MSM Side Effects and How to Avoid Them!

Digestive Problems

2 User Reviews
5 star (1) 

Posted by Joannaelizabeth123 (Los Angeles, Ca) on 05/16/2017
0 out of 5 stars

Per your article on MSM, asking to hear from people using it.. here I am! I thought to take it for flexibility. I'm in my 40's and I do circus classes for fitness, and I'm strong but more stiff than in my youth. Well, yesterday I took Jarrow Formulas powder (1/2 tsp) with a meal and felt fine. Today I took the same, but about an hour after my meal... and my gut aches! I feel like I've got acid happening... Now I see many websites say "intestinal discomfort" is a common side effect, but NONE of them suggest what I can do while experiencing it. I hope to never, ever have this sensation again (if I try it I'll do it with meals and take even less) but if it happens again, and for all the other sufferers, what the heck can we do???


Digestive Problems
Posted by Shelleyjr (Albuquerque, NM) on 04/01/2014

I started MSM 5 days ago for Osteoarthritis pain and have had terrible headaches and bloating/gas. I got molybdenum yesterday and while it cured the headache, I still have tummy issues. (Arthritis is already better! )

I am taking 4 Doctor's Best MSM 1000 mg/1 gm capsules split between am and late afternoon. I took 450 mcg of molybdenum this morning with 2 gms of MSM and did the same this afternoon. Again no headache but my stomach feels bloated/gassy.

Health History;

I had hair analysis done a while back and each time it showed very high amounts of calcium and copper. (I had a copper toxicity using a skin care product on my clients. I absorbed a lot of copper through the palm of my hands doing facials.) Since then I have been doing a lot of detox's over the years.


I take Iodoral iodine, K2 and D3, CoQ10, boron/borax, tart cherry capsules for the OA and gout, and topical magnesium.

Today I have taken 900 mcg of molybdenum and feel it is working somewhat but not to the extent that Dr. Ben Lynch says on his podcast. Which he states molybdenum will eliminate bloating/gas associated with MSM. Also, in Dr. Lynch's podcast he list all the symptoms of a molybdenum deficiency which I answered "yes" to all. Since I am not worried about depleting my copper levels should I take more? And has anyone taken molybdenum in high doses over 950 mcg?

Thank you for any insight on high dose molybdenum.

Replied by Timh
(Ky, Usa)
2100 posts

Shelleyjr: I also had very high Calcium levels as per hair analysis. Bill from Philippines says it's probably due to leaky gut or malabsorption. I feel like I have made improvements in that category but will need to repeat test for sure.

Sunbathing for Vit-D should help absorb the calcium in the event that your gut isn't doing well. An herbal parasite cleanse might be of big value as parasites are very common in folks, particularly those w/ pets or livestock. Oil of Oregano will kill any pathogens in the gut.

As for the MolyB and excessive copper, it appears warranted to add at least 50mg Zinc daily as Zinc will combine w/ Copper to form Zinc/Copper Superoxide Dismutase, a major antioxidant enzyme in the body. Ionic Major & Minor Mineral supplement will help bring about a balance of minerals. Taurine will help mineral function. A complete B vitamin will combine w/ minerals to form coenzymes involved in many metabolic processes. Vit-E and Selenium will combine w/ the CoQ10 for a major antioxidant boost.

Pineapple, Turmeric, and Omega 3 fats are the major ant anti-inflammatory naturals. Magnet therapy is a powerful anti-inflammatory.

Replied by Vince

Why not take one capsule for a while?

Dry Mouth

2 User Reviews

Posted by Shelley (Québec) on 09/14/2017
0 out of 5 stars

MSM: So far I am having great benifits. Been 2 weeks. I was taking msm in pill form to start, then capsules. Now I am taking crystals. Pain is no longer keeping me awake at night but dry mouth is. Could the dry mouth have something to do with the product coming in contact inside the mouth or did it just take me that long to develop it. I really do not like the pills or capsules. This dry mouth is really annoying. I have to sip water all night.

