Possible Symptoms of Too Much Magnesium

Janis

By Janis | Updated March 29, 2023

Magnesium plays a vital role in our body by aiding in energy production, protein digestion, bone formation, and cellular communication. Its numerous benefits make it useful in treating conditions such as pre-eclampsia, constipation, and heartburn.

While magnesium is an essential nutrient, excessive intake, known as hypermagnesemia, can lead to severe health complications.

While there have been no reported cases of magnesium overdose from food sources, it’s important to understand the potential symptoms of too much magnesium, particularly those that necessitate medical intervention.

The best way to obtain magnesium is through consuming a diet rich in leafy greens, unrefined grains, legumes, beans, and nuts. Some individuals may turn to supplements or medications containing magnesium.

Although the risk of overdose is minimal, recognizing the primary symptoms can be beneficial for ensuring overall health and wellbeing.

Diarrhea

Gas, cramps, bloating, and diarrhea are fairly common side effects when taking magnesium supplements. This explains why magnesium is often used as an effective ingredient in over-the-counter laxatives.

Persistent or severe stomach problems could indicate a need to alter the dosage of a magnesium supplement or medication. Diarrhea, a potential side effect, can result in dehydration and give rise to more severe health concerns.

Diarrhea

Nausea and Vomiting

Nausea is a common digestive symptom linked to mild magnesium toxicity, which can sometimes be accompanied by vomiting. When an individual consumes more magnesium than their kidneys can properly absorb, it may result in water retention and muscle movement in the digestive tract.

Though stomach upsets can be quite uncomfortable, chronic hypermagnesemia can lead to even more serious health complications.

Nausea and Vomiting

Depression

Magnesium toxicity can have a significant impact on the brain, specifically in areas responsible for mood regulation and stress management. Consequently, individuals with excessive magnesium levels may experience feelings of depression.

Hypermagnesemia can cause individuals to experience fatigue, feelings of being overwhelmed, numbness, unhappiness, disinterest, or a general sense of malaise.

Additionally, excessive magnesium can disrupt one’s circadian rhythm, leading to sleep difficulties and exacerbating symptoms in those suffering from depression.

Depression

Low Blood Pressure

Excessive magnesium intake can gradually reduce blood pressure, which may not be immediately apparent but which can be detected through measurements. A variety of easily noticeable symptoms may indicate a decrease in blood pressure.

These symptoms can include dizziness, blurred vision, fatigue, general discomfort, and difficulty concentrating. If you experience any of these signs, it’s important to get tested for potential magnesium imbalances.

Low Blood Pressure

Confusion

Individuals suffering from severe hypermagnesemia may find it challenging to perform routine tasks, experience memory lapses with crucial information, or exhibit a marked decline in their cognitive abilities.

The sudden onset of unexplained confusion may indicate a dangerous drop in blood pressure and should never be ignored.

To ensure the individual’s safety, aim to keep them calm and seek medical attention from a healthcare professional as soon as possible.

Confusion

Fainting

Experiencing a magnesium overdose, known as hypermagnesemia, can lead to a drop in blood pressure that may cause individuals to feel faint. Those affected might display a pale or red facial complexion before losing consciousness. Generally, these fainting spells are short-lived.

To protect an individual experiencing symptoms of too much magnesium, it is crucial to safeguard their head and position them in a way that ensures their airway remains clear, while also elevating their legs. This particular position promotes blood flow to the brain, which is essential during such episodes.

Fainting

Muscle Weakness

Magnesium is essential for proper muscle function; however, excessive amounts can interfere with normal nerve signals to the muscles. Individuals experiencing this imbalance may feel muscle numbness, fatigue, difficulty lifting objects, and, in severe cases, struggle with walking, sitting up, or speaking normally.

If you suspect you have too much magnesium, it’s crucial to seek medical attention promptly. Once magnesium levels are back to normal, muscle strength should be restored.

Muscle Weakness

Changes in Heartbeat

Individuals experiencing advanced magnesium toxicity may notice irregularities in their heart rhythms.

Severe low blood pressure can cause a sensation of a racing heart, while other symptoms may include skipped beats or a fluttering feeling in the chest. On the other hand, a weakened heart muscle could lead to the perception of a slower heartbeat.

Heart palpitations can sometimes be accompanied by feelings of pain or pressure, and it’s crucial to take any changes in heartbeat seriously.

Elevated magnesium levels have the potential to cause heart attacks in certain individuals, so being vigilant about these symptoms is essential for maintaining optimal health.

Changes in Heartbeat

Difficulty Breathing

The effects of hypermagnesemia on the heart and blood pressure can hinder the proper circulation of oxygen throughout the body.

Individuals with dangerously elevated magnesium levels may experience difficulty catching their breath or a sensation similar to someone standing on their chest.

If you suspect someone has consumed too much magnesium, it’s crucial to call emergency services immediately. While waiting for help to arrive, encourage the individual to take deep breaths, remain calm, and continue speaking to them to help them maintain their composure.

Difficulty Breathing

Kidney Damage

Individuals with pre-existing kidney issues are particularly susceptible to magnesium toxicity. Consuming medications with high levels of magnesium can put excessive stress on the kidneys, potentially leading to additional damage.

Possible signs of reduced kidney function due to excessive magnesium intake may include swelling, unexplained weight loss, itchy skin, muscle cramps, insomnia, increased urination, and erectile dysfunction.

Kidney damage might not be reversible, so if you (or someone you know) are taking supplements or medications containing this mineral, it’s crucial to watch for early symptoms of magnesium overload and seek medical attention before any lasting damage occurs.

Kidney Damage