Three Friends

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Thursday, March 8, 2012

What I've Learned about Supplements

Abs of Stone!
(Statue at Vatican Museum)

I never paid much attention to minerals and vitamins before. The "experts" say you should try to get all your nutrient needs from a well-balanced diet ... well, I suppose if I had nothing else to do, I could sit around all day and figure out meal plans so I could get all the milligrams and micrograms and ius for everything I'm supposed to need!

As a vegetarian who every great once in a while eats fish, I have nutritional needs that are probably not being met. I take a B-6/B-12 with Folate to cover for what I'm not getting from meat, and low-dose iron. Magnesium and potassium to offset side-effects from prescription medicine, calcium to help with heartburn, and C combined with E in conjunction with the low-dose iron, to help ward off restless-leg-syndrome. Thankfully, Target has fabulous prices on vitamins!

There are some prescription drugs and some over-the-counter drugs that block certain minerals from being digested. Blood pressure medicine blocks potassium. Daily acid-blocker medicines block magnesium absorption. I read a very good article in Natural Health warning against overuse of acid reflux drugs, because they inhibit natural stomach acid. I was definitely overusing my daily acid-blocker, so I stopped taking it immediately. 

The heartburn started right up again, but guess what else happened ... my jogging stamina doubled! Absolutely doubled! I was struggling to jog just a half mile at a time without stopping to walk, but a few days after I stopped the acid-blocker, I could suddenly run a mile, then a mile and a quarter ... then today, for the first time since my twenties ... I ran two straight miles without stopping. All because I stopped taking a pill! I am amazed. I miss being able to eat and not suffer afterward (everything, literally everything, gives me acid reflux), but I can't go back to it now. I'm exploring natural options, of which there are several. Currently I'm taking extra-strength deglycyrrhizinated licorice tablets before meals (No, I don't know how to pronounce that, and the clerk at the health food store purposefully slurred over it, because she couldn't say it either). I eat a piece of fruit with meals to push the food out of my stomach faster, and I'm careful not to overeat. Time will tell how well the degerberated licorice (whatever) will work for me. 

So instead of having a pill reminder full of acid-blockers and cholesterol medicine, there's a lonely little blood pressure pill, a prescription allergy pill, and then a big handful of minerals and supplements. 

Happy Trails!  If you see me joggin', holler!


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