Saturday, February 27, 2010

My vitamin regime

People ask me about my vitamins so I thought I'd document what I take and how I take them.

First, here's everything I take every day including medicine and the containers I use to hold a week's supply:

Going from left to right, we have:

Triple Omega 3-6-9 - I take two of these capsules a day. Pre-op my overall cholesterol was good but my HDL (good) cholesterol was low. I looked into what you have to eat to up HDL and decided that it just wasn't going to happen. (My family doesn't like fish and I'm not too keen on it myself though there are some types I'll eat.) Since I started taking these, my good cholesterol went up to 73 (from 40 something; it's supposed to be over 50), my triglyercides when down to 45 (from 98 which is still under the 150 limit) and my LDL went down to 81 (from 101 - limit is 130). So I'm sold on the benefits and will probably keep taking them.

Vitamin D3 - I take 50,000 IU every Monday. My Vitamin D levels were low pre-op as well and now they are in the 70s, which is decent. There is also Vitamin D in my multi-vitamin and my calcium pills that give me another 1000-2000 IU a day.

Multi-Vitamin - I take 2x the adult dose, once a day. It would be optimal if I took two doses of one pill a day, but that is harder for me and there is nothing in these that I won't absorb if I take two at once. I take 2x the adult dose because of my surgery, otherwise I'd just take one pill a day. I compared all the labels and decide Centrum had the best balance of nutrients. I use a store brand version to save money.

Calcium Citrate - I take two pills, 3x a day to get a total of 1500 mg in three 500 mg doses (six total pills a day). I took calcium pre-op, but the surgery has made my stomach a low acid environment, so I need to take 500 mg extra over what I used to take.

Co-enzyme Q10 - 50 mg a day. This is supposed to be good for endurance athletes, giving our cells more energy, kind of like an anti-oxidant only not exactly. I go back and forth on taking these as I'm not 100% convinced they are necessary. Whenever my bottle runs out, I stop taking them for a while, but then I feel like I'd have more energy if I took them and I buy another bottle start back up again.

The final two bottles are medicine. The Vesicare is because I have an "old lady" bladder. I had it pre-op but I was hoping it would somehow magically get better when I lost the weight. Stress incontinence does usually get better, but that's not what I have. In fact, it got worse post-op. So I gave in and take the pills. They are a MIRACLE and I'm sorry I fought taking them so long.

The other is some variation on Prilosec (Free samples from Dr. Awesome in this shot). This is a PPI and I use it to control mild acid reflux. I had GERD pre-op mostly due to a hiatal hernia. It was not well controlled by medicine, either, and my  heartburn got pretty bad near the end. I had the hernia repaired during my surgery and it helped a lot. But I still get a "grumbly" stomach and wake up with a sore throat and/or get mild heartburn in the afternoon most days if I take nothing at all

Here's how one day's worth divided into the four doses I take over the course of the day look:

First thing in the AM: 2 Citrical pills plus a 10 mg Vesicare. Vesicare is supposed to be taken with fluid and I have a protein shake most mornings so it works out.

Lunch time: I take everything that's not calcium. This way, the iron in my multi-vitamin doesn't get cancelled out by the calcium. So my two multis, my Co-enzyme Q10 and my PPI go down at lunch.

Afternoon, usually with a snack: Another 500 mg of calcium along with the Omega softgel. I could take the Omegas with lunch but that's a lot of pills at once. Plus, the omega softgel tends to give me fish breath and/or fish burps, so I want to take that later in the day when I'm breathing on less people.

Evening, usually with dinner: another 500 mg of calcium and the last omega softgel.

The nice thing about this system is:

-I am taking my pills with food, which is supposed to make them absorb better
-I mostly only take three pills at a time so it's not overwhelming to me
-My iron is spaced out properly from my calcium
-If I forget a dose, I can take whatever I forgot with my evening snack

Oh and a word about my pill organizers. The one on the left is my "stay at home" organizer. I put the morning and evening doses in there. The one of the right is my "take along" organizer.

As you can see from the picture, each day can pop off and be a stand-alone container or you can carry a series of them as a brick or keep them all as one solid organizer. I usually carry my pills for the day in my lunch sack on workdays so I keep them split apart mostly. When I travel, I snap the days I'll be gone together and pack that as a unit. I got this organizer at my friend Bekah's online store: Express Metabolics after I saw hers. I love it!
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