Vitamins and supplements making you sick?

AndieM.Ed., RD, LDN, CLC, RYT-200

The most common prenatal vitamin gripes include:

  • Nausea – dietary supplements sometimes bring on nausea. Taking your vitamin with food or right before bed can help.
  • Difficulty swallowing – prenatals can be on the larger size. Certain brands split the dose over 2 smaller pills to combat this problem. Other options include pills with a slicker coating or even liquid, powder or chewable versions.
  • Constipation – the iron found in most prenatal vitamins is often the culprit for constipation.

Sharing any discomforts you may be experiencing with your health care provider will help you consider and weigh your options.

What to Do

Alert your healthcare provider about any discomforts you are experiencing with your dietary supplement

Keep your healthcare provider apprised of any experimenting you’re doing with prenatal vitamins to ensure you’re receiving the proper dosage of important nutrients.

Take your vitamin with food

Taking your prenatal vitamin on an empty stomach may contribute to your discomforts. Making sure you eat something before taking it can help ward off any unwelcomed nausea or stomach upset.

Combat constipation

If you are experiencing constipation make sure to drink plenty of fluids and eat fiber-rich foods like dried prunes, prune juice or other fruits you like. Physical activity can also help you stay regular. If you still cannot relieve your stomach discomfort, consider talking to your doctor about alternative supplements like a pill without iron, or a separate iron preparation that dissolves in the intestines rather than in the more sensitive stomach, or one that is slow-release.

Follow the instructions and dosage recommendations

More isn’t better when it comes to vitamins. Take the recommended dose and talk to your doctor about other supplements you are taking or planning to take, like herbal supplements or naturopathic medicine.

Try to take your vitamin at the same time every day, to help your body adjust to it