Saturday, August 16, 2008


Somehow, I've become my parents. Like them, I now take enough nutrient supplements to officially choke a Sasquatch.

I started off small. Just a couple of Men's Vitamins. And a few extras that I had read about over the years.

But recently, I've been having increased and prolonged bouts of lethargy. I honestly thought I'd been suffering from exhaustion. (Given my usual schedule of work + gym + kids + house + writing, that isn't impossible.) And my ear (Meniere's) has been increasingly growing worse by the day. To the point where I went home early 3 out of 5 days one week, fearing impending vertigo attacks.So I consulted a nutritionist and took a couple of tests to plumb the depths of my personal biology, especially my enzyme production and mineral levels.

The results came back this week. And while they weren't dire, they didn't do anything to make me feel better. It appears that I'm incredibly deficient in copper (to a degree my doctor had never seen in any of his patients before,) as well as mildly short on a few other items, and my body is not properly absorbing taurine. Taken as a whole, the lab which processed the samples said my symptoms could include: diminished energy levels (e.g. my lethargy!) moodiness (e.g. my recent gloominess and non-interest in writing) and inner ear issues (e.g. my inner ear issues!)

So to balance out everything, I'm on some additional supplements. The total daily pill count went from 6 to 20. Here's a run down of my daily dosage (click the picture, going from left to right:)
  • Fish oil: 2 pills. I've been taking these for a while, because I need the oils to compensate for the fact that I don't eat any (ANY!) seafood. If I run out and don't take any for a while, I notice my knees act up. So (at least in my theory) the fish oil is helping lubricate my old joints.
  • Flaxseed oil: 2 pills. I've been taking these for a while, too. In my experience they help with digestion and the ligans flaxseed contains have strong anti-viral, anti-cancer, and anti-bacterial benefits.
  • GNC Men's Vitamins: 2 pills. My original supplement. If I don't have these for while, my lethargy reaches very noticeable levels.
  • Mg Plus: 4 pills. Supposed to compensate for diminished levels of magnesium.
  • Basic B Complex: 4 pills. Supposed to compensate for diminished levels of B2 - B6.
  • Molybdenum: 2 pills. Yet another shortage inside this engine of mine.
  • Copper: 1 pill. Pretty high dose, though. See above. Shortage here.
  • Zinc: 1 pill. More short comings. Taken at an opposite time of day from the copper.
  • Florastor: 2 pills. This is a "probiotic" supplement that contains beneficial bacteria and yeast. Taking it to compensate (see a theme?) for some readings of bad bacteria in my digestive tract.
Somewhere in this complex machine of mine, something is off kilter. And it is throwing everything out of whack. I still have a couple of additional tests to take. Hormone levels. Glucose levels. We're able to see all the symptoms, but still aren't sure of what is causing the problem. Hopefully, we'll be able to isolate the problem, take corrective actions, and restore a balance to the rest of me.

On a positive note, I've been taking the supplements for 4 or 5 days. I feel muuuuuuuch better. Very active and clear headed. The ringing in my right ear is almost entirely gone. My mood has taken a turn for the better. And I'm much more productive. That's a good sign, to me.

Now I just have to get used to digesting a pharmacopoeia each day in order to feel this way.
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