Make Sure Your Doctor Knows What You’re Taking
More and more people use supplements as part of their daily nutrition or dietary regimen. It’s estimated that more than 50% of adults use supplements. As supplement usage continues to grow, you may not understand or consider the potential side effects supplements can have on medications and prescriptions. Supplements can be powerful chemicals that affect your health, could react with prescribed medications, and increase surgical risks. Tell your doctor what you’re taking, including any supplements or vitamins, so that they protect you and your health.
Supplements and Vitamins are Classified as Foods, Not Drugs
Supplements and vitamins are classified as foods, not drugs, by the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994. This is a very important distinction. Because they’re classified as foods, the FDA provides nonbinding guidance on supplements and reporting any adverse events when using supplements is not mandatory. In addition, the manufacturing processes are not regulated and there are no guarantees about the concentrations of the individual components in the supplements you’re taking.
“Unfortunately, just like with prescription medications, the wrong combinations of vitamins can mean more harm than help: Some pre-existing health conditions don’t mix well with certain supplements, and some vitamins can counteract or react with prescription medications such as birth control, blood thinners, heart medication and even antibiotics,” said Kali Hollingsworth, DO, a family and sports medicine physician with Kettering Physician Network’s Primary Care — Greystone in Sugarcreek Twp to the Dayton Daily News. “Taking the wrong doses of vitamins, combining vitamins, or mixing supplements and alcohol could have negative effects on your health.”
If you’re thinking about taking supplements or alternative medicine therapies, talk to your doctor before making any decisions about treatment or care.
Dr. Sonja Stilp can assist with any questions or concerns you have about supplements or your diet. Schedule an appointment to talk with her.