Wednesday, 1 February 2017

I've Been Got

A week ago I went to the ALS Clinic. While being inspected by one of the neurologists, I had a sudden cramp in my arm. These cramps happen all the time; I'm used to them. I quickly straightened my arm, and told the doctor I was having a cramp. He asked if I had them very often and I said no. Then he said "You should take Vitamin B6 for that. I will help reduce the cramps."

I have to say, I was all for this. Taking a vitamin to reduce the impact of one of the side effects of ALS seems like a very good idea. After all, vitamins are healty, right? Well that is mostly true, except for the side effects of the Vitamin B Complex tablets, the only way you can get 30 milligrams of vitamin B6 in pill form.

I noticed almost immediately that I was constipated. I did not immediately attribute it to Vitamin B6 or the Vitamin B Complex I was taking. I thought it was a holdover from the antibiotics I had taken for my bladder infection. But now I find myself continuing to struggle with constipation after the antibiotic has long since left my system. So I did some investigation.

It turns out that many Vitamin B6 Complex tablets are known to cause some level of mild constipation. This, in most healthy people, is easily offset by proper diet with lots of fibre and by drinking water, staying hydrated. Note that I said in most healthy people. In addition to my notoriously bad diet from a fibre perspective, and the fact that I prefer wine to water, my body is generally not all that healthy. In fact my core muscles are sufficiently weakened that any extra effort required in pushing out is pretty much beyond me.

So here I am, five days into this particular problem, facing a choice. Do I accept cramps and stop taking the B Complex, or do I get a laxative and see if I can resolve this issue through other means? I've already been drinking a lot of water, eating a lot of prunes, and eating grapes, all of which are supposed to help. Yet nothing has helped so far. For now, I have stopped taking the Vitamin B Complex in a vain hope to eliminate the initial problem.

Something good had better happen soon. I am uncomfortable. I don't like this feeling. I need relief. So I suspect a trip to the drug store is in order today, where I will have to buy one product to offset the issues from another. That's how they get you!


  1. More pills, I know, but have you tried Magnesium? It'll get the works moving again, and also has been known to reduce cramping.

  2. Magnesium will be 3x worse than B6.

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