something, not black mold (the bathroom for instance never was moldy). This was a few years ago and I remember thinking 'oh jeez' when I breathed it, hoping it would be okay. I can't even remember when it was, but I do remember the event quite vividly. It was this whole cloud of mold and I breathed it when I opened it and threw it away. I don't remember what it was though, I think it was something that had been in a cabinet and that I completely forgot about… That is very rare, which is why I remember it.

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I have had digestive issues for the past 2 1/2 years and still no solid answer as to why. I lived in a moldy house for 8 yrs. Moved 2 yrs ago. I had constipation, dizziness, memory issues, brain fog, skin problems, anxiety, fear, rapid heart beat but was on, i think, the aorta? That area at the top of the abdomen. It beat so hard that it made my shirt move. The list goes on and on, but some of the worst was the feeling of having to go but not going, or feeling not done. I tried everything including different types of magnesium. Nothing worked. I had no reaction to magnesium other than I felt it made the feeling of having to go even worse. I've had blood works, ULTRA sound, cat scan. Colonoscopy, everything comes back that there's nothing wrong with me. I lost 42 pounds so of course I was thinking cancer. One nurse told me I have a candida overgrowth, and another said food allergies. I am on strict diet and things are better but not all better. If they don't at some point find some cancer then my thinking is this is caused by mold sickness.

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Hi @niijii8
What a terrible ordeal. I thankfully have not lived in a moldy house, never in my life (at least that I know of). I did however, as I suddenly remember, one day go on holiday and stayed in a hotel that I thought was pleasantly yet strongly perfumed with lots of inscence. When I started walking upstairs the smell changed, and after the first floor I realized this was mold. The entire hotel was stinking of mold, it was so strong that i could sometimes hardly breathe. I remember my ex's foot was infected with a fungus after this, up to his calves. I didn't have anything but now I wonder.
I also stopped eating added sugars about three years ago, which completely cleared my stomach pains, and the pains I had due to fibromyalgia. Which was great! It was entirely coincidental by the way, my goal was to lose weight. I forgot to take my stomach meds and then realized I no longer had pain.
Where is the top of the abdomen, where did you feel your heart beat? It sounds like the pain I am having now, strong heart beat, it is at the same height as my heart, but on the back of course. It is rather a strong pain, pulsating, and gets worse when I sit and my back is against the (soft) couch.

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@ellamster

Hi @niijii8
What a terrible ordeal. I thankfully have not lived in a moldy house, never in my life (at least that I know of). I did however, as I suddenly remember, one day go on holiday and stayed in a hotel that I thought was pleasantly yet strongly perfumed with lots of inscence. When I started walking upstairs the smell changed, and after the first floor I realized this was mold. The entire hotel was stinking of mold, it was so strong that i could sometimes hardly breathe. I remember my ex's foot was infected with a fungus after this, up to his calves. I didn't have anything but now I wonder.
I also stopped eating added sugars about three years ago, which completely cleared my stomach pains, and the pains I had due to fibromyalgia. Which was great! It was entirely coincidental by the way, my goal was to lose weight. I forgot to take my stomach meds and then realized I no longer had pain.
Where is the top of the abdomen, where did you feel your heart beat? It sounds like the pain I am having now, strong heart beat, it is at the same height as my heart, but on the back of course. It is rather a strong pain, pulsating, and gets worse when I sit and my back is against the (soft) couch.

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The heartbeat was at the upper part of , like my stomach I guess, almost to the ribs and in the center. I looked up what is in there and it said the aorta . It didn't hurt but was hard to breath while it was happening and I felt weak and then exhausted when it was over. My pancreas and gallbladder were checked out but I was told they were ok.

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@ellamster

Hi @niijii8
What a terrible ordeal. I thankfully have not lived in a moldy house, never in my life (at least that I know of). I did however, as I suddenly remember, one day go on holiday and stayed in a hotel that I thought was pleasantly yet strongly perfumed with lots of inscence. When I started walking upstairs the smell changed, and after the first floor I realized this was mold. The entire hotel was stinking of mold, it was so strong that i could sometimes hardly breathe. I remember my ex's foot was infected with a fungus after this, up to his calves. I didn't have anything but now I wonder.
I also stopped eating added sugars about three years ago, which completely cleared my stomach pains, and the pains I had due to fibromyalgia. Which was great! It was entirely coincidental by the way, my goal was to lose weight. I forgot to take my stomach meds and then realized I no longer had pain.
Where is the top of the abdomen, where did you feel your heart beat? It sounds like the pain I am having now, strong heart beat, it is at the same height as my heart, but on the back of course. It is rather a strong pain, pulsating, and gets worse when I sit and my back is against the (soft) couch.

