Apple Cider Vinegar Side Effects

| Modified on May 02, 2024
Apple Cider Vinegar Side Effects

While apple cider vinegar is perhaps the most popular natural remedy in modern times, ACV can also cause severe side effects like anxiety, heart rhythm abnormalities, dizziness, panic attacks and more.

Thousands of our readers have found relief from using apple cider vinegar for conditions such as GERD, arthritis, weight problems, high blood pressure, heartburn, PMS, acne, diarrhea, vomiting. At the same time, every person is different. Earth Clinic readers have reported side effects including an increase in acne, decrease in libido, nausea, dizziness, increase in blood pressure, flu-like symptoms, constipation, diarrhea, sleepiness, and swelling.

To avoid side effects from apple cider vinegar, start with less and increase the dose. It is also best to add only one change at a time to your health regiment so that you can monitor its effect on your body. Everyone is different.

Learn important information about Apple Cider Vinegar in Earth Clinic's new video.

Why Does Apple Cider Vinegar Cause Side Effects In Some People and Not In Others?

Because apple cider vinegar is a powerful detoxifying remedy, side effects from ACV can occur if the body goes into a weakened state when it is leached of important minerals like magnesium and potassium during the detoxification period. Loss of vital magnesium can lead to ailments such as heart palpitations, arrhythmia and atrial fib. Loss of potassium can lead to blood pressure issues.

Could I Be Allergic to Apple Cider Vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar is high in histamines, a chemical that is released by cells in response to injury and in allergic and inflammatory reactions. For histamine-sensitive people, this can be very problematic. Research suggests that high levels histamines are associated with anxiety or panic attacks.

High histamine symptoms include:

  • Anxiety
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Hypertension
  • Arrhythmia

How Can I Cure Side Effects From Apple Cider Vinegar?

If you are experiencing side effects from drinking apple cider vinegar, stop drinking any and all vinegar immediately. Symptoms should begin to abate in 24 hours. Drink plenty of water during this time. Make sure you do not accidentally consume any additional vinegar in your diet, like salad dressing, for example. Also, soy sauce should be avoided as it can also cause a high histamine response and trigger additional heart rhythm issues.

One of the best supplements you can take to cure side effects from ACV is Magnesium.  Magnesium L-Threonate is an excellent form of magnesium and easy on the stomach. Powdered magnesium like Calm is also helpful, just don't take too much at one time or you will get diarrhea!

Continue reading to learn all the reported side effects from our readers. You might find one post in particular that exactly matches your symptoms, solving the mystery of why you feel so badly.

Apple Cider Vinegar Side Effects

197 User Reviews
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Posted by Shelly (Virginia) on 05/02/2024 6 posts

Can Topical Use of ACV Cause Diarrhea?

I'm using ACV diluted for a rash on the skin around my anus and vaginal area. After starting this treatment, there is less itching but now I have diarrhea. Any connection???

Apple Cider Vinegar Side Effects
Posted by Mark (Cookeville, TN) on 11/12/2022

If your potassium is low or you're taking any diuretic meds, apple cider vinegar will cause an increased heart rate which happened to me last night.

Apple Cider Vinegar Side Effects
Posted by EB (England) on 11/12/2022

A question for "Mama to Many"

You mentioned that you have taken apple cider vinegar for years. I would like to take it but some side affects written on this site included unexpected vaginal bleeding in post menopausal women.

What is your opinion on this, how likely is it to happen and how much ACV would one have to consume before worrying about that side affect?

Thanks in advance for your answer.

Replied by Mama to Many

Dear EB,

I think post-menopausal bleeding from apple cider vinegar is not very common. It seems like it would be more likely in women who have other risk factors that would make them prone to post-menopausal bleeding.

I am post-menopausal and still use it as needed. (Which is less than I used to need it.) It has never caused an issue for me.

(Progesterone cream, for the record, did cause post-menopausal bleeding for me, but that resolved immediately when I stopped using it.)

If you are new to using apple cider vinegar, try just a modest amount - maybe 1-3 teaspoons a day. That is often enough to solve many issues or for general health. It seems like taking that amount daily would be no more likely to cause bleeding than would taking a glass of apple cider or drinking a glass of wine on a daily basis.

I hope you find it wonderfully helpful!

~Mama to Many~

Apple Cider Vinegar Side Effects
Posted by Ella (London) on 06/05/2022

Thank you for reporting apple cider vinegar's side effects.

Some people are genetically sensitive to tyramines, which apple cider vinegar contains. Unfortunately, ACV causes me to experience panic attack symptoms.

