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Managing Your Health Supplements

Posted Oct 23 2008 10:03pm
We have talked about sorting your supplements and prescriptions into groups with and without food, once a day and multiple times a day. You now have all those bottles sitting in their own little box marked with or without food. Or maybe you have several boxes - with or without food, morning or multiple times a day.

May I suggest a simple system to easily identify what is which. It is a color system. You can buy the colored dots - often used in yard sales or fingernail polish or even paint. I personally like the colored dots. You can easily stick a dot on the lid or label of the bottle.

This is an especially effective method for older people who have memory lapses or are just too busy to keep track of what and when. A piece of paper with the colored dots and the description of each color can be posted on the inside of a cupboard door or a medicine cabinet door in the bathroom. The time to take the pill can also be added to the description.

It is a good idea to set a specific time to take your pills. In a busy constantly interrupted life it is easy to question if you took your pill or not. This is especially deadly with prescriptions. Something as simple as blood pressure pills can produce very bad results if not taken properly. Skipping days or worst taking more than desired can place great hardship on your body.

Other than with or without food, most supplements can be taken anytime of the day. The exception of course would be anything that increases energy -- you would not want to take this at night before bed.

Most people take a handful of pills with breakfast. If your stomach rebels at the thought of breakfast or swallowing anything but coffee before 10 am, then adjust your supplements accordingly.

Just a side note here. Breakfast is truly the most important meal of the day. Breakfast does not have to be a cereal and milk. The incredible egg is a great choice. Studies show that protein in the morning increases weight loss when you are trying to slim down.

Oh yes, I did say something about traveling with multiple supplements. Simple, and a system some use everyday even at home. Sit down one evening or morning and sort all the pills into little zip lock snack bags. Make a morning and afternoon bag, food and no food - that is 4 bags a day unless you just have one pill that must be taken without food. Since most supplements are taken with food, most of you will only need 2 bags a day. You can store all your small bags in one large bag that takes up little room in a suitcase or cupboard.

You can toss that one bottle of without food pills in the larger bag. Again you can use the colored dots to identify the morning bag from the afternoon bag.

For my mother, we made up the bags twice a month and stored them in a shoe box. We included her prescriptions that were once or twice a day. Her morning bag had a pink dot and the afternoon had a blue dot. The time to take it was written on the dot. The dots were also numbered 1-15. I had her save all the bags and we reused them. That appealed to her frugal side and kept her in touch with the date. Once we went to this system there were no more problems with her taking her prescriptions too often. If you have a care giver coming in once or twice a week, this system can be helpful to them as well.

With more and more older people living alone, this method can be a life saver. Living alone can be very lonely and the desire for conversation can be an incentive to sit twice a month and make up the bags.

You can also buy plastic boxes with little divided sections. The lids of each section are numbered. I have seen them large enough to hold a weeks worth of prescriptions. However, they are not usually large enough to hold the capsules of herbal supplements as well.

At the end of the day,whatever method you use, as long as it works for you it is a good method.

Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.
Lance Armstrong
Cancer Survivor and Athlete

until next time - smile

Labels: supplements

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