How do I identify a magnesium overdose?

How do I identify a magnesium overdose?

Magnesium is a mineral found in foods like broccoli, soy, nut and all types of beans. Vegetarians and vegans usually have high levels of this mineral in their blood, as they eat many of these veggies in large amounts; beans and nuts are popular meat replacements.

Okra, potato skins, tamarind, spinach and Swiss chard are popular foods that are high in magnesium.

The medical term for a magnesium overdose is hypomagnesemia. Magnesium facilitates healthy bone formation, blood sugar control and electrical conduction in the heart and nerve function. It helps energise you, and without it, your muscles wouldn’t move the way they’re supposed to.

But of course, as with all good things; too much of it can be a bad thing.

How much magnesium is fine?

The amount of magnesium suitable for your age and gender varies. The older you become; the more you will need to supplement in your diet.

If you’re a woman aged 19 or older, you need 310 milligrams (mg) a day — 350 mg if you’re pregnant. If you’re an adult man under the age of 30, you need 400 mg a day. After 30, men need 420 mg.

According to the National Institute of Health’s Office of Dietary Supplements, healthy adult men should generally consume 400 to 420 milligrams (mg) of magnesium daily. Healthy adult women should consume 310 to 320 mg daily. Pregnant women need to consume a higher dose of magnesium than women who aren’t pregnant. There are loads of magnesium in prenatal vitamins. It helps grow the foetus in the womb. 

When it comes to medication, laxatives have a high magnesium content. Medications used to ease the effect of indigestion also have high quantities of magnesium. A tablespoon of Milk of Magnesia contains 500 mg of elemental magnesium. A daily dose for adults is up to 4 tablespoons a day.

Signs of a magnesium overdose

Because of the possibility of an overdose, it is advisable for people to get magnesium from food, rather than multivitamins and supplements. It’s pretty hard to overdose on magnesium by eating. You would get pretty full long before reaching your daily magnesium quota. If you do happen to get too much magnesium from food, your kidneys will filter it through your urine. Your kidneys will also balance out your magnesium levels if you don’t get enough of it for a little while. People who suffer from kidney problems will have a harder time filtering out excess magnesium. This also means that people with renal failure are more susceptible to overdose.

According to WEB MD, too much magnesium can cause nausea, stomach cramps, or diarrhoea. In extreme cases, it could cause an irregular heartbeat or cardiac arrest.

The symptoms of a magnesium overdose can be confused with many other conditions.

Some people have reported feeling very lethargic and experience inexplicable joint pain. 

Other signs include low blood pressure, muscle weakness and urine retention. 

If you experience adverse symptoms, such as diarrhoea, when you take supplements or medications containing magnesium, you may be taking too much in these forms. If this is the case, you may need to speak to your doctor for guidance, Healthline advises.

Severe overdoses are rare, though. Visit the doctor immediately to receive a proper check-up to establish what exactly is causing your symptoms.

Call an ambulance!

If you suspect that you or someone you know may be experiencing an overdose, medical intervention is vital!

Severe cases are usually treated in hospital. Patients receive intravenous (IV) calcium gluconate to help reverse the effects of excess magnesium. IV furosemide may be given for diuresis and excretion if adequate kidney function is intact, Healthline continues. Dialysis may be required to flush it from the body if hypomagnesemia is severe or renal function is reduced.


In an emergency (like an overdose), time and accuracy are the most important factors! It can be the difference between whether a patient lives or dies. 

It is imperative to have a safety net in place should anything go wrong. iER is that safety net.

If you have the iER app on your phone, you are always connected. The app contains unique built-in alerts and a GPS tracking functionality so that the emergency services can locate you with ease; ensuring a swift, hassle-free rescue.

iER has taken the services provided a step further, as in the event of an emergency, iER will notify your family and emergency contacts.

iER offers members three different plan options.

It is standard that everyone gets full and free access to the service providers on the network, as the iER App is free on all devices and all networks. If you want to upgrade to a package that allows you access to utilise iER’s full cover, you can choose between a Premium Plan and a Premium Plan Plus, which both offer many extras for post-emergency protocol for a nominal fee.

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