Effects of Malabsorption of Magnesium  

It is one thing to take enough magnesium in your food, but you also need to be able to absorb it and get it into your cells where it can work.

Many people who have digestive problems generally also have poor levels of magnesium and also suffer from poor absorption of magnesium.

Having it absorbed into the gut is not always straight forward. 

 Many factors can reduce the ability of your body to absorb magnesium from your food.  These include poor digestion, some medications, stress, excessive exercise, diarrhoea, and dietary factors such as consuming grains, dairy products, caffeine, sugar, alcohol and saturated fats. 

Some disease states mean you need higher levels of magnesium, and some medicines reduce the availability of magnesium in your body. There are many prescriptions which interfere with the absorption  of magnesium an some of these drugs are listed below:

  • Diuretics (like frusemide and bendrofluazide) which are used to reduce blood pressure and remove fluid from cells (Dyckner 1984).
  • Digoxin: used for arrhythmias and heart disease (Gottlieb 1989)
  • Corticosteroids:  used for inflammation and asthma.
  • Some antibiotics (like tetracyclines)
  • Asthma reliever inhalers (Rolla 1998)
  • Theophylline:  used for asthma (Flack 1994)
  • Insulin:  used for diabetes (Djuurhuus 1995)
  • Contraceptive pills (Larsson-Cohn 1975). 
  • Proton pump inhibitors (like omeprazole and pantoprazole) which are used for heart burn, indigestion and stomach ulcers (MoH).

 Many of these medicines will reduce your magnesium levels ,but its important to know having the diseases listed above or related to the drugs used to treat them also require large amounts of magnesium to help the body repair the condition.

Take asthma for example.  Both preventers and relieving medicines reduce magnesium levels, but magnesium is vital for asthma. 

 Magnesium given intravenously will effectively treat acute asthma attacksby 100%. This type of treatment can and is often used in a hospital setting.   

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