Apple Cider Vinegar Side Effects

| Modified: Dec 11, 2020
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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

Posted by Michelle (Europe) on 04/04/2020
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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.

Posted by Anna (Minnesota) on 02/11/2020
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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.

Posted by Zanybees (Westfield ) on 11/06/2018
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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.

Posted by Marilyn (Warner Robins, Ga) on 07/07/2018
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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
188 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)
22 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!

2 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.

Posted by Vt (Ny) on 07/06/2018
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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?

Posted by Tyb (Tx) on 06/29/2018
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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?

Posted by Vicky (Los Angeles) on 06/02/2018
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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....

Posted by Mario (Tx) on 04/21/2018
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For some reason, ACV aggravated my constipation and made it worse.

Posted by Mary (Nj) on 04/20/2018
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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.

Posted by Astranger (New Delhi) on 04/20/2018
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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..

Posted by Saydee (Cape Town) on 04/19/2018
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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?

Posted by Catalina (Kapaau, Hi) on 01/04/2018
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Two weeks ago I was diagnosed with calcium deposits in my shoulders. I began using apple cider vinegar to resolve the crystals. Yesterday I suddenly became extremely dizzy and went to the hospital. I was told I had benign positional vertigo. Could the apple cider vinegar have released crystals in my ear?

Replied by Rskorj

I doubt that BPV is brought on by Taking apple cider vinegar. If you were diagnised correctly - You may have bumped your head somehow to cause the crystals to move out of their correct place. My husband got BPV from trying to get the water out of his ear after showering by hitting the side of his head repeatedly. BPV can be fixed by special manouvers that get the crystals back into place. There are videos on you tube that show you how to do it.

Posted by Anon (Usa) on 10/24/2017
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I have been upping my probiotics. I use about one bottle of kombucha (which I adore) ever other day and varying amounts of raw ACV (which I also like). I have been getting hives whenever I use them now. Hives doesn't seem like a common detox reaction. My scalp is especially affected, my waist, and then just spots here and there. I have had dandruff and itchy oily scalp for years. Recently I tried a different shampoo which appears to have eliminated the dandruff and oil. It isn't even a dandruff shampoo. I like using ACV in place of soap in the shower and to condition my hair.

Posted by Lou (Nsw) on 09/21/2017
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After using ACV for six weeks, twice a day I mixed a teaspoon with soda water and really enjoyed it. I lost weight as I was not as hungry but I did develop itchy rash on my torso and worse, bleeding from the bowel and increased vaginal bleeds. I'm hoping now I've stopped the ACV, the bleeding will also stop as my HB levels are now quite low and doctors are concerned. Scopes to follow.

Posted by Marcia (Dublin) on 08/24/2017
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Apple Cider Vinegar

I have been taking about 1 tablespoonful with lemon and (occasionally honey), warm water and a little grape juice in the morning. Always feel well with it. However recently I got overly keen and applied it straight to my hair/scalp, no water, and left on for hours. Not a good idea I think.

I have begun losing hair each time I brush/comb and never used to do so. After 6 weeks hair feels quite thin and very itchy on the scalp at the back. This might be a detox reaction so not too worried about that.

I am going to stop for a month to gauge reactions and if I continue to consume I shall take much smaller amounts. Otherwise generally healthy for my age. Did anybody else notice any hair loss directly attributable to ACV?