Tribulus is a popular herbal supplement that is widely used to enhance both sexual and athletic performance. It’s also used as a treatment for a wide variety of health problems including liver disease, kidney stones, eczema, psoriasis, scabies, and high blood pressure in traditional Chinese and Indian Medicine.
Scientists believe that tribulus can increase strength and stamina because it can increase the level of some hormones in animals. Research indicates that regularly consuming tribulus can lead to increased levels of estrogen and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) in laboratory animals. The research indicated that the popular belief that tribulus increases levels of testosterone in the blood is not true.
Despite its effects on hormones, doctors have determined that tribulus is safe for most people to take. Unfortunately, they did uncover some effects that users should be aware of. They also found that there are some people who should be taking tribulus because of its effects on the hormones.
Those Who Should not take Tribulus
The side effects from tribulus come from its raising of the hormone levels in the blood. Even though this can have beneficial side effects in some people, it can lead to health problems in some individuals.
Persons suffering from prostate or breast cancer and those who have suffered from those diseases in the past should not take tribulus. Doctors think it might increase the level of hormones in the blood that can lead to those problems or make them worse.
Pregnant women, women who are trying to get pregnant, and women who are breast feeding should not take tribulus. There is evidence that it can interfere with the normal development of babies in and out of the womb.
Children and teenagers should also avoid tribulus because it might interfere with their growth and development. Young boys in particular should avoid tribulus because it might interfere with their normal development.
Tribulus can affect blood sugar levels so persons suffering from diabetes or metabolic syndrome should ask their doctor before taking tribulus. Persons suffering from similar problems such as hypoglycemia should also consult their doctor before taking it.
You should not take tribulus for two to three weeks before and after surgery because of its potential effects on blood sugar. If you think you might need surgery, you should definitely stop taking tribulus.
Professional athletes might have to avoid tribulus because its presence in the blood can lead to a positive drug test. The reason for this is that tribulus has the same effects has some kinds of illegal steroids.
Potential Tribulus Side Effects
There are some tribulus side effects that you should be aware of before you take the supplement.
These include the following:
• Tribulus can lead to the growth of breasts in both men and women. There is some evidence this can increase the risk of breast cancer.
• Tribulus can lead to muscle growth; however, it is only effective when those who take it engage in weight training and other kinds of exercise.
• Tribulus can affect blood sugar levels.
• Tribulus might lower your risk of diabetes by lowering the level of sugar in the blood.
• Tribulus can interact with medicines that affect blood sugar. Ask a doctor before taking it.
• Tribulus can lead to lithium deficiencies because it acts like a diuretic or water pill. Persons who take tribulus may need to take a lithium supplement.
• Tribulus can increase the amount of urination and lead to thirst.
• Tribulus will enhance athletic performance.
• Tribulus has been used to treat chest pain and anemia in traditional Chinese medicine.
• You should never eat raw tribulus because the raw fruit has caused lung problems in some individuals. There is no evidence that processed tribulus supplements cause these problems.
• Tribulus might interact with some birth control pills because it affects the level of hormones in the body.
Avoiding the Side Effects
The best way to avoid these side effects is to be careful when you take tribulus. Even though it is considered a drug, tribulus is a potent medicine that can have serious side effects.
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