Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Supplements I Take

Hi there!  Happy Tuesday!

Today, I'm sharing about the vitamin and supplement regimen I'm currently on.  Each of these supplements have been recommended by my physician who knows my complete health history and the prescription medications I take.  It is very important to check with your health care provider before starting a new supplement, as they might not be recommended if you have certain health problems or are taking certain medications.

As I mentioned in my Our Decision to Eat Clean and Organic post, I am a vegetarian. I don't eat any red meat, poultry or pork products.  I do, however, eat some seafood.  One of the biggest hurdles of being a vegetarian is the possibility of becoming vitamin deficient because you are lacking certain items in your daily diet.

In addition to this, I also have an autoimmune illness called Addison's Disease, which means my adrenal glands have failed and my body no longer produces adrenaline or cortisol, two hormones that are essential in helping your body deal with stress.  I take several prescription medications to artificially maintain these levels and keep me healthy.  One of the side effects of these meds is that they deplete my already impaired immune system.  Having taken these factors into account, my doctor and I have selected the following supplements for me to add to my daily routine.

As you can imagine, I take quite a few pills a day already, so when it came to taking supplements, I wanted to find ones that compounded the vitamins I needed into as few pills as I could get.  I purchased all of my vitamins from Target's Up & Up line.  I did some extensive comparison shopping between them and name brand products and Target's seemed to be comparable if not better for about half the price.

The first bottle I have is the Women's Gummy Multivitamin.  These had all of the basic vitamin values I was looking for plus folic acid, which is recommended for women my age and may help prevent certain types of cancer. What makes them better - they are gummy!  Anytime I can get something healthy in candy form - I'm going for it!  The recommended dose is two gummies a day and I split them between my morning and evening meals to get better absorption.

The next supplement is fish oil, which helps prevent heart disease and keeps your cholesterol in check. There are also some studies that show fish oil may help prevent kidney damage, something I have to be careful for with an autoimmune disease.  I'm taking 1,000 mg of the DHA/EPA "burp less" kind with my lunch.

Next is my Vitamin B Complex and Vitamin C supplement.  I have been taking B complex for years to help with mild depression and anxiety, another lovely side affect of the Addison's.  I have tried many prescription medications for this and could tolerate none of them, but I could feel the difference after I'd been on this supplement for a week.  I take one tablet daily with my lunch.

The last supplement is the Calcium/Magnesium and Vitamin D3.  I am chronically Vitamin D deficient and have had to use prescription supplementation to get me back up to an acceptable level.  Once I reached that point, my doctor recommended that I add Vitamin D to my regimen to keep me from getting so low again. Because I was so low in Vitamin D, I also had trouble absorbing calcium, since the one is essential for proper absorption of the other.  Luckily, I was able to find a supplement that housed both of these, along with magnesium which prevents some of the side effects of calcium.  I take one tablet (600 mg calcium/800 iu vitamin D3) two hours after my lunch.  (The link above is for the compound that has 600 iu of D3, because they don't sell the 800 online.)

Here is what it looks like when I break it down with meals.  I abbreviate my prescription meds to keep them short - otherwise it would take up way too much space.  Spreading my supplements out like this instead of taking them all at one time keeps some of them from interacting with each other and my prescriptions.

LT (1 hr before meal)
1 multivitamin gummy (with meal)
PS/FC (with meal)

B Complex/C (with meal)
Fish oil (with meal)
Calcium/Magnesium/D3 (2 hrs after meal)

1 multivitamin gummy (with meal)

I had been using a little pill organizer for my medications, but it was a pain to have to carry around a whole week's worth in my bag and they would frequently pop open and spill.  I also needed one that would separate the pills according to how I take them.  I found this at Target:

Now I can dose out a week's worth of my medications, but I only have to carry one day at a time. This one is split with am/pm compartments, so I can separate my pills by the ones I take in the morning and then later in the day.  This organizer has been a lifesaver!

I hope this brief look at my supplement regimen has been helpful to you.  It is certainly easier to remember to take medications if you have a schedule and have them dosed out ahead of time.  I don't think I'd be able to stay on top of things if I had to open all those bottles several times a day!

Some good resources if you are looking at starting supplementation are Dr. Oz's recommendations, the National Institute of Health's recommendations, and your healthcare provider.

Disclaimer:  I am not a health professional and the supplements and routine I have shared in this post have been recommended by my physician and work for me.  It is important that you check with your healthcare provider before starting a new supplement.

The post Tone Up Tuesday - The Supplements I Take first appeared on A Simpler Grace.  If you found this article helpful, don't forget to share it with your friends!

Until next time,

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