Iron Deficiency Anaemia

hopefilled

Well-Known Member
Hi all, I have been meaning to post about this for sometime....but have been rather distracted with other threads of late.

What I'd like to post about today, is my family's experience with IDA.

I am not a medical professional, so the info here is for your consideration only and one would best consult with your health care provider.

Whilst we have a resonable healthcare system in Australia, it can be difficult to find a Dr who is actually interested in playing detective with issues.
I should also mention that my investigations have revealed that most GP Dr have done very little study indepth on the digestive system and impact of nutrional deficiency issues.
There is however a growing interest in this field now - so hopefully in years to come ( should the Lord tarry) we will see improvements in this area.

I believe this is if HUGE importance to many women, who are suffering a combo of the symptoms listed below AND not being correctly diagnosed or treated UNTIL levels drop to extremely low.

Ok...

This started for us when my 14yr old daughter begun having issues with her running.

I am a Level 3 Athletics Australia accredited coach...specialist in Mid/distance running.
Whilst my daughter has had other coaches...I am currently coaching her.

She has been running since a young age and loves endurance events.
She is fit and healthy, eats well etc...

As I keep a record of her training and times etc....I can see how her body responds to training over short and long blocks.

She has for years followed a fairly consistent pattern of improvement.
Across 100m sprints thru to 5km runs and all distances in between - she progressively would improve her PB times.
About 2-3yrs ago we noticed a few issues....small at first....what seemed to be a " shoulder stitch" or burning in her shoulders about 2km into a longer run ( mainly under race conditions...not easy long runs).
This was adressed by physio and massage etc....put down as a combo of growing pains, underdeveloped shoulders and weak core....
Whilst that did play a part...I know now that this was a first warning sign.

This issue persisted and begun to include " stitches" elsewhere ( side stitches and later calf burning).
We knew she was fit...she had great endurance base....but something wasn't right.

Her shorter distances (100m - 800m) contiued to improve, whilst her longer races became a struggle and times plateaued or went backwards.
Another sign....
Her eye sight also deteriorated to the point she struggled to see the board at the front of the classroom.
Upon having a eye exam - we realised just how bad her eyes had become ( previously normal).
They found a haemorrhage at the back of her eye which is synonymous with a few conditions and so the Optometrist suggested immediate testing to rule them out.
It was during this testing I began researching like mad.
Jess' results came back with wonderful results across the board in all areas ( nutrion also) except her iron studies.
In Australia the range for ferritin ( iron storage capacity in the body) is between 20 -200.
Now I am not sure who determined this is the normal range....but I believe it needs reviewing.
Jess' results sat at 29.

Upon further study I discovered that for an athlete - ferritin should sit at 150 or higher.
Anything less would affect performance ability.
Iron assists in carrying oxygen around the body.
If the body struggles to do this - then fast paced running over longer distances is going to become a serious issue - hence the " stiches" or burning pain in muscle groups becomes more prevalent.

Further research demonstrated that levels under 70 would increase symptoms such as:
Insomnia
Hair loss
Anxiety
Depression
Weight loss or weight gain
Dry skin or skin issues
Dizzy spells if getting up too quick
Eye sight deterioration
Brain fog and short term memory issues
Bowel issues ( either extreme)
Weak nails that peel, split or are heavily ridged)
Dry lips
Dry or weak hair and hair loss.
Fatigue
Breathlessness on mild exertion.
Blood pressure issues ( low or high)
Loss of appetite

And more!!!

How is 20 normal in light of that?!!!
Serious reviews are needed.

So Jess' Dr determinded she was within a normal range and no treatment needed.

I told him otherwise and said we would start our own treatment plan to improve her iron levels and especially her ferritin.

Infusions are not available until levels drop below 17!!
This means one has to take oral iron +vit c to increase levels.
Thankfully Jess can tolerate high level tablets ( many cannot and become physically ill)....which has allowed for her levels to come up a little quicker.
But oral tablets take between 12 months to 2yrs at this high rate. Lower doseages take even longer.
It is a looong journey without infusion.

