Whole Body Nutrition Blog
Wellness Education, Tips and More!
What Does Medication Have to Do With Nutrition?
I get asked many times if I think people should stop their medications or not even go on them. I cannot tell you what to do in those cases, but what I can tell you is what types of nutrients your medications could possibly be depleting that are highly important for your overall well-being and ultimately achieving your rock star status.
I am super excited about today’s Blog Post! I love talking to people about their Nutrition Goals and how they may be able to achieve a better quality of life free of symptoms and in some cases, a life-long dependence on costly medications.
So, let’s jump right in, shall we?!
Since ALL medications come with some degree of a “Nutritional Hit.” Today, I thought I would share some of the more popular medications prescribed and a list of possible Nutrient Depletion’s so that you may be able to begin a supplement regimen to help replenish them. Taking the time to provide the proper nutrition for our bodies when under stress and while taking medications can greatly improve our symptoms and in some cases may even help reverse them.
Some clients also ask me if I get mad at them for taking a medication. I do appreciate them asking this but I do not get mad at people if they need medications. I do, however, feel that certain medications only band-aid the symptoms making them appear not to be there anymore. Sort of like when your check engine light comes on in your car and you stick a band-aid over it, it will disappear. Your engine is not magically repaired or rebuilt because you put the band-aid over the light! In fact, whatever is going on in that engine is only getting worse. Compare this with symptom-relieving medications – it does not mean the symptoms you are experiencing go away or reverse, it just means that you do not feel the symptoms anymore. Medications definitely have a time and place. But in my experience, most of the time, a symptom is a desperate cry for nutrients. Disease is the “Dis-ease” of our bodies telling us that we are missing something critical. Ideally, I would prefer to get more Nutrition into my clients before Medications are used but it doesn’t always work this way. I certainly do not get mad if you go the Medication route first. After all, you do know your body better than anyone.
It is important to remember our bodies are big bags of Biochemistry. Our bodies have to have certain Nutrients (vitamins and minerals) to help ensure that the biochemistry pathways run. Magnesium alone, as we know it, runs over 300 biochemical pathways and Zinc runs over 200!
Now I am not saying that you should go out and start taking lots of Magnesium and Zinc because now you feel you might be low in them. No, no, no. Too much of the wrong magnesium will cause Disaster Pants and too much Zinc will deplete your copper levels and give you the crazies.
I can’t stress this enough – this is why it is super important for you to work with a Nutritionist that has had thousands of classes on Vitamins, Minerals, Biology and… NUTRITION. Ok, maybe not thousands, but some days it sure felt like it!
Let’s look at one example of Biochemistry. We all know that our bodies need energy to function daily, right? So, how do we get energy? Our bodies make a molecule called Adenosine Triphosphate or ATP. This is a Nucleotide commonly known as “Molecular Currency”. This means that ATP can store and transfer chemical (biochemical) energy within our cells. The total ATP in a human at a given time is about 0.1 Mole because it cannot be stored. We need about 200-300 Moles of ATP daily. This requires Biochemistry and specific Nutrients to facilitate. Our bodies recycle Biochemical ingredients to continue to create and manufacture ATP. So, it does not only rely on you getting these Nutrients from your diet. The human body is very resourceful like that. There are many required nutrients to create ATP: Thiamine, Pantothenic Acid, B2, Nicotinamide, Biotin, Iron, B6, B12, Folate, Magnesium, Zinc, Chromium, Vitamin C, Calcium, Phosphorus, Copper, and Manganese that are known. If we do not get enough of each of these nutrients in our diets, then our energy production ultimately suffers.
Thus, high-quality Multivitamins can absolutely be helpful. I call it an Insurance Policy supplement. Multivitamins can help you to get higher amounts of these nutrients. But, I stress, high-quality. Quality absolutely matters when choosing to begin a supplementation and/or a vitamin regimen. I personally recommend and stock the Metagenics brand for my clients. Either way, it is fundamental that we assure we are getting the best quality. You can check out the Metagenics brand here: wholebodynutrition.metagenics.com. As a side note, I am not in any way affiliated with this brand and I get no compensation for you clicking on the link.
And, as promised, here is a list of Medication-Nutrient depletion’s for you to look over. Are you currently on any of these?
Acid Blockers-Prilosec, Nexium
All nutrients due to lowering of stomach acid and changes in pH balance.