Replied by Sdm
(Northern New Jersey, Usa)
0 out of 5 stars

I bought MSM from pipingrock quick release capsules 1000 mg each bottle contains 250 capsules & this is my 3rd bottle almost finished. It has been great for reducing inflammation in my hands, feet, knees, I can honestly say it works! Lately I have developed dry mouth especially bothersome at night, I have lack of quality sleep. I don't want to give up the capsules & go back to the way I was but I will put them on the shelf, mark my calendar & take a break to see if this is the cause of my dry mouth even though I have used the product for quite a while with no prior issues. It is freezing cold & we are living in dry indoor environments here but I have never been kept up at night by dry mouth.


1 User Review

Posted by Jude (Albany, NY) on 12/22/2020
0 out of 5 stars

Wanted to thank you for posting the page of side effects from MSM.

I started taking it for joints (had a bum shoulder), skin and hair.

Started 1 capsule of 1,000 mg in the morning. Second day took 2.

Bottle mentioned therapeutic dose was 4 capsules. Day 3 I took 4.

Also had used 2 different skin lotions at the time on my face. My face sometimes reacts to serums and lotions.

Day 5 my face was reddened with several round red raised areas. They were only mildly itchy, at most. They turned into raised eczema patches which have persisted for 3 weeks now.

I wasn't sure if it was lotions or msm. Searched online but didn't see anything that said that msm could CAUSE a reaction. In fact, many sites mentioned that it was a treatment for eczema.

I couldn't see an ingredient that was unusual in the lotions. I searched again and came across this site. Now I'm certain. Thank you!

Elevated Cortisol Levels

1 User Review

Posted by Sarah (Nsw Australia) on 02/02/2018
0 out of 5 stars

I started taking MSM 5 years ago. It has helped me with inflammation in my body. Firstly, always check that MSM is streamed distilled and not solvent distilled, there is a big difference. Most MSM comes from China where it is chemically distilled and not good for your kidneys. I recently found out that my cortisol level is high and this could be due to MSM so I have come off it and can already feel my aches and pains returning.

My point is get your cortisol levels checked just to be on the safe side of MSM.

Also, when MSM is ground into a powder it depletes the benefits by half. They grind it as to make it easier to package. There are companies that do offer steamed distilled MSM but you need to ask them, and most of them don't know. If it comes from China, it will be chemically distilled. To buy MSM from China direct would cost about $12 a kg.

I buy mine from Canada through an agent. I just wanted to share that often we don't know what we are taking or how it's produced. Ask before you buy, only buy granules and be aware your controls level may be elevated from taking it.

Fatigue, Lethargy, Tinnitus

1 User Review

Posted by Msue (Texas) on 10/27/2017
0 out of 5 stars

Very concerned that MSM is related to a SULFA drug as I experienced Liver Rejection Post-Transplant after taking Batrim. My transplant coordinator said MSM was ok since it is sulfur based and not related to a Sulfa drug.

After taking MSM for 2 weeks I have become fatiqued, lethargic, ears ringing, and insomnia.

Can someone please explain.

Replied by Sdm
(Northern New Jersey)

I have read over & over that organic sulfur is not the same as sulfa drugs. I would read info., from the Mayo Clinic.

Replied by Robbie
(New York)

Were you able to resolve the side effects? In particular the tinnitus. How much MSM were/are you taking?

Fatigue, Rash

1 User Review
3 star (1) 

Posted by Patience (Fishers, IN) on 04/06/2021
3 out of 5 stars

MSM said to take a 1/2 tsp 2-3 times a day. So I took 2. I was so exhausted. Told to take with Vitamin C so I did. When I took it I felt fine, then a couple of hours later I felt stoned and tired.

My scalp broke out badly. I have been on MSM for 2 weeks.

I have went down to a 1/2 tsp a day and I take it in the evening around dinner time. It helps me sleep but if I take it too close to bedtime it keeps me awake.

This has been a strange drug for me. I also broke out in a rash on my arms. That has seemed to subside but the stoned feeling I can't wait for it to go away. Good luck to all. Remember what doesn't affect you may affect someone else.