Replied by WENDY
(Portland, OR)

I can't take this remedy either. I get a lot of puzzled looks but it just doesn't agree with my body. Thank you for the side effects page!!!

Apple Cider Vinegar Side Effects
Posted by Michelle (Europe) on 04/04/2020


Apple cider vinegar is extremely acidic and it pickles the liver. The liver cells struggle to stay balanced and perform as they fight for oxygen, because vinegar steals oxygen from the bloodstream and the liver. ACV (like any vinegar) comes into the stomach extremely acidic. The liver must put a halt to it immediately and use its every reserve to try to alkalize or at least neutralize it. The ACV fights back, and its acidic nature is so strong that the stomach loses the battle many times over. Instead of alkalizing your gut, it does the opposite. It weakens hydrochloric acid and breaks down gastric juices and heads down the pike still acidic. It's basically an assault on the stomach and intestinal tract. For more information on the effects of apple cider vinegar on the liver, see book "Liver rescue" from Medical Medium Anthony William.

Apple Cider Vinegar Side Effects
Posted by Anna (Minnesota) on 02/11/2020

I used apple cider vinegar for years and then I noticed my legs and ankles hurting, I thought it was me just getting old. I stopped taking the acv and the pain went away. When I tried it again the pain came back, so I know it was the acv.

Apple Cider Vinegar Side Effects
Posted by Zanybees (Westfield ) on 11/06/2018

For 2 mos. I was drinking 1 tlbs. of ACV and 1 tlbs. of Maple Syrup in a glass of water, daily. I loved the way it made me feel but then I started noticing my hair was falling out. Has anyone had any issues with this happening?

Replied by Mimi

Hi, Zanybees. I can relate, however not personally. I recommended apple cider vinegar (without the maple syrup) to a family member and felt horrible when she told me she experienced hair loss! She did achieve health benefits also; losing a few stubborn pounds and gained more energy, but I am still curious as to why this happened. I don't think it should be used on a daily basis by everyone.

Replied by Tamara

Yes! I was taking 1 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar daily with water, and I am losing hair too!!!!


It's happening same with me.

The scalp produces natural oils to maintain cleanliness and shine. The apple cider vinegar not only strips away leftover products, it strips away the natural oils. If this is done too much, it can lead to thinning and breakage of hair.

Replied by Asma

Yes, I am having badly hair fall and dandruff after ACV.

Replied by Hollyhock

So glad to see this post! I've been drinking ACV every day for several months and was losing hair like crazy, but never put two and two together till reading this! I also added a little ACV to my shampoo as well. Thank you!

(Illinois, USA)
489 posts

Perhaps ACV would be better viewed as "medicine" - I.e. as a remedy - rather than as some sort of food or supplement?

In the wild, animals eat things that aren't food - presumably for the medicinal effects - that they obviously don't consider food. Which makes perfect sense. I'm going to stop drinking my sours everyday. See what happens. I'm not losing hair but since I've been drinking it everyday for a couple weeks, I should be able to detect some effect of stopping.

I'm also going to slow down and rearrange my iodine dosing, based on my state of being, as there's no point to rushing a non-lethal detox to the point of creating disorder. I LIKE feeling good and DON'T like feeling so sleepy.

Apple Cider Vinegar Side Effects
Posted by Marilyn (Warner Robins, Ga) on 07/07/2018

I was taking ACV for a number of health conditions. I was taking it at 1/2 to 1 tsp in 8 oz water and 1/4 tsp baking soda and a little honey. I started having uncontrollable and very painful exploding diarrhea. It was like the drink was going straight through me so I switched to the capsules of AVC thinking it may have been hard on my stomach but the same thing happened. I love the way ACV helps my depression and blood pressure and pains but I can't handle the diarrhea. What other forms are out there and what else can I use or do?

Replied by Teena
(Melbourne, Australia)
233 posts

Marilyn, a couple of things for you to try to continue taking the Apple Cider Vinegar and bs, you can either attempt for a one week period taking only the baking soda, then slowly reintroduce the acv, at a smaller dose, or simply cut your dosage in half until you find what works for you. Eg. If you now do one half teaspoon of bs twice a day cut down to 1/4, then 1/8,1/16 etc, if you get down to a pinch then so be it, you have to find what works for you. You can always increase later. You can also alternate lemon/ lime with the bs. I believe you have toxins which explains the diaorrhea. Best to you

Replied by KT

Hi Marilyn,

Maybe not adding the BS to the ACV would help. I would try taking the BS separately, thirty minutes or so after you have a meal.


