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Magnesium Supplements and Acid Reflux: What You Need to Know

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Acid reflux can be a frustrating and uncomfortable condition to deal with. It occurs when stomach acid flows back up into the esophagus, causing a burning sensation in the chest and throat. Many people turn to natural supplements, such as magnesium, to help manage their acid reflux symptoms. But can magnesium supplements actually cause acid reflux?

The Pros of Taking Magnesium Supplements for Acid Reflux

Magnesium is an important mineral for maintaining healthy muscle and neuron function, heart rhythm, and blood pressure. Magnesium has been demonstrated to help reduce acid reflux symptoms by easing the tension in the esophagus and so blocking stomach acid from coming back up into the food pipe.

Magnesium supplements may also help with things like lowering inflammation, getting a better night's rest, and keeping your bowels regular. Magnesium supplements are thought to be safe for most people when used properly.

The Cons of Taking Magnesium Supplements for Acid Reflux

While magnesium supplements can be beneficial for many people, they can also cause adverse effects, such as diarrhea, nausea, and stomach cramps. Additionally, taking too much magnesium can lead to more severe side effects, including low blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, and difficulty breathing.

Moreover, in rare cases, magnesium supplements can worsen acid reflux symptoms. This is because some forms of magnesium, such as magnesium hydroxide, can actually increase stomach acid production, exacerbating acid reflux symptoms.

How to Take Magnesium Supplements for Acid Reflux

If you're considering taking magnesium supplements to help manage your acid reflux symptoms, it's important to talk to your doctor first. Your doctor can help you determine the appropriate dosage and form of magnesium supplement to take, as well as monitor any potential side effects.

In general, magnesium supplements should be taken with food to reduce the risk of stomach upset. It's also important to drink plenty of water when taking magnesium supplements to help prevent constipation.


In conclusion, many people find that taking magnesium supplements helps with acid reflux. However, before starting a new supplement regimen, it is important to discuss the dangers and advantages of taking magnesium supplements with your doctor. However, some people may experience unwanted side effects from taking magnesium supplements, including a worsening of acid reflux symptoms. Magnesium supplements may help with acid reflux when used under medical supervision.

William H. McDaniel, MD

Dr. Robert H. Shmerling is the former clinical chief of the division of rheumatology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), and is a current member of the corresponding faculty in medicine at Harvard Medical School.

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