Tablets are not enough.....timing of food consumption and the types of food inportant.
Consuming too much calcium at the same time as eating iron sources/tablets will block it's ability to be absorbed.
So adjustments are best made to timing of tablets and or the food also being consumed.
Further study indicated that even if eating plenty of iron in ones diet ( which Jess has been) some people have problems absorbing it out of the gut.
So I researched this.
My kids all have some slight intolerance to dairy....there are many of my family members with this issue and also gluten intolerance.

So we trialed a diet that removed dairy and gluten, but increased other sources for calcium and carbs whilst playing around with timing of iron and Vit C tablet.

We also ensured that whenever iron in diet was being consumed that we added a vit c source also.....to improve absorption.

BINGO - levels started rising.

She still has a ways to go...12 months on and only just above 70 now.

She has lots of symptoms from that above list...some are improving....hopefully over next 6 months that will continue.

Her running times over longer distances are also back on the improve again.

I tested myself as I found I had many of the same symptoms - yes my ferritin levels also rather low at 39.

Asked my sister and her daughters to get tested......all very much the same. My sister so low she was allowed a infusion.

I wondered about my Mum with Alzheimer's....asked my Dad to have her tested.....yep 31.

Now especially for her, with cognitive impairment - what a difference it is making.
She has no doubt struggled with this for decades and had most of the symptoms on the list.
She had been treated by her doctor for depression, insomnia, blood pressure had a hysterectomy, diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment and then Alzheimer's etc.....BUT NEVER did the Dr's and specialists consider her low ferritin or treat her for it.
Instead she was medicated for all these symptoms - many drugs leading to side effects that required more drug therapy.

Whilst I encouraged her to start supplementation- I also encouraged her to maintain her current drug therapy as directed by her Dr.

She seems to be holding steady for the last year now re decline of her Alzheimer's ...hoping once her levels get up over 100 that it will assist with her insomnia along with numerous other symptoms.

All seem to be feeling better by removing dairy and gluten and adding in oral iron and changing diet as mentioned above.

I do wonder if more of these symptoms that people have and get medicated for...but overlooked for iron storage problems, could be better treated.

We are told as coaches that up to 50% of women athletes in endurance sport will get low iron issues at some point.
It is put down to not enough iron and that women menstrate and over training. This is also combined with a higher turn over of red blood cells which may only last for 70 days in an athlete compared to 120+ days for a normal adult.

Well my daughter- ate brilliantly....was a good weight and we only do minimal training so she is not burnt out for when she is older competing at senior levels.

Whilst she started developing normally for puberty, she never got her period.....until 2 months ago.
So one can't say she was loosing iron via that....or that she was over training or underweight.

In fact the women in my family all have very different lifestyles....some not active at all.

The common factor was food intolerances driving poor absorption in the gut ( even when a good/ balanced diet was being consumed).

It is my belief that we need to pay more attention to the sensitivities of individuals to various foods.

If there are foods you are consuming that are setting off an inflammatory response in your gut - then you will have issues absorbing nutrients via your intestinal wall.

If you have multiple symptoms on that list above...ask your GP for a full blood count including iron studies. Especially note your ferritin levels.

Aim for mid to high range ferritin - and watch your health improve.

If you suffer insomnia for a long time, do you know your cortisol levels rise....this can then affect your hormone regulation and lead to other issues ( weight gain and loads of others).

Do yourself a favour - get these tested and take your health on board.
We live in our bodies and I believe we should do what we can to educate ourselves about how to get the best out of that which we have.

Interestingly, when speaking to women, many have quite a number of these symptoms. Upon further investigation most of them have found their ferritin levels are between 20 -70 also.

Why are so many women suffering these unnecessary symptoms and NOT being treated better??

Many are often undergoing invasive tests to determine if they are bleeding internally ( usually nothing found) and often told to have a hysterectomy to stop monthly bleeding or at least chemicals to stop cycles!
It does make me a little mad to be honest.

All I can do, is encourage you to become your own health advocate.

