I posted the photo above on my Instagram on Sunday, mostly just to share my chuckle at myself for feeling like a grandma for using a weekly pill organizer for my vitamins (even though it is helping me remember to take them better). I wound up getting a lot of questions/DM’s asking what I take, why I take it, if it helps, etc. So, I thought instead of answering everyone individually, I’d just write it all up in a blog post to give it somewhere to live for any future questions.
I will preface right now and say: DO NOT take any of this as qualified medical advice. I am not a doctor, medical professional or anyone qualified to give you that advice. This is just what I do, what my doctor knows I do and what is working for me. If you want to add things into your routine, please talk to your doctor and do your research to know how it may affect you.
Also, I am fully aware that multivitamins exist, because I got that statement in DM’s a few times. The majority of what you will see here has a goal or a specific reason as to why I take it which means that I need a specific dose or strength of something that most multivitamins are not going to have. I think multivitamins are a great base, especially if you’re just taking them for general health, but you may not always get the dose of what you’re looking for.
Personally, I have celiac disease, I am very anemic, I have a vitamin D deficiency, and I have hair loss issues. So, the majority of what I take is to help one or more of those issues and a lot of what is in multivitamins won’t do much for those issues. Again, I don’t dislike multivitamins, I just don’t see the need for me to take one right now.
So, this is what I take on the daily. I am not a fancy vitamin person, as you will see. I do research and talk to my doctor about what I need to take and then go to a pharmacy, Target, or lately Amazon and get what I need. I take one of each of these daily, with the exception of one or two which I’ll mention as I get to it.
Fish Oil is a recent addition to my routine and I really haven’t taken it long enough to say that it’s doing a lot. But it’s one of those things that’s just really good for you; it’s good for heart health, brain function, and it helps to reduce inflammation, which is actually what I’m taking it for. There has been a lot of research done to state that it can help lessen any inflammation you’re experiencing in your scalp, especially if you experience hair loss, to help your hair grow stronger and promote new growth. It also helps to nourish your scalp so I’ve heard it could cause your hair to get a little oilier or greasier for a little bit while your body adjusts; I haven’t had it happen but again I haven’t taken it that long either. I do also take the smaller soft gels; I can’t with the big ones, I tried and felt like I was going to die. These are really easy to swallow and don’t leave a fishy aftertaste for me.
This is the other supplement that I just recently added and can’t really tell you if it’s working yet or not. But it’s similar to fish oil in that it’s really good for brain and heart health. It’s also a good antioxidant, so it helps slow down damage to our cells and helps heal inflammation and all of that. It can also be very helpful in hair loss, again, to help repair damage and reduce inflammation, so I just added that in to see if the fish oil and vitamin E help a bit more from the inside out.
If you’ve been around for a minute, you know I take Biotin, I’ve taken it for years. I typically take 5.000 mcg to manage my hair loss, but since I went to a bit more of an active hair loss phase this past year I upped my dosage to 10,000 to help promote new growth and strengthen what I have. I get this one from Sam’s Club and I actually really like this one, my hair feels really strong and healthy with this and it feels/looks smoother I think because of the Keratin addition to it. I do also think this helps my skin stay clearer. I have very oily/acne prone skin and I notice when I forget this for a few days my skin will start to break out a bit (which could be coincidence, who knows).
The year or so before my Celiac Diagnosis in December 2017, I was having a lot of gut issues (obvi) that couldn’t be explained, so my doctor suggested trying a probiotic to see if we could correct any possible bad bacteria that may have been in my stomach causing me pain and discomfort. Despite what my stomach issues eventually turned into (or was diagnosed to be) taking probiotics seemed to provide some relief to what I was experiencing. Then when the celiac diagnosis happened, my GI suggested continuing probiotics because it can help rebuild the layer of your gastrointestinal tract that has been damaged due to gluten, it can also help ease your stomach if you accidentally ingest gluten, etc.
I’m a huge believer in probiotics for gut health (I’ve even gotten Devon to take them and he’s a big believer in…not doing anything) and I’ve tried a ton of brands including big commercial ones and smaller organic brands. For me, Culturelle just works the best for my needs and keeps all my gut systems functioning well. On the rare instance that I get a stomach “disturbance” of some kind, I’ll usually take an extra probiotic (so I’ll do one in the morning and one in the evening) to help get rid of whatever bad bacteria got in a bit faster, which has worked really well for me.