5 User Reviews
5 star (1) 
3 star (1) 

Posted by Zach (Upstate, Ny) on 11/14/2015
0 out of 5 stars

I recently started taking MSM (about 3 days ago) first day I took 1000 mg tablet on my way home from work (I stopped at a local supermarket at 5:15 am cause I work overnights) and had insomnia that night... should have read not to take it before bed. So I tried it the next day 1000 mg 2x's. Felt exhausted, slight headache and I drank distilled water about half a gallon.

Next day I took 3 tablets (1000 mg each) finished the other half a gallon of distilled water and had same symptoms. I woke up after that my eyes were pounding in my skull worse headache and exhausted more than usual. I want to take advantage of the benefits but I can't do 2 weeks of the detoxing.

Could it be I got a low quality (wegmans brand MSM), taking too high a dose (i weigh 230 6'5 male) , or is it just not for me? I take atenolol for pre hypertension celexa for my social anxiety, and aderal for adhd. my anxiety gives me slight ocd like behaviors as far as "ticks" go. I have zero emotion on the meds so I'm trying to get off them.

Replied by Janet

Zach, When I started MSM the first time I could not breath, felt awful. Found Earth Clinic, got off wheat products. Then I tried MSM again. No problems. First check the ingredients if it contains titanium dioxide, it can make you sicker than whatever you are taking the supplement for. There are other ingredients that are not great but titanium dioxide seems the worst offender. I have read much about it and the new nano technology and it is the first additive to be used with this in it. I inadvertently took MSM with it and was very ill for 2 months headaches aches tiredness just terrible feeling. I also had some chest tightness. I upped my usage of alkalizing drinks of Apple Cider Vinegar and bicarbonate of soda to three a day, and used hydrogen peroxide spray from Earth Clinic's video to push it out of my system .I am almost over it, it took awhile, about a month. Janet

Replied by Mary

Sounds like your dosage is too high too soon. Headaches are a sure sign of that. Start low, and add dosages week by week. If you get headaches or any undesirable affect back down on dosages for awhile then proceed to desirable dosage.

Replied by Zmerrill4361
(Upstate, Ny)
5 out of 5 stars

Here is an update for any interested. I went off it for a few days to stop going through detox and purchased the MSM powder with no additives, then went from 1000 MG each morning and added 1000 MG to the regiment every week till where I'm currently at (8000).

But then I added some more supplements.

Since I work overnights and rarely see the sun I started taking vitamin D3 and K2 as I hear they are a good combo and milk thistle since the MSM detox your liver and kidneys. Also I'm taking Rhodiola for stress. I still take the blood pressure meds but its as low as its been in years and off the anxiety all together.

So thank you for all your advice

Replied by Sdm
(Northern New Jersey)

It's very interesting that you speak of headaches as this is supposed to be a brief side effect when starting this supplement. Another side effect I found was hair loss in the beginning but it levels out & soon there's new hair growing in. I'm not sure how much in need of this supplement my body was, I took it to relieve inflammation in the body & for that, after one month, I felt the difference & had no more discomfort or pain, plus your skin begins to feel softer. I wish there was a blood test which could reveal every single nutrient or vitamin a human may be seriously lacking in their life!

Replied by Orion
(Columbia, Mo)
0 out of 5 stars

I use MSM with Vitamin C as part of an anti-cancer protocol. It gives the body's cells more oxygen which kills cancer and other fungi, namely fungal candida. Both of which I suffer from.

I consumed 3g of MSM and 24 hours later I'm still terribly ill. I have a lot of pressure and pain behind my left eye, my neck, migraine, extreme weakness, very nauseous, dizzy. I've taken 2 pills of aspirin and then 3 hours later 2 pills of ibuprofen, and by the 5th our I reached a plateau of moderate pain, but weakness and nausea stayed the same.

