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Taking magnesium for anal fissure. Getting black stool. Due to medication?

Answered by
Dr. Ketan Vagholkar

Gastroenterologist, Surgical

Practicing since :1989

Answered : 883 Questions

Posted on Mon, 28 Jan 2013 in Medicines and Side Effects
Question: For the last 9 months or so I have had light XXXXXXX stools and have had constipation, and an anal fissure. Fissure is finally better. I started taking magnesium to help with the constipation. I am taking about 600 mg. Now my stools are dark XXXXXXX all the time. Still have some constipation but I think it's because I don't feel like I completely empty out the bowel tract. In the last year, I have also developed dry eyes and mouth. Cuticles are seems very dry too and saw a Rheumatologist because I thought it may be sjogrens. The feel it is too early to tell so am just being monitored. Are the constant XXXXXXX stools just because of the magnesium? Any reason to be concerned about this? Thanks so much,
Answered by Dr. Ketan Vagholkar 48 minutes later
Thanks for writing in.
Long term consumption of milk of magnesia causes loose motions as well as depresses the normal acidity of the stomach. this makes the gut vulnerable to infection with toxic bacteria which otherwise would not have proliferated due to the normal acidity in the gut as well as due to the growth of normal healthy commensals. The XXXXXXX coloration may perhaps be due to alteration of the gut flora.
I would suggest that you get a thorough stool examination as well as culture done to detect the offending organisms.In case you are consuming steroids for other disorders then that can also be detrimental to the health of the gut.
I hope this answers your querry.
With Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Ketan Vagholkar 10 hours later
I didn't say I was taking milk of magnesia. I am taking the mineral magnesium. I'm a little confused. So again my question is: Does having a dark XXXXXXX stool all the time indicate a problem? Is it from the magnesium?
Answered by Dr. Ketan Vagholkar 7 hours later
Irrespective of what preparation is used, consumption of magnesium in any form is known to cause severe GI disturbances and hypermotility. This causes rapid transit of bile which is originally greenish in color in the gut and after getting degraded is responsible for imparting a yellow color to the stools. With rapid transit it is not fully degraded and therefore the XXXXXXX coloration of stools. As long as the stool examination report is normal you need not worry. try as far as possible to reduce the intake of magnesium.
I hope this answers your doubt.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

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