Why Doctors Should Discuss Dietary Supplements with Their Patients

According to a 2019 CRN Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements, 77% of adults in America take dietary supplements. But how many of these individuals are consulting with their primary physician about these supplements before beginning their regimen?

As a doctor, you wouldn’t allow your patients to select their own non-OTC medications without discussing risks, potential side effects, results, and how they might react with your patient’s other prescriptions, right? So why are you not having the same conversations about dietary supplements?

In a 2013 study, researchers deduced that, while discussions about supplements are occurring, it is clear that more discussion might be needed to inform patient decisions about supplement use, specifically in regard to the risks, effectiveness, and costs of supplements.

Here are some of the most important topics to cover when discussing dietary supplements with your patients:

Potential Side Effects

Before your patients start taking any supplements, it’s important for them to take note of any potential side effects. If the patient is not made aware of these risks, they might continue to take the supplements, not knowing that they are the cause of their newfound pain, discomfort, or other health concerns. Not only that, but in some cases, patients are more prone to things like nausea or depression because of genetics or medical history. It’s crucial that their healthcare provider leads candid discussions about supplements with possible side effects that could worsen these symptoms.

Daily Use

This one is a no-brainer. While each supplement label should indicate a recommended use, it’s always best for a medical professional to review the supplements and ensure that the recommendation is appropriate for each patient.

Supplement and Prescription Compatibility 

Certain supplements can have significant reactions to prescription medications, and vice versa. In most cases, this occurs more often when patients start taking a supplement to treat a specific issue that their prescribed medication is already trying to fix. When a supplement and medication have the same effect, it’s common for the body to become overwhelmed, leading to adverse reactions, nausea, headaches, sweats, or changes to their mental state. 

It’s imperative that doctors carefully review each supplement their patients are interested in taking and analyze whether or not those dietary supplements are compatible with their prescribed medications. 

Doctor-Recommended Dietary Supplements

Last but certainly not least, doctors should be the first source of knowledge when it comes to recommending supplement brands. With so many supplements out there, it can be daunting trying to find a reputable company with safe products that work. By taking the time to educate patients on doctor-recommended supplements and why some are better than others, these physicians can help prevent the people under their care from taking harmful and/or ineffective products. 

At Green Leaf Sciences, we are committed to directly linking scientific discoveries to consumer and patient needs. Through our partnerships with practitioners across the United States, we are able to bridge the gap between high-quality supplements and medical care to create a better patient experience. 

Learn more about us here.