Rise in Liver Injury Seen With Herbal & Dietary Supplements

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In today’s fast world, people want everything quickly. They want quick money, quick fame, quick muscle building and weight loss etc. People usually tend to take short cuts and by the end of it, suffer from irreparable loss or problems.

For instance, people want quick weight loss, but they do not want to indulge in regular exercise or follow proper diet. They prefer to take a shorter route, taking dietary herbal supplements. Although dietary supplements provide benefits, it is important to keep in mind that all supplements are not created equal and that there may be adverse side effects.

What are Dietary Supplements?

These are also known as health supplements and include herbal supplements, vitamins, cod liver pills, protein shakes etc. These products are not marketed as food or drug (for medication) and hence are not controlled by the FDA. These supplements do not require a prescription from any doctor. Also, since these are not regulated by the FDA, one has to depend on the manufacturer for the dosage and side effects details.
Since these supplements are not marketed under neither the food or drugs category, they lack clinical testing, resulting in increased risk of liver damage and other health hazards.

Side Effects

There have been instances, recorded in medical journals, which have found that taking health supplements has caused some poor results, especially related to the liver. Some of the problems that are caused due to consumption of these supplements include:

• Jaundice: Jaundice does not just mean your skin becomes yellow. Your eyes, face, chest becomes dark yellowish in colour. It also sometimes causes acute itching along with jaundice.

• Fatigue: In some people, these supplements causes muscle fatigue, pain in the abdominal area and loss of appetite. Fatigue also causes a feeling of tiredness and an inability to work out or do any activity, which you would normally perform during the day.

• Acute Hepatitis: Some journals have shown acute hepatitis as one the side effects of consumption of health supplements.

• Liver transplant: This is the most adverse and extreme side effect of dietary supplements. There have been instances where people had to have a liver transplant. Subsequently, they would have to be on medication (anti-rejection pills), after the liver transplant, throughout their life.

Points you need to keep in mind

• Do not take any supplement along with prescribed medication without your doctor’s advice.

• The term “Natural supplements” does not necessarily mean that these pills are made from natural ingredients and are safe to consume. It depends on various factors, its chemical composition etc. that determine whether such pills are truly natural in how they’re processed.

Above all, remember one thing, by consuming such dietary supplements you are altering the normal functioning and metabolism of your body. Do your due diligence and weigh the benefits with the risks.

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