ARE YOUR SUPPLEMENTS WORKING?
It is so hard to understand all of the interactions our food, supplements and medications have with our body and with each other. Most people know that prescribed medication dosages should not be adjusted without medical doctor oversight of the process. Supplements, however, may be a different story. People frequently change dosages on their own and go on and off of their supplements for various reasons. In a perfect world patients would only make modifications to their supplement routine with professional oversight of someone truly knowledgeable on the topic, but hey, this isn't a perfect world.
I do urge people to have a chiropractor or someone versed in supplements start you off when adding supplements to your routine. Sure a basic multivitamin or mineral supplement will probably not have a negative impact, but it seems like there have been more and more sketchy “health products” out there killing people these days. Caution is still important.
For the case of practicality, I like to give people a couple guidelines for knowing if a supplement is right for them once they have started taking it. One argument that people have against supplements is that any benefit that one might experience is simply a placebo affect. This is when the body is tricked into feeling that there is a benefit from treatment, when there really isn't.
Eating a salad or taking a multivitamin tends to make people feel an instant sense of well-being. Its a psychological thing. The reality is that most diet changes and supplements will require persistence for up to four weeks before they become effective.
Start with making a goal. Even a goal that is not easily quantifiable is worth tracking. Maybe you want to have more energy, but don't know what unit to use or how to measure energy. Its okay, track it the best you can. Compare whatever data you collect from the beginning to 4 weeks later in a journal or even in your memory bank. I can't stress this three to four week mark enough and it is the timeline that I personally use before I determine if the supplement is effective for me. If at this point there seems to still be a benefit, I have more confidence in claiming that I got better from the treatment it provided.
Everyone is going to respond differently to various supplements, so it is important that you have a little body awareness. And don't forget that it is always wise to seek out professional advice before starting supplements in the first place.