Monitor the health of your community here

Will a Magnesium Supplement Upset My Stomach?

If you are deficient in magnesium or cannot get enough supply from your diet, your doctor may recommend that you take a supplement. Magnesium supplements can upset your stomach or cause other types of digestive disturbances, particularly if you take them on an empty stomach. Consuming high doses of magnesium supplements can also upset your stomach, in addition to causing other adverse side effects. Discuss dosing and precautions with your health care provider before taking magnesium supplements.

Who Needs Magnesium Supplements?

Severe magnesium deficiency is rare. Some people, however, are at a greater risk for deficiency, making supplementation necessary in some cases. For instance, if you have an intestinal virus or other type of illness that causes diarrhea and vomiting, you can become temporarily deficient in magnesium. People with gastrointestinal diseases, diabetes and hyperthyroidism may also need to take magnesium supplements. You may also be at risk if you are under prolonged stress, have heavy menstrual periods or sweat excessively. Stomach upset, anxiety, muscle spasms, weakness and poor nail growth are all possible signs of magnesium deficiency.

Side Effects of Magnesium Intake

How Much Magnesium Per Day?

Learn More

Taking your magnesium supplements without food or on an empty stomach can cause diarrhea, as well as upset your stomach. Overdosing on magnesium can also result in stomach-related issues, such as nausea and vomiting. More serious side effects you should be wary of include dizziness, flushing or trouble breathing. If you experience any of these after taking your supplements, seek immediate medical attention. Left untreated, severe magnesium overdose may result in coma or death.

Recommended Intake and Sources reports a daily magnesium recommended daily allowance -or RDA- of 280 to 300 milligrams for adolescent and adult females. Always take your supplements with a meal to avoid stomach upset and check with your doctor to make sure you are taking the proper dosage for your condition. You can also get magnesium from whole grains, oat flour, celery seed, black walnuts, oatmeal and bananas.

Additional Considerations

Effects of Zinc With Potassium

Learn More

Always discuss any current prescription or over-the-counter medications with your doctor before taking new supplements. Magnesium can interact with a number of medications, including antibiotics, diuretics, as well as diabetes and blood pressure drugs. If you experience an upset stomach with your magnesium supplement despite taking it with food and at the proper dose, consult your health provider.