Too much of something is risky. Just like medicines, dietary supplements too have side effects. These do not treat or cure diseases but act as an addition to nutrition. They are available in all forms like tablets, powders, capsules, soft gels, &gel caps.Dietary supplementsmay containacidophilus, Echinacea, fibre, ginger, glucosamine, chonodroitin sulphate, minerals, omega-3, fatty acids, wort, saw palmetto, calcium, zinc, magnesium, vitamin E, C& K. These active ingredients if taken in excess can have strong biological effects on the body. They cause harm when taken in a wrong combination or in self-prescribed manner.Reports say that more than 100,000 people are affected with exposure to supplements. Out of which ¼ suffer from supplement poisoning, in rare cases ‘death’.
Effects of Dietary Supplements
Now let’s see how these ingredients affect our body. St. John’s wort, which is fermented or unfermented malt can speedily breakdown drugs like antidepressants & birth control pills thus reducing drug’s quality or effect. Vitamin K reduces or prevents blood from clotting. Lot of vitamin C can get you down with cold or flu. Lots of calcium causes vomiting, dry mouth, thirst, nausea, decreased appetite, constipation, & frequent urination. Abnormal quantity of zinc may cause abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, taste distortion, unpleasant taste & stomach cramping. Vitamin E actually promotes healthy immune system but if taken in larger quantities can give you headache, nausea, flatulence, bloating, diarrhoea, blurred vision, fatigue, & weakness.
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Problems with Supplements
Supplements can also cause problems for those who have cancer or pregnant/ breastfeeding. By consuming these in larger amounts can result in skin sensitivity & reactions during radiation or chemotherapy. In chemo combination of injections & supplements can be dangerous because antioxidants may interfere with cancer killing treatments. Often it is recommended to cancer patient to avoid these supplements until treatment is over. It is advisable to cancer patients that they should discuss with their doctors before starting any supplement course.
During pregnancy or breastfeeding always be cautious because these supplements are not tested for safety. Nursing mothers, pregnant women, kids should not be given any supplements until doctors prescribe it.
Safety Measures with Supplements
Once you suspect that there is something wrong happening with your body like any serious reaction, rash, allergy, strong bowel movements then you should immediately contact doctor or medical clinic.
Always keep in mind that:
- Dietary supplements should achieve quality as per standards
- Don’t just place an order after looking at the advertisement
- Don’t take supplements in combination or in place of prescribed medicines without doctor’s approval
- Don’t take supplements pre or post surgery without doctor’s approval
- The term “organic” or “natural” doesn’t mean it is safe as it depends on its composition, chemical structure, quality & volume.
- Do not fall prey for sentences like ‘can treat or cure diseases, totally safe, no side effects’, etc. at cost of your health
- Ask or consult a doctor about supplements benefits & its health-hazards.
Be aware & be safe from health advertisements which are fraudulent &claimto treat or cure health conditions. They totally waste your money, time & most importantly health.