Gut Flora and diarrhea

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 28, 2013 at 7:12 PM

Will a bout of diarrhea caused by magnesium citrate clear out your gut flora?

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3 Answers



on February 28, 2013
at 10:07 PM

In terms of the gut flora, my understanding is that the process of elimination means your gut is constantly shedding old flora (in fact stool is by weight largely made up of dead bacteria) so you are always having to replenish it. Am I right?


on February 28, 2013
at 07:40 PM

Magnesium citrate clears you out by drawing more water into the intestine, then the effect can cascade because the next dose will get lower into your intestine than the first did due to the faster gut movement caused by the previous dose. That's the mechanism of why it can cause it by just a slightly too high of dosage. You ask an intriguing question because of the amount of water involved, but there's probably still a small amount of flora hanging around and you'll recover as long as you weren't on some space-age antibiotics at the same time.

I like to make sure people understand that mechanism when they've had a bad effect so they understand they might only have to back off on dosage a little bit to prevent the cascade or not take it while their gut has another reason to move faster.


on April 12, 2013
at 09:52 AM

No. You will have a few bacteria hanging around in the gut they can replicate to staggering numbers in a very short period of time. However the balance of the different microbe types may be different post the diarrhea. Particularly if you eat different types of food to your usual habits in your 'recovery' period. May be a good time to eat some live yogurt/sauerkraut etc?

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