The health benefits of vitamin consumption are a controversial issue and should be considered with caution. Indeed, unreasonable use of these substances in various forms might have severe consequences for one’s health due to disregard for their side effects leading to the emergence of health issues (Cerrato 69). These complications are related to the negative impact of vitamins on body organs resulting in toxicity, intracranial pressure, and intestinal distress (Cerrato 69). Therefore, consultation with a doctor is needed when deciding to consume vitamins for a specific purpose in order to eliminate risks related to the patient’s age and sensitivity, overdosing, improper use, and associated dangers.
The main reason for the necessity to consult with a specialist is the risk of overdosing, which implies negative consequences for the human body. One of the fat-soluble vitamins that can trigger diseases and other health issues is D, and its excessive use has proved to be especially harmful to children (Thompson 445). It might lead to such conditions as hypercalcemia and persistent hypertension (Thompson 445). Even though its prescription for breastfeeding and non-breastfeeding infants is justified, dosing should be strictly followed (Thompson 445). In this way, the consumption of vitamins can be beneficial for one’s health but it also implies specific issues.
For example, the problem with vitamin D is that disturbing symptoms emerging from its overdosing can be ascribed to other health issues and, therefore, not appropriately addressed. Since people do not know much about its effect, it can become dangerous for them due to the neglect of the possibility of such an outcome (Thompson 445). Hence, vomiting, constipation, lethargy, and abdominal pain should be considered as problems derived from the excessive consumption of vitamin D in the first place (Thompson 445). In this case, a patient can fail to provide the doctor with the required information allowing to resolve the issue. Thus, the timely consultation with a medical specialist would allow avoiding the complications mentioned above, and it should include the consideration of personal factors.
The Consideration of Age and Sensitivity
A visit to a doctor in order to define the dosage and type when making a decision on vitamin consumption is the best option regarding one’s safety. It is especially crucial due to the difference in the way these substances influence people of different ages. As can be seen from the example above, the excessive consumption of supplements based on vitamin D might be harmful to children (Thompson 445). It adds to the fact that young patients are at greater risks while consuming the fat-soluble vitamin A (Cerrato 69). In their situation, its use can result in acute symptoms of toxicity and particularly in increased intracranial pressure (Cerrato 69). However, the researchers do not confirm the same effect on adults, and their case requires individual consideration.
As for sensitivity, this parameter is one of the most essential for defining the dosage of specific vitamins when prescribing. For example, fat-soluble vitamin A seems to be a safer alternative than other options. Still, it has a negative impact on one’s health in the case of heightened sensitivity to it (Cerrato 70). The possible consequences are diarrhea, and intestinal distress resulting from its toxic effect (Cerrato 70). Therefore, the addition of such a parameter as one’s sensitivity to the consideration of a patient’s age is necessary for the correct prescription. This fact adds to the necessity to consult with a doctor when choosing vitamins and consider them depending on their specificities.
Risks of Fat-Soluble Vitamins
Another reason to visit a medical specialist is the difference in types of vitamins, which means that some of them can contraindicate with other medications or worsen one’s condition in the case of the presence of specific conditions. The first category is fat-soluble substances such as vitamins A and D from the examples above. They are characterized by the process of absorption that leads to their storage in the human body (Cerrato 69). Thus, fat-soluble vitamins accumulate in the liver and adipose tissue, and it implies a significant risk of overdosing (Cerrato 69). Moreover, people with problems with the liver should refuse to consume these vitamins to prevent complications. Therefore, they should be taken only after the doctor’s prescription allowing to avoid a negative outcome.
The consumption of fat-soluble vitamins is also a controversial measure since their consumption implies other dangers for the human body. Thus, it is known that vitamin A helps treat acne, general malnutrition, and GI diseases (Cerrato 69). However, a typical side effect of its continuous consumption is the emergence of nausea and headache (Cerrato 69). It allows us to conclude that the use of vitamins without regular health check-ups is not advisable even if they are soluble in water.
