As we head into the darker, colder months of the year, it’s not just the shorter days that make us feel unable to get through all our ‘normal’ range of activities. It could be that we are not getting the right mix of vitamins that our bodies and minds need to make good healthy lifestyle choices. After all, it’s only when our health, fitness, state of mind and diet are aligned, that we can truly feel like we are 100% ourselves.
Are you eating your greens?
A healthy diet goes a long way to deliver the vitamins we need, but modern life is busy creating a lot of challenges too; perhaps we don’t get outside as much as should or maybe we don’t enjoy eating all the greens that we need.
If you are up for the challenge – and I hope you are – improving your diet is a great place to start with sparking up your state of mind and your vitamin intake with healthy choices.
So who needs vitamin supplements?
Let’s start with the fact that every body is different. From birth, our bodies are unique, so we each need a personalised mix of proteins, vitamins and minerals in order to process and absorb the nutrients we require for a healthy body and mind. We may need supplements to bring hormones, vitamins and minerals into alignment with our body’s individual needs.
Then there’s a matter of ageing. In our teenage years, puberty sends our hormones on a rollercoaster of changes. The way we think and sleep changes through this past of life. A supportive vitamin regime can address a wide range of deficiencies related to seratonin and melatonin that underpin a regular sleep pattern and a good frame of mind for communication and learning.
Getting older, our ability to absorb vitamins declines and that can have a direct impact on our energy, our state of mind and our physical health. A detailed medical review and potentially a blood test, can tell us how well our body is processing, absorbing and disposing of vital vitamins and minerals. Again, targeted supplements are simpler to monitor for effectiveness and limit the risks associated with mega-dosing.
Add hormonal changes to the mix – from menustration and pregnancy through to perimenopause and menopause – and women might see a number of symptoms that are made worse by vitamin deficiency, such as brain fog, hair loss, sagging skin, changes to our sleep pattern and fatigue. Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) might address many of these issues, but it’s may also be worth exploring how symptoms may be resolved or managed with supplements since vitamins play a key role in triggering or calming hormonal responses.
The risks and limitations of over the counter vitamins
Over the counter vitamin supplements are promoted in ways that encourage you to feel that you are in control. However, there are three key ways that they offer an unsatisfactory solution to vitamin deficiencies:
First, vitamins delivered in pill form, have travel via your digestive system first. If you have a minimal vitamin requirement, it’s possible that will be sufficient, but it’s more likely that your body will break down and excrete these supplements well before they can reach the organs or part of your body that need them.
For your body to absorb vitamins effectively, they often need to be delivered in combination with supporting vitamins and minerals. They also need to be delivered in a sustained and ongoing basis to give your body the opportunity it needs to respond to the new supply.
The second way that over the counter supplements are unhelpful is that can give you what you don’t want and don’t need.
Effervescent vitamin supplements, for example, can contain up to 1g of salt per tablet. Multi-vitamins may include ingredients that you don’t need. And if you are mixing and matching pills, you may unwittingly mega-dose on vitamins in ways that are damaging to your health.
Third, your body’s vitamin requirements will change over time. Taking the same over the counter supplements for months or years at a time may well waste your cash or harm your health.
The value of medical supervision
When you choose medically supervised vitamin supplements, you can be sure that you will receive safe, relevant and effective doses, which will be administered usually by injection or intravenously on a weekly basis for 6-12 weeks.
The advantages are clinically proven:
At Clinic Sese, Piroska Cavell, our Medical Director, directly supervises and administers all mineral and vitamin treatments. She’s qualified to do this as a qualified aesthetics practitioner and registered midwife (RMW). She has a PGCert in Independent and Supplementary Prescribing and is a member of the Association of Intravenous Micronutrient Supplementation (AIMS).
Full details of Piroska’s accreditations can be found here.