Seeking anything other than medical advice.

I have recently taken a physical exam. The results are as follows:

[ul]
[li]My triglycerides are high and I need to get them down.[/li][li]My vitamin D is nonexistent. (Literally. “Low” was crossed off and “nonexistent” written in its place.)[/li][li]My B12 is low.[/li][/ul]

So, I have been prescribed the following:

[ul]
[li]Tricor, or Trilipix (whichever was cheaper)[/li][li]Vitamin D at 50,000 IU? I can’t read the rest of the prescription.[/li][li]B12 shots, one per week for a month, and thereafter once a month.[/li][/ul]

I can’t afford any of this. The triglyceride medicines were both apparently brand name and over $100. Can’t do it. Can’t do weekly co-pays for weekly shots. I have asthma and can’t afford the Advair I need; I snag it from a relative who doesn’t want to use it. I can’t afford anything but generic and that is hard for me to do at best.

How can I fix this naturally?

I’m not sure how much more “naturally” you can get than taking vitamin supplements. Explain to your doctor your financial difficulties and find out if there is a cheaper way to get the meds you need. Quite often they can give samples, have coupons, or may know of a program for low-income individuals. Also, some generic of popular medications are available for $5/mo at mass retailers like Wal-Mart, Target etc. Ask if there is a cheaper med that is on their list, that you can try first.

Missed edit window.

The list of $4/mo generics at Target can be seen here:
http://sites.target.com/site/en/health/generic_drugs.jsp

And none of that is what I need, except albuteral. Which I get cheap since it’s generic.

I know about supplements but the 50,000 IU of Vitamin D scared me. How can I possibly do that? And B12 injections? That sounds scary too.

I do plan to call them Monday and explain everything. Unfortunately, my doctor’s office has a firewall of assistants that I have to go through and I never actually get to talk to my doctor on the phone.

She usually gives samples but samples aren’t really effective when they run out and they turn out to be brand name.

I also got a prescription for OCD Luvox and she deliberately gave me the generic, but prescribed two/day and the insurance only covers one/day and rejected it. Meanwhile I had paid $16 for 5 pills until they could get it figured out. And now, it hasn’t been sorted. That’s more an insurance rant though.

Is it warming up where you live? Sunlight is a great way to get Vitamin D, depending where you live. Foods high in Vitamin D include: fish, eggs and fortified milk.

I know that. What is weird is I’ve lived here 10 years and never had this problem before (yearly physicals). I do plan to go outside more. Milk is out of the question but I do plan to add fish and eggs.

Also, Hello Again, sorry but I do intend to follow your advice too.

My sweetie has been proscribed some insanely high amounts of Vitamin D as well. All I can think is that people aren’t processing what they do get, not well enough to utilize 100 percent of what they take in. But I doubt anyone does, really.

Anyway, I’ve heard repeatedly that Vitamin D and Calcium really go together, as in one helps your body intake the other.

I’ve been taking both D and Calcium supplements, along with a regular one-a-day; not a ridiculous amount, but approximately 3 times the recommended.

It’s only been a few weeks, but I do feel it’s made a difference.

tl;dr: Try calcium and D together; might help you metabolize them better.

I guess this doesn’t help much, but generic Tricor (fenofibrate) is available in the US, manufactured by Teva pharmaceuticals. Ask your doctor to switch the prescription to the generic, if you can afford the generic. They are the same thing, proven to have the same effects. The difference in costs is due to R&D, not quality (you might already know this, but some people don’t, which is why I’m mentioning it).

I remember having worked on a fenofibrate product when working for a previous employer. I don’t even remember if it was on a contract for the brand name or a generic company, nor do I remember a thing about the drug other than the name, but now, 6+ years later(?), I’ve learned what it was for! Funny how life comes back like that!

