5 Reasons to Avoid Bitter Gourd if You Have Diabetes

Bitter melon not only serves as a nutritious food option but also provides incredible health advantages. Nevertheless, it may also carry the potential for adverse effects.

5 Reasons to Avoid Bitter Gourd if You Have Diabetes

Bitter melon has long been embraced in traditional medicine for its potential to address various health concerns. Rich in essential vitamins and minerals like vitamin A, B2, C, iron, calcium, phosphorus, copper, and potassium, it’s often hailed as a remedy for conditions such as cancer, asthma, skin infections, and stomach issues. However, scientific evidence supporting these claims is lacking. Therefore, it’s crucial to be mindful of potential side effects, particularly if you have diabetes.

Excessive Drop in Blood Sugar Levels

Bitter gourd has been observed to reduce blood sugar levels in individuals with diabetes. Concurrent use of blood sugar-lowering medications and bitter gourd may lead to an excessive decrease in blood sugar levels, potentially resulting in complications.

Potential for Inducing Miscarriage

Consumption of large quantities of bitter gourd during pregnancy can pose risks. Bitter gourd has been associated with abortifacient effects and the stimulation of contractions. While it’s commonly advised that lactating women also avoid bitter gourd, this recommendation lacks scientific substantiation.

Risk of Liver Disease

Prolonged consumption of bitter gourd for diabetes management may elevate the risk of liver inflammation. Continued usage can raise liver enzymes, potentially contributing to atherosclerosis, or the hardening of arteries.

Hypoglycemic Coma

Excessive insulin injection doses can induce hypoglycemic coma, characterized by a severe drop in blood sugar levels. Some case studies suggest a potential link between bitter gourd consumption and the onset of hypoglycemic coma, along with atrial fibrillation.


Consuming bitter gourd may trigger an allergic reaction known as favism in individuals with an inherited deficiency of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G-6-PD), an enzyme crucial for red blood cell shape maintenance. G-6-PD deficiency can lead to favism, manifesting in symptoms such as abdominal pain, dark urine, jaundice, convulsions, and coma.