Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Germanium - Side Effects, Contraindications and Complications
Germanium, or germanium-132, is a chemical element commonly used to treat cancer of the lung, bladder, breast, uterus or bladder. Proponents of germanium claim it can naturally treat cancer with few side effects. No scientific evidence supports these claims. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, germanium is a potential health hazard that could cause serious physical harm. Severe organ damage, some of which have caused death, have reportedly been caused by germanium. Proponents claim only inorganic germanium can cause serious harm, but recent studies have showed both organic and inorganic germanium can be potentially dangerous for human consumption. Potential Side Effects of Germanium According to WebMD, germanium can cause serious side effects even with short-term use. Common side effects that occur with short-term use include: * Lack of healthy red blood cells (anemia) * Muscle weakness * Nerve problems, possibly nerve damage * Loss of appetite (anorexia) * Unintentional weight loss * Nausea * Vomiting * Fatigue, pronounced exhaustion * Skin rashes * Numbness in the hands or feet * Seizures These side effects worsen the longer you take it. Eliminating its use may alleviate some, but not all symptoms. The nerve damage caused by its toxic buildup inside the body, for example, can become permanent. Potential Long Term Effects of Germanium Numerous health organizations, including the American Cancer Society (ACS), have identified several serious long term effects caused by germanium. These effects include: * Kidney damage * Changes in liver function * Kidney failure, sometimes chronic * Fatty liver (hepatic steatosis) According to the FDA, nine deaths have also been reported. As little as 15 grams was administered prior to their deaths. Possible Contraindications There is little information available about germanium's contraindications with other drugs, although most researchers agree that it should not be used with other drugs. Feroseminde, sold under the trade name Lasix, may not work as effectively when taken with germanium. Germanium may also amplify the effects of drugs that increase the risk for kidney damage. Because of germanium's potential side effects, this supplement is rarely recommended. Pregnant women are strongly advised to avoid its use, as fetal damage has been documented. People who are at risk for kidney failure, fatty liver, or any type of cancer should not take this supplement. People who are on drugs or supplements that increase the risk for carcinogenesis should avoid using this supplement.