Replied by Tim
(Georgia (Rep.of))
21 posts

Hi. Kelly

Stop consuming ACV for a week - start with 1-2 drops of ACV in 1oz of water after meal - increase the dose by 1 drop so as water by 1 oz each week - find your dose - start to use before meal when you have a succesfull try - otherwise reduce the dose and return to recent use - needs no additives as it is self-sufficient to treat and is suitable for long term use unlike soda(good for 1 month use) - wash your whole oral with water diluted peroxide/or water (1:1) each time.

Good luck.

Replied by Lou
(Montreal, Canada)

My experience is that I get nausea whenever I add baking soda, otherwise, it is just fine with 1 tbsp of ACV and equal amount of lemon juice in 8 once's warm water.

Replied by Caitlin

You can drink celery juice instead!

4 posts

For some people: Be careful of celery juice. I was drinking it daily for a week and noticed my tongue was getting numb. During the 2nd week, my mouth was numb inside too. The only thing I changed was adding the celery juice (4 stalks with some water) daily. I did some research and found out that celery naturally contains eugenol which is an an anesthetic. This does affect a lot of people but not all. So if you notice any numbing inside your mouth after drinking celery juice, it's not in your head. I had to quit drinking it.


please elaborate.

I've just started the AVC again - having gallbladder attacks on and off. I have exploding diarrhea. I will stop it now.

I also drink celery juice and just had this morning. So will celery juice stop the gallbladder pain? Has not for me today.


Dear Eleana,

When my go-to remedies for a gallbladder attack do not work, usually a castor oil poultice with a heating pad will calm things down. See this page for more info:

But if I am having frequent attacks, it means I am due for a gallbadder flush/cleanse.

I hope you feel better soon. I know it is miserable.

~Mama to Many~

Apple Cider Vinegar Side Effects
Posted by Vt (Ny) on 07/06/2018

I have started taking ACV 2 tsp in warm water on an empty stomach and have noticed my urine staring to smell bad. Is this a normal side effect?

Apple Cider Vinegar Side Effects
Posted by Tyb (Tx) on 06/29/2018

I recently started drinking the ACV detox and my skin is breaking out and my discharge has a light scent of apple cider that normal? Does anyone know why or how to stop it?

Apple Cider Vinegar Side Effects
Posted by Vicky (Los Angeles) on 06/02/2018

After drinking apple vinegar with mother, I was seriously constipated for two days like stones.

Replied by Charity
(Faithville, Us)

I drink tsp a day in cup of water with a much did you drink? Stones will break down with Chanca piedra herb....


I am about to buy this - but need it from another country - England and god knows when it will arrive then.

Apple Cider Vinegar Side Effects
Posted by Mario (Tx) on 04/21/2018

For some reason, ACV aggravated my constipation and made it worse.

Apple Cider Vinegar Side Effects
Posted by Mary (Nj) on 04/20/2018

I would just like to quick add that yes Apple Cider Vinegar does really seem to help some people, it is soooo the opposite for me. *It is not one size fits all! * In my home 2 of us do NOT handle Apple Cider Vinegar well & the other 2 of us are fine & helped. Just because you, your relative, or your neighbor has success with Apple Cider Vinegar does not mean that all others will. FYI ours is the organic kind, in a glass bottle, & of course with the "mother". Also worth noting, Apple Cider Vinegar was bad for the health of one our black labs, but our other lab is perfectly fine with it. ---My negative reactions (that I am aware of) are as follows: my mineral count gets all messed up, my PH actually drops pretty badly, my body temp drops significantly, joints get very painful, general unwell feeling, can be constipating, & some serious tummy/gut pain. It is a shame, because I want it to help with x/y/z, but I wind up worse.

Apple Cider Vinegar Side Effects
Posted by Astranger (New Delhi) on 04/20/2018

So..someone suggested me to take apple cider vinegar in the morning (empty stomach) for reducing belly fat and I started doing that since last couple of weeks. Today I missed to take it and what I realized is that my ankle pain is very mild today than what it was yesterday and day before. (I have mild ankle pain from a year or so.) Yesterday, the pain was more and I was able to notice it when I started driving. That's why I started searching on google to see if Apple Cider Vinegar is responsible for my increasing my ankle pain. But everywhere on internet I see it reduces such pain.

Confused.. I will try to monitor for next few days and I guess that is the only way I will get the right answer..

Apple Cider Vinegar Side Effects
Posted by Saydee (Cape Town) on 04/19/2018

I have been taking apple cidar vinegar with lemon juice and cinnamon and honey and at first I would go to the bathroom first thing, but now I feel bloated and nasuaes during the day especially in the morning. Is this normal or what?