Happy to answer any questions....hope this info may help others.
Xxx
 
Last edited:

hopefilled

Well-Known Member
I have to have iron infusions at least or once a year sometimes twice. I have chrons and no colon. I also have some other issues that are pretty sever. My appetite levels are so low that I have been told to eat anything I am willing to put in my mouth.
Sorry to hear that. Poor appetite can also be symptomatic of iron deficiency....but many other things also. Hopefully a registered Dietitian can help you put together a nutrient dense diet that your body can tolerate - given your health challenges. Will keep you in my prayers. Xxx
 

ReadyOrNot

Well-Known Member
Thank you, hopefilled, for sharing your story and research findings. It’s very interesting and I’m so glad you were diligent until you found an answer for what your family has been experiencing. I will certainly keep this in mind if any of these symptoms appear for myself or someone I know. I wonder if there’s a genetic component to the low iron that your family has experienced. I also think that low gastric HCL may be to blame (as we age) for under-absorption of the nutrients in our diets.
 

hopefilled

Well-Known Member
Thank you, hopefilled, for sharing your story and research findings. It’s very interesting and I’m so glad you were diligent until you found an answer for what your family has been experiencing. I will certainly keep this in mind if any of these symptoms appear for myself or someone I know. I wonder if there’s a genetic component to the low iron that your family has experienced. I also think that low gastric HCL may be to blame (as we age) for under-absorption of the nutrients in our diets.
I do not think at this stage there is a genetic link to IDA directly.
Perhaps new discoveries at a future date may show something...
The link genetically may be the food intolerance though.....
I find it fascinating to research such areas as I'm not one to just take a medication to hide a symptom....but believe it is important to get to the root cause of a problem and solve it.
 

Forgiven1

Watching and waiting
Hi Jen,
Hi all, I have been meaning to post about this for sometime....but have been rather distracted with other threads of late.

What I'd like to post about today, is my family's experience with IDA.

I am not a medical professional, so the info here is for your consideration only and one would best consult with your health care provider.

Whilst we have a resonable healthcare system in Australia, it can be difficult to find a Dr who is actually interested in playing detective with issues.
I should also mention that my investigations have revealed that most GP Dr have done very little study indepth on the digestive system and impact of nutrional deficiency issues.
There is however a growing interest in this field now - so hopefully in years to come ( should the Lord tarry) we will see improvements in this area.

I believe this is if HUGE importance to many women, who are suffering a combo of the symptoms listed below AND not being correctly diagnosed or treated UNTIL levels drop to extremely low.

Ok...

This started for us when my 14yr old daughter begun having issues with her running.

I am a Level 3 Athletics Australia accredited coach...specialist in Mid/distance running.
Whilst my daughter has had other coaches...I am currently coaching her.

She has been running since a young age and loves endurance events.
She is fit and healthy, eats well etc...

As I keep a record of her training and times etc....I can see how her body responds to training over short and long blocks.

She has for years followed a fairly consistent pattern of improvement.
Across 100m sprints thru to 5km runs and all distances in between - she progressively would improve her PB times.
About 2-3yrs ago we noticed a few issues....small at first....what seemed to be a " shoulder stitch" or burning in her shoulders about 2km into a longer run ( mainly under race conditions...not easy long runs).
This was adressed by physio and massage etc....put down as a combo of growing pains, underdeveloped shoulders and weak core....
Whilst that did play a part...I know now that this was a first warning sign.

This issue persisted and begun to include " stitches" elsewhere ( side stitches and later calf burning).
We knew she was fit...she had great endurance base....but something wasn't right.

Her shorter distances (100m - 800m) contiued to improve, whilst her longer races became a struggle and times plateaued or went backwards.
Another sign....
Her eye sight also deteriorated to the point she struggled to see the board at the front of the classroom.
Upon having a eye exam - we realised just how bad her eyes had become ( previously normal).
They found a haemorrhage at the back of her eye which is synonymous with a few conditions and so the Optometrist suggested immediate testing to rule them out.
It was during this testing I began researching like mad.
Jess' results came back with wonderful results across the board in all areas ( nutrion also) except her iron studies.
In Australia the range for ferritin ( iron storage capacity in the body) is between 20 -200.
Now I am not sure who determined this is the normal range....but I believe it needs reviewing.
Jess' results sat at 29.

Upon further study I discovered that for an athlete - ferritin should sit at 150 or higher.
Anything less would affect performance ability.
Iron assists in carrying oxygen around the body.
If the body struggles to do this - then fast paced running over longer distances is going to become a serious issue - hence the " stiches" or burning pain in muscle groups becomes more prevalent.

