1. When I turned 40 I decided I should take a stronger multiple vitamin, one with iron. Don’t ask me why, it was the “approaching 40 thing” and my mother always told me I read too many magazines – this was before the internet. Anyway, I took Centrum vitamins with iron and I took that vitamin with orange juice and Wheaties (it was before I was into my morning oatmeal 365 days a year). What I didn’t know what that OJ and Wheaties boosted the vitamin’s properties, specifically the iron. A few months later, I was in the drive-in line at the bank and suddenly felt very ill – faint. I pulled out of line, feeling light-headed and went home, pulled in the garage and made it into the house and couldn’t make it to my bed to lie down – I went to the kitchen floor as I felt I had no energy. My mother was terrified what happened to me and this was at the time that Toxic Shock Syndrome was prevalent and I was aware of it. She gave me something to eat, and I ate and went to bed. The next morning I woke up the next morning with spots all over my trunk – went to my mom’s GP who had Saturday office hours. He asked me if I did anything out of the ordinary – “no” and had I changed my diet, meds. I only took vitamins, just like now – no prescription meds.
    He suspected I had Hemochromatosis – too much iron in my system. He sent me to an oncologist who specialized in blood diseases – I was scared to death. He said I did not have to go through any procedures to remove the extra iron – I had not been on it that long, just get off the multiple vitamin with iron … the Wheaties and OJ had “jump started” the iron in the vitamin. I was so scared!

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    1. Oh my, I’m so glad you are OK now, Linda. Thank you for sharing your experience with automedication. And a lesson learned. Even vitamins in excess can be harmful for the human body.

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      1. Yes it was Martha. I used to take 1,000 mg of Vitamin C a day when I worked on site as my mom was on a lot of meds and could not take cold/cough meds if she got a bad cold. So I tried not to bring a bad cold home from work. But then I read that much Vitamin C, especially if not in a time-release formula, was harmful to you. The clementines are not out yet so eating regular oranges and have a flu shot as well and take 500 mg every other day. You have to be careful with any supplement you put into your mouth as you can so easily overdo it – this was very very scary to me. My mom was told she could take Delsym cough medicine if she got a bad cold. It is a very strong cough medicine with no narcotics in it, thus no interaction with any of her meds, so she used that.


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