The Importance of Magnesium
While individuals should avoid taking too much magnesium, they should never avoid consuming magnesium altogether out of fear.
Why? Magnesium overdose is extremely rare, and magnesium is an essential mineral that is responsible for over 300 biochemical reactions in your body, including:
- Protein synthesis
- Nerve function
- Blood pressure regulation
- Heart health
- Energy production
- Healthy bone development
Dosage & Intake
Daily magnesium requirements depend on age, weight, gender, and pre-existing health conditions. Individuals should consult a doctor before beginning a magnesium supplement regime.
It is generally suggested that no one should consume more than 600mg of magnesium per day.
Hypomagnesemia is an electrolyte disturbance where a high level of magnesium is found in the blood – 1.1. mmol/L and up. While extremely rare, those with kidney failure (and who have been given magnesium salts or magnesium laxatives) are more likely to experience hypomagnesemia.
Treatment for hypomagnesemia includes intake of calcium chloride, saline with furosemide, or hemodialysis.
Common causes of hypomagnesemia include:
- Excessive intake
- Lithium therapy
- Addison’s disease
- Milk alkali syndrome
- Familial hypocalciuric hyperkalemia
Symptoms of Overdosing
Magnesium overdosing is extremely rare in adults, especially for those with normal renal function. However, symptoms of a magnesium overdose can include:
- Slurred speech
- Low blood pressure
- Slow heart rate
- Low temperature
- Abdominal cramping
- Upset stomach
Who’s at Risk?
While magnesium overdoses are rare, those with the following specific health issues may be at higher risk of experiencing concerning side effects:
- Kidney problems
- Renal issues
- Chronic constipation
Children and the elderly are also at a higher risk for overdosing and should only take magnesium if suggested by their family doctor.
Should you experience a magnesium overdose, a doctor can provide you with an IV of calcium gluconate to help reverse the symptoms and effects of having too much magnesium in the body. In some cases, dialysis may also be used to flush the body of magnesium.
Notice: Magnesium supplements should not be given to children or taken by pregnant women unless suggested by a registered physician.
If you are concerned that you have consumed too much magnesium, contact your doctor or local poison control centre. In an emergency, dial 9-1-1.