B vitamins, Calcium, Magnesium, Iron, Gut Flora
B6, Iodine, CoQ10, Riboflavin
Anxiety meds-Xanax, Klonopin
Zinc, Magnesium, Potassium, Calcium, CoQ10, Melatonin, Vitamin D
Breathing med-Flonase, Flovent
Folate, most Minerals, Iodine
Cholesterol- Zetia, Statins
Most Minerals and B Vitamins, CoQ10, Vitamin D
CoQ10, B6, B12, Folate
Vitamin C, Folate, Iron
Gut Flora, Magnesium, Zinc, most Minerals, B Vitamins including Folate, Vitamin C, Selenium, Vitamin E
Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Folate, Protein, Pantothenic Acid
Thyroid- Levothyroxine, Synthroid
I know it sounds counter-productive (and it is) but if we are not aware of what is happening inside our bodies on a Biochemical level while taking Medications our bodies then deplete Nutrients further, and we experience more symptoms. As an example, people that have been prescribed Statins experience muscle cramps and people on Metformin experience GI issues. This is because of the Nutritional hit they cause.
Now, let’s take a deeper dive into Birth-control and Oral Contraception. It is wonderfully incredible that women now have the choice to use birth control so they can decide when the time is right for conception. But, let’s look at the list of Nutrient Depletion’s which Oral Contraception are responsible for. Folate – essential for the neurological development of babies. This is why women are advised to wait 3-6 months before trying to conceive. If you are on birth control, please take a Quality Multivitamin with Folate, not Folic Acid. Knowledge is power!
CoQ10 is also affected by many of the above medications, so what exactly is it? Coenzyme Q10 is a fat-soluble compound that acts as an antioxidant and aids in Mitochondrial function. High doses can even help with Mitochondrial disorders. The Mitochondria are where the powerhouse of the cell is. If you are low on energy, it could be due to low Mitochondrial function and low CoQ10. Luckily, our bodies can make it, and we can get it from eating foods like Beef, Chicken, Herring, Roasted Peanuts, Sesame Seeds, Roasted Pistachios, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Oranges, Strawberries, and Boiled Eggs. How many of those foods do you eat? CoQ10 can thin the blood, so be careful if you are taking blood thinners. If you think that you may need professional advice seeing a Nutritionalist can help you with this. However, I do not want to come across as stating that supplementation is the only way and is a one size fits all approach. Eating a whole foods diet is actually what I coach people to incorporate. However, supplementation does have its benefits.
Additionally, if you have noticed yourself having symptoms, but your blood work comes back normal I would recommend finding a Nutritional Coach that is trained in functional medicine to help you determine if your food choices and/or lifestyle could part of the reason for such symptoms.
As you may have read my story about changing the way I ate and how making better lifestyle choices helped me find my way back to health and vitality. Doctors are not trained to look at Nutritional Deficiencies as their initial go to when you come to them with health issues and symptoms. Let’s face it ladies, a lot of us go to the doctor complaining of being tired all the time and overweight. Doctors will usually run thyroid labs, and if they come back in a normal range, they offer you an Antidepressant. This has become the protocol of Big Pharma and the Insurance Companies ultimately decide what to use in determining the final treatment(s) that you get. Doctors are only doing what they have been told to do. In contrast, Functional Medicine says, “Let’s look for the root cause and change nutrition, lifestyle, and mindset first!”
If you do feel not like yourself or want to increase vitality, find a Functionally Trained Nutritionist like myself to help you navigate through the symptoms and help create the Rock Star that you know you are! I know firsthandedly the power of making Nutrition, Lifestyle, and Mindset changes can have and I see the transformations made every day in my practice. I do it every day with my clients, and I would love to show you how you can too!
The Whole Body Nutrition website offers health, wellness, fitness, and nutritional information and is provided for informational purposes only. The information found on this website is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not rely solely on this information as a substitute for, nor is this information presented as a replacement or substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always speak with your physician or other healthcare professional before taking any medication, nutritional herbal or homeopathic supplement, or using any treatment for a health problem. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your health care provider promptly. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking professional advice because of something you have read on this web site. The use of any information provided on this web site is solely at your own risk. Nothing stated or posted on this web site or made available through any services offered by Karey Spear and Whole Body Nutrition, are intended to be, and must not be taken to be, the practice of medicine. Information provided on this web site DOES NOT create a doctor-patient relationship between you and any doctor affiliated with our web site. Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.