The Transfer to Tablets! Part 3

Clair Willcocks


Hello everyone, my name is Clair Willcocks, I am 27 years old and I am Galen Medical Nutrition’s new PKU blogger. I am an adult with PKU and I was diagnosed with Classical PKU 8 days after birth. I am on 5 exchanges of protein a day and currently taking the PKU EASY Microtabs substitute 6 times a day.


Does the novelty wear off?

Ironically, the trickiest part about having the PKU EASY Microtabs was that they were too easy to take! Having them full time meant I was on 6 caps a day and all I had to do was just open the tub, pour the microtabs in the cap, take some water and then swig them back. Since they didn’t have the faff/trauma that came with the drinks (pouring powder, mixing with of water, shaking and drinking) it meant a few hours later I would forget whether I had actually taken them!

To help with this, I decided to use the silent alarms on my smart watch. I studied my routine in the day and found the times that worked best for me. The silent alarms really did the trick, as they are just the prompt that I needed to remind me to take them and I was a good way to remember if I already had them, because I was able remember that my alarm went off earlier in the day. Being silent, it also means the alarms don’t disturb anyone else around me, which was important, especially as I have it going off 6 times a day! What also has helped me is placement of the tubes, I found if I couldn’t visibly see them or didn’t have them easily accessible, it meant that my lazy side had an excuse not to take them. So, for example, on the weekday I have them out on the kitchen side and on the weekend, in the front room.

Out and about is really where the microtabs shine, they are just so much easier to use. For me, no matter whether it was the premixed drink or the powder drinks, it was always a nightmare taking my substitute out with me. The shakers for the powder GMP drink would take up valuable room in my handbag and I always made a mess with the powder when I tried to make it. On a long day out, I would have to make sure I had enough liquid not only make the drink but also clean out the shaker for the next time, which meant carrying around heavy 2L bottles of water, as well as the embarrassment of having to sit there and wash out the shaker, make and shake a new drink.

With the premixed amino acid drink, though they had the convenience of not having to make them, I somehow always managed to break or pierce them, which meant on more than one occasion, all my stuff would get covered in my sticky, smelly drink, ruining everything. With the microtabs, all that hassle is just gone, all I need now is the tub of microtabs and a regular bottle of water which can be purchased at any shop in the world!

For me, the microtabs have simply, changed my life. It may have taken me a little while to get the technique down of having them without throwing the tiny tablets everywhere and to be able to fit 6 caps worth of microtabs into my routine, but now I have, my substitutes are just a part of my PKU life that I don’t have to worry about anymore.

They have had a huge impact on my physical health, they have barely any flavour and even if I can taste them, they are gone in seconds, unlike the drinks which would make me gag with every long drawn out mouthful. The microtabs also dissolve over a longer period of time, so I don’t have any belly cramps which I had from amino acid drinks.

They’ve also had a huge impact on my mental health, as before every substitute before felt like I had to smash through an emotional brick wall to get it down my neck, whereas the microtabs are just a breeze to take. I’ve gone from barely having 2 of my 3 substitutes a day to have all 6 caps every single day and it’s really showing in my blood levels. As my blood levels are down, my loved ones have noticed that my mind is better focused, and my moods are much calmer.

The microtabs have just made a huge difference in every aspect of my life, even they though may be a little bit weird to get used to, they have meant I can eat food whenever I like and take them whenever suits me so I can get on with the important stuff like focusing on my diet, which is what our substitutes should do. So we can get on with living our lives, our substitutes should be able to blend into the background, and because the microtabs are so easy to both carry and to take, they are able to do this easily and that makes all the difference in the world.

Date of preparation: April 2021

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