Inositol is a nutrient that naturally occurs in the human body as well as in the cells of both plants and animals. Inositol side effects, even in those who are taking supplements, are not a common problem. When inositol side effects do occur, they often include symptoms such as stomach upset, nausea, runny bowel movements, and in severe cases, vomiting. Some people may also experience headache, appetite loss, or dizziness when taking inositol supplements. Rarely, flushing or itching may develop as well. Fortunately, most people do not experience inositol side effects.
Inositol is found in a range of food sources, making it easy to include as part of an overall healthy diet. Often people take inositol supplements as well, ensuring that they consume significant amounts of the nutrient on a daily basis. In fact, inositol is sometimes used medicinally, helping to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the body. Inositol may also be used to improve circulation, prevent hair loss, nourish the brain, and facilitate the conversion of nutrients to energy.
There may be a simple solution for those who experience minor inositol side effects. An individual may avoid nausea by eating or drinking before taking inositol supplements. Additionally, a person may reduce stomach-related side effects by lowering his dosage. If symptoms persist despite these measures, an inositol user may discontinue use of inositol and contact a doctor for advice.
Pregnant women generally are not advised to take inositol supplements, though the nutrient is safe to consume from natural food sources. Inositol supplements may cause contractions in some pregnant women. Since the risks of inositol use during breastfeeding are unknown, women are often advised to avoid supplementation until after their babies have weaned.
While unlikely, a person who is taking inositol niacinate, a form of inositol that can be used medicinally, may develop signs of an allergic reaction. Inositol niacinate consists of niacin molecules that are connected by inositol. Allergy symptoms include hives, itchy rash, itchy skin without a rash, and swelling of any part of the face or mouth. Other signs of an inositol niacinate allergic reaction include difficulty breathing and a tight feeling in the chest.
A person with a severe reaction to inositol niacinate may also develop darker-than-normal urine or yellowing of the skin, which can be a sign of a liver problem. Severe stomach pain may also occur in those with serious allergic reactions. An individual who develops any of these symptoms in relation to inositol or niacin should seek medical attention right away.