Risks of Water-Soluble Vitamins
Another category is water-soluble vitamins, and they bring risks for one’s health in the case of their unreasonable intake. One of them is vitamin C, and it is generally associated with healthy habits and the improvement of the overall body condition (Shapiro et al. 773). However, its benefits are accompanied by specific risks resulting from improper consumption. According to Shapiro et al., 80% of people do not know about the correct dosage of this substance and use it unreasonably (773). Therefore, the consideration of this issue is vital for one’s safety especially when it comes to consuming specific vitamins.
The proper consumption of vitamin C, for example, should be ensured by medical specialists on a case-to-case basis, and their assistance will allow eliminating corresponding risks. They relate to the increased probability of emerging acute illnesses of all types in the people taking it regularly (Shapiro et al. 773). The researchers also reported a positive correlation between people’s severe disability and high daily intake of vitamin C (Shapiro et al. 776). Therefore, even water-soluble substances should be consumed cautiously and strictly under medical supervision.
The consumption of vitamins can happen not only in a direct form but also as food supplements, which is no safer than their use as medications. Even though it is not scientifically proven that they have a positive impact on one’s health, people tend to ascribe useful properties to them. One of such misconceptions relates to the attempts of scholars to reveal the benefits of vitamin supplementation for cases of cataracts (Seddon et al. 788). However, their inability to prove the correlation between the consumption of such substances and their usefulness in the treatment and prevention of diseases did not decrease their attractiveness.
In this situation, the consultation with a doctor would allow patients who intend to consume vitamins in the form of food supplements to do it safely. The most popular motivation for their use is the desire to prevent and treat the common cold (Shapiro et al. 773). Vitamin C is believed to suit this task best and is consumed by people for enhancing immunity (Shapiro et al. 773). This tendency is widely supported by present-day marketers who strive to ensure demand for the products (Silverglade 152). The controversy of this method does not allow considering is reliable, but its increasing popularity conditions the need for medical examination in such cases as well.
The need for consultation with a doctor when deciding on vitamin consumption is explained by patients’ inability to notice a change in their bodies without regular health check-ups. It happens due to the varying effects of different vitamins on body organs and the invisibility of some of them (Cerrato 69). Thus, for example, vitamin A’s impact is quite visible in treating acne or specific chronic diseases. In contrast, the effect of vitamin D on the human body is impossible to reveal without the intervention of medical specialists (Cerrato 69). This specificity of the latter requires regular visits to a doctor while taking it.
All in all, the consideration of the invisible effects of vitamins is crucial for assisting patients in the case of emerging complications. The most common consequence of improper use of such substances is the probability of cancer and other severe diseases with irreversible effects, especially in smokers and older people (Taylor). This probability allows concluding on the necessity to consult a specialist even in the case when no apparent symptoms are resulting from vitamin consumption.
Vitamins are crucial for human health, but their consumption is accompanied by a variety of possible complications. They include the emergence of severe diseases and imply both visible and invisible symptoms of these health conditions. The situation is worsened by the trend to maintain demand for products containing vitamin supplementation despite their controversial usefulness. Moreover, there is a possibility of overdosing and improper intake in all the cases of their consumption. Thus, to eliminate the risks of the specified conditions, people should take vitamins strictly in accordance with a doctor’s prescription.
Cerrato, Paul L. “When to Worry about Vitamin Overdose.” RN, vol. 48, 1985, pp. 69-71.
Shapiro, Leona R., et al. “Patterns of Vitamin C Intake from Food and Supplements: Survey of an Adult Population in Alameda County, California.” American Journal of Public Health, vol. 73, no. 7, 1983, pp. 773-778.
Seddon, Johanna M., et al. “The Use of Vitamin Supplements and the Risk of Cataract among US Male Physicians.” American Journal of Public Health, vol. 84, no. 5, 1994, pp. 788-792.
Silverglade, Bruce. “The Vitamin Wars—Marketing, Lobbying, and the Consumer.” Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, vol. 13, no. 1, 1994, pp. 152-154.
Taylor, Jennifer. “Are Vitamin Pills Bad for Our Health?” GP: General Practitioner, 2003, pp. 53-55.
Thompson, June. “Dangers of Vitamin D Overdose.” Community Practitioner, vol. 78, no.12, 2005, p. 445.