So That’s Why You Feel Sick After Taking Vitamins
Senior Wellness & Travel Editor, HuffPost
A daily multivitamin or supplement may give your well-being an extra boost, but if youve ever swallowed one and felt sick right after, you know its hardly a pleasant experience. It can even make you want to ditch the regimen altogether.
Taking certain types of vitamins may cause a range of gastrointestinal issues, according to Dr. David Poppers, a gastroenterologist at New York Universitys Langone Medical Center. It isnt unheard-of to experience abdominal pain or discomfort, queasiness or diarrhea.
There are a number of factors that could contribute to these stomach issues when it comes to your vitamins or supplements. Below are a few reasons they may be making you feel ill:
General Warnings For Supplements
Vitamin and mineral supplements can affect people differently. Each person taking the same supplement may experience different side effects or none at all. As a general caution, health sites including Drugs.com report that all multivitamins could cause side effects, including upset stomach and headache. However, these effects are not considered serious unless they’re accompanied by hives, difficulty in breathing or swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat. These symptoms likely indicate an allergic reaction and require immediate medical attention.
A Magnesium Deficiency Can Contribute To Headaches
Magnesium helps the body regulate nerve and muscle function, maintain blood sugar levels, and regulate blood pressure. Dr. Sara Crystal, MD, Neurologist and Headache Specialist, andCove medical advisor, told INSIDER there is good evidence that magnesium deficiency can contribute to migraines. That’s why she said many people find magnesium supplements helpful in treating these symptoms.
Since magnesium is considered a natural “relaxer” of the muscle and nervous system, Morrison said it’s not surprising that a lack of this mineral causes muscle tension, cramps, insomnia and widespread pain, including headaches. Good food sources include legumes, nuts, seeds, green leafy vegetables, fortified foods like breakfast cereal, milk, and yogurt.
Also Check: How Much Vitamin C Should You Take A Day
Previous Research Disputes Vitamin Ties
Most importantly, we need to remember that this is not the first time researchers have looked at vitamin levels as a possible cause or contributor to migraines. Theres been enough research done on vitamin D for people to conclude that there is no link between the nutrient and migraines. There is little support for other nutrients cited in this stud, as well.
Overall, this leads us to conclude that vitamin deficiency cant be a major contributor to migraines for many people.
Can Too Much Vitamin D3 Trigger Migraines
6 months ago, my oncologist told me to take 5000u of Vit. D3 daily because my Zometa infusion was depleting my D. I’ve noticed that since then, the frequency of my full-blown migraines has increased. I have not changed any other meds with the exception of adding Mobic a few weeks ago. I was having the frequent migraines before that though. Any thoughts?
Hi KathyWhat a good question. The only place I could find much factual evidence was Web MD and it says that too much vitamin D can cause headaches which was a surprise to me. The only other semi reliable info was that Vitamin D can cause headaches if your magnesium levels are low.Something for both of us to find out as I have been having headaches since starting large doses of Calcium and D3 for bones.Take care
Lady,Thank you for taking the time to look for info on this. My eyes are crossing with the H.A. so will have to re-read the posts after my meds kick in. I plan to contact my oncologist Tuesday to ask if a decrease is in order. I was taking Calcium daily as well, but stopped that a couple of months ago. I’ll let you know what my doc says. Perhaps you are having the same problem as I.Your pain in the — head friend!Kathy
Thanks Lisa for your support and well wishes. You’re a sweetie pie! I’ll PQ you after the cranial jack hammers stop! hehe Loves and hugs,
You May Like: How Much Sun Exposure For Vitamin D
Why We Get Migraines
Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, who specializes in treating patients with chronic pain and chronic fatigue, says he started learning about alternative therapies after contracting Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and fibromyalgia as a medical student and learned, the hard way, that there were no effective medical treatments that truly helped these conditions. As for migraines, Teitelbaum says the American diet and attitudes toward sun exposure may be contributing to these terrible headaches.
Unfortunately, the American diet has lost about half of its vitamins and other noncaloric nutrients because of food processing, Teitelbaum says. This is why we are seeing people be both obese and malnourished at the same time for the first time in human history! In addition, vitamin D deficiency is rampant because of the misguided advice to avoid sunshine. Sunshine is critical for health, and research is suggesting that the advice to avoid sunshine may be contributing to tens of thousands of deaths. The proper advice is to avoid sunburn not sunshine!
Theres A Lot Of Iron In Your Pill
Multivitamins that contain a lot of iron or iron supplements themselves can cause nausea, according to Dr. Donald Hensrud, medical director of the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program. This is especially true if youre taking them outside of a meal.
Iron is interesting in that its best absorbed on an empty stomach, but its hardest to take on an empty stomach because of the nausea, Hensrud said. I tell people that its better to take it with food than trying to take it on an empty stomach, being miserable and then deciding after that not to take it at all. It might decrease the absorption a little bit but its better than nothing.
