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Glucosamine Chondroitin Side Effects

Glucosamine Chondroitin Side Effects

Glucosamine chondroitin is a supplement that is mainly used for the treatment of osteoarthritis. To know more about its side effects, read the following HealthHearty post.
HealthHearty Staff
Last Updated: Apr 23, 2018
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.
Glucosamine chondroitin is a supplement used for osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a condition characterized by the breakdown or wearing of the cartilage of the joints, resulting in joint inflammation, pain, swelling, and even deformity.
Glucosamine and chondroitin are two components of the cartilage, for which both are used for treating osteoarthritis. In addition to making the joint cartilage stronger and more resilient, glucosamine can relieve the pain associated with osteoarthritis, while chondroitin can increase the flexibility of the cartilage and improve its ability to absorb shock. Chondroitin can also reduce the joint inflammation caused by osteoarthritis.
Though glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate can help improve joint functions among patients, its excessive use can cause several side effects. However, most of its side effects are usually not serious.
What are the Dangers
  • Intestinal problems
  • Diarrhea
  • Indigestion
  • Constipation
  • Heartburn
  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain
  • Bloating
  • Intestinal gas
  • Heart palpitation
  • Elevated heart rate
  • High blood pressure
Glucosamine is basically derived from the shells of shellfish. So, people allergic to it should not take the supplement without consulting their physicians. An allergic reaction to this compound can cause skin irritation, skin rash, difficulty breathing, and unusual swelling of the face, lips, and/or throat. Apart from these, this supplement can increase the risk of bleeding and enhance the effects of blood thinning medications. Therefore, people with bleeding disorders, as well as those taking blood thinners should use it with caution, and with the approval of their physicians, in order to avoid any undesirable side effects. Its side effects on cholesterol are not known with certainty. In general, it is considered to have no significant effect on the level of both LDL and HDL cholesterol, and also on the liver.
Risks Associated with Blood Sugar and Diabetes
Concerns have been expressed on the basis of certain preliminary evidence that glucosamine might affect the level of blood sugar. However, many other studies have not found glucosamine to cause any significant changes in the level of blood sugar. Human studies in this regard have revealed that no effect on blood sugar has been found after oral intake of glucosamine. However, it appears to cause insulin resistance when injected. Animal studies have also expressed the concern that glucosamine may worsen insulin resistance. So, its side effects in diabetes are not very clear. But still, diabetics are advised to use it with caution and monitor their blood sugar level carefully while taking this supplement. They should better take this supplement only under the supervision of their physicians.
It can be concluded that this supplement usually produces only mild side effects. The effects of this supplement on pregnant and nursing women are not known. Therefore, it is usually not recommended during pregnancy and breastfeeding. On the other hand, its adverse effects on liver, cholesterol, and on blood sugar level are not well established. But, people taking any kind of medications, and those suffering from an underlying health problem should talk to their physician before taking this supplement, in order to avoid any possible side effects and drug interaction.