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Disclosing Supplements to Dr?


So I have my first real Doctor appointment in a long time. I haven't had a regular doctor since mine passed away when I was in college (7 years ago). I am trying to establish a new PCP and basically get a physical, and maybe get blood work done. The doctor I am going to see is a doctor of Internal Medicine with a focus of Preventative Medicine.

The lady who took my appointment asked me if I take any Rx's.. no. She said they will want me to bring in any supplements I take in the original containers for them to look at. I obviously am not carrying in a box of supplements, but it made me wonder...

Do you disclose?
How much?

I am not a supplement whore really (ok, kind of). I mainly take a multi (but instead of 3 pills with random RDA's, I take each vitamin separately [IE, 1g Vit C, B-50 Complex, Vit D, etc], minerals, digestive enzymes, probiotics, fish oil, borage oil, coq10, ala.

I also drink MD Muscle Growth. I use PeriWorkout, etc.

I am definitely not bringing all of these containers in. But I would list them all or print their labels.

So back to my question.. do you disclose to your Dr and how much?


in your situation, i would at least take a copy of the labels of everything with info on how much you take per day, as it sounds like they want to factor this stuff in when they analyse your blood


I would definitely take in at least the labels so they have that stuff on file.

If they judge you or say supplements are worthless then obviously ignore that part. But, it would be good to have on file in case down the road any meds are considered


Yea, definitely let them know what you're taking. Some docs will tell you they're worthless and some will actually know what they all do. You never know but you should bring the labels in. The main thing they worry about is drug reactions in the future and if you don't disclose a supplement they don't know to check for a reaction.


Hate it when I disagree with people:

I wouldn't worry about bringing anything with. The doctor isn't looking for vitamins, oils, probiotics, digestive enzymes, or protein drinks.

These things are not going to effect the blood tests unless you take them right before you come into the doctors office. If, however, you are taking herbs I would bring that to the doctors attention. Curcumin, for an example, contain Bioperine which may effect some medications. White Willow Bark acts like aspirin in the body and can hide more serious problems.

The difference here is that vitamins, oils, enzymes, good bacteria, and protein are found in a normal healthy diet.
Herbs are not.

The one exception I would make is "greens" the freeze dried vegetable powders. Some of these powders contain herbs so I wouldn't take it the morning of the tests. But technically I see greens as food and not herbs.


Even tell them about the vitamin supps, in addition to the protein and preworkout supps. And when the doc gives advice on the stuff try to remember what he said and do your own research in addition.




It's sort of a double edged sword sometimes. On one hand your doctor should be informed about everything that is going on with your body in order to properly help you, but on the other hand some doctors are incredibly close minded and will blame problems on your supplements rather than an actual problem.

I literally had a doctor tell me NEVER to take ANY weight lifting supplements (this was while going to the doctor for low testosterone levels, after I told her my only supplements are fish oil, multi, and protein) I feel like that kind of statement is just ignorant.


Wow, how do some of these people get through med school?


easily. About 30% of med schools require a single nutritional class, let alone supplement course


I view my annual check up like an annual check up. I normally always schedule my appointment for early afternoon and I fast up to it. I do the physical checks and I order a few extra blood tests on top of the large amount he orders. (Last year the total was 22 blood tests) I also keep a copy of all of my results and have them at my house for the past 4 years.

I guess the point of my story is that I am not interested in my doctors opinion on protein supplements hurting my kidneys. The medically unhealthy dose of vitamin D I take each week, etc. I want to find out how my health is. Based on how I take care of myself, what are my vitals? Since I fast for over 12 hours before the tests none of my supplements matter. And like the double edged sword comment above, supplements are used as scapegoats in the medical world.


Is this your opinion or one based on science?

So I take it you will listen to your docs interpretation of your bloodwork as a measure of your health, and then if something is awry you will adjust your own supplement intake on your own?

To each their own. I just dont see the need to be stubborn in this type of situation. If you want to ignore a doctors recommendation, that's fine, but at least give the doc the info he needs to make his recommendation.


Bonesaw and JF:
I'm at medschool. Don't matter what is taught, 60% of the students are just good at reciting texts without even understanding anythng of it. They don't care about the context, they don't think about the material, they "just learn it and tell it". That's why I hate classes with dumb questions. Most of us just seems to ignore putting in any effort into understanding what we are actually studying. ^^

Heck, lot of them are not even interested in their studies, they're just after the prestigious degree. Lack of enthusiasm and common sense is just BAAAAD.

I hate when some med student thinks that protein powder=drug. Hell, some of them even believe that if they cnsume a 2.25 lb bottle of whey, they should pack on at least 4 pounds of muscle.


Yes this is my opinion.

For your second question, If I did have abnormal results I would research it extensively. Trusting a doctors interpretation of your blood work without researching it yourself is ridiculous.


The magic phrase here is "focus in preventative medicine". This indicates that this individual may know more than the average doc about supps and their role in optimal health and performance. The fact that they are also asking to see the bottles is also a good sign IMO. It suggests that they are being thorough and want to be certain that your dosages (and nutrient forms) are adequate for your health status/goals.

It, of course, is entirely possible that I am incorrect here but you won't know until you have your visit. I would hope for the best and go in with all the information that you have. What's the worst that will happen. He/She, tells you it is worthless and to dump it? Best case, Doc knows his shit and with all of the info you supply, you walk away better for it. Just my 2.


Thanks for the insight. Always nice to get the perspective of someone "on the inside" so to speak.


Thanks for contributing to the discussion. I am not sick by any means, but wanted to establish a PCP and get checked out. It actually took 3 mo to get an appointment. In the past, I would've just told the doc "Yeah, I drink protein shakes, take a multi vitamin, fish oil, and creatine." However, I had never heard such a specific request. I had already printed off all of my labels on everything and I'll give it to the Doc. I just hope he doesn't disappoint me.


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