13 Turmeric Side Effects You’re Not Aware Of

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Experiencing turmeric side effects can happen to some people, particularly if they are taking too much or consuming the supplement without doctor’s approval.

What is Turmeric?

Turmeric is spice extracted from the turmeric plant, a perennial plant that belongs to the ginger family and has the scientific name Curcuma longa. It provides yellow color to a curry and has been a recognizable part of certain culinary traditions. Turmeric has an impressive antioxidant content and has an active ingredient called curcumin that has been linked to a lower risk of cancer, a reduction in inflammation, soothing upset stomachs, and even preventing neurodegenerative diseases.

Along with many benefits, there are some turmeric side effects that one must be aware of, particularly if they are taking an excessive amount of turmeric on a daily basis.

Side Effects of Turmeric

When you consume too much turmeric, or when you have an allergic reaction to this spice, it can result in the following:

  • Nausea
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Low blood pressure
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Complications with fertility
  • Headaches
  • Iron deficiency
  • GERD
  • Infertility
  • Diabetes

Risk of Bleeding

The active ingredients in this spice are able to prevent blood clotting, which can be dangerous for people with bleeding disorders, or those who are older, as the skin thins with age, making this one of the worst turmeric side effects.

Stomach Issues

Since some turmeric powder supplements are made with filler products, such as cassava starch or wheat flour, it is possible that people with gluten intolerance or Celiac disease will have a negative gastrointestinal reaction to the supplements.

GERD

If you have already been diagnosed with Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), studies have shown that taking this spice or supplement in large amounts can make the problem worse.

Gallbladder Problems

If you have gallstones or bile duct obstruction, it is unwise to take this supplemental spice, as it can worsen these problems.

Blood Pressure

This spice is known to lower the blood pressure, making it great for people with cardiovascular problems. However, when used in conjunction with hypotension medicine, it can cause a dangerous drop in blood pressure.

Kidney Stones

Roughly 2% of turmeric is composed of oxalate, and at high levels, this can contribute to the formation of kidney stones. If you are already having kidney problems or a history of kidney stones, excessive use of this spice or supplement can make the issue worse.

Pregnancy

The stimulant nature of this spice can cause uterine contractions, which can be dangerous in the early months of pregnancy, and could also induce labor in the later months, so it is best to avoid this spice while pregnant or nursing.

Allergic Reactions

Topical inflammation and internal allergic reactions are possible turmeric side effects, especially when it is consumed in large quantities. These can include itchy skin, redness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, bloating, cramping, and excess flatulence.

Infertility

When taken orally in supplement levels, turmeric can cause a reduction in testosterone and low sperm motility, making it more difficult to conceive a child.

Iron Deficiency

When too much turmeric (and thus, curcumin) is in the body, it may suppress iron absorption in the gut, leading to anemia and other unwanted side effects.

Diabetes

If you have diabetes, you should use this spice with caution, as it is known to lower blood sugar in a measurable way. For diabetics who want to keep a stable glucose level, excessive supplementation with turmeric can be very dangerous.

Surgery

Due to the anti-blood clotting properties of turmeric, it is unwise to take this supplement or spice prior to undergoing surgery, as it can result in complications and excessive bleeding.

Headaches

High doses of turmeric have been known to cause headaches in some people, particularly after extended periods of using more than 500 milligrams per day.

Precautions

Before using turmeric, it is important to take a few precautions, namely testing yourself for allergic reactions and speaking with your doctor about pre-existing conditions.

  • Allergic Reactions: Some people may not react to turmeric in their food, but in a concentrated form, a negative reaction is possible. Before making this supplement or topical remedy a regular practice, test with small amounts on your skin or when taken internally, and monitor how your body reacts.
  • Pre-Existing Conditions: If you have bleeding disorders or hypotension, as well as gallstones or diabetes, turmeric can exacerbate these conditions, or interfere with the medications you’ve been prescribed.
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