Article questioning supplements

We turn to supplements when either we don't have answer, or we don't like the answer we have. To face the truth about most supplements is to face the truth about disease and even our own mortality.

Powerful words to be sure.

This is why I only take supplements that have been ordered by doctors (for me, vitamin D, B2, B6, B12, and melatonin) and from sources I've researched and found reliable.

There is also a huge difference between supplementing things in your diet that your body isn't absorbing well / you aren't getting enough of (iron, calcium, etc.) and counting on herbal tinctures, supplements, etc. to try to cure PsA.

I once referred to the vitamins I take as supplements to my PCP. She promptly corrected me and said they are “THERAPIES” for my malabsorption, not supplements. Just to remind everyone- there is a difference.

Whichever wording one uses, there certainly is a difference between taking Vitamin D and calcium for osteoporosis prevention or the arm-length list of various nutritional supplements that post-bariatric surgery patients have to take or the varied list of other conditions that require supplements. I think what really needs to be said is that there is a risk relying on supplements or herbals without the direction of a medical practitioner, and also risk in the quality of the supplements that are available OTC. This last part is what I find so frightening-that things that can be incredibly harmful are so unregulated as far as quality, contents, and that there is so little research on patient outcomes.

Lots of folks don't realize that natural does not mean that it can't be harmful. In addition, taking these substances can provide a false sense of security for a person who is afraid of medication management of their condition. Many people subscribe to the "more is better" philosophy which results in improper dosing. Because of the lack of quality controls, people can end up ingesting loads of toxins hidden in poorly regulated products. Just because something is natural (foxglove, hemlock, belladonna are all very natural) , well, that doesn't make it any less harmful when taken inappropriately. And just how "natural" is "natural" after it has been through the factory and jammed with who-knows-what fillers?

I guess I have a point to this rant :-) And that is to be cautious. I hate for good people to get hurt. The wisest thing to do is to always discuss these additions with your doctor or even better a good pharmacist. Any substance that changes the way a mechanism in your body works should be treated with caution whether prescription, over the counter, or scraped from the nearest willow tree.

I said it once, and I will say it again: talk to your doctor before taking supplements. Many medications have vitamins or etc in them or certain vitamins may interfere with medications.