Saturday, March 03, 2007

Vitamin C Side Effects – A Sore Throat from Stuck Pills

When I get a respiratory infection I take a lot of vitamin C. I keep vitamin C at work and in my car. I take four or five 1000 mg pills at a time every couple of hours. I don’t really think about it. I just take another four or five pills whenever it occurs to me. This is a lot of pills. Occasionally a pill will get stuck in my throat. When I’m home this isn’t a problem. I solve the problem by eating a slice of bread. Unfortunately, I have gotten vitamin C pills stuck several times when I was taking them at work or in the car. I had no access to food and couldn’t dislodge the stuck pill with water. The pill remained stuck for more than 30 minutes and caused intense pain. My throat took several days to completely recover. I have noticed that I am having more problems with stuck pills as I get older.

I get frequent respiratory infections and respond well to vitamin C. I can take unusually large amounts of vitamin C without upsetting my stomach or intestines. I am committed to taking at least 5000 mg/day. I am not going to let a silly think like pills stuck in my throat influence the doses of vitamin C that I choose to take. However, I must say that I clearly remember each time a vitamin C pill stuck in my throat and I didn’t have any food to use to dislodge it. Each time has been very unpleasant.

Vitamin C does not typically cause much of a response. When I don’t have a cold I can skip my morning dose without noticing anything. Even when I have a cold it is hard for me to describe why I feel so certain that the vitamin C helps and what feelings prompt me to take it over and over again. When vitamin C gets stuck in my throat the response is immediate and painful. The pain is a big turn off. If I didn’t need vitamin C so much, a couple of stuck pill incidents might cause me to take a lot less.

It’s not just me. Everyone in my family has had this problem. All of them were unhappy about it. We all tend to take more of the vitamin C we want when we are at home. By being more careful, stuck pills are rarely a problem.

Stuck pills are a good example of the difficulties of taking vitamins every day. Taking five or more 1000 mg vitamin C supplements every day is work for my family, and some days we just don’t take any at all. Reading articles claiming that taking vitamins is easy and doesn’t cause side effects has not been helpful to us. What keeps us taking vitamin C is respiratory diseases. No one in my family complains about vitamin C when they have a cold. We all just take a lot of vitamin C and get better sooner.