August 14, 2018

Stevia Side Effects

Native to South America, stevia has become a popular alternative sweetener around the world. In its native environment, indigenous people have used stevia as a sweetener and as a medicine for hundreds of years. Individuals use stevia as an alternative to sugar or high fructose corn syrup. This plant is popular among diabetics and people suffering from high blood pressure or heart burn. Anecdotally, it has been used to strengthen the heart and lower levels of uric acid in the body.

When it first entered the United States, stevia was originally just marketed as a supplement. In 2008, the FDA allowed stevia to begin being used as a food additive. Since that time, stevia has been used by a non-calorie sweetener by dieters and diabetics alike. Studies show that stevia is generally considered safe as long as it is used in quantities less than 1500 milligrams a day.

Stevia Side Effects

Some people who have used stevia have reported feeling muscle pain, bloating or numbness. There are also instances where stevia has caused dizziness or nausea. Stevia may irritate the lining of the stomach and make users have nausea, decreased appetite or an upset stomach. These mild side effects will normally subside after the user stops taking stevia.

side effects dangerPotential Allergic Reactions

Individuals who are allergic to ragweed, daisies or marigolds should avoid taking stevia. Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include difficulty breathing, problems swallowing, pale skin, hives, muscles weakness or wheezing. Anyone who develops these symptoms should immediately seek medical attention to prevent the allergic reaction from becoming fatal.

Blood Sugar and Blood Pressure Side Effects

Some studies also suggest that stevia could interfere with the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar. Other studies contradict this finding. To be safe, diabetics should closely monitor their blood sugar levels or discontinue using stevia. In certain cases, stevia might lower blood pressure levels. Although this is a benefit for individuals with high blood pressure, it could cause a dangerously low blood pressure level in people who suffer from low blood pressure. Individuals who have any medical condition should get their healthcare provider’s advice before using stevia.

stevia pregnant womanPrecautions

There have been no studies completed on stevia use during pregnancy or while nursing. Individuals should avoid using stevia during these times to be safe. Any food taken in by the women’s body can be transferred to the fetus or infant.

Drug Interactions with Stevia

Scientists think that stevia can potentially interact with lithium. Stevia may act as a diuretic in some individuals and make it difficult for the body to correctly process lithium. Patients who are currently on medication should consult with a doctor before taking stevia. Individuals who are on medication for high blood pressure should avoid using too much stevia. Since stevia can lower the blood pressure, patients on medication could have their blood pressure drop too low. Stevia can interfere with medication taken by the user. To prevent this from happening, individuals should always consult with their doctor first.

Anyone who experiences side effects after using stevia should always visit a qualified medical practitioner for treatment. Although stevia has been cleared for human consumption by the FDA, some individuals could still be allergic to the plant. Individuals who are currently taking medication or have a history of high blood pressure should always check with their doctor before using stevia. Side effects caused by stevia can also be reported to the FDA.

Known by the common name of sweet leaf, stevia has come a long way from its South American home. It has developed a strong following in the last decade as consumers search for a no-calorie alternative to traditional sweeteners. For the majority of individuals, stevia is a highly effective solution and alternative to sugary beverages or foods.