Intestinal peristalsis and magnesium

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Spontaneous peristaltic movements of the stomach are used in digestion, which helps move food through the stomach and through the pyloric sphincter to the duodenum.

This process is mentioned as intestinal motility. Excessive gastric motility causes pain, which is usually treated with antispasmodic drugs.


1. Overview
2. Intestinal peristalsis
3. Magnesium’s role in the body
4. Sources of magnesium in excess
5. Consequences
6. Intestinal motility disorders

Intestinal peristalsis

The digestive system works by pushing food through muscular tubes of esophagus, stomach and intestines.

Peristaltic movements moves food and mix it with stomach acid, mucus and digestive juices containing enzymes that break down nutrients before they are absorbed. In the esophagus, stomach and small intestine peristalsis is relatively continuous. Peristalsis which involves moving waste to the intestine occurs only several times a day.

Magnesium’s role in the body

Magnesium is an essential mineral for the body of any person. The appropriate level of magnesium is important for bone strength, learning and memory, heart function and biochemical reactions. Magnesium overdose occurs mainly due to use of dietary supplements and laxatives containing magnesium.

Sources of magnesium in excess

Most foods contain a certain level of magnesium. In addition, magnesium can be added to processed foods. There is no upper limit tolerable for dietary magnesium: the magnesium in excess is excreted in the feces.

Some related chemicals are used for processing and filtering of several dietary supplements and drugs found both as powder and pills. Using large amounts of magnesium supplements can lead to disrupting the peristalsis and may result in nausea, cramps, diarrhea and intestinal discomfort.


Magnesium causes sporadic contraction of the intestines. This prevents you digest, because stomach acid and digestive juices are not properly mixed with food.

If large amounts of dietary supplements or drugs are taken in one dose, they will be pushed through the intestines before they can be absorbed. It is recommended that supplements be taken with breaks during the day, with meals to prevent gastrointestinal discomfort.

Intestinal motility disorders

Intestinal motility disorders refer to abnormal intestinal contractions, such as intestinal spasms and paralysis. These may include a variety of disorders in the intestine which has lost the ability to control muscle activity of endogenous and exogenous causes. Such disorders can be primary or secondary and can manifest in a variety of ways, including the following:

- abdominal distension
- periodical obstruction
- severe abdominal cramps and pain
- severe constipation
- gastroesophageal reflux disease
- recurrent vomiting, difficult to treat
- intestinal pseudo-obstruction
- irritable bowel syndrome
- fecal incontinence

Generally, any change in transit food and digestive secretions may be considered a disorder of intestinal motility.



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