Like I mentioned, I’m anemic (as hell) and have been for a long time. Part of my hair loss issues (my doctors strongly believe) is due to my lack of iron in my body. Anemia can cause a whole list of health issues so it’s really something to try and fix if you are anemic. I took a commercial iron supplement for a few years and I felt it helped for awhile, but lately, I don’t feel it being as effective as it may have been when I first started taking it. I actually saw these on Instagram a few weeks ago from someone I follow, so I did some research and talked to my doctor about switching to this Blood Builder from what I had been taking.
I will say this, in dosing, has less iron in it than what I was taking before, (though still more than the typical daily amount which us anemic people need) but it also has Folate and Vitamins C and B12 which are all necessary for proper absorption into the bloodstream, which was a big pull for me into switching. It has also showing to be less disruptive to your stomach than traditional iron supplements. If you’ve taken iron, you know what I’m taking about, it typically feels pretty uncomfortable from time to time, and I will say that this has been great to my stomach, which is making me cross my fingers in hopes that it works better. My doctor just did blood work on me last week and we’re going to do it again in a few months to see if it’s helping my iron levels, but so far I really like it.
I mean…..I’m around germs people all day (as is Devon)….does this need a whole lot of explanation? I don’t really take this in the summer since I don’t need it but now that the school year is back in full swing and all the viruses and whatnot are going around again, I’ve added it back. I will say last year is the first year I did zinc, basically every day, without fail and it was my healthiest school year to date. Outside of a migraine or two, I think I was only out sick…once? Maybe not even once, I can’t remember. And I was SUPER STRESSED last year, as many of you remember and stress kills your immune system, so if I stayed healthy with zinc, I’m more than happy to take it daily.
Also super Vitamin D deficient like I mentioned before, which my doctors also greatly believe is having an impact on my hair loss issues. And yes, I know that “15 minus of sunlight is your daily dose of Vitamin D”, which is great and all but that doesn’t correct deficiencies. So, while I do try to get outside and expose myself to daylight, I also take this. It’s also really good for bone health and immune support, which is nice to have. My levels have come up some since taking this so it’s working for me and I’ll likely keep taking it until, hopefully, I don’t need it anymore.
These last two are the only actual “medications” I take. This is basically generic Prilosec for acid reflux. I don’t know if that’s a celiac related thing but I’ve had some acid reflux issues since my diagnosis that my GI is having me manage with this. Unless I have a flare, though, which is rare, I do only take this every other day right now. We’re trying to wean it down to 2x/week, which I’m fine with. Because, despite appearance, I’m okay with not taking medication if I don’t need to. I’m totally fine with vitamins and supplements but I’d rather not put a ton of medicine in me unless it’s warranted. I also get this at Sam’s Club, it’s honestly the best price for it and I think the generic works just as well as the name brand, for me.
Again, rather self-explanatory. I don’t take this all year, mostly fall and spring because I’m oddly just as sneezy in the fall as I am in the spring time. But it’s in my little “grandma case” so in effort of full disclosure I threw it in here. I’ve taken it since college and it works well. The sad part for me is I actually took Claritin a few times in college and I felt like it actually worked better…but I also found myself allergic to it. Which just sounds like some legit BS that could only happen to me, but every time I took it I got itchy and had a rash form on my side, but it cleared my nose up like nobody’s business. I don’t know guys….. Devon uses Zyrtec though, too, so we basically just buy it at Sam’s in bulk a couple times a year.
I will be honest, writing this all out, it looks like a lot. And some days, it feels like a lot, like yesterday when I took everything (including my acid reflux med) and I’m just like “there’s still more?!” But I also really want to work on replenishing what I’m deficient in, which supplements are best for, and I am someone who would rather try a vitamin/supplement/more natural route than taking medication. Being anemic and being vitamin D deficient are things that can cause major issues down the road with heart health, bone health, and all sorts of things that I don’t want to think about that would require a lot more serious treatment than just taking a few vitamins a day.
If you are someone who feels like they need to add some sort of vitamin or supplement to your life, talk to your doctor, have blood tests done to see if you’re missing anything, do your research. Like I said I’m not a doctor but I do research and my doctor, I am very lucky, is very on board with me trying supplements and more natural ways of correcting things before going to medical interventions.
Hope this was helpful!