Can apple cider vinegar make you sick? 

This brief guide will address the query “Can apple cider vinegar make you sick?” Also, we’ll focus on how apple vinegar can make you sick, what the therapeutic uses of apple cider vinegar are, and how to treat sickness caused by apple cider vinegar.  

Can apple cider vinegar make you sick?

Yes, apple cider vinegar, if consumed in excess, can make a person sick. The acid content of apple cider vinegar can have negative effects on the digestive system and lead to problems such as acid reflux, gastritis, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. 

Apple cider vinegar may cause other metabolic problems such as low potassium and it can negatively interact with medications prescribed to patients with preexisting conditions. (1)

How can apple cider vinegar make you sick? 

At a glance, apple cider vinegar can cause digestive problems, due to its acidic nature. 

The acetic acid present (along with other organic acids) may irritate the lining of the esophagus, stomach, and bowels, causing swelling, pain, and discomfort that may even lead to diarrhea, worsening ulcers, and nausea. 

Also, a high intake of acetic acid can wear down the enamel of a person’s teeth, precipitating tooth decay that may be painful, and if left untreated, may lead to sepsis. 

Some prescribed medications such as insulin, diuretics, and heart medications may negatively interact with apple cider vinegar, which may pose a risk of low blood potassium. 

If used topically, apple cider vinegar may cause burns on the skin and other tissues, as acetic acid can have caustic effects on cell membranes. 

In some consumers, apple cider vinegar may trigger an allergic reaction that may require medical intervention, although allergies to this product are reportedly rare. (1-3)

What are the therapeutic uses of apple cider vinegar? 

The benefits of apple cider vinegar come from its powerful heading compounds which include acetic acid, potassium, magnesium,probiotics and enzymes.

Apple cider vinegar naturally provides numerous benefits related to skin, digestion,and immunity health. Additionally,apple cider vinegar is a good source of polyphenols.

Polyphenols have a role in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, cancers, neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, osteoporosis, and Diabetes. Consuming apple cider vinegar also promotes weight loss.

It also has including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, anti-hypertensive, and anti-hyperlipidemic properties (1, 4)

How can I treat sickness caused by apple cider vinegar?

The treatment will depend on the symptoms that the use of apple cider vinegar causes. 

For example, digestive troubles may have to be tended to by a licensed gastroenterologist, who will carry out tests such as endoscopies, and assess the damages. 

The doctor will then determine the appropriate treatment, such as protein pump inhibitors to diminish the secretion of stomach acid to address swelling, irritation, and discomfort.

Other symptoms such as diarrhea can be treated with medication such as loperamide or bismuth subsalicylate. 

Severe lesions to the skin should be seen by a dermatologist or general practitioner, who may prescribe a steroid cream and an antiseptic ointment, but first aid consists of rinsing the affected area with cold running water. 

Mild burns may be treated at home with aloe vera and bandaged with a breathable bandage, and the pain may be managed with over-the-counter medication.  

Additionally, severe interactions between apple cider vinegar and medication may have to be treated by an internal medicine specialist, who will run lab tests to determine the appropriate course of action. (1, 2)

How can I reduce the likelihood of apple cider vinegar making me sick? 

If a reader is determined to use apple cider vinegar and reap one or more of its benefits, we advise using and/or consuming it in moderation. For example, diluting the daily intake and drinking it gradually throughout the day. 

For protecting the enamel on one’s teeth, drinking diluted apple cider vinegar with a straw and not letting it come into contact with one’s teeth is recommended.   

In the case of applications over the skin, we advise users to closely monitor its application for any after-effects. Users should suspend its use immediately at the first sign of irritation or an adverse reaction. 

Lastly, if a user already has preexisting digestive troubles such as Crohn’s disease, or ulcers or suffers from colitis, we recommend that he or she eschew apple cider vinegar altogether, and consult with a physician to see what other treatment options are available. 

We strongly advise against self-medication and urge readers to consult with doctors before experimenting with any home remedies that may cause damage or illness. (1, 2, 5)

Other FAQs about Vinegar that you may be interested in.

What does balsamic vinegar taste like

What is red wine vinegar?

Where does balsamic vinegar come from?

Where does white vinegar come from


In this brief guide, we’ve addressed the query “Can apple cider vinegar make you sick?” Also, we’ve focused on how apple vinegar can make you sick, what the therapeutic uses of apple cider vinegar are, and how to treat sickness caused by apple cider vinegar.  


  1. Alexandra Benisek, Brunilda Nazario, Apple Cider Vinegar. WebMD LLC, 2022
  2. Kathy W. Warwick, Franziska Spritzler, 7 Side Effects of Too Much Apple Cider Vinegar, Healthline Media LLC. 2023.
  3. Pravasi, S. D.  Acetic Acid. Encyclopedia of Toxicology, 33–35. 2014.
  4. Akanksha, Singh & Mishra, Sunita. Study About The Nutritional And Medicinal Properties Of Apple Cider Vinegar. 8. 2017.
  5. Kathy W. Warwick, Kris Gunnars, 6 Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar, Backed by Science, Healthline Media LLC. 2023.

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