Read Also: When Is It Best To Take Vitamin D
Watch Out For Aged Cheese On A Migraine Diet
“There is not much research on cheese as a migraine trigger, but it is generally agreed that aged cheese is more likely to cause a headache,” explains Rosen. The culprit may be a substance called tyramine that forms as the proteins in cheese break down over time. The longer a cheese ages, the more tyramine it has. Examples you might want to skip on a migraine diet to avoid headaches include blue cheese, Swiss, cheddar, Gouda, and Parmesan.
Chocolate: Is It Really A Migraine Trigger
Research recently presented at the International Headache Society suggests that cocoa may actually protect the nerve cells that cause migraine headaches. But 22 percent of headache sufferers identify chocolate on the list of foods that trigger migraines or headaches. “Chocolate may be getting a bad rap as a migraine trigger,” says Dr. Rosen. “Many people with migraines have increased appetite and food cravings just before their headaches start.” Reaching for a chocolate bar may be the result of a migraine, rather than the cause.
You May Like: What Is The Best One A Day Vitamin
Biofeedback And Relaxation Training
Biofeedback is a method people use to gain awareness of bodily functions, such as heart rate and muscle tension. Over time, people undergoing biofeedback learn to control these functions by practicing deep breathing, muscle relaxation, and other skills.
Biofeedback and other forms of relaxation training can reduce muscle tension and chronic pain, and are one of the most well-studied complementary therapies for headaches.
According to the American Migraine Foundation, biofeedback and relaxation training can reduce migraine frequency and severity by 45-60%, comparable to popular migraine medications. However, they work best in conjunction with medication.
Supplements: Check The Dose
Chances are, the unfortified foods you eat aren’t a problem. “It’s pretty hard to overdo it from food alone,” says Johanna Dwyer, RD, a senior research scientist with the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Dietary Supplements.
So you’ll want to think about the supplements you take and fortified foods or drinks.
“Most people don’t realize there’s no real advantage to taking more than the recommended amounts of vitamins and minerals, and they don’t recognize there may be disadvantages,” Dwyer says.
“If you’re taking a supplement, stick to one that’s no more than the daily value,” Dwyer says.
Talk with your doctor about any supplements you’re taking, including vitamins and minerals, and the dose you’re taking, too. That way, your doctor can help you keep doses in a safe range.
“If you’re taking a basic multivitamin, there’s no need to fear taking too much,” says Andrew Shao, PhD, senior vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs for the Council for Responsible Nutrition, a trade group for the supplements industry.
“Most multivitamins have such a wide margin of safety that even when you’re combining them with fortified foods, it’s still not going to cause you to keel over,” Shao says.
You May Like: How Much Vitamin D Should I Take
Does Creatine Cause Headaches
Creatine is a naturally occurring substance made of amino acids. It supplies the body with cellular energy. Red meat and seafood are the primary sources of dietary creatine, while endogenous creatine is synthesized in the liver, kidneys, and pancreas.
Most creatine is stored in and used by the muscles, which makes it a popular supplement for fitness-related activities. As with almost all supplements, there have been reported side effects associated with taking larger amounts of creatine.
While these side effects are generally gastrointestinal in nature, some people have also reported experiencing creatine headaches.
Fortunately, as far as supplements are concerned, research has shown that creatine is one of the safest supplements that the average person can take. Outside of anecdotal reports, theres virtually no research that suggests headaches are a direct side effect of creatine use.
In fact, the research on the reported side effects demonstrates quite the opposite, as well discuss later in the article.
Here are a few possible explanations for headaches that might accompany creatine use, especially in active individuals.
What Other Supplements Does Cove Offer
- Oasis is a hydration supplement that helps your body replenish electrolytes you naturally lose throughout the day. It contains that clinically-effective dosage of magnesium as well as sodium, potassium, calcium, and vitamins C, B6, and B12.
- Since essential oils can relieve migraine symptoms for some sufferers, Cove offers an Essential Oil Roll-on stick for fast relief.
- You can also order magnesium supplements individually through Cove. Get started here.
Are you feeling like a riboflavin expert yet? That may have been a lot to take in, but to sum it all up, riboflavin is a relatively safe, research-backed treatment to reduce your migraine frequency. Plus, itâs safe to use with prescription preventive medications.
The information provided in this article is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely upon the content provided in this article for specific medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your doctor.
These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Also Check: What Vitamins Are Good For Penile Growth
Are Your Headaches Due To Low Vitamin D
Have you heard your friends talking about their vitamin D level? Did your healthcare provider check your level at your annual checkup?
While vitamin D is known to play an important role in bone health, there is inconsistent data on its role in other medical conditions, such as heart disease, autoimmune diseases, cancer, and pain disorders, like chronic pain and headaches.
Can Vitamins Cause Headaches
Your unexplainable headaches may actually be due to taking too many vitamins. On top of supplementation, many foods are fortified with common vitamins.
