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How long should I continue taking multi-vitamins?

Q: I am a 32 years old female married for last eight years and blessed with a child, who is now four years old. I had been working right until the last year and took a break to spend some time with my family. I started experiencing heavy hair fall and heavy periods a couple of months back. I take multivitamins as per doctor’s prescriptions. My periods are back to normal now though my hair fall has not reduced. Now I am planning to re-join my office and plan for second child. How long do you advise me to take multivitamins? I used to weigh weighed 67 kg and have now reduced 3 - 4 kg. Given my responsibilities, I wouldn’t mind being on multivitamins for some more time. But how healthy is it? Do you suggest any nutritional supplement?

A:You have not given the name of the multivitamin preparation you are taking; hence I can not check its ingredients. In general, multivitamins should be taken only when there is deficiency; otherwise normal diet contains all that is needed by the body. Please check the amount of vitamin A in the product you are taking since excessive intake of this vitamin can lead to congenital defects in the baby. If there is no vitamin A, and if you are inclined to consume it, you may do so. Please keep in mind that you will need to take folic acid if you are planning to have another baby.

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