This is known as the Herxheimer reaction.. So if anyone is experiencing these adverse symptoms from MSM, it means you were already sick and just didn't know it. The MSM is actually killing the cancer/fungi which is releasing toxins (in my case MASSIVE amounts of toxins). Consequently you'll have to use smaller doses to minimize the amount of toxins your body has to cope with. Some of these toxins are not easily removed, like acetaldehyde (which also causes cancer lol). Molybdenum amino acid chelate can help remove it.

Replied by Anon

Hi Orion -

I wish you the best of luck on your health journey. My husband has just started the MSM/Vitamin C protocol too (he has Stage IV colon cancer and is suffering from cachexia).

This is what he is doing based on the Cancer Tutor protocol:

I apologize for the long post!

How to make “MSM Water”

To make “MSM Water, ” take a gallon jug of water which has ZERO chlorine in it. Use either purified water or tap water that has been out of the faucet for at least an hour before using it.

Put 16 TABLEspoons of “Organic Sulfur” (MSM) into the one-gallon jug of water.

It may take an hour for the organic sulfur to totally dissolve. To speed up this process shake the gallon jug every few minutes.

Once the organic sulfur has totally dissolved, and you do not see any crystals in the bottom of the jug, the “MSM Water” is made.

A person could put into the gallon jug 30 or 40 drops of “Cell Food” (a trace mineral supplement) as a way to get some trace minerals into the body. This is recommended but not required.

Do not refrigerate it, let it sit at room temperature.

Adding lypo-spheric vitamin C to the “MSM Water”

While the MSM water by itself may be able to revert cancer cells into normal cells; it is best to be on the safe side and add other things to the protocol that can definitely revert cancer cells into normal cells.

Thus, Lypo-Spheric Vitamin C, a high quality, very gentle brand of Vitamin C, has been added. Vitamin C kills microbes and the portion of the MSM that converts to DMSO (and perhaps some of the MSM itself) will “open” the ports of the cancer cells to allow microbe-killing substances inside the cancer cells.

A person cannot start out with high doses of MSM water because their stomach will not be accustomed to drinking it. Thus, instructions for the use of MSM water are more complicated than might be expected.

(NOTE #1: Vitamin C should always be taken 1/2 hour AFTER MSM. This allows the MSM 1/2 hour to open the ports of the cancer cells for the Vitamin C to enter.)

Doses of MSM Water (and build-up) – For an adult

Start with 1 TEAspoon of MSM water to test for allergies.

Two hours later you can start the “build-up.”

Day 1 build-up:

Take 4 TABLEspoons of “MSM water” (the “MSM Water” comes from the gallon jug you just made).

At this point check for nausea or rashes caused by the MSM water. One-half hour later take 1 gram of Lypo-Spheric Vitamin C,

Three hours later take 6 TABLEspoons of MSM water followed 1/2 hour later by 1 gram of Lypo-Spheric Vitamin C,

Three hours later take 8 TABLEspoons of MSM water followed 1/2 hour later by 1 gram of Lypo-Spheric Vitamin C.

That is all for Day one. The first day achieved two purposes. First, was to get your stomach used to taking MSM. Second, and just as important, was to avoid too much Herxheimers. Herxheimers, although it is harmless, can make a person very sick and can scare a person from taking more MSM. It is caused by a massive die-off of microbes in the bloodstream. When the microbes die off they release toxins. If there are too many toxins in the blood it can make a person sick and/or cause “brain fog.”

Also, note that a person should drink plenty of purified water or “ozonated” water or “ionized” water or distilled water every day.

Day 2:

1) Take 8 TABLEspoons of MSM water (ALWAYS FROM THE GALLON JUG), then, 1/2 hour later, 2 grams of Lypo-Spheric Vitamin C,

2) Three hours later take 10 TABLEspoons of MSM water then, 1/2 hour later, 2 grams of Lypo-Spheric Vitamin C,

3) Three hours later take 11 TABLEspoons of MSM water then, 1/2 hour later, 2 grams of Lypo-Spheric Vitamin C.

