My Love for Drugs

5 Jul

 What are those?

Why do you have so many?

These, my friends, are my daily pills.

I’ve shared in an older entry about my poor eating habits and its surprisingly serious effects on my health.  One of the first things that I had to do to get my health back up was to invest in supplements.   For the curious, here are some of the drugs that I love.

WHY THE NEED FOR SUPPLEMENTATION?

“There are six essential nutrients that we need to get each day. These are proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals and water. The best source of these nutrients is a healthy, balanced diet, comprised of fresh, whole foods and an abundance of fruits and vegetables. However, that even people who strive to eat a healthy diet can sometimes miss essential nutrients. Therefore, nutritional supplements, when taken appropriately, can be beneficial to almost anyone’s diet.” – Dr. Kelli Ward

When I started seeing K for my weekly health sessions, he pointed out to me that a lot of my medical problems were due to the nutritional gaps and deficiencies that I’ve developed from my poor diet.  Given this, it only made sense that alongside a new healthy diet were some supplements to help me be healthy once again.

Multivitamins: Energy Source

Healthy adults who have a well-balanced diet do not really need multivitamins. Multivitamins after all, just fill the dietary gaps when they aren’t fulfilling their nutritional needs from their food. Multivitamins are taken daily not to treat a specific condition but as a maintenance for over-all health.

However, I was not healthy nor was I eating a well-balanced diet. Living off 800 – 1,100 calories for almost two years left me dependent to my multivitamin for an energy boost. Those who follow a strictly regimented diet, especially one that eliminates entire groups of foods, or if those who regularly consume fewer than 1,800 calories daily are those who would benefit most from a multivitamin. Two tablets a day keeps me running all day!

What I take: Centrum Multivitamin/Multimineral

Betaine HCL: Digestive Buddy

I developed an irrational fear of eating “non-diet” food. Being used to extremely small portions of food, I would always find myself extremely bloated and feeling sick right after eating “normal” tasting or portioned meals.   Through consultation, one of the things that we discovered was that I suffered, “hypochlorhydria“, which is the low production of gastric acid in the stomach.

I never knew how essential stomach acids were until I learned that they were primarily responsible for breaking down the food you eat and consequently affecting the absorption of nutrients in your body. Now, if my stomach couldn’t break down my food, then I obviously would not be getting my needed nutrients. I suffered all the obvious symptoms such as extreme indigestion, heartburn and nutrient deficiencies. If I continued my ways, osteoporosis would also be part of the list.

Out of all the supplements that I take, my Betaince HCL pills are those that usually get the most attention. I take about 3 capsules for every protein meal, totalling a whopping 12 pills a day. Although they treat a whole range of health issues, this supplement helped me address my poor digestive condition by assisting in the creation of additional hydrocholoric acid to help me digest and optimally absorb nutrients.  Ever since I started taking these pills, stomach pain, gas, nausea and constipation are rare pains from eating.

What I take: Solaray’s High Potency HCL with Pepsin 650 mg

Chelated Magnesium: Energy and Digestion

Magnesium would be a word that I would only link to the Periodic Table of Elements. But it turns out that this mineral is apparently very important to our bodies.

“Every known illness is associated with a magnesium deficiency. Magnesium is the most critical mineral required for electrical stability of every cell in the body. Few people are aware of the enormous role magnesium plays in our bodies. Magnesium is by far the most important mineral in the body. After oxygen, water, and basic food, magnesium may be the most important element needed by our bodies; vitally important, yet hardly known.The first symptoms of deficiency can be subtle – as most magnesium is stored in the tissues, leg cramps, foot pain, or muscle ‘twitches’ can be the first sign. Other early signs of deficiency include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and weakness. As magnesium deficiency worsens, numbness, tingling, seizures, personality changes, abnormal heart rhythms, and coronary spasms can occur.”

After prolonged dieting, I noticed that I started to have several random complaints such as: extreme fatigue and weakness, constant headaches, nausea, poor bowel movement, faint and abnormal heart rhythm, muscle contractions/numbness, anxiety, and personality changes (extremely moody and panicky!), dry skin and constant thirst. They all seemed totally unrelated, but apparently all were all linked to my magnesium deficiency. After taking 500 mg a day, this supplement has helped me feel a whole lot better in terms of energy, calmness and digestion.

What I take: Solgar’s Chelated Magnesium or Healthy Option’s Chelated Magnesium

Fish Oil: Stress Buster

“Cortisol” is a hormone released whenever the body is stressed. Although helpful when released in small amounts, over production can cause a wide range of negative effects. My body was swimming in cortisol! I was not only physically stressed due to over exercising but also mentally stressed due to anxiety attacks over my diet.  Too much cortisol led me to experience digestive problems, sleep disturbances, depression,  memory impairment and a stubborn tummy fat despite being skinny all over!

Fish oil has said to have great anti inflammatory properties which helped decrease hormones that cause inflammation (cortisol!), speed detoxification, improve cellular health, increase muscle building and improve insulin sensitivity. I’ve only mentioned a few benefits relevant to my condition, but fish oil has been hailed as one of the more important supplements aiding in weight loss. My consumption of fish oil targets 2-3 grams of EPA & DHA in a day.

What I take: Kirkland’s Fish Oil

Vitamin D3: Metabolism and Immune System Booster

Vitamin D is something our own bodies can produce with sunlight exposure. Living in a tropical country, it was ironic to find that I was Vitamin D deficient. Getting a healthy dose of Vitamin D is needed to ensure normal growth and development of bones and teeth and improved resistance against certain diseases. Its main role is for the “formation, growth, and repair of bones, normal calcium absorption and immune function”. However, several studies say that they aid in so much more . It affects sleep, maintenance of a healthy body weight, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer and multiple sclerosis. Malnutrition and low weight slow or halt bone development and growth. Given the way that I’ve been treating my body, Vitamin D3 seemed like an obvious need for my diet.

What I take: Vitamin D3 2000IU from Healthy Options

What are some the supplements that you take on a daily?

I used a lot of resources for this blog post, visit them here:

  • Multivitamins: 1 and 2
  • Betaine HCL: 1, 2 and 3
  • Chelated Magnesium: 1, 2 and 3
  • Fish Oil: 1 and 2
  • Vitamin D3: 1 and 2

PS. There is a lot of debate whether supplements are necessary. I am no medical expert nor nutritionist, but the supplements that I’ve taken below were prescribed and definitely helped me a lot.  If you are interested or curious about any of the supplements I’ve mentioned above, it is best that you consult your doctor before making a purchase and including them in your diet.

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7 Responses to “My Love for Drugs”

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