I am currently taking the 50,000 IU Vitamin D pill, once a week for 8 weeks. I thought they’d be huge honking horse pills, but they are not. More like a little green gelcap. I don’t think there’s any way to get enough sunlight to make enough Vitamin D in the winter around here, even if you could stand to be outside that long. And in the summer, I’m closed up inside for my job. I’m supposed to be retested once the regimen is over to make sure it worked. Then I may need to take a non-prescription Vitamin D supplement, especially in winter.

I think the Vitamin D is a new thing they are testing for, because low levels can contribute to so many problems.

I had excellent luck with the triglycerides by substituting my evening meal three times a week with oatmeal. I understand this only works for some people.

If you consume alcohol, reduce your intake. Especially if you are taking anything to deal with cholesterol.

Beverage alcohol will affect your body’s ability to utilize vitamins and can affect your liver if you are taking cholesterol-lowering meds. Doctors don’t often mention this.

If you’re counting on the sun for Vitamin D you have to NOT have sunscreen on.

One of the reasons our levels are dropping is because we’re being more responsible about skin cancer risks.

So aim for 20 mins a couple times a day in full sun. Expose your skin, clothing interferes too, so bare at least your arms and face.

Find the names of the drug companies that make the drugs you need. Many of them have programs where in they make the drugs available for little or no cost to people who can’t afford them.

You can get Vit D 4000 iu at Super Suppliments for about $3.00. That would be 12.5 pills, but it may be cheaper than the perscription.

(iu is international units.)

Thanks for the responses, everyone. I did go today and get vitamins - 5,000 IU of Vitamin D and 1,500 IU of B12. I also spent about 30 minutes in the sun. And we decided to change out the pork we buy and get fish instead on our next grocery run. (Which begs the question: why isn’t my SO similarly affected; we eat the same food every day.)

I didn’t know there was a generic and my pharmacy usually automatically goes for the generic if there is one available (e.g. when my doctor writes “Flonase” on the prescription, I get “Fluticasone”.) I wonder why they didn’t this time. I will bring this up with my doctor. Thanks. If it’s got a generic I can get it for $15.

Do you mind revealing what you pay for that? I haven’t turned in that prescription yet.

I do drink alcohol and have lowered my intake. My liver tests came back fine though. I mentioned some ongoing diarrhea problems to my doctor but she didn’t seem to make any connections, thinking I might be lactose intolerant. But this could be also why I’m not processing Vitamin D like I should be.

I don’t have any Vitamin D deficiency or B12 deficiency symptoms, which I find weird. But I don’t want my bones crumbling when I get older.

Thanks again everyone. :slight_smile:

(Missed the window) Taomist, I do have a multi that’s been gathering dust for a while, I can use that for my calcium. Thanks. :slight_smile:

P.S. Do vitamins expire?

Different bodies.

My parents eat the exact same diet as each other. My father has had problems with high cholesterol and triglycerides for his entire adult life. My mother has never had an issue with them (in fact, hers are freakishly low). I routinely thank my mother for passing on those genes to me.

I also took 50,000 units of Vitamin D once a week for eight weeks last year. I don’t remember what the cost was, but I know that it was less than my copay, so less than $25 for four weeks worth.

I had my annual physical a couple of weeks ago, and my doctor told me that this was the first year his lab was testing for vitamin D levels (I was low, which was why he brought up the topic).

(In my case all I needed was to take a generic, over-the-counter vitamin D pill every day.)

I paid $10.98 with insurance. Retail price $14.99 at Walgreens.

Adding ground flax to one meal a day can help with the triglycerides.

Just grind up about 2 tablespoons in a coffer grinder (NOT the same one you use for coffee) and sprinkle it on cereal, mix it in yogurt, add it to a smoothy, etc.

For the other, try to eat salmon 3 times a week and eliminate red meat if you can stand it. I have a genetic predisposition to very high triglycerides and I managed it by eating a mostly vegetarian diet - that may be a bit hardcore, but cutting out the red meat is a good start. Ditto for alcohol consumption - if you drink, stop (or cut down a LOT).