Heat Stroke, Flushes and Allergic Reactions
A source of debate in the athletic community is whether the supplement creatine can leave you dehydrated and more prone to heat stroke during exercise. Creatine provides the power to make muscles contract [source: Skeptic Dictionary]. Despite anecdotal claims, researchers say there's no evidence to support the contention that creatine results in heat intolerance. The research was done with athletes who used the recommended amounts of the readily available product [source: Lopez].
It's a challenging task -- if not an impossible one -- to put a precise figure on the number of supplements that have the potential to result in heat sensitivity. However, physician-approved databases such as drugdigest.org, medlineplus.gov and medicinenet.com are helpful in pin-pointing the cause of your symptoms and the supplement that may be responsible [source: Sunaware].
Understand that just because a supplement may be good for you does not indicate it's OK to take high doses of the product. A feeling of flushness can be the result of your body truly trying to flush the excess substance from your system. In addition, approximately 25 percent of people have a food allergy. Allergies can lead to fever, hives or redness of the skin. Since supplements are foods, it's quite possible that your symptoms are the result of an allergic reaction [source: Morris].
Supplementation can be tricky business, but with the guidance of a physician and/or nutritionist, you can find your optimum healthy lifestyle and avoid heat sensitivity.
- Lopez, Rebecca M. "Does Creatine Supplementation Hinder Exercise Heat Tolerance or Hydration Status?" Journal of Athletic Training. March 2009. (May 8, 2012) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2657025/
- Medline Plus. "Alfalfa." (May 8, 2012) http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/19.html
- Medline Plus. "St. John's Wort." (May 8, 2012) http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/329.html
- Morris, Adrian MB ChB, DCH, MCFP. "Food Allergy in Detail." (May 10, 2012) http://www.allergy-clinic.co.uk/food-allergy/food-allergy-guide/
- Nabili, Siamik T., MD. MPH. "Sun-sensitive Drugs." Medicine Net.com. (May 8, 2012) http://www.medicinenet.com/sun-sensitive_drugs_photosensitivity_to_drugs/page6.htm
- Painter, Sally. "Side Effects of Too Much Niacin." (May 8, 2012) http://vitamins.lovetoknow.com/Side_Effects_of_Too_Much_Niacin
- Shimpi, Gaurav. "Iron Supplement Side Effects." (May 8, 2012) http://www.buzzle.com/articles/iron-supplement-side-effects.html
- The Skeptics Dictionary. "Supplements: vitamins, minerals, herbs and 'natural' products." (May 8, 2012) http://www.skepdic.com/vitacon.html
- SunAware. "Sun Sensitivity." Feb 5, 2011. (May 8, 2012) http://www.sunaware.org/2010/02/05/sun-sensitivity-know-your-meds-their-side-effects/
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration. "How does the law define a drug?" (May 1, 2012) http://www.fda.gov/cosmetics/guidanceregulation/ucm074201.htm
- WebMD. "Dietary Supplements." (May 8, 2012) http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/tc/dietary-supplements-topic-overview