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Information on Milk of Magnesia

Milk of magnesia is primarily used for its strong laxative properties. It is a suspension made from magnesium hydroxide which has been dissolved in water first. It is called milk of magnesia because its white appearance may resemble the appearance of milk. Sometimes it may be affiliated with certain unwanted side effects. Milk of magnesia is actually an alkaline suspension of magnesium hydroxide and its formula is invented by Charles Henry Phillips in the 19th century.

It can be purchased anywhere around the world and it is one of the most popular alternatives to castor oil and numerous other types of laxatives. It can be purchased in a flavored form as capsules or tablets. It should be consumed with a glass of water so that it can be absorbed rather quickly. Milk of magnesia is an antacid so it triggers a process of neutralization in which the acidic and hydroxide ions get combined into hydrochloric acid and water.

As a laxative it may draw water from the intestine tissue utilizing the process of osmosis and by doing so it increases the amount of water contained in the feces. It is very efficient in inducing defecation and reducing the amount of stomach acid in the intestines. It can also be used for the prevention and treatment of certain medical conditions such as indigestion, heartburn and constipation.

Milk of Magnesia Side Effects

There are certain types of medical conditions which indicate that a person should not use milk of magnesia as a laxative. Those medical conditions may or may not include abdominal pain, different types of kidney diseases, nausea, rectal bleeding, vomiting and any changes in the bowel habits. Milk of magnesia can be associated with certain side effects and the most common ones include reactions with antibiotic medicaments, itchiness, diarrhea, shortness of breath, hypermagnesemia, hives, weakness, various types of allergic reactions, vomiting and nausea.

It is very efficient in alleviating indigestion and constipation by stimulating the nerves in the colon and it can also be very beneficial when it comes to treating such medical conditions as aphthous ulcers and canker sores. Milk of magnesia may also be used topically on the areas of the skin affected by, acne, seborrhea and dandruff.  It may interact with certain types of medications so it is a good idea to consult the doctor before taking milk of magnesia in its supplemental form.

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