Not the band, no, just me taking too much of a good thing.
I take a B-complex vitamin supplement because I read somewhere it helps to regulate stress hormones and I have a lot of stress in my life. Hey, don’t laugh, it actually seems to work. No idea if it’s a placebo effect or what, but seven bucks a month for piece of mind, why not? Besides, vitamins are good for you, right?
My current brand of vitamins tasted like ass and I’d been out of them for weeks so I thought I might try something new. So while picking up some things at the grocery store, I got myself a different brand of B-complex vitamins.
When I get them home, I realize I’ve grabbed the wrong jar. Instead of regular B supplements, I have grabbed a container of Mega-Awesome-Ass-Kicking-Super-B-Complex vitamins. Now with 200% more B3! Whatever. They’re good for you, right? Next morning, I swallow one of the stronger pills, wash it down with a bagel and a cup of OJ and go to work.
Maybe forty minutes later I’m busy fixing a laptop when a rather uncomfortable feeling washes over my body like a wave:
- very flushed, even on my neck and flanks
- my ass and thighs burn
- my skin is crawling and itching like a motherfucker
Gotta be the new pills. The only thing I did different this morning. I know that B supplements can sometimes make you flush and turn your pee neon yellow, but this is nuts. The bottoms of my feet itch. The tops of my ears itch. My fingernails fucking itch! I scratch furiously as I try to figure out what the hell is happening to me.
What I have is apparently called a niacin flush, an occasional harmless reaction to large does (eg. over 100mg) of vitamin B3. Harmless, eh? I want to scratch my own skin off. 50mg is the normal amount of niacin I’ve been taking. I just ate down 250mg, which I’m getting the notion is way too much for me.*
But according to the mega-dose vitamin crowd this is a good sign. My body is now fully saturated with happy niacin, yay! According to them I am:
- making my cholesterol lower
- removing toxic chemicals from my body
- feeding underfed areas of my body (whatever the hell that is supposed to mean)
- protecting my heart from disease
- getting stronger
- sleeping better
- reducing stress
- enhancing a sense of well-being
- stimulating my skin (yeah, no shit!)
- enhancing my erection
Useful as a sex aid… well that’s just shiny. Maybe it’s a turn-on for some to watch your partner flop around with the heebie jeebies, but not my cup of tea. Some of these folks take thousands of milligrams of the stuff a day and say they’ll live forever. You know, just because it’s water soluble and hard to overdose on doesn’t mean you should take a metric assload of the stuff. I’m not sure what they feel like after breakfast, but I’m screwed up. I’ve made a big mistake with my pills here.
The episode lasts maybe forty minutes. After that an odd sense of warmth set in that lasted well into the afternoon. Enough body hacking for today. Vitamins are supposed to make you feel better and not mess you up. I think the new pills are going bye-bye.
* Health Canada says that 18mg is all I need in a day and a balanced diet will supply it.