Day 3 and thereafter (i.e. ongoing dose):

1) Take 12 TABLEspoons of MSM water, then 1/2 hour later, 2 grams of Lypo-Spheric Vitamin C,

2) Two or Three hours later take 12 TABLEspoons of MSM water then, 1/2 hour later, 2 grams of Lypo-Spheric Vitamin C,

3) Two or Three hours later take 12 TABLEspoons of MSM water then, 1/2 hour later, 2 grams of Lypo-Spheric Vitamin C,

4) Two or Three hours later take 12 TABLEspoons of MSM water then, 1/2 hour later, 1 gram of Lypo-Spheric Vitamin C.

5) Two or Three hours later take 12 TABLEspoons of MSM water then, 1/2 hour later, 1 gram of Lypo-Spheric Vitamin C.

The Cancer Tutor also mentions LIPH but my husband isn't taking that. He is on so many supplements and protocols right now that we have to limit what we do.

Also, this protocol is very expensive when you use so much Lypo-Spheric Vitamin C but there are instructions on the Internet on how to make your own.

Good luck!

Replied by Fiona

I believe this is the most accurate take. MSM is wildly powerful: many of us looking for wholistic "cures" are already quite unwell and the detox process is no joyride. Take Vit C, start small with the pure MSM powder (and v.early in the morning) and drink plenty of water throughout the day. Add some physical movement, again start out gently, and enjoy the road to recovery!

Posted by Nikki (Usa) on 09/17/2015
3 out of 5 stars

Better But With Side Effects

In a nutshell, MSM is amazing, but not for everyone. It erradicates my allergy symptoms at "moderate" doses 5grams/day but I have to take much more for relief from spine pain. However when I got a routine of taking 1 tbsp (Crystal form which by volume is a lesser dosage than fine powder) once or twice a day. My skin looked great (more youtheful but without the blemishes) and my body was starting to feel flexible with much less pain. Sadly, I had headaches daily. The migraines I had grown to expect came with the same frequency as before, but I had this other less intense but certainly very unpleasant headache day and night. Perhaps I was detoxing, but it went on for two months and I had to stop MSM to see if it was the culprit. The headaches cleared up in a few days. When I went back to a moderate dose of 4-5 grams per day, allergies were mostly erradicated and I didn't have a daily headache, but the back/neck pain and inflammation in general didn't seem very much improved. I have just read the notes here on MSM posibly depleting Molybdenum so I will research this and try taking Molybdenum as well, if it appears safe to do so. I believe MSM is a useful detoxifier and might be especially helpful to detox after vaccination (at any point after, but certainly the sooner the better).

I appreciate links to research and notes on these matters as well as personal experience of MSM and it's ability to cause headache (indirectly or however).

Posted by Joyce (Manteca, Ca Usa) on 04/13/2013
0 out of 5 stars

I was so happy to find this site. I took 2 tsp MSM for 2 days and 1/2 tsp for 2 days and 3 weeks later I'm still having reactions. I wake in the middle of the night with my body buzzing and I'm having headaches (which I've never had in my life). My energy level is very low. I'm 75 and very healthy otherwise; I'm still working as a substiture teacher. I'm allergic to sulfa and that may be the problem since some others on the site said they were unable to take MSM because of that. I was really hoping it would help with my shoulder problems. I have a damaged rotator cuff (inoperable) from hairstyling for 34 years.

Replied by Linda
(New Haven, Ct, United States)

Joyce, regarding your shoulder issue, both my husband and myself have rotator cuff issues. We have had very good results with turmeric powder. We take 1 teaspoon 2 or 3 times a day. We either mix it with a glass of milk or scramble it into our eggs. Add a dash of black pepper and some fat (we use coconut oil or butter) for better absorption.

We both noticed improvement starting on the 3rd day or so. It's marvelous!


Replied by Little Wing

Instead of MSM for your shoulder issues, I highly recommend and praise to the sky MAGNESIUM OIL. Try it, rub on every night, see if you see a difference within a week or so. It can be drying and make your skin itchy, so I usually follow up after about 20 minutes with coconut oil, which can also help with joint and muscle issues.

