Dear Doctor: Are the magnesium supplements I’m taking for leg cramps causing diarrhea?

Expensive DR. ROACH: I am a 72-calendar year-outdated girl in good health, but I have been plagued for decades with muscle mass cramps and spasms in my legs. My physical therapist recommended magnesium dietary supplements. I have been using these health supplements for about four yrs with superior success.

About a 12 months ago, I begun owning really loose bowel actions. To ease that, I began having psyllium, and that corrected the scenario. Recently, the unfastened bowels came again. I did some studying and identified that adults need to not just take a lot more than 350 mg of magnesium daily, and I have been having 500 mg. Could this be leading to my bowel concerns? I have been suffering from some other insignificant gastrointestinal difficulties but had just put it off to age.

So, wherever do I go from in this article? — P.

Solution: Magnesium is frequently made use of by persons with leg cramps, and while multiple randomized trials — where by a particular person did not know no matter whether they had been using magnesium or an inactive pill — have shown magnesium no improved than placebo, I frequently get letters from people today telling me magnesium has aided them.

Magnesium is not perfectly-absorbed orally, and substantially of it passes by means of the colon, creating diarrhea. The far more magnesium you take, the a lot more diarrhea you are probable to have, so the initial phase is slicing again on the magnesium. That ought to minimize or solve the diarrhea if the magnesium is resulting in it.

Psyllium husks are an outstanding source of fiber and a useful remedy for both equally constipation and diarrhea. You can hold taking that, either as needed or all the time — it is protected.

I propose nonmedication treatment method for leg cramps, primarily standard stretching and moderate exercising. Restricted bedding is a frequent, and sometimes unrecognized, result in of cramps, so get applied to sleeping with sheets and blankets untucked.

Expensive DR. ROACH: I experienced been having 5 mg of immediate-dissolving melatonin as a snooze aid, obtaining been certain it was completely safe and not practice-forming. Lately, I browse something that worried me: Apparently, melatonin stimulates manufacturing of estrogen. I am a breast cancer survivor, and I am not permitted to have estrogen of any sort. I stopped it promptly. Is this correct? If so, why is not it described on the bottle? — D.J.H.

Remedy: In a single scenario examine from 2008, a single girl experienced larger levels of estradiol (the primary kind of estrogen in the entire body) when she took melatonin. Other scientific studies have not confirmed this, together with a 2012 study of 86 volunteers. Research accomplished on breast most cancers cells demonstrate that melatonin inhibits expansion, and melatonin may possibly lower distribute of breast most cancers.

Nightshift workers have an greater threat of breast most cancers, potentially from shifted sleep cycles. Women who rest 6 hrs or a lot less are at bigger threat. Melatonin does not work for absolutely everyone with slumber troubles, but you will need not worry about its influence on breast most cancers. Most of the data demonstrate that melatonin, if nearly anything, is additional probable to have a protective than destructive purpose in breast most cancers.

Dr. Roach regrets that he is not able to reply particular person letters, but will integrate them in the column every time achievable. Viewers may well email concerns to [email protected] or mail mail to 628 Virginia Dr., Orlando, FL 32803.

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