Think about all the cereals, grains, breads, energy bars and pastas you may eat throughout the day that all contain added vitamins and minerals. Even if you do not take a multivitamin, you may still suffer from a vitamin headache from over-consuming fortified foods.
Some of the vitamins that have been linked to headaches as a side effect include:
- Vitamin A
It is really easy to go way over the tolerable upper limit of vitamins A and C in particular. If you consume a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, you likely already meet these requirements from food alone.
According to the USDA, one cup of sweet potato contains 105 percent of your daily vitamin A requirements. Similarly, the USDA lists one large-sized orange as meeting 109 percent of your daily vitamin C requirements.
Supplementing these vitamins on top of vitamin-rich foods could potentially lead to some side effects. Per the National Institutes of Health, the tolerable upper limit of vitamin A for adults is 3,000 micrograms of retinol activity equivalents or about 10,000 International Units .
Any more than this may cause a vitamin headache. Mayo Clinic stipulates that megadoses of vitamin C more than 2,000 milligrams per day can also cause headaches and other vitamin overdose symptoms.
What Should I Avoid While Taking Multivitamins
Avoid taking more than one multivitamin product at the same time unless your doctor tells you to. Taking similar vitamin products together can result in a vitamin overdose or serious side effects.
Avoid the regular use of salt substitutes in your diet if your multivitamin contains potassium. If you are on a low-salt diet, ask your doctor before taking a vitamin or mineral supplement.
Do not take multivitamins with milk, other dairy products, calcium supplements, or antacids that contain calcium. Calcium may make it harder for your body to absorb certain ingredients of the multivitamin.
Can Acetaminophen Turn You Into A Sociopath
Acetaminophen seems to reduce the empathy you feel for the pain of others. In a new study, subjects were given 1,000mg of acetaminophen or a placebo, then their “social pain” was tested. In short, those who took the common pain killer didn’t care as much about the suffering of others.
Dr. Baldwin Way notes: “We don’t know why acetaminophen is having these effects, but it is concerning. Empathy is important. If you’re having an argument with your spouse and you just took acetaminophen, this research suggests you might be less understanding of what you did to hurt your spouse’s feelings.”
Other pain killers might also cause this little problem. They’re being tested now.
Recommended Reading: What Vitamins Are Good For Beard Growth
Vitamins For Migraines And Headaches
When you have a headache caused by vitamins, you may want to see a doctor and discontinue use. However, there are cases where people take vitamins for migraines and headaches.
Magnesium and coenzyme Q10 supplements are often recommended to reduce the frequency and severity of headaches as well as prevent migraines. Some herbal supplements, such as feverfew, have also been known to treat headaches.
Some people have chronic migraines while others may experience headaches as a result of nutrient deficiencies. Headaches and migraines are a reported sign of deficiencies in vitamin B12, vitamin D, magnesium and iron.
Taking vitamins for migraines and discontinuing use of vitamins to prevent headaches may put you at a standstill. To avoid headaches altogether, try to drink plenty of water, eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly. Consult with a medical professional about any vitamins you choose to take.
Multivitamin Supplements Causing Headaches
Multivitamins are sold over the counter and may include herbal supplements or minerals. Although they aren’t considered a medication, multivitamins may cause side effects such as nausea and stomach upset. Vitamin supplements are not regulated by the FDA and as such have not been deeply studied no list of the side effects from taking them accompanies the packaging. Some people may experience headaches when using multivitamins, or if too many have been taken. Consult with your physician before taking a multivitamin supplement.
Read Also: What Vitamins Are Good For Schizophrenia
Vitamins B6 B12 And Folic Acid
Experts recommend an average of 400 milligrams of B complex a day. Vitamin B2 or riboflavin is also essential for the body, as it provides energy, through the metabolism of fats. Deficiency of this vitamin can hinder the normal functioning of the body, and may even trigger a Migraine attack.
B Vitamins And Headaches
Many people take multivitamins containing several of the B vitamins. This is also known as a B complex supplement, which usually contains eight B vitamins in one serving. There are many health benefits of B vitamins, but too much may have side effects.
Excessive vitamin B3 consumption commonly causes skin flushing and headaches. People with vitamin B12 deficiency may be prescribed a high dosage as treatment, though this may yield headaches as a side effect.
Ironically, B vitamin deficiencies are also associated with chronic headaches. According to a June 2018 study published in Neurological Sciences, researchers found a correlation between vitamin B12 deficiency and tension headaches in children. To avoid B vitamin headaches, aim for the recommended dietary allowance of 2.6 micrograms.
- Stomach pain
- Gastrointestinal problems
One of the most common symptoms of taking vitamins in any dose is nausea or upset stomach. This can often be attributed to taking vitamins on an empty stomach. In cases where vitamins cause nausea, Cleveland Clinic recommends taking vitamins with food, lowering your dose, getting vitamins from food sources and opting for an easy-to-digest formula.
Read Also: Is A One A Day Vitamin Enough