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Supplemental Ensurance

on March 18, 2013

Following up on the greens, fruits, veggie antioxidant conversation, let’s talk vitamins and other nutritional supplements.  Do you take them?

I know that people who had the gastric bypass surgery really need to combat malabsorption of vitamins and other nutrients because the operation reroutes their digestive system.  With the VSG that I had, that malabsorption isn’t a major issue, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t need to take some supplements.

Even if you haven’t had weight loss surgery, there are probably vitamins that you are, or should take, right?

At the moment, I have an impressive variety of pills that I’m supposed to take.  There’s a full multi-vitamin that consists of three honking big pills.  We wls patients need to take B12 but that’s not a “regular” pill because something’s now missing from our stomach that helps it properly absorb.  I have a sublingual variety that I pop under my tongue and let dissolve.  That sounds like a little thing but I’m having problems with the timing.  More on timing later.

Calcium is another must.  I don’t worry too much about Vitamin D because I get sun exposure for at least 15 minutes a day just in walking around in the morning before I’ve slapped on sunscreen.

Over the last several months, I’ve begun to experience more dryness in my eyes.  Fewer tears mean more debris which makes my contact lenses uncomfortable.  I finally spoke to the eye doctor about this last week.  She suggested a step by step approach to the problem.  She recommended some rewetting/lubricating solutions that are preservative free.  There are some drops I’m supposed to use when my contacts are out before I go to bed and when I first wake up.  Then she instructed me to take this vitamins that are high in Omega 3s.  I don’t eat seafood so Omega 3s are a good supplement for a number of reasons but these pills are also large and I have to take two each day.

In order to keep my digestive process, umm, moving along on a diet that’s high in protein, I take Colace capsules and a probiotic tablet in the morning too.  This combo has been an enormous help on a “regular” basis.  I’m hoping that increasing my supplemental greens will also help in this area.  (Quick aside: I went to the health food store and consulted the owner.  She suggested a super concentrated powder made of quality greens that can be added to my smoothies or even plain water.  In addition to antioxidants, it’s also helpful in that digestive area.)

Anyway, If I take all of the supplements that I’m supposed to, it means choking down ten pills, including five big honkers, in the morning plus the dissolving B12.

Holy pill popping, Batman!  Oh, I almost forgot.  I’m also on a dissolving probiotic to help with gum health but I usually pop that one in before I hit the shower so that it’s gone by the time I brush my teeth.

Anyway, I know that all of these supplements are important and I need to incorporate them into my program, but I want to manage them better.  I’m currently reviewing which need to be taken on a full stomach, which shouldn’t be taken together, and some other factors.  Then I want to see if I can split up the big array and take some in the morning and the rest at night.   believe that will be a doable, but more convenient schedule.

How about you?  What are you supposed to take?  Do you?  Got any good scheduling strategies?

6 responses to “Supplemental Ensurance

  1. Hope says:

    I’m supposed to be taking a prenatal vitamin while I’m still breastfeeding. But… it makes me really nauseous if I don’t take it on a full stomach. So I can’t really take one in the AM. And I always forget to take it at night. I need to work on that.

  2. pinkpelican says:

    Per day:
    1 omeprazole (controls heartburn)
    1 birth control
    1 biotin (to help along with protein to combat hair loss)
    1 B12 (sublingual)
    2 multi-vitamins (with iron)
    2 iron pills
    6 calcium citrate pills

    The omeprazole, birth control, biotin & B12 don’t seem to have issues with each other or anything else, & they are all small pills.

    since iron & calcium both attach to the same receptors, you can’t take them together, & you have to wait at least 2-1/2 hours between taking the different doses. Also, my body can only absorb around 500 mg (g?) of calcium at one time, so I can only take 2 calcium citrate pills at a time. And finally, I MUST take the iron-including pills with food, otherwise they make me very nauseous, and I can’t take more than 1 vitamin & 1 iron pill at one time.

    I finally figured out the following schedule:

    omeprazole, birth control, biotin & B12 first thing in the morning before I eat.

    With breakfast, one multi-vitamin & one iron pill.
    Mid morning, 2 calcium pills
    Mid afternoon, 2 calcium pills
    with dinner, one multi-vitamin & one iron pill
    before bed, 2 calcium pills

    I actually ended up setting daily alarms on my iPhone to remind me I have to take something. Otherwise I lose track and forget.

    On the rare occasions I’ve had to add an antibiotic, I just quit taking the supplements for the duration. Turns out antibiotics don’t play well with ANYTHING else. I can take the omeprazole at my usual time & work in the antibiotics & everything is okay, but there’s just no way to manage antibiotics 2 or 3 times a day PLUS all the supplements without having some conflict somewhere that renders either the antibiotic or the supplement ineffective. I still take the birth control pills even though I know antibiotics will sometimes mess up the effectiveness of the “control” part of the birth control, but it seems to NOT interfere with the menses regulatory aspects of the birth control. I just make sure if the husband & I want to play when I’m on antibiotics, we use an additional form of birth control. (Possibly TMI, but you asked … grin.)

    So far, my blood work has all been good, so I appear to be getting in all my nutrients and I’ll continue my current regimen until/unless the surgeon or my GP tells me we need to make a change.

  3. Skye says:

    I take three anti-depressants in the morning, an anti-anxiety pill, two pills for my fibromyalgia, a multi-v, an aspirin, and a B-complex. In the afternoon, I take another anti-anxiety pill. In the evening, I take two fish oil/omega 3 pills (because my eyes don’t produce enough tears or oil), two more pill for the fibro, a vitamin D (I tend to be deficient). I use eye drops for my lack of tears in the morning and the night — they are prescription drops. It feels like a hell of a lot of pills.

    • Mary Stella says:

      That is a hell of a lot of pills, Skye!

      The Omega 3s are new to me but given by my eye doctor for the same dryness reason. The drops in am and pm are OTC right now. If the situation doesn’t improve she might move me to prescription drops.

  4. Each day I have to take two Wellbutrin (my happy pills — love them), a multi-V (big), calcium chew, Alavert, two Tagamet (works great as an antihistamine without the sleepy side effects, not to mention I haven’t had a stomach ache in years), and a children’s chewable Benadryl.

    In the morning, I take:
    1 antidepressant
    1 Multi-V
    1 Alavert
    1 Tagamet

    In the evening (at bedtime), I take:
    1 antidepressant
    1 children’s Benadryl (this is to counteract the “revving” effect of the antidepressant)
    1 Tagamet
    1 calcium chew

    None of the meds I have to take have specific guidelines about “take with food,” etc., but generally the stuff I take in the morning I take after breakfast and the stuff I take at night is usually on an empty stomach.

    I did have to buy one of those AM/PM pill minders, because I kept forgetting what I was taking when. Now, I stock the thing on Sunday each week and work my way through (and it’s also a good reminder of whether I’ve TAKEN my meds, because sometimes I can’t remember if I did or not).

    I will say that with all the antihistamines I’m taking, I’ve had zero problems with allergies.

    • Mary Stella says:

      The pill organizer is a great tool. When I was also still on meds for blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar, I always used one when traveling.

      You’ve given me a great reminder that I can also use this to organize my supplements. Thanks!

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