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Glucosamine Chondroitin Side Effects: Is There a Downside to This Cartilage Supplement?

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

Glucosamine Chondroitin Side Effects

Thousands of Americans take glucosamine chondroitin to relieve their joint pain. It is used to treat symptoms in conditions like osteoarthritis, and also to help alleviate general joint discomfort. But what if you take too much? Can you experience symptoms of toxicity or overdose?

The Addition of Chondroitin

Chondroitin is often added to glucosamine supplements, because their effects are thought to act synergistically. Like glucosamine, chondroitin is a component of cartilage, and supplementing with it is thought to keep cartilage healthy.

Glucosamine Chondroitin Side Effects Are Rare

The good news is, not many people experience side effects from take glucosamine chondroitin. Clinical studies have been performed since the 80s, so there is a good bit of data available.

One thing you can do to minimize your risk of side effects is to stick to a reasonable dosage.

Most Common Glucosamine Chondroitin Side Effects

Among those who do experience side effects, they are most often relatively mild in nature. Examples include drowsiness, heartburn, headache, constipation or diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.

More Severe Glucosamine Chondroitin Side Effects

Glucosamine chondroitin has been associated with increased blood pressure and heart rate, and possibly even heart palpitations. This effect is very are and appears to be temporary.

Glucosamine chondroitin may also have mildly negative effects on your blood sugar and increase your risk of bleeding.

Most Serious Glucosamine Chondroitin Side Effects

Infrequently, more serious side effects may occur, such as an allergic reaction. If you experience an allergic reaction, including hives, itching, difficulty breathing, or swelling of the mouth or face, then you should seek medical attention quickly.

Should I Be Careful?

Most people are probably fine. However, the following people should be careful:

  • Some glucosamine chondroitin supplements are made from shellfish. So if you have a shellfish allergy, you should be careful, and maybe even avoid glucosamine chondroitin supplements altogether.
  • Due to the risk of increased bleeding mentioned above, those who are taking anti-clotting medications should talk with their doctor before supplementing with glucosamine chondroitin.
  • If you have diabetes or insulin resistance, be careful of the potential effect glucosamine chondroitin might have on your blood sugar and insulin levels.
  • Pregnant women would do well to avoid this supplement. It might be fine, but there just isn’t enough data on the subject. When it comes to your child, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

More Information on Glucosamine Chondroitin

Check out more articles on glucosamine benefits, cinnamon supplements, and glucosamine dosage. Thanks!


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