What Are the Side Effects of Chromium Picolinate?

The most common problems when taking chromium picolinate are headaches, insomnia and mood changes. However, according to Everyday Health, symptoms can also include trouble concentrating, balance and coordination issues, and problems with the liver.

Problems associated with the liver may include nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, fatigue, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, and yellowing of the skin or eyes.

Chromium picolinate works with insulin made by the pancreas to metabolize carbohydrates and is found naturally in some foods, but the body only needs small amounts of chromium picolinate to do this. Taking chromium picolinate is most often used to treat a chromium deficiency to help control blood sugar in people with diabetes, high cholesterol or obesity, reports Everyday Health. These uses have not all been approved by the FDA.

People with certain conditions should not use chromium picolinate as a supplement. Conditions like liver disease, kidney disease, thyroid disorders and mental illness may be exacerbated by using chromium picolinate. Patients already taking insulin for diabetes or steroid medicines should consider carefully before taking the supplement, states Everyday Health. Patients may also have an adverse reaction if they have a diet that is high in sugar, use antacids, or take other over the counter prescriptions.