April 17, 2012


A terrible thing has happened – I contaminated myself. And it wasn’t just once. I did it on a daily basis for almost a month. It seems almost ridiculous that it happened. I’m always so careful and as a result, I feel like a ding-bat for allowing it to happen. The culprit: vitamins.

Since I was a teenager vitamins have been a part of my daily life and I have always read the label. As a lactose intolerant vegetarian it was fairly easy to avoid gelatin and lactose in my vitamins. It was another story when it came to medication. With medicine I would deal with the gelatin and take some lactase enzymes whenever or if it was required. As my wheat and gluten issues developed I found it easy to avoid them in my vitamins – they were rarely present. In fact I had never, ever seen wheat and gluten on a label. That is until recently.

There I was at the kitchen counter with my glass of oj and pile of vitamins. I still happened to have my iron tablet bottle in my hand and something caught my eye. I read the ingredients, then the non-medicinal ingredients, then ‘Contain: preservatives, wheat, gluten, lactose or soy’. Ahhhh s&%t! Back in the bottle went the little tablet. Not one allergen, not two, but four!! What luck!?!

After feeling pretty crummy most of the winter (due to a whole bunch of stuff), I was beginning to feel pretty good in February, but then in March I started to feel off again. I just attributed it to my job as I recently agreed to do another full-time contract after I had decided to look for something new. I just thought it was frustration and exhaustion once again. Then I realized that I hadn’t bought this bottle of iron tablets too long ago. Could it be the culprit? I dumped out the remaining tablets and counted them. Including the ones I had already taken, I began the bottle near the beginning of March. Bingo! Sadly the only reason I bought this particular bottle was because the pharmacy was out of my usual brand.

Later that day I was recounting my experience to a friend who was as surprised as I was. One would think that vitamin producers would have more insight than to contain major allergens in their so-called health product. I cannot blame Wampole since it is clearly written on their label and I know from experience that my purchases and my health is my responsibility. Another lesson re-learnt: always, always check the label.

Thankfully the brain fog is finally lifting.


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