Creatine is a substance that is produced by the body in order to build muscle. It is a non-essential amino acid because it is manufactured directly by the body. But most athletes use this supplement to maintain and build lean muscle tissue. Creatine is also present in foods such as fish and meat.
Unlike other supplements that are used to build muscle; creatine does not contain lactose which is good for those who are lactose intolerant. However, it is known to cause many side effects which can often lead to death even though it is not an anabolic steroid. Listed below are 9 side effects of consuming this supplement called creatine.
An overdose of creatine can lad to many complications with regards to your pancreas, which is a vital organ of your body. It can also occur due to taking an overdose just once or can occur over a period of time. The damage caused by creatine on the pancreas is permanent and often leads to conditions such as diabetes and even death. It often leads to conditions such as pancreatis which is the inflammation of the pancreas.
Under normal circumstances, the pancreas releases pancreatic enzymes which help in digesting the proteins, carbohydrates and fats. However, in the case of pancreatis, the pancreas begins to digest itself. This can cause damage to the pancreas which is often irreversible.
It has also been known to cause the growth of tumours on the pancreas which can lead to cancer of the pancreas. For this reason, it is extremely important to consult a doctor on this matter.
Creatine has also been known to cause muscle cramps. The muscle cramps that are caused by creatine occur at any time and involuntarily. This is because the muscles begin to contract which results in spasms. These spasms can continue for a few minutes.
If you are consuming excess creatine, you may not be able to feel the muscular fatigue which is caused by your workouts, but the strain on your muscles will be there. This will lead to your muscles being excessively sore. The muscle cramps are also a result of dehydration which is also a side effect of creatine.
Weight gain is often a result of excess consumption of creatine because of water retention. It draws water from different parts of the body and causes an increase in the muscular size and weight.
The stress caused by creatine on the kidneys results in its improper functioning which slows down the process of filtering which results in the water retention. If you are having creatine as prescribed by your doctor, make sure to drink enough water alongside.
Dehydration is a very common issue faced by those who consume creatine. This is the condition when the body is losing more water than necessary. The main symptoms of dehydration are sleeplessness, dry mouth, dizziness, dry skin, and constipation. However, this condition can be resolved easily. This is because creatine draws the water from the other parts of the body to the muscles.
By using creatine as a supplement, you can raise the levels of creatine in your blood by as much as 90 times its normal level. It is necessary to consume enough water when supplementing with creatine. Another factor which must be taken into consideration is the conditions in which you workout.
If you are working out in hot and humid weather conditions, it can lead to dehydration rapidly due to the loss of water from the body due to sweating. Make sure to drink lots of water when you are working out.
Creatine can place immense stress on your kidneys even when used in quantities that are prescribed by the doctor. It is even more dangerous if you suffer from any kidney disease. The stress on the kidney is even more during the loading phase of creatine.
Creatine is produced naturally by the kidneys and over consumption of creatine can pose a threat by retarding the manufacturing of creatine by the kidneys. You should completely stop the use of creatine supplements if you are suffering from diabetes or kidney problems.
Creatine is also known to retard the growth of hair as well as resulting in hair loss. Several studies were conducted which resulted in the conclusion that creatine increases the level of an androgen named Dihydrotestosterone which becomes a stumbling block between your hair follicles and hair which results in your hair not receiving the adequate amount of nutrients and therefore results in hair loss.
Stomach cramps are not a common side effect of creatine but occur in some cases. If you are experiencing stomach cramps due to the use of creatine, it is important to consult your physician.
This is because of the allergic reaction to creatine which causes inflammation in the stomach, minutes after consuming the supplement. The inflammation which is caused often leads to symptoms of diarrhoea, vomiting, stomach pain and stomach cramps.
This side effect of creatine is a very dangerous one which can also lead to death. This can take place within a matter of a few seconds after consuming the creatine supplement and results in the swelling of you lips, tongue, mouth and throat. It can also lead to the sudden acceleration of your heart beat and being short of breath.
In some cases, hives also develop as a result of the allergy. This is caused by the allergy which leads to the excess of different kinds of chemicals to fill the tissues of the organs such as the lungs, digestive system and the sinuses.
Blood Glucose Levels
Creatine is also known to affect the levels of Glucose in the blood and also alter the effect of other medications like insulin. It is recommended to consult your doctor as well as monitor your blood glucose levels when taking other drugs that affect it.