Better Living Through Fewer Vitamins

Last school year my (then) first-grade son had the terrible habit of never washing his hands. We threatened, we cajoled, we grounded him, we went over proper hand-washing and the vital importance of it, but all to no avail (he must get his stubborn streak from his dad). And so our family passed around some new sickness nearly every week, I kid you not. The kids got away with just one (or was it two?) sinus infections, but my husband and I dealt with no less than 3 bad sinus infections over the course of several months.

Add to that the fact I was recovering from a hysterectomy, and so was desperate to get my health back ASAP. I researched vitamins to help with surgery recovery, I researched immune-boosting vitamins, herbs to help ramp up energy, and supplements to relax me enough for sleep. I never took more than the recommended dose and would even skip several days altogether.

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I used to take all these herbs and supplements.

After nearly a year of taking all these and not really feeling any better but actually worse, I  decided to research all these supplements again and remind myself why I was taking them and what the side effects were. And I had a bit of a shock.

The Cinnamon pills I was taking to help my digestion and purify my blood after surgery, is also well-known to cause your blood sugar to drop. I had been having severe bouts of hypoglycemia for months, and could not figure out why. The Vitamin D was causing nausea and weakness, the Kelp I took for Iodine (we were using iodine-free sea salt at the time, and I had noticeable side effects from that) caused stomach cramps and diarrhea. The Vitamin E made me bleed too much, and caused malabsorption of Vitamin K, which in turn caused very easy bruising as well as fatigue. The zinc I took to improve my immune system actually worked to harm it.

To make a long story short, some of the vitamins were superfluous, while others were actually causing me harm, and none of them improved my health. So I trashed them all. It hurt a little (vitamins and herbs are expensive!) but my health has gradually improved quite a bit. In place of all those pills, I bought a membership at my local ladies-only gym for some daily, light exercise; made a goal to go outside at least once a day and get my Vitamin D and fresh air the way God intended; recommitted myself to eating healthy meals with lots of veggies, fruits, and whole grains; and try to get to bed at a decent hour every night (I’m still working on that one).

I am enjoying this lifestyle so much more. School has been going for over a month now, and we have only been sick once so far. Also, the boy is actually washing his hands this year.

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