Did you know that many common medications can deplete your body of micronutrients? Genetically, people metabolize micronutrients differently, often requiring additional vitamin and mineral supplementation. Some medical and psychiatric illnesses can be caused or worsened by a lack of micronutrients.
Similarly, low micronutrient levels make it less likely that people will respond to certain medications such as anti-depressants, ADHD medications, and anti-seizure medications that promote a healthy mood. Several chronic health conditions can be directly or indirectly affected by micronutrient deficiencies. Absorption difficulties quite commonly occur as we age, making it important to test as we get older.
Currently, the FDA does not regulate or assess vitamins to see if what is stated on the bottle is actually in the pill. Many people spend hundreds of dollars per year on over the counter vitamins that may contain less than 1% of the supplement that they say they are marketing. These pills are not only ineffective, but may contain potentially harmful additives. Most people taking over the counter multivitamins are still nutritionally deficient. That is why it’s important to always use pharmaceutical grade vitamins, minerals and supplements to ensure that you are receiving the correct dosage.
If your doctor prescribes a medication, in order for the medication to be fully effective, it’s imperative to make sure that your body has the necessary amount of micronutrients to digest and absorb the medications. Micronutrient testing may be ordered before the medication is prescribed, or once a patient is already taking a medication to check for any deficiencies that may be occurring. It’s important to monitor micronutrient levels every 3-6 months while taking any psychoactive medication. Some medications have been found to deplete the body of micronutrients, thus supplementation must be used to help the medications work effectively.
Caitlin Bailey, LPC