In Part 1 we covered the complexity of how and when supplements work. Part 2 took a look at how a supplement should be prescribed. Today in Part 3 we’ve got to address lifestyle and budget considerations and if food is a better use of your funds and time.
Lifestyle and budget:
- Some people love taking them and others dislike it. I’ll be the first to admit that it takes effort to ensure I take the supplements I do. I recommend a pill organizer to everyone who is taking more than one or two supplements a day and a tracking sheet to anyone keeping track of multiple self care activities, I like to call it the “Master Tracker.”
- Are you someone who thrives on routine or who doesn’t have a consistent work and meal schedule? These factors and others can impact when a supplement is prescribed, to take it with food or not, how often to take it and for how long.
- Supplements can be expensive, prioritizing the supplements and finding food sources for other necessary nutrients is the key to getting the most health improvement for your dollar. This is another reason to make sure you’re addressing the root issue of your condition. If the supplement is acting as a band aid and not fixing the underlying injury to your health you’ll be taking it a long time and spending money and effort in the wrong area. Taking a supplement to suppress a symptom can be helpful at certain times, but long term “symptom chasing” will leave you out of breath and no closer to the goal of treating the underlying condition.
Isn’t food better?
- Food is better, most of the time. At Bespoke Clinic, diet is the foundation of every treatment protocol. What recommendations are made depend each unique case. Research is beginning to show that reductionist thinking, assuming that isolating a nutrient or compound makes it more effective, can be problematic. Our foods contain a balance of nutrients and antioxidants that are already naturally pared in ratios to one another and that have a delicate interplay as they are used in our bodies.
- However, there are situations where supplementing can be incredibly necessary; patients who are very ill, treatment of serious conditions, patients who have difficulty sticking to diet recommendations, aren’t able to make the changes necessary to have a healthier food intake to maximize crucial nutrients or are obstructed from changing their diet for other reasons.
- Case 1: A patient with depression who suffers from fatigue, malaise and lack of omega 3 fatty acids in the diet. For a patient like this it may be very beneficial to start them on fish oil while they are working in diet changes over time, but only if they can’t commit to the dietary changes.
- Case 2: A busy professional working 60 hours a week with lots to do outside of work is reaching for 4 coffees a day and a chocolate bar in the afternoon. They’re desperately trying to boost their energy to keep up with the demands. Coffee and chocolate artificially block our system’s ability to perceive that we are sleepy and in need of rest. This allows us to “borrow time.” Instead of just looking the other way, why not boost energy by giving your body what it needs to run optimally under stress? One of the easiest ways to get the B vitamins, magnesium and other trace minerals that your body needs to cope with stress is through vitamin infusions. Stay tuned for an update about this service in the coming weeks. I’ll be offering it in the clinic soon!
You have advisors for your books, your car, your pets, your work out and your legal issues. Why not have one for your health, prevention and lifestyle? Given the considerations raised in this series, navigating your own supplement protocol can be challenging. I used to do it. My goal is to keep you from having to endure that challenge. We can start with a complimentary 15 minute chat about your health needs and your goals and go from there. It’s never too late to make changes that get you the body and mind you want.