If you are planning to have a colonoscopy or if you wish to relieve occasional constipation, then an oral solution of magnesium citrate is something your doctor is likely to recommend.
Chronic constipation, diverticulitis, and irritable bowel syndrome are some common problems faced by a majority of people. Some people simply cannot have bowel movements without the use of laxatives. This is an indication that the body is unable to perform its function naturally. A colonoscopy is a diagnostic test used to detect the cause of these problems. However, this procedure demands an empty and clear colon and rectum. Magnesium citrate oral solution is often recommended in such situations, as it acts as a laxative, however, its usage should be limited only to cure occasional constipation. Prolonged and continuous use of this solution is not advisable.
How Does the Oral Solution of Magnesium Citrate Work?
Most people who suffer from constipation simply do not drink enough water. As a result there is improper formation of fecal matter. These people have great difficulty passing these improper and hard stools, which make bowel movements very painful. They often experience great relief by using stool softeners, which work by drawing out excess water from the intestine in order to form soft stools which can be easily passed.
Magnesium citrate works on a similar principle. The process through which laxatives absorb water from the intestines is called osmosis. Magnesium citrate solution draws water from the colon and the tissues of intestine to form soft stools. The water contained in the solution itself also helps clean the colon. Additionally, it also helps meet the daily magnesium requirement of the body, in case of a deficiency.
How to Take the Solution?
You should never ever drink the solution on your own recommendation. It is strongly advised that you consult your health care provider regarding the amount of dosage, duration, etc,. If you suffer from any colon problem, diabetes, heart disease, kidney disorder, diverticulitis, etc, it is better to let your health care provider know about it well in advance. Administer the dosage of the solution exactly as prescribed on the prescription label or as per your doctor’s directions.
Magnesium citrate solution tastes bitter, hence it would make sense to mix it in fruit juice and then drink it. However, if you plan to drink it prior to any test or surgery, consult your doctor, because certain surgeries impose dietary restrictions. If your doctor advises you against drinking a fruit juice you may try chilling the solution before drinking it. Chilling it, reduces the bitter taste to some extent. No matter how you decide to take your dose, you should always drink 1 to 2 glasses (8 to 16 ounce) of water along with it. Similarly, keep yourself well-hydrated while you are on this dosage.
Magnesium citrate solution begins its work within 30 minutes to 2 hours after the dose. Hence, avoid taking the dose late in the evening or before bedtime, unless the health care provider advises otherwise. In case you missed the dose, you should skip the dose entirely, and take the next dose as per schedule. Avoid taking double doses. If you miss the dose just before the test, call your doctor to check if it would affect the test. If it does, you might have to reschedule your appointment.
Common side effects, which do not demand medical intervention include mild nausea and diarrhea. However, severe magnesium citrate side effects also exist, and may require immediate medical attention. If you notice any of the following side effects after ingesting the solution, do not hesitate to call your doctor at the earliest.
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain or heart palpitations
- Excessive sweating
- Extreme drowsiness
- Muscle weakness
- Redness or flushing of face
- Severe nausea or vomiting
Thus, magnesium citrate is an effective laxative and colon cleanser. However, execute fair amount of caution while ingesting it to avoid any possible side effects.