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Dangers of Glucosamine

author image Kristin Davis
Kristin Davis has been writing since 2004, specializing in the health and fitness fields. She has written for online and print publications including Fitness Monthly and Creative Circle. Davis has certification through the International Fitness Professionals Association as a personal trainer.
Dangers of Glucosamine
Nurse checking a man's blood pressure Photo Credit Dutko/iStock/Getty Images


Glucosamine is a substance found in fluid around joints and in cartilage, according to MedlinePlus.com. Some people, especially those with osteoarthritis, need glucosamine to help rebuild or repair cartilage tissue. Glucosamine is often taken along with chondroitin, which may help reduce inflammation. Before beginning any glucosamine supplement regimens, consult with your physician to ensure you actually need additional glucosamine and for the recommended dose for your particular needs.

Heart Problems

Glucosamine may temporarily increase blood pressure and heart rate. Increased blood pressure and heart rate may lead to heart palpitations, cardiac arrhythmia, heart attack or stroke. Those who already have known heart problems should only take glucosamine supplements under doctor supervision with close monitoring. Even if your doctor has granted permission to take glucosamine, let him know if you begin to experience a rapid or irregular heartbeat as this can be an early warning sign of potential risks associated with glucosamine.

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Increased Risk of Bleeding

You may have an increased risk of bleeding when taking glucosamine, according to MedlinePlus.com. Those who suffer from bleeding disorders, or are on blood thinners should only take glucosamine supplements under close doctor supervision with regular monitoring. Even if your doctor has given you permission to take glucosamine supplements, it may be necessary for your doctor to adjust your dosing to prevent increased risk of bleeding.

Increased Sodium Levels

Certain glucosamine products may contain sodium, according to FamilyDoctor.org. This is especially important to note if you’re on a low-sodium diet and the amount of sodium associated with glucosamine products raise your sodium levels. Talk to your doctor about the proper dosing required for your diet and ask what he recommends before taking glucosamine supplements on your own.

Blood Sugar Levels

Taking glucosamine may alter your blood sugar levels, according to MedlinePlus.com. This is especially important if you have diabetes, even if your diabetes is under control. Those who have hypoglycemia should also be aware of blood sugar alterations due to glucosamine. Your doctor should monitor your blood sugar levels on a regular basis, or, if you do it yourself at home, you should notify your doctor should you see changes in your blood sugar levels. Your doctor may recommend ceasing glucosamine supplements or change the dose you were once taking.

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