I have a hatred of few things in life. Flintstones, Tums, and Optisource are among them.
When I first had surgery, we were started on Optisource vitamins. 4x a day, that’s it. Sounds fine, right? It’s great — until you realize they have the wrong type of calcium in them. They use calcium carbonate and not citrate — which is what someone who has a limited acid quotient has needs.
So then we switched. I’m not really sure why, but we did.
To Flintstones and Tums. Which is still the wrong type of calcium.
And then. Then I had kids. And it all goes downhill from there. (doesn’t it always?)
Two years post-op, my iron was crap. Three years, my b-12 was in the toilet. At year 4, I had rickets.
I’ll let you ponder that one for just a second. Rickets. While taking the vitamins I was told to take.
So for 2 years, I sat with a ferritin in the single digits, taking 600mg of elemental iron a day and it wasn’t moving. Finally, finally, I found Proferrin and got some movement. It’s expensive, but it works. Finally.
If only I had been on decent vitamins, have been up on watching my labs and trends, if I had known about citrate and D and such, MAYBE my life wouldn’t suck quite so much right now in terms of deficiencies.
But hey, a little anecdotal evidence here.
How about some science –
- B-12 can stay in your system for up to 5 years before it tanks.
- Vitamin D can take up to 3 years to tank, although many pre-ops are popping deficient.
- B-1 will deplete faster if you puke alot.
- Iron can take several years to tank as the body will supply hct and hgb from the ferritin storage.
- Blood serum calcium (the “standard” test) will always pop normal while you have bones and is not a true test of your calcium state. It will be a touch high if your PTH is high as your body is leeching calcium from your bones.. but if you aren’t looking for it, you will miss it.
So yeah — people 2 years out or less — when you say your labs are perfect — I don’t doubt you. Come see me at year 3. Bring your 3 years of labs and let’s look at trends while on those Flintstones and Tums. Cause I’ve been there and I know where you’re going.