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I also stopped most sugars and it's amazing how many joint pains went away

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@niijii8 The pain with me is much higher. It really is at the height of my heart, but it's in the back. And I am now experiencing pain on the left side, halfway my ribs. I am going to call the doctor anyway, just to discuss this.

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Maybe they should take pics just to be safe?

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Maybe they should, but I have had lots of scans in the past. I am a bit reluctant. I hope I can go to the doctor soon.
Regarding the sugar: I was on medication for years and had lots of pain for even longer. I sometimes rolled on the floor with pain, it was terrible. Good thing I was alone at the time so no one could see me roll.
But then I stopped taking sugar because I wanted to lose weight. I forgot to take my stomach medication and only noticed this a day later, realizing I didn't have pain. I decided to take the pill the next day, but I forgot again (busy days, don't get me started 😀 ) Anyway, the day after that I realized I still had no pain and decided to take the next pill only if the pain came back. It never did! And the joints stopped hurting too, it was amazing. Of course, the GP said this was impossible, but well, so did others. Still, the pain only came back once I started eating sugar again… Darnit… Added sugars, I mean. The natural sugars are fine.
That being said: I stay away from those 'fruit syrops' and 'fruit sugars' they add 'instead of sugar' because those are just the sugars from the fruit, terrible stuff.
I hope someone can still shed light on the magnesium thing. I will post in the heart health group too, to see if anyone has problems with magnesium in combination with a problematic heart rhythm.

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Hello and I'm sorry to hear about your experience with Magnesium. Can I ask what kind of Magnesium supplement you're taking? Some have more side effects than others in terms of GI issues. I was also told to take Magnesium in the OXIDE form for constipation. I have experimented this past year and have taken 400-2000 depending on my symptoms. I was diagnosed with Gastroparesis and related disorders since the onset. The magnesium never bothered me but wasn't predictable if it was going to help. I can't say it did much in terms of regular relief. I never had side effects and I have done a lot of research on Magnesium and it's different forms and from what I gather, it seems to be really safe and is actually recommended for anyone to take with little risk as far as I know. The only thing I found that I need to be careful of is how it can REDUCE the absorption of other medications or supplements you are taking. You want to take the Magnesium either 2 hours before or 2 hours after taking your other pills. I found this out doing my own research, I wasn't told by even my doctor and I"m on a lot of other meds and supplements so it's a good thing to know.

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@tykehome

Hello and I'm sorry to hear about your experience with Magnesium. Can I ask what kind of Magnesium supplement you're taking? Some have more side effects than others in terms of GI issues. I was also told to take Magnesium in the OXIDE form for constipation. I have experimented this past year and have taken 400-2000 depending on my symptoms. I was diagnosed with Gastroparesis and related disorders since the onset. The magnesium never bothered me but wasn't predictable if it was going to help. I can't say it did much in terms of regular relief. I never had side effects and I have done a lot of research on Magnesium and it's different forms and from what I gather, it seems to be really safe and is actually recommended for anyone to take with little risk as far as I know. The only thing I found that I need to be careful of is how it can REDUCE the absorption of other medications or supplements you are taking. You want to take the Magnesium either 2 hours before or 2 hours after taking your other pills. I found this out doing my own research, I wasn't told by even my doctor and I"m on a lot of other meds and supplements so it's a good thing to know.

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Thank you @tykehome. I am taking magnesium hydroxyde, 750 mg. per tablet.
I must say it indeed is not very predictable. Which is a bummer, but still, it's better than 'nothing'.
It is very interesting that you found out it can prevent the proper absorption of other medication. I had no idea.
Maybe my problems then are not related to the magnesium. It is just very strange because I felt rather okay before I started using it.
As an update: the fog seems to be clearing off. I have not taken magnesium yesterday, and only half a tablet today (which had effect). My heart rhythm is getting better and the headache and dizziness seem to get less as well. I will call the cardiologist tomorrow and ask him what to do. Thank you very much for the tip to not take magnesium too close to taking other pills!

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