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multivitamin intolerance?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Since switching to vegan (from meat and dairy minimalist) I've found my energy levels have plummeted.  I've never really taken a multvitamin regularly because they always seem to make me queazy, but I decided to give it a try for the extra B12.  I ordered a new multivitamin (Isogenix brand), and after taking my morning dose (2 tablets) I got sick to my stomach.  I wanted to throw up, but I sat back and tried to relax and "hold it in.." lol

 

Anyway, what resulted was not funny.  I thought I was going to have to go to the ER.  I ended up puking over and over again for the entire day.  I felt semi-normal the next day, but really shaky.

 

So I did a little research and decided I would start with a small amount of the vitamin and try to build my tolerance to it.  I broke one of the tablets in half and tried that instead of taking the 2 pill dose.  I ended up being sick again...just not as bad. 

 

I remember having a similar episode from zinc, and this multi has 50% of the recommended zinc.  Could that be my problem?

 

I feel like it poisons me!

 

What's up?

post #2 of 10
You had reactions that support the idea that you cannot tolerate the multivitamin. Have more confidence in being able to recognize cause and effect, and throw out that vitamin!

If you feel you need more B-12, look for a B-12 only supplement. Or try a children's vitamin. Look into the source of each vitamin. It's a lot of work, but worth it!

Try going to a natural food store that sells vitamins and talk to someone there about your symptoms, your diet and your zinc allergy. I hope you find something that works for you!
post #3 of 10
Some vegans need to supplement b-12. It is hard to get this vitamin even in a healthy diet if you are plant based. The multi vitamin might not be necessary though if you eat healthy. I second the recommendation to ditch that multivitamin. A sublingual b-12 supplement might be all you need if you eat healthy. B-12 is also already in a lot of food like soy milks, breads, cereals etc. so some people feel they get all they need from these and other plant-based sources. I do use a b-12 supplement 2 x per week. I know my diet is way better in terms of vitamins and minerals then the average person since I eat so much fresh fruits and vegetables and don't feel I need a multi-vitamin. However I don't eat a lot of the kind of stuff that is fortified with extra b-12 so I add a little of that.

The interesting thing that made me think when you mentioned the zinc was a number of years ago when the main stream media began reporting that sucking on zinc lozenges would shorten the duration of a cold. I tried this and had a pretty strong vomiting reaction to it. So I can certainly see the zinc being a factor.
post #4 of 10
After I sent this I realized that you took the multivitamin because of fatigue. One thing that happened to me when I became plant based was that I didn't realize how much more food I had to eat. Fruits and vegetables are often less calorie dense than the food we ate as regular vegetarians or omnivores. My daughter noticed one day that a whole pound of tofu that I would use in a meal for my family of 6 had 350 calories. Broccoli and carrots are likewise not too high in calories even if you eat a lot of it. So I became totally plant based and was limiting my use of oil for health reasons and was really low on energy and started to lose a ton of weight and I was not heavy to begin with. Once I started to eat more I got my energy back and my weight loss stablized. I really eat a lot though. And I have to eat every couple of hours. I've gotten used to it and have had to do a lot of research on nutrition and experimenting with different foods and amounts of food.

Anyway. I thought I would throw that out there. I don't know if it applies for you but it was my experience. Hope you feel better both from the zinc reaction and from the fatigue.
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the replies...I'm so overwhelmed about nutrition right now.  I've been battling depression and I'm on the upswing of it right now...trying to stay positive, eat well, and take the bare essentuals as far as supplements go.

 

I checked my st. john's wort "positive mood" formulation that I've been taking, and it actually has 40% of the RDA for B12.  Not sure if it's a good absorbable form of B12 though.

 

I'm thinking I just need to add a B12, like suggested in your replies.

 

Thanks again!

post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pek64 View Post

You had reactions that support the idea that you cannot tolerate the multivitamin. Have more confidence in being able to recognize cause and effect, and throw out that vitamin!

If you feel you need more B-12, look for a B-12 only supplement. Or try a children's vitamin. Look into the source of each vitamin. It's a lot of work, but worth it!

Try going to a natural food store that sells vitamins and talk to someone there about your symptoms, your diet and your zinc allergy. I hope you find something that works for you!

 

So you think I could have a zinc allergy?

 

Would that mean that I could also be zinc deficient? I'll try to talk to my midwife about it soon...I just wanted to hear your thoughts.

Thanks

post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by emma1325 View Post

So you think I could have a zinc allergy?

Would that mean that I could also be zinc deficient? I'll try to talk to my midwife about it soon...I just wanted to hear your thoughts.
Thanks

You had a similar reaction from zinc earlier, according to your first post. If you feel like trying another form of zinc to confirm, but this would be enough for me to avoid zinc in the form found in that supplement.

Do you have any skin reactions to metals or jewelry? Metal allergies are often zinc allergies.

Are you zinc deficient? I worry about that with my son, who does have a zinc allergy. So far, he's had no sign of deficiency. Ironically, both he and my mother (also zinc allergic) were exposed to chicken pox without having any pox. Go figure.
post #8 of 10
A quick google search showed a couple sites with info on zinc deficiency. Here's one --

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=2&ved=0CDYQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.newsmax.com%2FFastFeatures%2Fsigns-of-zinc-deficiency%2F2011%2F02%2F10%2Fid%2F385656&ei=c6YBUaTsBseT2QWBo4Bo&usg=AFQjCNE1rfr1Neku6w8A1QGzCWhSjhxnZA

Another site listed diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and diarrhea as signs of zinc deficiency, among others. Also, sleep problems.


Food sources of zinc are : grass fed beef, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, and oats. My son does best with a bread that has oats in it. He also enjoys oatmeal. He doesn't care for sesame seeds or pumpkin seeds. I'm not sure if it's because they have more zinc and are irritating to his system, or he just is not much of a seed person.
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the info!
post #10 of 10

If you use an ND they can test you for approprite supplements that work specifically for you.  My daughter needs probiotics for a dairy intolerance and out of 10 different formulations, she only tested ok for one so that's the one she takes.  Same with a few other supplements to heal her gut, some are ok, some not, but rather than me trying them on her and attempting to look for reactions it was much easier to let the ND test her. 

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