Supplements: Tips for Taking Them Responsibly and CarefullyMay 6, 2023
The majority of Americans take supplements of some kind or other. Supplements like vitamins, herbs, essential oils, and minerals are big business in the United States, and for good reason. Many of these supplements have been shown to have good therapeutic results or help people maintain a healthy lifestyle, especially for people who cannot get all the vitamins and minerals that they need from their diet. In fact, as our soil is depleted and our plants are bred and hybridized, it has become harder to get enough minerals and vitamins through food alone.
Although adding supplements to your diet can be a good choice, medical professionals warn against using them indiscriminately. Natural supplements and treatments can be a great way to support your health and well-being, but it’s important to use them safely. Some supplements can be harmful in large amounts or if the directions aren’t followed. Some are contraindicated in certain people or situations, such as people with certain diseases, those who are pregnant, or vulnerable populations like young children. And finally, some supplements can counteract or inhibit medications and treatments you are already taking. Here are some tips to help you safely use natural supplements and treatments:
Research the Product
Do your research and make sure the supplement or treatment you are considering is safe and effective. Look for scientific studies, reviews, and recommendations from reputable sources. Not only are some products not effective, some can even be harmful or shouldn’t be used in certain circumstances, such as pregnancy or in conjunction with some drugs and medical treatments. Some treatments that have been proven to be effective, such as Delta 8 and other cannabis products are still being criminalized in some states and localities. Research is essential before using any supplementary product.
Consult With a Healthcare Professional
Because supplements and medications can have different results and effects, most people should not jump into supplementing without getting advice. Talk to your healthcare provider before starting any new supplements or treatments, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or are taking any medications. While some supplements are basically inert and have no common side effects or contraindications, others can be dangerous for some people.
Follow the Recommended Dosage
Make sure to follow the recommended dosage on the supplement or treatment label. Taking too much of many supplements, especially vitamins, can cause harmful side effects. Some vitamins and other supplements can build up in the system, such as those which are stored in the fat, and over time these can lead to side effects and other problems that aren’t usually encountered when getting vitamins from food sources. If you aren’t sure you can tolerate the recommended dosage, it’s okay to use less and work your way up to an amount that seems good, as long as you aren’t getting too much.
Buy From Reputable Sources
Many people are unaware that supplements aren’t tested by the FDA in the same way that drugs are. This can lead to problems such as unregulated concentrations and dosages, filler products, and allergenic ingredients. Some supplements don’t contain the amount or quality of ingredients that they claim. For these reasons, you should only purchase natural supplements and treatments from reputable sources, such as health food stores or reputable online retailers. Avoid buying from unknown or unverified sources. You should also stick to verified, trusted brands that use independent testing on their products.
Be Aware of Interactions
You should not take medications without researching and talking to your physician, because some natural supplements and treatments can interact with medications or other supplements. As well as checking with your healthcare provider, you can also talk to a pharmacist to make sure there are no potential interactions.
Stop Use if You Experience Eide Effects
Some supplements contain potent ingredients that can cause side effects. In some cases, people have experienced severe side effects. If you experience any problems, stop using the supplement or treatment immediately. If the problems go away, you can conclude that the supplement might be to blame and you should not take the product again until you talk to your healthcare provider.
Don’t Rely Solely on Natural Treatments
You shouldn’t rely on only natural treatments for all conditions. Natural supplements and treatments can be a great addition to a healthy lifestyle, but they should not be relied upon as the sole treatment for any serious health condition. Diseases such as diabetes, depression, anxiety, heart disease, and cancer may respond positively to natural treatments, but without being under the care of a medical provider serious or fatal consequences could result.
Even for less severe diseases and illnesses natural remedies should be used with caution and alongside the advice and traditional medical treatment of your healthcare provider. In addition to adding supplements to your diet, you should also make sure to practice good nutrition, exercise, and stress management.
By following these tips, you can safely use natural supplements and treatments to support your health and well-being. No natural treatment or supplement is risk-free, so it is important to use these treatments wisely. Not only that, but many supplements show no benefit when used in trials and studies, and many medical professionals worry that people are wasting money on supplements that are ineffective. Remember to always prioritize your health and consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplements or treatments, and do your research thoroughly.