Monday, September 3, 2012

Vitamins... the bane of my existance

I've been asked a few times what my vitamin and food schedule are. My food schedule varies a bit, but my vitamins are pretty standard, and don't vary much.

*I am not a physician, please do not take this as medical advice*

This is what *I* take. Everyone has different needs. I had Roux-ex-Y gastric bypass, so I need special stuff. Now, the thing is, that I know my multi has most everything that I'm taking extra on, but my body malabsorbs extra (according to my labs), so I need the additional supplementation on top of the multi.  People with different weight loss surgeries require different things. If you need help deciding what you should take, email me and I'll try to help as best as I can, and/or point you into the right direction for that information! I will help you, as best as I can.



Here's WHAT I take (this month, this round of labs):
  • AM: Multi +Calcium, Folic Acid,Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin K1,  Fiber
  • 2 hours after AM dose: Calcium (500mg)
  • Lunch: Multi #2, Calcium (500 mg), Fiber, Probiotic
  • 2 hours after lunch: Calcium (500mg)
  • Nighttime, right before I hit the bed (2hrs after last calcium): Iron, Vit C.
A couple months ago, I did a little experiment. I had my shot, and had B12 pulled about 3-4 days later. I waited four more weeks, with every other day sublingual supplementation for part of that month, and had my lab pulled again. My B12 dropped from 1306 to 814. That's nearly 500 points. Now, some medical professionals would say that 1300 is quite high (perhaps too high) for B12, but seeing how I dropped 500 points in 4 weeks, with sublingual supplementation it put me on the high-normal end of the range. Because of this, I take a 1-2x per month B12 shot with my sublingual. This keeps my B12 levels fairly stable. If I would have waited another 2-3 weeks before giving myself my prescribed shot after the second lab draw, I could only imagine how much lower my B12 could have gotten. I wasn't interested in finding out HOW exhausted I would get, that's for sure. AND, not to mention, that levels of B12 under 550 are highly correlated (see here and here) to depression, anxiety, paranoia and in other countries is actually the "low" level and they begin supplementing around that point. Not only is it correlated with mental illness, but low B12 can result in decreased motor function in the legs, which can mimic symptoms of a stroke and render people unable to walk. I have seen this personally with my own eyes in multiple patients at the hospital where I used to work. The thing about most B vitamins (niacin, folic acid, thiamine, biotin, B12), is that you can actually take a B-complex for them. The beauty of (most) B vitamins is that your body will pee out anything you don't need. So, for those, I tend to err on the side of a little more than necessary. If you've had any form of weight loss surgery, you want to have your vitamin levels checked regularly.  Plus, B vitamins supposedly help brain function, and I need all the help with that I can get!

I take extra Folic Acid because mine was VERY low at my 6 month labs. Folic Acid is very important for neural growth and re-generation, very important for the neural tube development of fetuses. All women that are in childbearing years or planning on getting pregnant, or not planning but participating in activities that COULD result in such, need to take extra folic acid above your regular daily multivitamin.

Vitamin D and K were all low on my labs, so I needed to supplement extra on them. My latest lab draw says my D is now normal, but that was taking super high doses for 4 months, so now I'm titering the dosage down on that, but K I will have re-tested in a few months. I'm not taking the K2, because that's perfectly fine on my labs. The thing about ADEK is that you really need to get labs pulled for these if you're supplementing them, cause they can cause toxicities if they are too high.

So, yeah. That's my vitamins and my quick and dirty as to why I'm taking what I'm taking.

4 comments:

  1. Michelle, I know the reason why you are struggling with your labs/levels. It took me to the point of organ failure to get real about this issue! Please, please feel free to contact me any time. Im all for helping a fellow WLS out! Please don't wait until its a life/death situation. Shots, iron infusions, sublingual, chewable, liquid...blah blah blah, none of that worked.

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  2. I'm a vegetarian so I take supplements...a multi, a fish oil, and a vitamin C supplement.

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  3. I should probably be taking supplements since I am a vegetarian.

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  4. I take a couple of vitamins on a daily basis. I do because I'm one of those people that can go for days without remembering to eat. My husband reminds me.

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Thanks a bunch for your comment love!