Supplement Safety

Posted by on May 11, 2017 in Health & Wellness

Supplement Safety

Vitamin supplements. Herbal remedies. Essential Oils and Homeopathic solutions. If you haven’t taken some of these yourself, chances are you know someone who does. They’ve become increasingly popular in town over the last 3-5 years, and much easier to find as a result. You can get them at the pharmacy, the grocery store, or even from your neighbor. Google has dozens of results for home-grown blogs detailing “natural” remedies for almost any ailment or remedy you can think of. And some of them even work.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not opposed to natural remedies by any means. I spent the first 29 years of my life taking increasingly stronger medicines to control my asthma and allergies until I finally maxed out on the dosage of three of the strongest prescriptions available at the same time. I’ve spent the last 3 years finding the best combination of diet, exercise, homeopathies, vitamins, herbs, and even essential oils to allow me to control my asthma and allergies without the need for even a single prescription maintenance medication.

So I absolutely believe that natural or alternative remedies can have an amazing effect on our bodies. Frankly, anything we put in or on our bodies will have an effect – that is, after all, why we use it. That effect, however, is not always the one we expected. While natural remedies do not often come with the laundry list of potential side effects that we more commonly associate with prescription or even over-the-counter medications, that does not mean that they do not have any. Just as with a prescription medication, different people react differently to natural remedies dependent upon their own physiology, environment, and any other natural, OTC, or prescription remedies they are using.

Which is why I cringe every time I witness a casual conversation where one well-intentioned person encourages their friend, co-worker, or acquaintance to take X, Y, or Z remedy for their ailment.  It’s a natural impulse, one I’m certainly guilty of myself as well, to want to offer up the same advice about a commonly available remedy that made a world of difference for yourself. The problem is that this advice is almost always given without any knowledge of the other person’s health history or even any true knowledge of the natural remedy aside from its intended effect as stated on the front of the package.

Anything you put in your body will have an effect – good, bad, or indifferent. It will have an effect.

Magnesium, a common vitamin supplement, can induce nausea or vomiting, or even affect your heart rate. The effects of homeopathic remedies can be greatly reduced by regular use of mint – an ingredient found in many essential oil blends as well as your toothpaste. And there is always the potential for interactions with prescription medications; according to an article by American Family Physician,  Ginseng, a popular herb to boost energy among other things, can have an adverse interaction with Warfarin, a prescription blood thinner.

If you want to take natural supplements to improve your health (and I really do recommend them!) please don’t rely upon Google or your neighbor/home-business supplement sales person. Dr. Sneed can be an excellent resource (he even knows which Magnesium is easiest on the stomach), and if you are interested in remedies he doesn’t know as well, he’ll know who in town does!