Further research demonstrated that levels under 70 would increase symptoms such as:
Insomnia
Hair loss
Anxiety
Depression
Weight loss or weight gain
Dry skin or skin issues
Dizzy spells if getting up too quick
Eye sight deterioration
Brain fog and short term memory issues
Bowel issues ( either extreme)
Weak nails that peel, split or are heavily ridged)
Dry lips
Dry or weak hair and hair loss.
Fatigue
Breathlessness on mild exertion.
Blood pressure issues ( low or high)
Loss of appetite

And more!!!

How is 20 normal in light of that?!!!
Serious reviews are needed.

So Jess' Dr determinded she was within a normal range and no treatment needed.

I told him otherwise and said we would start our own treatment plan to improve her iron levels and especially her ferritin.

Infusions are not available until levels drop below 17!!
This means one has to take oral iron +vit c to increase levels.
Thankfully Jess can tolerate high level tablets ( many cannot and become physically ill)....which has allowed for her levels to come up a little quicker.
But oral tablets take between 12 months to 2yrs at this high rate. Lower doseages take even longer.
It is a looong journey without infusion.

Tablets are not enough.....timing of food consumption and the types of food inportant.
Consuming too much calcium at the same time as eating iron sources/tablets will block it's ability to be absorbed.
So adjustments are best made to timing of tablets and or the food also being consumed.
Further study indicated that even if eating plenty of iron in ones diet ( which Jess has been) some people have problems absorbing it out of the gut.
So I researched this.
My kids all have some slight intolerance to dairy....there are many of my family members with this issue and also gluten intolerance.

So we trialed a diet that removed dairy and gluten, but increased other sources for calcium and carbs whilst playing around with timing of iron and Vit C tablet.

We also ensured that whenever iron in diet was being consumed that we added a vit c source also.....to improve absorption.

BINGO - levels started rising.

She still has a ways to go...12 months on and only just above 70 now.

She has lots of symptoms from that above list...some are improving....hopefully over next 6 months that will continue.

Her running times over longer distances are also back on the improve again.

I tested myself as I found I had many of the same symptoms - yes my ferritin levels also rather low at 39.

Asked my sister and her daughters to get tested......all very much the same. My sister so low she was allowed a infusion.

I wondered about my Mum with Alzheimer's....asked my Dad to have her tested.....yep 31.

Now especially for her, with cognitive impairment - what a difference it is making.
She has no doubt struggled with this for decades and had most of the symptoms on the list.
She had been treated by her doctor for depression, insomnia, blood pressure had a hysterectomy, diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment and then Alzheimer's etc.....BUT NEVER did the Dr's and specialists consider her low ferritin or treat her for it.
Instead she was medicated for all these symptoms - many drugs leading to side effects that required more drug therapy.

Whilst I encouraged her to start supplementation- I also encouraged her to maintain her current drug therapy as directed by her Dr.

She seems to be holding steady for the last year now re decline of her Alzheimer's ...hoping once her levels get up over 100 that it will assist with her insomnia along with numerous other symptoms.

All seem to be feeling better by removing dairy and gluten and adding in oral iron and changing diet as mentioned above.

I do wonder if more of these symptoms that people have and get medicated for...but overlooked for iron storage problems, could be better treated.

We are told as coaches that up to 50% of women athletes in endurance sport will get low iron issues at some point.
It is put down to not enough iron and that women menstrate and over training. This is also combined with a higher turn over of red blood cells which may only last for 70 days in an athlete compared to 120+ days for a normal adult.

Well my daughter- ate brilliantly....was a good weight and we only do minimal training so she is not burnt out for when she is older competing at senior levels.

Whilst she started developing normally for puberty, she never got her period.....until 2 months ago.
So one can't say she was loosing iron via that....or that she was over training or underweight.

In fact the women in my family all have very different lifestyles....some not active at all.

The common factor was food intolerances driving poor absorption in the gut ( even when a good/ balanced diet was being consumed).

It is my belief that we need to pay more attention to the sensitivities of individuals to various foods.

