Do you prefer taking medication or supplements?
I see a growing trend of people wanting to go natural with supplements, and I can see the appeal. I personally have not taken any medication since 2013, and that’s saying something.
For nearly two decades I took a lot of medication trying to find quality of life with chronic pain that comes with fibromyalgia, insomnia and gastrointestinal issues.
That means, I was stoned for nearly two decades.
And I was still in extreme pain, couldn’t sleep for more than a couple of hours and my GI Tract was a mess.
Before I got off medication, I was able to ease my symptoms. However, once I got off all medication, I was able to get myself to a point where I no longer have any of the classic chronic symptoms. Yes, I still have to deal with restless nerves and trigger points, but nothing chronic.
Though medication did offer me some relief initially, over time they made my condition and symptoms worse. This isn't true for everyone, but long-term use of medication can be problematic.
That's why I don’t take any medication, but I do use supplements – strategically.
And that’s what I want you to be mindful of, I take them strategically. When I put together supplement protocols for my clients, I strategically target systems in a specific order for a specific reason.
That’s why they work so well.
Unfortunately, that is not how most people use them.
Most read an article, see a commercial or their friend tells them about a supplement they are taking.
It’s a supplement, no doctor needed, and because it’s usually a pill, powder or liquid – it’s easy.
And so they go out and buy them off the shelf at the local Costco and start taking them.
What Are Supplements?
Supplements are basically elements that are naturally found in food to include vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidants. They are generally the trace nutrients you need to maintain good health. The most commonly know nutrients are called macronutrients, carbohydrates, fats and proteins.
However, just because a supplement says it’s ‘natural’ doesn’t mean it’s 100% natural. A majority of supplements have synthetic ingredients, meaning produced in a lab, and only have to have a certain percentage extracted from natural sources to be labeled, ‘natural.’
At times you may take a supplement to boost these in your diet, for instance you may add protein powder to your morning smoothie.
Micronutrients are required in trace amounts, but still are necessary to maintain health and wellness.
Though supplements can support your body’s ability to maintain health, unlike drugs, supplements are not permitted to be marketed for the purpose of treating, diagnosing, preventing, or curing diseases. That means supplements should not make disease claims, such as “lowers high cholesterol” or “treats depression.”
In my practice, I use supplements to provide relief, stimulate or quiet a response, or provide nutritional support. They are never used to replace meals or an unhealthy diet. They are a resource to be used when there is a deficiency, or a root cause your body needs assistance with.
Using supplements is about supporting your body’s natural ability to heal, repair and maintain homeostasis.
Supplements must follow Food and Drug Agency (FDA) labeling guidelines, but are not closely regulated. The FDA reviews new ingredients going on the market, but they do not approve them. Manufacturers are responsible for quality, free of contaminants and are accurately labeled.
The FDA only steps in if a supplement is found to be unsafe or if the claims on the product are false and misleading.
However, because of the rapid increase in use, in February 2019 the FDA commissioner announced “a new plan for policy advancements with the goal of implementing one of the most significant modernizations of dietary supplement regulation and oversight in more than 25 years.”
Supplements, though derived from food sources, contain high-concentrations of active components and can have a strong biological effect on your body. If not taken correctly, they can be unsafe. When taking them you want to consult with a health practitioner. Combining supplements with other supplements for medication can cause adverse reactions.
Often, I speak to individuals who attempt to substituting supplements for prescriptions. This may lead you to either not have the desired effect you may have with the prescription, or the supplement can have side-effects you are not prepared for.
Supplements, like prescriptions, can trigger additional symptoms, side-effects. And long-term use should be avoided. You don't want your body to become dependent on them, otherwise you may be causing more harm than good. The only time you should consider taking them on a regular basis is if you are replacing a nutrient you can't obtain from other sources or you body is unable to obtain it any other way in the quantities it needs.
And many supplements require caution such as avoiding sunlight or ensuring you don’t take too much.
Additionally, taking supplements without a specific reason can lead to expensive urine. You may not have any side-effect or negative reactions, but you may also not receive much benefit either. And though there is a label that includes a recommended dose, who was that dose prepared for and for what reason? Size, age, gender and other considerations must be taken into account.
The manufacture is going to be very careful to not have a recommended dosage that has a higher potential to harm anyone, and not so large that it turns you away from buying their product.
Finally, you must consider quality.
Though they are not regulated by the FDA, that doesn’t mean there are no quality standards. As of 2007, all United States supplement manufacturers are required to comply with FDA-mandated Current Good manufacturing Practice guideline. This is to ensure their identity, purity, strength and composition. Beyond that, most manufactures test their products and apply for third-party certification.
And if you want positive results, you want to ensure you are taking quality supplements and consider their sourcing and absorption as well as product manufacturing. You also want to consider how products are stored and for how long. For instance, omega-3s are fatty acids and are subject to oxidation. I don’t recommend that you buy the biggest bottle of omega-3s off a Costco shelf.
As I mentioned earlier, I use supplements to support my own health and as well prepare protocol for clients. When preparing a supplement protocol, I refer to not only what the individual wants to correct, but what also needs to be supported to ensure success and continued maintenance.
For instance, you may want to reduce constipation and by taking certain forms of magnesium this could help. But in most cases, it won’t correct the problem and ensure long-lasting results. In addition to easing the immediate symptom, you want to consider the root cause of the problem and what systems require support and repair.
Many of my clients take supplements to support mood or hormone balance, but they find little relief. The reason is, they are not addressing the big picture and focus solely on relieving a symptom.
A supplement protocol should be thorough and address providing not only relief, but also corrective and support assistance.
Finally, dosage needs to be considered and sequencing. Many clients come to me with horror stories concerning taking several supplements and feeling worse. This happens when too much is being addressed at once and the body goes into a state of shock or excessive stress. Too much of a good thing, is too much.
Or the dosage is wrong, and they are reacting to one of their supplements. The problem is they don’t know which one. This is another reason to work with a skilled health practitioner who not only develops a strategic protocol, but also has a system in place to help you identify if a dose is correct for you or not.
I realize how tempting it is to ‘just take a pill.’ It’s simple, and doesn’t require a lot of effort or time. However, if you want the results you’re after, taking a supplement you read things about is often not the solution.
Any solution you are after is going to require some effort, some time and strategy. For most people, this requires working with a skilled health practitioner who is familiar with your ailments and how to put together a complete strategy for correction, healing and long-lasting maintenance. This not only includes supplement protocols, it requires some life adjustments, and new ways to approach your diet, exercise, and rest. It may even require further methods to include therapy, medication or surgery.
If your health is not where you want it to be, I invite you to schedule a FREE Hormone Troubleshooting Session. Even if you don’t think your condition involves your hormones, because all conditions have a hormone connection. Additionally, when working with hormone balance, you must consider the whole person and all of their biological systems.
You don’t have to accept feeling out of sorts and live with symptoms that may appear normal, because they are common. Many think that because they have a diagnosed condition, that the common associated symptoms are unavoidable. However, that's not the case, with a few simple enhancements you could relieve a symptoms altogether or improve it by degrees.
If you’re ready to be energized, engaged and enthusiastic about your health, click on the button below and schedule an appointment that is convenient for you.
You can feel like yourself again, calmer, motivated, confident and great in your own skin.
P.S. You may also be interested in these posts: