Almost everyone has activated carbon at home in a first-aid kit. It is kept on hand just in case, in almost every house. This medicine is suitable in a number of cases such as stomachache, teeth whitening, food poisoning, etc. Someone uses it to get rid of diarrhea or constipation, someone takes it to even reduce appetite. But is it good to always use activated carbon in these cases? May it be harmful to the body? Let’s find out.
The main problem caused by uncontrolled activated carbon intake is its overdose. Often people who want to get rid of diarrhea take a few tablets of activated carbon and after a couple of hours, they take a few more tablets. Meanwhile, activated carbon can cause severe constipation and interfere with the absorption of essential substances such as vitamins and minerals. This entails failure in metabolic processes, low immune system, and a sharp loss of vitamins and minerals which results in hypovitaminosis.
Some people try to get rid of flatulence with the help of activated carbon. Removing the necessary enzymes from the body, activated carbon decreases the amount of beneficial microflora and this causes an inflammatory process in the intestine. Many are convinced that charcoal, as an absorbent, is capable to absorb gases without harming the microflora. As a result, flatulence against the background of dysbiosis is only exacerbated. That’s why in the case of flatulence it’s recommended to visit a gastroenterologist instead of self-medicating.
Uncontrolled activated carbon intake is also dangerous for the heart since it removes potassium and magnesium which are necessary for normal heart function. In addition, our body loses calcium which is replaced with great difficulty. Without these substances, the heart function will be impaired.
Activated carbon leaches carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and good cholesterol from the body. As a result, the skin ages faster, hair falls out, and nails become brittle. Excessive activated carbon intake also leads to hypoglycemia which manifests itself in attacks of weakness, tremors of the extremities and even loss of consciousness. In this case, the person looks weak and aged.
Activated carbon intake in the case of peptic ulcers of the intestines and stomach can be even fatally dangerous. When it gets into the blood through damaged blood vessels, charcoal provokes blockage and leads to thrombosis. In the case of ulcerative colitis, activate carbon may lead to toxic dilatation of the colon and this condition is dangerous for life.
A popular method of relieving intoxication caused by alcohol with the help of activated carbon doesn’t bring the desired result. To absorb toxins, you have to drink no less than 30 tablets of activated carbon but such an amount of this medication will only worsen the situation and violate the intestine function.
Activated carbon intake is absolutely contraindicated in allergies of various kinds, skin diseases, and oncology. The most dangerous consequence of self-medication is the risk of missing the symptoms of a serious illness which will exacerbate health problems. Be careful when taking activated carbon and don’t self-medicate.