Don’t Hate On the Vitamins. They Love You. (Even if they do make your pee stink)

by Carilyn on December 10, 2013


I know what you’re thinking: Thank God someone finally figured out a way to make vitamins look and taste like Cake Balls!

Uh, no.

I just felt like any discussion about vitamins should be preceded by a nice serving of dessert. You’re welcome.

I get a lot of questions about vitamins, most of which I ignore because I’m not a doctor (even if I act like one around my family. True story: I surgered [that’s an actual medical term, look it up. Okay, it’s not! Sheesh! Y’all are so persnickety!] my brother-in-law’s finger at my kitchen table. He lived.)

Anywho, as I was saying before my ADD interrupted, I get a lot of questions about vitamins. To be honest, I really never paid TOO much attention to them until recently. I knew the basics through my overzealous love affair with Google, but didn’t really feel the need to apply this information to myself.

Then, last spring before Worlds, I went through a full physical at UCLA. Everything came out jiggy except…I had several “deficiencies’. Now, as much as I kid about how much crap I eat, I promise that I follow a pretty healthy diet. Yes, I love me some cake, but I treat it the way it’s supposed to be treated: like a Rock Star – you enjoy a glimpse of it occasionally, but you don’t let it take up residence on your couch or you will never get rid of it. Both my doctor and I were a little perplexed, especially about the Vitamin D deficiency since I showed up in her office looking like I worked in a tanning salon – clearly I did not spend all my time indoors cleaning or playing video games.

Long story short, after a lot of research, I found out that the PPI (proton pump inhibitor – Prilosec) I had been on for 17 years causes vitamin deficiencies (among other things). Say what?! Every doctor I had been to FOREVER told me to stay on the stupid things (even after multiple endoscopies had come back clear). Whatever.

Well, because I’m a pretend doctor, I took myself off the Prilosec, started taking some vitamins, and just to be safe, made myself another appointment with my real doctor for several months later to do more bloodwork. Voila! Within 6 months, all my blood levels were normal. Woo hoo!

And for good measure, I continue to take these vitamins on a regular basis. According to the real doc, these won’t hurt me, and I will have everything re-tested again in the spring.

Vitamin D: I was most surprised to be deficient in this because I live in Southern California and Texas, run and swim outside for hours a day, and drink a TON of milk (which is fortified with Vitamin D). I think this being low is what raised the red flag for my doc.

Magnesium: For the first time ever, I had started cramping in races a couple of years ago. I chalked it up to dehydration, lack of electrolytes, etc. But then I started getting really bad hamstring cramps at night. Hmmm…soemthing just wasn’t right, Mr. Pibb.

Vitamin B (6, Folic Acid, 12): Let me just say, you need the B Vitamins. They do lots of important stuff, too much to get into here, so Google them. Now.

PS: I take these in the sublingual form because they are supposedly absorbed better.

Multi-Vitamin: What the heck.

Glucosamine/Chondroitin: I’ve been taking this for many years. Every time I stop taking it, I can feel a difference in my knees – they get creaky.

In general, I am feeling significantly better (don’t know if it’s the placebo effect, or not), I’ve lost a bit of weight (unintentionally, but I’ll do the Happy Dance just the same), and my running seems to be less labored (again, could be the placebo effect, but I don’t care. Placebo schamebo, as long as I feel better running, it’s groovy).

Anyway, the moral of this story is: Get your blood levels checked, even if you are “healthy” and follow a nutritious diet. You never know. Oh, and eat more cake.



Do you take vitamins? Do you notice a difference?

Happy Running!





SteveQ December 10, 2013 at 9:13 am

I was put on megadose vitamin D because of a deficiency – and my lifelong depression cleared! Because we sweat out some magnesium, I thought it’d be a good idea to put some back in, but magnesium’s a laxative and 12 hours of diarrhea at FANS ended that idea!
SteveQ recently posted…Where the Rant WentMy Profile

Carilyn December 10, 2013 at 9:18 am

Yep, Steve, gotta be careful with that magnesium 🙂 I had the same problem, so I dialed it back a bit and now seem to be okay.

Pam December 10, 2013 at 10:39 am

As an actual doctor (well, if you consider a pathologist a real doctor; my family certainly doesn’t), I can tell you that the appropriate term is “surgerized.” 🙂
Pam recently posted…More F’s at Autumn LeavesMy Profile

Carilyn December 10, 2013 at 10:54 am

Good to know, Pam! And I quote your opinions (like your great post on Paleo/carbs) all the time, so MY family knows you’re a real doctor 🙂

Char December 10, 2013 at 1:58 pm

I was on a whole heap of vitamins and supplements for a while when I wasn’t well but I’ve cut that right back now I’m feeling better. I’m down to magnesium, vitamin c and zinc. I started the magnesium because of cramping issues after my long runs last year. The vitamin c and zinc are to help with immunity and they must be working because I can’t remember getting a cold last year.

Please don’t tell me that vitamin c and zinc cause memory loss.
Char recently posted…Congratulations And Pass Me the Tissues.My Profile

Kim December 10, 2013 at 2:01 pm

I don’t take vitamins mostly because I’m the laziest person ever!!!
Do you take over the counter Glucosamine/Chondroitin or prescription? I’ve been thinking about trying that because I’m getting old(er)!!!
Kim recently posted…Let’s Hope that Tuesday Is Better than Monday!!!My Profile

Marcia December 10, 2013 at 8:24 pm

You know I am a vitamin D groupie. Due to thyroid shizz I don’t absorb it like I should and I definitely feel it now in these dark months. I’m pumping 10k mgs daily and getting a lift finally. Mmmmm cake balls. I just bade oreo balls and buckeyes.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: