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Having a chronic illness is no picnic, but one of the benefits it has given me is that I am always a handy person to ask about vitamins or supplements. Without going into too many details and throwing shade on the wonderful work our NHS do, I haven’t been given the level of support I should have, which means I am constantly seeking ANYTHING to help with the symptoms of my health problem. From eating more mindfully to specific teas, there are a few things I have found that do help me with the crippling anaemia as well as the other issues that come from having a long-term illness. I would like to take this moment to make a disclaimer, I am NOT a health professional. Realistically taking proper medical advice from a blog isn’t a great idea, is it? I am simply sharing with you a few things that I have found work well for me when I am feeling a bit low in energy and motivation. Please discuss any concerns with your doctor, and make sure you check if you can take anything you want to try with prescription meds or other things I have listed because I am not saying I use all of these all of the time.
Pukka Night Time Tea
One of the things that frustrates me the most about myself is I can be tired all day to the point of struggling to keep my head up while sitting at my desk, but then when I lay down to sleep at night, I find it impossible to fall asleep. I did notice that when I tweeted this, a lot of people could relate. The weird thing is, I have tried a couple of different sleeping pills from the Doctor, but not only did they not work, but they also made me feel horrendous in the morning. I discovered the Pukka Night Time Tea one day in the supermarket and never looked back. The taste of the original is very “herbal tea”, so if you are not a fan you may not like it, but they have also recently introduced a Berry one which is a bit better for those that are not used to drinking herbal teas. It helps me fall into a gentle, natural sleep and doesn’t make me feel bad at all in the morning. Worth a try!
I saw a post on Twitter the other month where someone said “does anyone ACTUALLY use this?” after seeing an advert on the tube. I was shocked more people hadn’t heard of it? I SWEAR by this. Even though I am on prescribed liquid iron, if I take too much of it, it makes me sick. This is a great and gentle addition to that just to boost my iron levels and it has loads of other vitamins in it too. Floradix contains Iron, B2, B6, B12, and vitamin C. Granted, I can’t lie, it doesn’t taste great, but then again people do shots of Tequila and Sambuca that just taste like pure fire.
Digestive Enzyme Supplements
My health is honestly like a joke. Because I am severely anaemic, I have to take iron. This, in turn, gives me horrendous heartburn, but you can’t actually take standard heartburn medications within a certain amount of hours. Sometimes you have to laugh otherwise you will cry. Anyway, neither iron nor Floradix is particularly friendly on the stomach, so having heartburn was like an ongoing thing for me. It wasn’t until someone I knew through work suggested Betaine Hydrochloride. While I was browsing, I found a Digestive Enzyme Complex and I have been taking it for around two weeks and it has honestly made such a difference. The ones I have you take after food, and it has reduced my heartburn in general buy around 80%. Worth a go if you suffer from digestive problems.
Absolute word of warning on this one, you NEED to lookup whether you can take this with certain medications, especially antidepressants. 5-HTP is a supplement that increases serotonin according to some studies. If you do research it, there is quite a lot of back and forth about whether it helps or not. I’ve taken this supplement to help my anxiety a few times when I have had gaps in prescribed anxiety medication and it has indeed, helped me. The only thing is depending on the strength you use, it can make you a little bit sleepy so it is worth trying it at night first of all.
Turmeric to me has always been a really messy spice that I know I need to make certain recipes but also I am terrified of it because I once stained the fridge in my flat with it so badly it never ever came out. Realistically, spices are not something that you think will contain stuff that is incredibly good for you, but it turns out that turmeric is amazing for your health. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties so I always use it if I am in an endometrioses flare-up, and my Mum takes it for her arthritis and swears by it. There has also been research to say it supports cognitive function and the immune system. If you are keen to try it, you do not need to just start shovelling down spoonfuls of turmeric from your spice rack. You can actually buy Turmeric capsules to make it easier to get enough into your body to make a difference.
I couldn’t make a list without giving you something available cheaply in your weekly shop. I LOVE lemon. Lemon is quite high in vitamin C, which helps to absorb iron so that is a win for me first of all. But there are so many other health benefits. They also contain B6, which helps to convert food into energy, and potassium, which can lower blood pressure levels. Quite clearly, unless you want heartburn for a year, you can’t just eat a lemon as it is. I like to start my day by squeezing half of a lemon into boiling water, and I find it very cleansing.
Buy me a coffee? It would MAKE MY DAY 🙂