If you have oral or genital herpes, your doctor may recommend treatment with a lysine supplement. Though additional research is necessary, lysine may help reduce the replication of the herpes virus in your body, which may help reduce outbreak symptoms. Despite the health benefits of this supplement, taking too much lysine may be bad for your health. You should be aware of lysine overdose symptoms and side effects before you begin taking this supplement.
The recommended daily dose of lysine for adults is 3,000 to 9,000 mg, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. If you take more than lysine that recommended, you may be at risk of overdosing on lysine. In humans, the symptoms of a lysine overdose are not fully known or understood. An overdose of lysine is not believed to result in fatal medical complications. However, seek emergency medical care if you believe you have taken too much lysine.
Gallstones or High Cholesterol
In animal studies, too much lysine may cause gallstones or high cholesterol, the University of Michigan Health System warns. Though high cholesterol typically does not cause noticeable symptoms, gallstones may result in abdominal pain, fever, jaundice, nausea, vomiting, bloating or clay-colored stools. If you exhibit any of these symptoms while taking lysine supplements, consult your medical provider as soon as possible.
Abdominal Cramps and Diarrhea
If you consume 15 to 40 grams of lysine each day, you may be at risk of developing abdominal cramps or diarrhea, the UMHS explains. Diarrhea results in frequent, watery bowel movements that may be accompanied by bloating, stomach pain or loss of appetite. Contact your physician if you experience chronic diarrhea, as this symptoms may increase your risk of dehydration.
Inform your doctor of any health problems you may have before taking lysine supplements. Avoid treatment with lysine if you have liver or kidney disease unless otherwise instructed by a medical professional. Information regarding the safety of lysine during pregnancy is lacking and expectant or nursing mothers should avoid using this supplement.