Are you taking a medication that could be leaching magnesium out of your body? Prescribers don’t always think to warn people of that possible side effect. When magnesium drops too low, the consequence can be horrible muscle cramps, among other things.
Does Low Magnesium Lead to Horrible Muscle Cramps?
Q. My mom had been suffering dreadful leg cramps at night and couldn’t find relief. I happened to hear your discussion about using magnesium for cramps related to certain drugs. We checked out the information.
It turns out she was on a few of the medications that leach magnesium. She started taking magnesium supplements and my dad even talked to his doctor about his chest cramps. Neither has had a bad episode of cramping keeping them awake for a few weeks now. Thank you.
Drugs That Can Lead to Magnesium Depletion:
A. Magnesium is one of those minerals that doesn’t always get the respect it deserves. Diuretics found in many blood pressure medications can deplete magnesium. Watch for medications such as hydrochlorothiazide or furosemide (Lasix).
Acid-suppressing drugs like esomeprazole (Nexium), lansoprazole (Prevacid) and omeprazole (Prilosec) can also interfere with magnesium absorption and result in low magnesium levels.
When magnesium drops into the danger zone, horrible muscle cramps are not the only complication. Irregular heart rhythms that can result from such a deficit could be fatal. Adequate magnesium levels are also critical for healthy bones and normal carbohydrate metabolism
Downsides of Magnesium:
Sometimes when people like your parents start taking magnesium supplements, they take too high a dose. That can lead to diarrhea, which could be disconcerting if you don’t know the cause.
Magnesium supplements should not be taken by anyone with kidney disease. Too much magnesium could overwhelm an already-stressed organ.