Vitamins, minerals, and hormones.
When I was 44 and just a handful of weeks away from 45, I felt old. Much older than I believed a 45-year-old should feel. And so I took a financial plunge and went to an anti-aging doctor who ran so many tests, you’d have thought I was in some sort of Olympic doping scandal.
Turns out…I had a whole lot of what I didn’t need, not a whole lot of what I did need, and was generally out of whack on so many different vitamins, minerals, and hormones that it took a pretty big arsenal to get me back to ‘normal’…whatever that is.
This particular doctor was a fan of optimal, not average. So if the range was from X-Y and you were hovering down near X—as I had been on the thyroid test for DECADES, he didn’t just mark the spot and move on—he wanted to slide the number to the far end on the Y side of things.
It wasn’t an overnight thing. We tweaked the amounts every month or so through a compounding pharmacy that used bio-identical hormones (he was very against synthetic hormones and I still won’t use them and avoid many of those substances in my food/environment) and got me to that optimal place of health.
Things that when I migrated to a ‘regular’ doctor, after my concierge doctor retired earlier this year, was told were a little strange/odd/unnecessary to track.
Really, you want Vitamin K, selenium and zinc levels tested?
When she saw my iron levels were low again, I told her I’d likely been taking my calcium supplement too close in time to my iron. Her quizzical face told me all I needed to know. This is a very good doctor…and they generally get a nanosecond of nutrition in medical school, so I did not discount her value as a diagnostician for her not to know that calcium can interfere with iron absorption. Or that taking vitamin C with iron can aid in absorption. She was not aware that 500 mg of calcium is all the average person can really absorb at any one time.
Through the anti-aging doctor, my nutritionist and research both interpersonal and Google based—I won’t even intimate that I became an expert—but I surely gained a mountain of knowledge of what before had been, at best, a Lilliputian molehill.
Taking care of me, inside and out.
No one was ever/is ever going to care about my base nutritional needs more than me. I had to learn what worked best for me. I had to advocate for tests to be run to make sure that as I increased one thing, it did not decrease or counteract another. I’ve had some pretty intense conversations for coverage with my health insurance provider at times.
I had to be sure that I was not reaching a toxic level on fat-soluble supplements…and there ARE toxic levels…or injuring myself from the inside out in a quest for better overall health.
When I travel I tend to have my pills in a snack baggie for each day. I know the pills to ‘deduct’ in the morning and take throughout the day by site so a pill divider is not needed. I know which I do best sublingually or orally or via injection. I know the quality brands and stock up on them when a sale is present. It’s interesting to me when people see the volume of supplements I take and their reactions.
Some, unabashedly, are horrified and tell me I’m making expensive urine.
Others, are intrigued and tell me about awesome supplements they use and some I adopt into my routine…such as the Wellness Formula one friend recommended and I found to be FANTASTIC…and others I don’t notice any benefit from.
I struggle with low iron and there are some who would say that a proper diet would give me all the iron I need…but that’s just not the case for me. It would be fairly simple to either adopt their viewpoint and find myself anemic fairly quickly or soldier on and stay the course for what I know to work for me.
Health and wellness is not synonymous with thin.
Not at all. I was working on my vitamins, minerals and hormones when I was at my heaviest and it truly did make a difference, but I also did not try and wing it and go rogue. It was one time when I needed those lab checks to track what was happening and not get too far on one end of the pendulum in trying to correct from oscillation of the far other end.
Perhaps it is obvious that I am an advocate for self-care, for knowing more than the scale and BMI readings about an individual. If it is not, let me say this: Consider requesting a full panel of your vitamins/minerals/hormones and determine with your doctor what the OPTIMAL levels are for you and what it will take to get there.
No one should ever want more than you do for yourself (and you might hit some brick walls along the way) but walls can be scaled, dug under and broken down.
It’s an effort, sure, YOU ARE WORTH THE EFFORT.
See all posts in A Journey of Weight Found and Lost →