Fat-burning supplements are sold as over-the-counter weight loss aids that claim to boost metabolism. Most of these supplements are a combination of stimulants and herbal extracts. They can contain up to ninety different ingredients, and many contain ingredients not declared on the label. For example, some fat-burning supplements have been found to contain medications that have been withdrawn from the market due to patient deaths and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Fat-burning supplements may also contain ingredients, such as phenolphthalein, that are not approved for use in the United States. Phenolphthalein has been linked to cancer. Individuals who take prescription medication are at an especially high risk of potentially dangerous drug interactions if they also take fat-burning supplements. Instead of taking these products, individuals who are concerned about their weight are encouraged to seek medical advice.
Some of the serious side effects linked to fat-burning supplements are outlined below.
Nausea is one of the most common side effects associated with fat-burning supplements. The supplements delay gastric emptying, and this is believed to lead to nausea. In addition, several popular ingredients in fat-burning supplements are recognized as nausea triggers themselves. Currently, experts have identified carnitine, chromium, chitosan, green tea extract, and guar gum as substances linked to both nausea and vomiting. Patients who experience nausea after using any supplement or medication should talk to a doctor. Supplements should be discontinued, and it might be necessary to switch to another medicine. To reduce nauseous feelings at home, it may help to avoid strong flavors or odors and to get outside for fresh air. Taking small sips of fluids is typically easier than drinking large amounts in one sitting, and patients might find it soothing to eat bland foods such as white rice, broth, boiled chicken, toast, or crackers.
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Constipation Or Diarrhea
Stomach problems such as constipation or diarrhea are widely reported with fat-burning supplements. Many of these supplements contain very high levels of stimulants, including caffeine. The stimulants increase the rate at which the body digests food, and this can trigger diarrhea. To treat diarrhea at home, patients could consider taking an over-the-counter medication such as loperamide, and eating low-fiber food is encouraged. Patients should contact a doctor if diarrhea lasts for more than two or three days. Some fat-burning supplements cause dehydration, which is a contributing factor in constipation. To relieve this symptom, patients may want to try increasing their dietary fiber intake or taking a fiber supplement. Increasing fluid intake to at least eight cups per day could help, and some patients may need a laxative or an enema to relieve constipation. Individuals should schedule a doctor's appointment if they have rectal bleeding, abdominal pain, or a fever with constipation, and they should seek emergency medical care if constipation occurs in conjunction with vomiting or abdominal distention.
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