Minerals are essential for performing different bodily functions, growth, and development. These minerals can be taken from food sources and also through supplements to fulfill body’s need. The body should have an adequate amount to use for different purposes.
Magnesium is one of the key minerals which is needed for normal bone structure. Magnesium also helps neutralize stomach acid and improve bowel movement. It is a vital mineral as it needed for proper function of nerves and muscles and proper bone development and growth.
Magnesium is a vital cofactor in a number of enzyme systems that also help in blood glucose control, blood pressure regulation, energy production, and protein synthesis.
A healthy adult can get magnesium through diet but if the magnesium levels are low, supplements are recommended to provide a sufficient amount of magnesium to the body. Magnesium deficiency can lead to diseases like osteoporosis, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, and clogged arteries.
Both deficiency and an overdose of any substance are harmful to the body. Taking too much of anything can lead to an adverse effect and health complications. Same is the case with magnesium. Magnesium toxicity is rare but having large amounts of magnesium in the system can be extremely harmful. According to WebMD, magnesium overdose can cause severe side effects like mental confusion, irregular heartbeat, low blood pressure, slowed breathing, coma and even death.
Magnesium doses required varies depending on gender and age of adults. A daily intake of less than 350 mg of magnesium is considered within safe limits for most adults. Magnesium overdose can occur if excess amounts of magnesium build up in the body.
Magnesium from food sources does not usually cause an overdose because the excess amount is eliminated by the kidneys through urine. However, if doses of magnesium are taken in the form of supplements or other medicines containing magnesium, it can lead to magnesium overdose.
Symptoms of Magnesium Overdose
There are many signs and symptoms that the body presents if there is an excess buildup of magnesium in the body. These symptoms start with simple signs that are not very alarming but if this magnesium toxicity is not treated accordingly, it can progress and the symptoms can become more serious.
If the body contains a lot of magnesium and is unable to eliminate it from the system then it can cause depression, hypotension, vomiting and nausea, difficulty in breathing, retention of urine, irregular heartbeat, facial flushing, ileus, muscle weakness, extreme hypotension, diarrhea, abdominal cramping, and cardiac arrest. Neurological problems like mental confusion and slurred speech can also occur as a result of magnesium overdose.
People at Risk of Magnesium Overdose
Kidney failure or problems with renal function can lead to Magnesium toxicity because of the ability to eliminate magnesium from the body through urine decreases.
Magnesium toxicity is very rare and people living healthy lives are normally not at risk. Food sources that provide magnesium do not usually cause an overdose. Magnesium overdose is mainly caused by when high doses of magnesium in the form of supplements or injections are taken. Certain health issues can also impair the body’s ability to eliminate excess magnesium from the body like kidney failure, renal failure or people on dialysis.
Therefore people should first make changes to their diets before taking magnesium supplements. There are plenty of foods that are good sources of magnesium which should be included in the diet as a safer option.
Foods that contain magnesium in good amounts include pumpkin seeds, spinach, Swiss chard, almonds, dark chocolate, sunflower seeds, black beans, cashews, avocado, salmon, kefir, and figs.
If the magnesium requirement is not fulfilled by dietary sources, only then a person should consider taking supplements. That also with proper doctor prescription and proper dosage.