Catholic Natural Health Series for staying healthy – Part 3
Supplements and the Role they play in keeping us healthy
by Rita Davidson
Do you take supplements? You know those Flintstones vitamins we took as a kid? 🙂
Research today tells us much more than we ever knew 40 years ago. But, today people are either all “for” vitamins or all “against”. For many years I was against them. I thought if God didn’t make little pills grow on trees we obviously we didn’t need to take them. And I still believe that, for the most part. But, obviously many centuries have past since the beginning of time, science has improved what we know, food has changed and so has our weather.
I’m a big fan of natural medicine and taking care of my own health. Living in the country can give you a bit of a ‘fear’ of not being close enough in case of a health emergency. But being able to supply your own health needs, gives you a feeling of satisfaction in being able to take care of your family. It also really relieves your mind that, “this isn’t serious, I can handle this here.” For others that have to pay for healthcare this is a really big bonus in the pocketbook. This is why I studied natural health for 6 years getting the equivalent of a phd in natural health. It has served us well. But, I am still learning and what I have learned I love to share so others can benefit who are suffering needlessly.
In the first two instalments of this series, we looked at:
1. Finding Answers to your health issues – Basics. Here we took a general look at some foods that should be removed and some ideas on what to include. Basic stuff that builds a foundation for moving forward in good health.
2. Do you feel foggy headed, tired and anxious? Part 2, we looked at low blood sugar issues and how they influence our health with anxiety, depression, weaknesses, fatigue and more. We also looked at how good fats help to slow our food down, if this is an issue, and how eating better food and protein can bring this under control.
Today we are going to talk about Supplements and the role they play in keeping us healthy- Part 3. We will take a look at the problems we see when we have deficiencies. Many people skip over looking at this area, since it is not really an area pushed by todays medical profession. (or at least the ones I have seen).
Nutritional deficiencies are real and wreck havoc in your life and how you feel. Common complaints of fatigue, weakness, chronic tiredness, and anxiety and depression are most commonly brought to doctors who have no answers for the sufferer. They are also the most common things moms suffer after multiple pregnancies, late nights and many babies.
Lets take a look at a few very common deficiencies.
Anemia or Low Iron:
This is the most popular one. Ever since I was 12, my iron was low. No matter how much iron I took it was always low, so I devised ways to get iron into me. Once I had a few kids, I started making my own iron brews, (see recipe below) they worked better than any pills I got over the years. Little did I know there are other reasons why we live with chronic low iron. (see my next article on this).
Living with chronic low iron, I suffered with fatigue, being tired, heart palpitations, weakness, pale skin, brittle fingernails, shortness of breath and in my later years, my hair falling out! Yes, even my eyebrows falling out!
Low levels of Vitamin D can give you a host of symptoms like, bone pain and muscle weakness, increased risk of cardiovascular disease, asthma, cancer, and even play a part in such things as multiple sclerosis, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
Another common deficiency is:
Low levels of Vitamin B12 in the blood can give all kinds of symptoms such as rapid heartbeat, weakness and tiredness, light-headedness, pale skin, bleeding gums, weight loss, diarrhea or constipation and if not treated can get much more serious.
If it continues you will eventually damage nerve cells and then you will begin to see numb or tingling fingers and toes, mood changes and depression, memory loss, dementia and confusion and difficulty walking. I have had B12 deficiencies too, and started having nerve issues in my leg from not being able to get my levels up to normal. If you have chronic anemia or low iron issues, be sure to check your B12 since this is a big connection for unresolved anemia issues too.
Different organs need different nutrients to operate efficiently. But if you can’t absorb what your taking your not going to see an improvement in your levels either. This is where gut health comes in. We’ll talk about this more in my next article.
I should not leave this list without mentioning Magnesium.
Anyone suffering with anxiety and/or heart palpitations should really consider taking magnesium. It is hard to test for, but the list of symptoms of magnesium deficiencies include; anxiety, brittle nails, PMS, sensory issues, high blood pressure, sensitive to light, and more. Just taking my magnesium has relieved my own anxiety and sensitivity to light. It’s worth taking magnesium for stress and anxiety alone.
This is just a short list. You can really start to feel sick, weak and tired from nutritional deficiencies alone. They can also mask alot of other ailments, or often are treated as separate ailments, and this is the biggest danger. A body needs a certain “recipe” to be able to function and so looking at nutritional deficiencies should be the first step. Take a look at this list to see what benefits you can get from supplements: http://www.drmyhill.co.uk/wiki/Nutritional_Deficiency_-_clinical_features_of
Why testing is important:
Our boys and I have Vitamin D deficiencies, B12 and magnesium deficiencies just to name a few. Years of working with a really good doctor has helped us to weed our way through this difficult area. I highly suggest getting a good doctor to work with you on getting your levels of basic nutrients checked. This way you will know what your starting levels are and not just start taking alot of vitamins without knowing.
The key of being able to get yourself in good health naturally, is to do is smart. Just reading an article and then going out and start adding a bunch of pills to your morning breakfast is not going to pay you off with improved health.
Getting levels tested first, you have a baseline. Then as you take your vitamins and get retested you now can see if this is actually improving. You see just taking a vitamin doesn’t mean your levels will go up. What goes down doesn’t always get absorbed. By knowing what your levels are, and then seeing if they do improve with supplements you will get a better look at your overall health. If your levels are not going up with supplements, then you have to look a bit deeper. We’ll take a look at that in the next article.
I hope this will give you a start on searching for some answers for your own health. Visit the links to see more information about each deficiencies. Start doing some ‘smart research’ to learn more about what supplements you can take.
Join us next time when we look at our next topic, Why supplements Don’t always work – Part 4
Let me know if this helps you or not, comment below!
Here is my Iron Recipe that I used to make all the time to increase my iron levels.It really worked!
Rita’s Iron Infusion Recipe
Quart size Canning Jar
3/4 Yellow Dock Root
1/2 Dandellion Root
1 Tbsp Molasses
Put each of the dried herbs in the Canning Jar.
Put a full kettle on and boil until rolling.
Cover the herbs in the Canning Jar until it’s full.
Cap it lightly for 24hrs.
After 24 hours, pour into small saucepan and bring to a boil, immediately turn down to simmer. Add molasses. Simmer until down by half in content. Then stir and return to canning jar. Keep in fridge. Lasts about 10days to 3 weeks in the fridge. Drink a tablespoon per day.
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