Common reflux drug linked to Low Magnesium Levels
Monday, December 3rd 2012
Magnesium is a mineral that contributes to bone health, heart health, and hundreds of other functions.
While often a useful treatment for health conditions, certain medications may lead to a variety of unwanted side effects, including depleting nutrients. In a study published in Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety, researchers found that people who took proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) – a common class of drugs used for peptic ulcers and gastroesophageal reflux – were at risk of magnesium deficiency.
PPIs May Lower Magnesium
In this study, researchers reviewed the hospital records of 487 hospitalised adults and explored the link between PPI use and magnesium levels in the blood. They found that people who took a proton pump inhibitor before being admitted to the hospital had a 2.5-fold increased risk of low magnesium, compared with people who did not take on of these drugs. This was true for people taking the standard or higher PPI dose.
In 2011, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first warned consumers and healthcare professionals of the possible link between long-term proton pump inhibitor use and low magnesium. According the study authors, “Our study results support the general notion that proton pump inhibitor therapy may lead to sub-clinical degrees of low magnesium levels or deplete magnesium stores as suggested by the Food and Drug Administration and others.”
The authors state that while their findings show an association between proton pump inhibitor use and low magnesium levels, their study does not prove cause or effect, and other factors such as illness or a poor diet may have also led to a lack of the mineral. They recommend further research to confirm these findings.
What You Should Know About Magnesium.
Why is magnesium important?
Magnesium is a mineral that contributes to bone health, heart health, and hundreds of other functions in the body.
Symptoms of low magnesium include nausea, muscle cramps, feeling tired and irregular heartbeat. As these symptoms are common to many other medical conditions, it is important to see a doctor is you experience any. Severe magnesium deficiency can lead to heart attack and death.
Which foods contain magnesium?
Many foods contain magnesium, but foods that are particularly rich in the mineral include whole grains, Swiss chard, spinach, almonds and other nuts, and seeds such as sunflower seeds. Tap water also contains varying levels of magnesium.
Should a doctor check my magnesium level?
There are a number of potential causes of low magnesium. Medications such as diuretics (typically taken for heart disease or high blood pressure) and some anticancer drugs can lead to low magnesium, as can medicals conditions such as diabetes or alcoholism. Talk with your doctor about whether or not your magnesium level should be check regularly. The Food and Drug Administration recommends that healthcare professionals consider checking magnesium levels before writing a prescription for long-term proton pump inhibitor use and then monitor a person’s levels during use.
(Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf 2012;21:553-9)
Sourced from Integria Health Care News November 2012.
Footnote from Ideal Health:
This highlights how some drugs deplete magnesium levels. There can be many reasons that you may be magnesium deficient, as highlighted in the recent TV 1 show "Is modern medicine killing you?" Magnesium is easily lost in cooking and food processing with deficiencies widespread. For example whole-wheat flour contains approximately 113mg of magnesium per 100gms while white flour has only 25mg per 100gms.
Many bodily processes require magnesium including the balance and control of potassium, calcium and sodium in electrolytes. Muscles need magnesium to contract and relax, especially the heart, as it is magnesium that regulates heartbeat. Low magnesium levels can contribute to heart failure. Even a very slight magnesium deficiency can cause a huge range of deficiency symptoms such as migraines, fatigue, muscle cramps, insomnia and stress.
The following products are all useful Magnesium supplements:
Calcium - Magnesium
Calcium Magnesium Citrate
Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc
Xcel Health Superior Magnesium Capsules
Mega Magnesium Powder
Magnesium Complex Plus
Superior Magnesium Tablets
Related health information can be found here:
Arthritis & Rheumatism
Blood Pressure (High)
Calcium to build bones
Mineral Power - a supplement high in calcium & magnesium
Read this article by our naturopathic team to discover if you may be magnesium deficient and who may be at risk from magnesium deficiency.
Related articles can be found here:
Doctors recommend a multi-vitamin a day
Minerals: Critical for Well-Being
Minerals - the First Step to Well-Being
New Zealanders need zinc
Slow Bone Loss with Calcium
If you need help or advice, you are welcome to email our naturopathic team with your health question.
Disclaimer: The health information presented here has been written for the New Zealand health consumer. It is of a general nature and is only intended to provide a summary of the subjects covered. The information is not intended to be comprehensive or to provide medical advice to you. While all care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, no responsibility or liability is accepted, and no person should act in reliance on any statement contained in the information provided. All health ailments should be treated by a qualified health professional.