The FDA recently released a report warning consumers that long term (greater than one year) use of Proton Pump Inhibitors leads to risk of low magnesium blood levels. This condition is known as hypomagnesemia. Low levels of magnesium in the blood can lead to muscle spasm, irregular heartbeat, or seizures but you can have low blood magnesium levels and not have these symptoms.
In the studies the FDA used to look to determine the risk, 75% of patients who had low blood levels of magnesium could stay on the PPI but needed to take magnesium supplements. In the other 25%, the supplements didn’t help and they had to come off of the PPI. Once of the PPI the magnesium levels went back to normal after a week.
The risk is even greater in patients who take other prescriptions that also can cause low levels of magnesium such as digoxin, or diuretics. In addition, the risk was of more concern in the patients taking digoxin as it is a medication used for irregular heartbeats.
If you have high blood pressure, your MD has probably discussed with you sodium, potassium, and calcium as part of your treatment plan; however, the role of magnesium is often overlooked.
Magnesium is a critical player in maintaining normal blood pressure levels, as well as muscle and nerve function, blood sugar regulation, bone health, and immune system maintenance.
How Magnesium Regulates Blood Pressure
Magnesium is used in the production of prostaglandin E1, which is a powerful vasodilator. Typically, blood pressure rises as blood vessels harden and narrow, which causes the heart to exert increased force to circulate blood to body tissues. A vasodilator causes your blood vessels to relax and widen, allowing for easier blood flow and results in a lower blood pressure.
Magnesium also regulates the level of sodium, potassium , and calcium within cells. Sodium and potassium work together to maintain normal blood pres...
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