Liposoluble vitamins - important or unimportant?
Since 1999 I have been helping people affected by pancreatic illnesses, especially cancer, on a day-to-day basis. During this period I have noticed that affected people often suffer from a poor digestion of fats due to their illness, although there may be different reasons for this. Not everyone suffers from vitamin deficiency.
Sometimes liposoluble vitamins are not properly absorbed or not absorbed at all by the body from the food, despite attention being paid to a balanced diet. Then vitamin deficiency (avitaminosis) can lead to severe physical problems. Affected persons regularly complain of sudden night blindness, sight problems, bone and joint pain, blood coagulation problems, skin problems etc. in the group meetings or in individual advisory sessions. They report simply that they feel that something is not quite right in their bodies. Only after a certain period of suffering do they go to their doctor and consult him about the symptoms. Unfortunately, something that I often experience is that doctors often don’t think of vitamin deficiency as being the cause of the symptoms. Of course, not everyone that suffers from a pancreatic illness has a vitamin deficiency. Affected persons who eat a balanced diet and take their digestive enzymes sufficiently in the correct dose, seldom require additional liposoluble vitamins. People who have a low fat intake or already suffer from a vitamin deficiency, usually require additional ADEK vitamins. You can have a blood analysis done in order to ascertain your vitamin status, but you often have to pay for it privately. Doctors, dieticians and health insurances should long be familiar with the problems of ADEK vitamins, since the parenteral medication with these vitally important vitamins in cases of malabsorption is long since paid for by the health insurances.
How did I stumble across the topic of ADEK vitamins?
I was in a work group between 1999 and 2005, which championed people with a pancreatic illness. I founded and led a self-help group for people with pancreatic illnesses in Ludwigsburg and later in Stuttgart under this umbrella. During this time I was confronted regularly with the topic of liposoluble ADEK vitamins through the participants. At that time, I heard that the company Dr. Falk Pharma GmbH intended to cease production of ADEK-Falk by the 30.06.2003, the medication which was registered for the parenteral substitution of liposoluble vitamins in cases of malabsorption. Affected persons who had been taking ADEK-Falk for years and had been experiencing a significant improvement in their general condition suddenly had a very big problem. They were concerned that they would have to suffer from a vitamin deficiency again. They started to hamster the essential ADEK-Falk ampules as the work group and I myself had also advised them. I felt the fears and the distress of the people in the groups and I searched for solutions and wanted to help. But how? At that time I had no idea.
As so often happens in life, help came from another source. Suddenly and unexpectedly a door opened and no-one could have imagined what was to emerge. What happened at that time? At one of our group meetings in March 2004 we were talking about the topic of nutrition, enzymes and vitamins and so, of course, the question came from one of the participants, as it had to:
- Will the ADEK vitamins be produced again?
- What shall we do without these vitamins?
- Frau Stang, can’t you help?
Suddenly one of the affected people in the group said loudly and insistently: “Try contacting the “Alte Apotheke Feuerbach”, Dr. Steinbeck. She is the owner. That woman works very hard for my wife, who has pancreatic cancer, and helps wherever she can. Apart from that, I know that the “Alte Apotheke” makes its own medicines. If there’s someone who could help us, then it is her.” Nobody could know at that time, just how right this man was. With this recommendation, I got in touch with Dr. Steinbeck, whom I had never met. I invited her to our next group meeting, so that she could gain her own impressions of our work. She accepted and came!
At our next group meeting we got to know a very open and amiable personality. The affected people and their relatives and I trusted her immediately and unconditionally. That group meeting made a big impression on us all, it was very informative and very humane. Dr. Steinbeck listened attentively, asked questions, gave tips and, at the end, promised the group: „I’ll see what I can do. I’ll check out the requirements, and if possible, I’ll do everything to realise the project.” Straight away, we were sure that she would really do that, she wasn’t just talking, she would do something. She probably sensed at that moment, that it would be difficult and that our enterprise would not be greeted with enthusiasm everywhere. However, I was unbiased and believed firmly in a good solution. I took part in lots of meetings in our work group and informed the heads of the group. But I had the impression that nothing much was happening. I continued my search, I knew lots of very good doctors through my many connections and so it happened that I presented my idea to help affected people to get ADEK vitamins to the well-known doctor Prof. Dr. Rainer Klapdor in Hamburg. He is well-known in Germany, but also abroad. He promised to get in touch with Dr. Steinbeck. My work was done!
By February 2005 everything was set. Dr. Steinbeck produced ADAK injections and the doctors could prescribe them. At the beginning she took care of the composition and the dose of the ADEK-Falk vitamins. But, even at that time, there were no preserving agents used and sesame oil was used as the substrate, as peanut oil is potentially allergenic.
The ADEK ready-to-use injections are still produced today in the “Alte Apotheke”. One of the special advantages of this production, and something which is found to be most helpful, is that Dr. Steinbeck can make the ADEK ready-to–use injections to the individual needs of the patient and according to the precise instructions of the doctor. Additionally, it is regularly reported that it is not necessary to buy minimum amounts of finished products. Important: As already stated, the health insurance will pay for the costs if the doctor diagnoses “Malabsorption”.
Our experience with the “Alte Apotheke Feuerbach” up to the present day has been only of the very best. The people in Regional Groups and also in counselling interviews are always full of praise for the ADEK vitamins which they have been getting for years from there. Dr. Steinbeck was honorary deputy chairwoman of the TEB e.V. group from 2006 to 2016. During this time she committed herself to working for the needs of the affected people in many different ways. She achieved a lot and our work together was accompanied by trust, knowledge, humanity and friendliness. Her professional talks, for example on subjects like aftereffects and measures when treating with chemotherapy, skincare, vitamin status, concurrent medication or intolerance of medication, weight and digestive problems, additional nourishment etc. etc. are still of benefit for all affected persons and their relatives. She has been making it possible for years now, that a regular BIA measurement can be offered in the regional groups. Her personal skills and experience, her knowledge and her readiness to help ill people is without example and shows me that her main priority is always the patients and their fates. I, personally learned a lot from her. Unfortunately, she had to give up the position of honorary deputy chairwoman, as it demanded too much of her time. However, she remains an important link for me, for our members, patients, relatives and doctors. We are very grateful that we can continue to count on her help and support. She has our heartfelt thanks for her dedication!
One of the affected people in the Regional Groups Mittlerer Neckar and Lauter/Fils says: “I’d certainly be much worse off without the ready-to-use injections from Dr. Steinbeck. My doctor tried to fill the deficits of vitamin D for a long time, but all the medication which was prescribed for me didn’t help. In the end I could hardly move. But today I’m much better. I can now feel immediately, when I need a further ADEK vitamin injection.
Many people ask themselves, if we would even have ADEK vitamins today, if Dr. Steinbeck hadn’t decided to produce them again.