Inspired by a semi funny story this weekend, I wanted to talk about vitamins. I take a tremendous amount of vitamins since from as far back as I could remember, I always saw my mom take them and talk about how deeply she believed in their benefits. She was always against medicines if it could be avoided but when I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, those views changed a bit. I did try a lot of natural ways of dealing with my inflammatory bowel disease including aloe vera juice, probiotics, tons of supplements, vitamins, minerals, the specific carbohydrate diet (SCD), and other things I am sure I am forgetting.
Point being, none of it helped control my ulcerative colitis and I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for western medicine.
However, I think it is important to talk about some of these natural things. Not as a substitution for western medicine, or claiming they can cure you, but in terms of overall health. One of the things I love about being part of the IBD community is how much we all learn from each other.
The vitamins I take everyday are:
The vitamin I asked about but was told not to take is:
The vitamins I was told to take but chose not to are:
Please keep in mind that everyone is different. This is my own personal choice and obviously combined with my unique medical history. As most of you know, Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis manifests differently in everyone. Just as there is no right or wrong way to go in terms of treatment, there is certainly no correct or incorrect way to go in terms of taking vitamins or supplements.
I have learned a few things though that I want to share –
Many vitamins (like pills) don’t digest well so I absolutely cannot do time released vitamins. There are liquid and gummy versions; I take regular pills but wouldn’t be against trying the latter at all.
For Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis (IBD) patients – iron can affect your stomach so even if you are anemic, I would start with a small amount of iron and see how you feel.
For the first time in a while, my blood work has been pretty good (knock on wood ; ) ). I have been anemic since the day I was diagnosed 13 years ago and my latest blood work show I am actually OKAY in that department.
Don’t overload your system but if you think you can handle it, talk to your doctor about what vitamins and/or supplements may be right for you. He/She knows what could possibly interact with any medications you are taking, or what may potentially send you into a flare up. Your doctor can also advise you on the correct dose.