Posted by Hardlymoving (Union, Nj, Usa) on 10/15/2010

I've been using MSM for several years and it works. First started with DMSO but my wife and friends couldn't take the Sulphur smell. Switched to MSM to 2 tablespoons a day and got ALL the symptoms of detox; headaches, change in heart rhythm, extreme fatigue, etc. Didn't panic and lowered the dosage. All the problems gradually disappeared. I take 2 tablespoons in powder form with powered Vit C first thing in the morning with around 16 oz of water. Then my bladder get's filled every 20 minutes... Constantly urinating clear. By late morning everything's good.


2 User Reviews

Posted by Nichole (Chicago) on 10/26/2017
0 out of 5 stars

i also had a horrible reaction from taking msm. My whole body broke out in hives/rash. I never go to the doctor and prefer to treat myself naturally but it spread from head to toe and I couldn't Take it anymore. My skin was burning I had to go to the emergency room. The doctor said it was the worst case of hives he's ever seen. He gave me an extremely high does of prednisone. Which got rid of the hives but damaged my adrenals so 3 years later I'm still healing my body from the damage of the prednisone.

Replied by Charity
(Faithville, Usa)

Msm is a sulfur the body uses and gets depleted as we age. I use it daily . When you use it, it depletes other things it works with to restore youth and vitality and I use it for pain control. I know it depletes C and molybdenum, so if you use it and throw other nutrients off balance then your body produces histamine( hives is one sign of this) to let you know you are out of balance.

Posted by Alija (Wales, Uk) on 11/08/2013

Um. MSM is Sulfur! It should have had Sulfur in it. I suspect the reactions may have been due to detoxing. Maybe the other brand had a higher amount of Sulfur in it, or a type that helped detox better.

There is the possibility you reacted to something else in the tablets, like magnesium stearite, etc. In order to avoid additives, it's probably safer to take MSM in crystal or powder form.

Posted by Lana (Carthage, MO) on 03/12/2009
0 out of 5 stars

I have learned something interesting with MSM. I took the NOW brand for 30 days to help with Lupus. It was working great w/no side effects other than insomnia, which stopped when I cut the dosage down from 4000 mg daily to 20000 mg daily. (take it first thing in the morning) After finishing that bottle, a friend offered me a bottle that she was not going to take. It was a different brand than I had taken previously. Within 2 days, I had hives & swelling up my arms & a severe headache. I talked to the owwner of a Health Food Store in town & she said some MSM products are not as pure as others. This particular brand had 345 mg of sulfur in it. The reaction I had was to the sulfur, not the MSM. I stopped it & the rash & headache went away. I am back to taking the NOW brand with no problems. Make sure you buy your MSM at a reputable dealer, not just anywhere. Talk to the salesperson & be sure it is pure MSM.

Replied by Sharon

i thought that MSM is sulfer

How to Deal with Side Effects

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Anne (Vancouver, Bc) on 06/08/2012
5 out of 5 stars

I had been suffering with horrible muscle pains for a few years. So I started to read on what would help this pain. I started to take MSM and the pain I endured was worse but then.. read on to find out what happened.

MSM can and will reawaken your previous injuries. When I first started taking MSM I was in horrible pain.. So I stopped taking it and the pain went a way. Then I read that MSM detoxifies the body and will reawaken old injuries.. That you need to keep taking the MSM until the pain is gone (usually 2-3 weeks) So I started to take MSM again and the same pain returned. I had a horrible two weeks. After that the pain was less and less. That moment when I woke up and there was no pain at all I was in disbelief, as I was told by my Doctor's I would always suffered pain.. So I say.. If this causes pain, it means its cleaning out your system so drink lots of water while you are taking it and know that it's getting rid of that pain for good. :) A usual dose to start is one three times a day.. Work up to two three times a day. Of 1000mg each. Best of Luck all

Replied by Kimberly
(Tallahassee, Fl)

Thank you for this information. I have Sciatica and it subsided until I started to take quality organic MSM (2 weeks now).
I will observe what will happen over the next couple of weeks.