The Clinical Corner with Rhonda Dempsey – The Use of Vitamins for Nutritional Health

May 11, 2023

Welcome back to the Clinical Corner!

I hope everyone is out enjoying these beautiful spring days and soaking in some natural vitamin D. We talked earlier in the year about how there’s so much benefit from spending some time outdoors – I hope you’ve taken the advice!

Let’s talk about vitamins over the counter. Generally, these are recommended by your physician or nutritionist due to a need to supplement your diet.

The habit of buying the next vitamin based on advertisements should always be evaluated – and it’s recommended that you speak to your physician or pharmacist about any possible side effects. This can be a hard pill to swallow – vitamins themselves often seem like a positive health intervention, but too much of anything can always be harmful. Be sure to stay informed!

At Trilogy, our amazing dieticians serve as an invaluable resource for our physicians, nurses, and residents (shoutout to Jenna Richie and Donnie Snyder – they’re always ready to help our campuses!). In addition to reviewing residents’ labs, a dietician will also evaluate weight and nutritional intake to make further recommendations to the resident’s physician. It’s not always a vitamin that the resident needs, however – sometimes just a nutritious shake will do the trick.

Another great resource at your disposal is the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025.  This document can help inform what foods can nutritionally give you the vitamins that your body needs based on age, height, and weight.

Some fun food to enjoy that might surprise you include:

  • Sugar free almond milk.
  • Fruits and vegetables.
  • Anchovy, cod, and catfish.
  • Whole grains once a day.

Alternatively, here are some foods that may seem healthy, but offer little in terms of nutritional value:

  • Juice actually contains minimal juice product and is considered a sweetened drink unless freshly squeezed.
  • Shark, swordfish, and king mackerel should be avoided during pregnancy and breastfeeding due to high mercury levels.
  • Alcoholic beverages have high sugar content and no nutritional value.
  • Starchy vegetables – try limiting these to one cup a week!

Don’t forget to always check with your physician or pharmacist before you make dietary or vitamin choices. Our health is one of the most important things we should measure and care about each day!

Have a great May,

-Rhonda Dempsey, Chief Nursing Officer

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