I’m taking supplements: why don’t I feel different?


As a growing number of people are turning to integrative medicine to address their health concerns, many individuals are being introduced to the world of dietary supplements. If you have taken or been prescribed a supplement, you may have asked yourself this question: “I’m taking supplements. Why don’t I feel different?” In order to address this common question, we must first highlight the difference between conventional and integrative approaches to medicine.

A conventional approach

Conventional medicine takes a “reductionistic” approach to medicine, which addresses the symptoms associated with a condition or disease. The approach generally involves a diagnosis, followed by a prescribed treatment, often a pharmaceutical medication.

As adults, we’ve likely all taken pharmaceutical medications at one point in our lives. The goal of these fast-acting pharmaceuticals, like that of conventional medicine, is specifically to address the symptoms of a condition or disease. For example, your doctor might prescribe a beta-blocker to lower your high blood pressure or an anti-anxiety medication to relieve symptoms of anxiety. While pharmaceutical intervention is sometimes necessary, especially in cases of emergency, pharmaceuticals do not address the root cause of a condition. In part, this highlights the difference between conventional and integrative systems of medicine.

An integrative approach

Integrative medicine, on the other hand, does not address the symptoms of a disease, but focuses primarily on prevention, as well as addressing the root cause of an individual’s health concerns. Integrative medicine takes into account the whole person, assessing several factors that may impact an individual’s health, including dietary, lifestyle, environmental and even psychological aspects. This system of medicine strives to balance the body, minimize symptoms, and prevent diseases. If you’ve seen an integrative health practitioner, they’ve likely provided a comprehensive plan or protocol, including dietary, lifestyle and sometimes supplement recommendations.

The role of supplements

A supplement, by definition, is something that completes or enhances something else when added to it. This means that supplements are not meant to provide a quick fix, but to support your overall wellness plan. In some cases, you may notice a difference in the way you feel after taking a supplement. For example, if you are iron deficient, supplementing your diet with iron may help improve energy levels and other symptoms of iron deficiency. However, in many cases, you may not notice an immediate result, especially when supplements are used as a preventive measure. For example, an individual with an aggressive strain of HPV taking curcumin may not feel the effects of the supplement. However, at the cellular level, curcumin can help to slow or limit the viral activity and also support the tumor suppressing gene T53.

In the end, it’s important to remember that just because you don’t immediately feel the effects of a supplement, it can still be beneficial and supportive to your comprehensive wellness plan. When in doubt, an integrative practitioner can help you determine which supplements are best for you.

Dr. Holly Lucille, ND, RN serves as the President of California Association of Naturopathic Physicians. Dr. Lucille works at the Los Angeles Free Clinic providing health education, promotion and prevention. Dr. Lucille serves as a Naturopathic physician, an expert on women’s health issues. In her private practice, Healing from Within Healthcare in Los Angeles, California, she specializes in Women’s Wellness. She has extensive education in various modalities, including homeopathy, clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, body and energy work and mind body and lifestyle counseling. She serves as a Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of PhytoPharmica Inc. She serves as a Member of Scientific Advisory Board at EuroPharma, Inc. She serves as a Member of Medical Advisory Board at Integrative Therapeutics, Inc. She served as Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Enzymatic Therapy, Inc. She serves as Member of Naturopathic Scientific Advisory Committee at Kamedis Bio Herbal Skincare. She is the recipient of the 2004 Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine Legacy Award recognizing her incredible service and contributions to the naturopathic medical community. She is a Registered Nurse. Dr. Lucille has Doctorate from the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine where she received the ‘Daphne Blayden’ award for her ‘Commitment to Naturopathic Medicine.

At Insight Wellness Center we offer pharmaceutical grade supplements from Natural Partners Dispensary called :

Fullscript.com. There is more information on Fullscript located on our supplements tab.

Please call or contact us to schedule your wellness evaluation with Katerina Rozakis, PHD, LSW, DAPA, BCIM (Board Certified Integrative Medicines).



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