Gutka, a product which is very popular in India and traditional medicine of this country, is not so recommended by the medical practitioners in other countries. Gutka is essentially a mixture of lime, crushed betel nut, tobacco, catechu and flavorings. It is used with adults, but also with childen, as a mild psychoactive drug or as breath freshener.
However, despite the fact that it is widely used, there are serious side effects of this drug, which is why medical practitioners are strongly against its everyday use. All the side effects can be divided into several groups, and here we will try to warn you about at least some of them.
The use of gutka can affect the cardiovascular system as well, which is a common characteristic for the great majority of the stimulants. The symptoms which may be felt are dizziness, vision problems and changes, cardiac arrhythmia, and those are considered to be among the less serious. The more serious include even pain in the chest and stroke, especially with people who smoke or have a history of some heart disease.
Gastrointestinal side effects such as vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain are very frequent with gutka users, but it should also be mentioned that, though not so often, some of these side effects may lead to some more serious conditions, of which some can even be fatal. Gastrointestinal side effects may last for more than a few hours, but their lasting can also prolong to several weeks.
Psychological side effects should not be ignored either, because this psychoactive drug may cause intoxication, or even addiction like any other psychoactive drug. Even though its stimulating effects are one of the reasons for its use, before choosing it, keep in mind that insomnia, amnesia, and even psychosis are only some of the side effects caused by this drug.
The increased risk of cancer of gums, throat, lungs, liver, stomach and even prostate, is probably the most serious side effect of this product. The increased risk of cancer is not related to an occasional use of gutka, but for a long lasting and continuous use. It is believed that the reason for this is the fact that one of the ingredients, betel nut, contains carcinogenic alkaloids which, combined with tobacco, and lime, become even more dangerous.
Most of the side effects of gutka which are mentioned here, are related to the betel nut, and as for the side effects, they are officially confirmed by the National Institutes of Health. So, if you are even considering the use of it, think twice before you make the final decision, and see if it is worth risking.