Before discussing the question, it is vital to understand what milk of magnesia is and its uses. Also, discuss what GERD is and its treatment.

What is milk of magnesia

Milk of magnesia contains magnesium (a naturally available mineral). Magnesium is essential for performing various system functions (mainly by the muscles and nerves). Milk of magnesia is commonly called magnesium hydroxide (chemical name). You can get it as an over-the-counter drug (OTC). 

What is GERD?

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a chronic reflux disorder in which acid contents of the stomach continuously leak back into your esophagus, which causes acid reflux. The main symptom of GERD is acid reflux. Other symptoms may include heartburn, nausea, chest pain, chronic cough, and difficulty in swallowing.

How is GERD Treated? – Treatment of GERD

There are various treatment options available for GERD. Your physician may discuss the best treatment option with you: 

Your doctor may also encourage you to make specific lifestyle changes, which helps in reducing the acid reflux episodes. They are:  

  • Weight reduction 
  • Quit smoking (if you smoke)
  • Not to lie down immediately after eating, wait for a couple of hours 
  • Avoiding heavy meals in the evening 
  • Elevating your head during sleep 

Milk of magnesia uses/benefits 

Milk of magnesia is used as a laxative to relieve constipation and used as an antacid to provide relief from indigestion, heartburn, and sour stomach. 

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Milk of magnesia reduces the acid in the stomach (antacid effect) and increases the water in the intestines, which induces bowel movements (laxative effect). 

Finally, to answer the main question, does milk of magnesia help GERD?

Yes, milk of magnesia can be used to manage GERD symptoms such as heartburn and stomach upset. It works by lowering the acid content in the stomach. 

Can milk of magnesia cause nausea?

Yes, milk of magnesia can cause severe nausea; however, not all people are likely to experience it. Other side effects include: 

  • Rectal bleeding 
  • Severe vomiting 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Worsening of the current symptoms 
  • A decreased sense of taste
  • No bowel movement 

This is not a complete list of side effects. You may experience other side effects. Call your physician for medical advice if any other symptoms are persistent. 

What are the long term side effects of taking Milk of magnesia?

Milk of magnesia is prescribed based on your medication condition and your response to the treatment. However, extended use of the medication could result in dependence on laxatives and ongoing constipation. In some patients, overuse may also cause persistent diarrhea, thus leading to dehydration (too much water loss from the body) and mineral imbalance (high magnesium levels). 

People with impaired kidney function should avoid milk of magnesia. 

What is the reaction time for Milk of magnesia?

Milk of magnesia works as soon as you take it. You can expect to have bowel movements between 30 minutes to 6 hours. The disease condition and cause may impact how long it takes to show its effect. 

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