Different packets of pills

Why supplements aren’t working for you

Ideally, we would be getting all the nutrients we need from the foods we eat, but sometimes that’s just not possible or we need an extra boost to help us deal with a flare up of symptoms and that’s where supplements can be a really useful addition to managing symptoms.

Supplements can be really useful when you are:

  • going through an acute flare up of a condition like endometriosis, experiencing extreme fatigue or perimenopausal symptoms.
  • low in nutrients, for example a blood test has shown you are low in iron or vitamin D.
  • unable to make many diet changes, for example you are in too much pain, too tired or have too many other things going on to be able to make much change to your diet.

Sometimes people tell me they have tried supplements, but they haven’t worked for them. Obviously, supplements may not always be enough to help deal with symptoms, but these are some of the common reasons I see why supplements may not be working for you.

  1. Supplements have not been tailored to you as an individual – supplements work best when they have been selected to address the key symptoms you are experiencing and the nutrient gaps in your current diet. This means they need to be tailored to your individual needs. Sometimes we hear recommendations in magazines or from friends or family about supplements they have found helpful, but even if you have the same conditions as you, it doesn’t mean that it will be the right supplement for you. A nutritional therapist can help you find the right combination of supplements for you.

  2. The dose is not right for you – there is often a therapeutic dose for particular vitamins or minerals that research has been shown to be effective for particular symptoms such as migraines. If you are not taking the right dose, then you may not get the benefits. This can be an issue with some multi-vitamins that have low doses of the nutrients you need, or cheaper supplements found in supermarkets.  

  3. You haven’t got the right combination of nutrients – often you need a mix of different nutrients to come at a condition from a number of different approaches, and this can get the best results. Just taking one supplement may not be enough or address all your symptoms. A nutritional therapist can help you find the right combination of nutrients for you.

  4. Supplements have not been taken for long enough – some nutrients need to build up in the body before they start to have an effect – particularly if your levels of that nutrient have got low. Therefore, you need to consistently take the supplement every day to get results. I also recommend taking it for three months before you decide whether it is working for you.

  5. There is something in the supplement that you are reacting to – it’s a good idea to check the ingredients list on the supplement bottle to see what else is in there and if it contains anything you are intolerant to. For example, some supplements contain dairy, gluten or soy – which some people react to.

  6. You are not absorbing the supplement – if you experience gut issues, then it may be that you are not absorbing the supplement well to get the benefit from the nutrients. Sometimes taking a different, more absorbable form of the supplement can help.

If you are feeling like your current supplement regime is not working for you, or you’re thinking of trying supplements but don’t know where to start, then the one off Health MOT appointment could be for you. We assess your health concerns and symptoms, review current supplements if you are taking them, check for any interactions between your supplements and any medications you take and then I can give you some supplement recommendations that are tailored to you.

Do book in for a free hormone health review if you think a supplement review could be useful and want to find out more.

Content Disclaimer

The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this blog  are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this blog. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this blog. Emma Belton Nutrition disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this blog.

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