There are many gastrointestinal disorders which can inhibit the absorption of essential vitamins and minerals from food. Under normal circumstances, you should be able to get enough nutrients from a well-balanced diet, but you may need to take vitamin and mineral supplements if you have gastrointestinal disorders.
You should always check with your doctor before taking any kind of supplement as each disorder is different, and therefore will react differently to supplements. Additionally, you want to stay within the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) unless otherwise prescribed by your doctor.
1. Vitamin C
Too much of this vitamin may cause symptoms of gastrointestinal disorders such as gas, abdominal cramps or diarrhea. But, in moderation it can be used as a laxative, and it also helps to better absorb iron.
2. Vitamin D
A deficiency of vitamin D can contribute to Crohn’s disease, which is a gastrointestinal disorder. Vitamin D also helps to absorb calcium and can be obtained naturally from the sun as well as from certain types of mushrooms.
3. Vitamin B12
A deficiency of vitamin B12 may lead to memory loss and dementia. If you are suffering from Celiac or Crohn’s disease, you may not be able to absorb enough from your food. Therefore, you may need a supplement, especially if you are vegetarian, as vitamin B12 is mainly found in animal proteins.
Calcium carbonate has a constipating effect, so it is good for diarrhea. But, when calcium is combined with magnesium, known as calcium citrate, it can help to relieve constipation. When taking calcium supplements in either form, you should also take vitamin D as it will help you to better absorb the calcium.
Magnesium is a laxative which can be taken for hard stools. It is important to keep the magnesium and calcium levels balanced or it may be harmful.
If you are suffering from Crohn’s disease, or ulcerative colitis, you may be low on this essential trace mineral. Even though the body does not need much, it is still important that you get your daily dosage of it. It has important antioxidants which help the body to get rid of free radicals, which can damage the cells.
Some gastrointestinal disorders which cause inflammation of the small intestine may result in poor absorption of iron. If you need to take iron and are already taking calcium, you will want to take the two at different meals, as iron inhibits the absorption of calcium. It is best absorbed when taken with vitamin C. Iron may cause an upset stomach or constipation.
If you find that you are having reactions to the supplements, check the ingredient label to see if they contain any lactose, artificial colors or preservatives, as it may be these ingredients which you are sensitive to. You may also want to try and take them in smaller dosages, or try taking them in liquid or powder forms. Never take any supplements on an empty stomach, but always take them with your meals.
Also, make sure to eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, as they contain valuable nutrients which cannot be extracted and put into pills.