Feeling sluggish I realize this isn’t the most fun topic to discuss, but one that is real for many people, constipation. It can be incredibly uncomfortable and can slow down your day worrying about when the issue will be resolved. There are a number of natural remedies to combat constipation which I’ll mention below.
Since my blog is about magnesium, I often get question such as:
- How does magnesium help constipation?
- Is magnesium a natural remedy for constipation?
In this article I will discuss how magnesium can resolve the constipation issue and why it absolutely is a great natural remedy
Welcome to the constipation club
Feeling sluggish, bloated, abdominal discomfort? If you frequently suffer from these symptoms then welcome to the constipation club. Constipation can be caused by many things including a low water or fiber diet or regular use prescription over the counter medication that includes high amounts of calcium or aluminum. Drugs that cause constipation include antidepressants, certain pain killers, and anti-acids.
If you are on prescription medicine that causes constipation, you know that increase water, fiber and even exercise are not often enough to combat the constipation. People in the constipation club often turn to over the counter laxatives in one form or another. Many of these laxatives can be quite hard on the intestines and often are not a long term resolution.
Most people would prefer a natural remedy that is gentle on the stomach and produces effects that replicate the normal elimination process (meaning you don’t need to be near a bathroom all day). A few natural remedies you may have learned from your mother or grandmother include prune juice (yuk), molasses (yuk, yuk), fiber (stay close to the bathroom). None of the common natural remedies are very pleasant and most keep you near the restroom as much as the over the counter remedies.
So what can one take that produces a more gentle effect that mirrors the natural body process, that is natural, low cost, is found in your food, but also can be purchased as a supplement….you guessed it, magnesium.
How does magnesium work for constipation?
Magnesium in its purest form is a laxative. It works by relaxing the bowel and helping to absorb more water in your gut which will soften the stool an aid in elimination. A well hydrated and relaxed bowel will resolve common constipation issues in most people.
As always call your doctor first to insure magnesium supplementation is OK for you. If after supplementing and increasing your water intake the constipation does not resolve then it’s time to see a doctor to check for a blockage or other cause of your constipation. In general, it could take a few days for the increase in water and the supplement to have a positive impact, and help you achieve the results you’re looking for long term.
What types of magnesium should I use for constipation?
Today there are many types of magnesium that combine with other elements to make a mineral compound. These compounds are commonly formed for direct effect of specific issues. The types of magnesium that are gentle and not too fast acting and are highly bioavailable (absorb well) include magnesium citrate and magnesium oxide.
You might remember your grandmother using Milk of Magnesia from time to time, yep it’s still available today, and contains magnesium oxide as the active ingredient. I personally don’t like to use magnesium oxide as it doesn’t work well for me long term.
My magnesium of choice is magnesium citrate. This combo is very cost effective and has a gentle approach to elimination. It’s great for overall digestion and indigestion as well as relieving constipation usually working in 2 -4 hours.
You can find it in tablet or liquid pretty easily in your local pharmacy or online. If buying online I suggest sticking with the most well-known brands, as you don’t want to select something that is untried.
Nature Made makes a Magnesium Citrate soft gel in 250mg per capsule. This is a good level to start with and tests how it works for you. I will eventually do a review on this product so stay tuned for my link to the review coming soon.
I like Natural Calm as well personally; it comes in a water soluable powder and generally does the trick. I like to take it in the evening as it also is a really nice calming relaxing supplement that helps me sleep better. Overnight the constipation is generally resolved, but at the 300mg dose I take I have never had to get up during the middle of the night to resolve the issue.
A Multi-vitamin or multi-mineral supplement might be enough
If you are not already taking a multi-vitamin or multi-mineral that includes magnesium start doing so, it might be all you need. You will benefit from the overall supplementation and you just could resolve your problem provided the calcium level is low which can increase constipation. You do have to watch out for the level of calcium as noted in the article above as calcium and aluminum levels will offset the value of the magnesium citrate.
A really nice brand for multi-vitamin and multi-mineral supplementation is the Smarty Pants line. They make both multi-vitamins and mineral for adults and children. There ingredients are non GMO and vegan friendly. You’ll find product is made with natural ingredients and free of all those yukky synthetic dyes and colors everyone should avoid. They use no yeast, wheat, milk, eggs or nuts in the production of the products and they are 100% gluten free. More importantly they are safety conscious and every batch is third party lab tested.
The multi-vitamin comes in a gummy making it easy for adults and appealing for kids. The multi-minerals are available in a soft chew which is also quite tasty. I have to say I do look forward to taking my multi-vitamins and minerals in a way I never have before with these, and with the all natural ingredients I feel super good what I’m putting in my body.