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Should You Be Concerned About Melatonin Side Effects?
With the prevalence of medicines and herbal remedies in todayís world, it is easier than ever to self-diagnose your illness and find a drug that will claim to cure what ails you. However, what claims to cure you can also make you very sick if you donít know the potential side effects of the medicine.
One such remedy that has gained popularity in recent years is melatonin. Melatonin is a growth hormone naturally produced by the pineal gland in your brain. Melatonin hormones are secreted at night or in the dark and helps regulate the sleeping cycle. It is believed that melatonin may help the body know when it is time to go to sleep and when itís time to wake up. These days, melatonin can be taken in pill form to treat everything from jet lag to insomnia. However, like with all medications, there is the potential for serious melatonin side effects if take with other medications.
There are two types of melatonin: natural (what is produced by the body) and synthetic (man-made.) The synthetic version is sold in a variety of stores in pill form and is considered one of the least poisonous substances out there. However, it is important to know that synthetic melatonin has not been approved by the FDA and therefore there is no regulation on the quality or purity of melatonin sold. Because of this, make sure you purchase it from a reputable store if you choose to buy it.
Also, if you plan on taking synthetic melatonin, tell your doctor or pharmacist. They will be able to let you know if any melatonin side effects will occur if you take it with your other medications. Drug interactions can produce fatal results if you donít take the time to check into them before taking several different types of medications at once.
Melatonin side effects are considerably smaller than other types of synthetic or herbal remedies. But there still are side effects and you should be aware of them before deciding to take melatonin to cure your insomnia.
Melatonin side effects include slower reaction times, ďheavyĒ heads and stomachs and continued drowsiness throughout the day. Melatonin side effects are somewhat more severe in people with weaker immune systems so that is why doctors recommend that people with mental illness, severe allergies or cancer should not take melatonin. Doctors also recommend that pregnant women should stay away from melatonin as well.
While melatonin side effects are relatively non-existent, it doesnít mean that it should be a cure-all treatment for your insomnia. Instead, you should first visit your doctor and learn more about other insomnia treatments before considering melatonin. Your doctor can also tell you more about melatonin and what effects it might have on your body given your particular health situation. While most doctors will agree that being proactive about your health is a good thing, they will also say that self-medicating an illness or condition without consulting them first is asking for serious trouble.
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