Vitamin B3 – My ‘Interesting’ Experience!

by You Be Healthy

At my last visit to my TCM (Doctor of Chinese Medicine), I asked her for something to help me with cramps.  She gave me a few great tips, including take Vitamin B3 (Niacin) every hour when cramps are heavy.  So off I went to my health food store to pick up some Vitamin B3!  The lady at the health food store asked if I would like the ‘no-flush B3’.  I asked what the difference was and she said that some people experience red, tingling skin for a while with the regular Vitamin B3.  She said if I took the regular version, I should take it with food.  I decided on the regular B3 as a little red skin doesn’t bother me and I am not overly sensitive to anything.

I will now tell you what happened 5 days ago.  It was 6 days after my knee surgery and along with my surgery pain, I was having cramps, so I decided to take my B3 for the first time.  I forgot about the ‘take it on a full stomach’ and took 100 mg 2 hours after my breakfast. I then went upstairs to do a little work on my computer.  After 5 minutes, I felt a tingling sensation and thought ‘Oh geez, I wonder if I have a blood clot!’  Blood clots can form after surgery and I’d been doing exercises to keep the blood moving to avoid clots.  So I was very aware of blood clot symptoms, which can include tingling sensation in your leg for a knee surgery.

The tingling was not located in my leg but all over my body.  I decide to lie down for a few minutes to see if this would help.  It did not.  The tingling became stronger, my skin was itching and now I felt like I was on fire!  I ripped off the ice packs from my knee and threw them on my head…I called out for my partner, Dave, and he came running in to help.  Things were not getting better as my heart rate was rising and I was sweating.  We went to the hospital to find out what was wrong.

I was greeted by a cheerful nurse who asked me if I’d taken any Vitamin B3, after she heard/saw (I looked like a red lobster!) my symptoms! I said yes …. and asked ‘why’?  She told me that this is a common reaction to Vitamin B3.  WOW.

So no, I did not have a blood clot 🙂  It was a reaction to B3!

Apparently if you take an Asprin 30 minutes before your Vitamin B3 or take with a meal, this will help avoid the side effects.

To your health,

PS Here are some foods high in Vitamin B3:

Animal products:

* liver, heart and kidney
* chicken
* beef
* fish: tuna, salmon
* milk
* eggs

Fruits and vegetables:

* avocados
* dates
* tomatoes
* leaf vegetables
* broccoli
* carrots
* sweet potatoes
* asparagus


* nuts
* whole grain products
* legumes
* saltbush seeds


* mushrooms
* brewer’s yeast

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