If there are foods you are consuming that are setting off an inflammatory response in your gut - then you will have issues absorbing nutrients via your intestinal wall.

If you have multiple symptoms on that list above...ask your GP for a full blood count including iron studies. Especially note your ferritin levels.

Aim for mid to high range ferritin - and watch your health improve.

If you suffer insomnia for a long time, do you know your cortisol levels rise....this can then affect your hormone regulation and lead to other issues ( weight gain and loads of others).

Do yourself a favour - get these tested and take your health on board.
We live in our bodies and I believe we should do what we can to educate ourselves about how to get the best out of that which we have.

Interestingly, when speaking to women, many have quite a number of these symptoms. Upon further investigation most of them have found their ferritin levels are between 20 -70 also.

Why are so many women suffering these unnecessary symptoms and NOT being treated better??

Many are often undergoing invasive tests to determine if they are bleeding internally ( usually nothing found) and often told to have a hysterectomy to stop monthly bleeding or at least chemicals to stop cycles!
It does make me a little mad to be honest.

All I can do, is encourage you to become your own health advocate.

Happy to answer any questions....hope this info may help others.
Xxx
I wonder if you could answer some questions I have about low ferritin please! So a few months back I went to the doctor because for a while I have been losing hair in scary amounts, especially when I shower. I was also feeling fatigued, with a loss of ability to workout as I used to. My diet is really healthy. Anyway, my blood work was taken & my ferritin level was 18. Doctor was not concerned but as I researched I felt this may be the cause of my issues. After 3 months of iron supplementation my blood was tested again and level is at 20. I was so disappointed that it's rising so slowly. My doctor keeps looking for other possibilities that could be causing my symptoms. Every thing else he tested is normal. Do you think my low ferritin is likely the cause? I'm really worried about the hair loss especially. My hair is so thin now and I've heard ferritin levels need to be at 70 to support healthy hair. Also do you know how I can raise ferritin more quickly and types of iron that work best? Any advice would be helpful. Thanks!
 

hopefilled

Well-Known Member
Hi Jen,

I wonder if you could answer some questions I have about low ferritin please! So a few months back I went to the doctor because for a while I have been losing hair in scary amounts, especially when I shower. I was also feeling fatigued, with a loss of ability to workout as I used to. My diet is really healthy. Anyway, my blood work was taken & my ferritin level was 18. Doctor was not concerned but as I researched I felt this may be the cause of my issues. After 3 months of iron supplementation my blood was tested again and level is at 20. I was so disappointed that it's rising so slowly. My doctor keeps looking for other possibilities that could be causing my symptoms. Every thing else he tested is normal. Do you think my low ferritin is likely the cause? I'm really worried about the hair loss especially. My hair is so thin now and I've heard ferritin levels need to be at 70 to support healthy hair. Also do you know how I can raise ferritin more quickly and types of iron that work best? Any advice would be helpful. Thanks!
Hi dear....
Yes that is very low and most certainly will cause significant hair loss.
It may also he helpful to get your Vit D levels checked.
This can also produce similar symptoms.
I have both low ferritin and Vit D deficiency.
This is despite working outside for decades!

Thyroid function and hormone levels as well as Vit B12 also might give a better picture of what is going on.

We have found that besides iron infusions( which often cannot be accessed until your levels drop dangerously low and you end up in ER) to be a combination approach of the following.
1. High doses of supplements daily.
Everyone is different...some have gastrointestinal issues with certain forms of iron supplements.
Both my daughter and I tolerate a high dose tablet. The one we buy over the counter ( no prescription needed in Aus) is called: Ferro-grad. It is ferrous sulfate 325mg.
The closer to 100mg or higher that you can tolerate daily, the better.
If your supplement is 60mg or less - it will take a long time......many years.
Along with this tablet, you need to use a high dose Vit C. To assist in absorption.
I prefer mine in the morning. My daughter prefers hers at night.
Trial and error will show you what works best for you.
It is important to avoid calcium and caffeine 2hrs either side of this tablet.
Both will also reduce it's effectiveness to be absorbed by your body.

2. Consider if your gut may be inflamed due to food sensitivity.

This is important....because if your gut is inflamed - it can reduce your body's ability to absorb iron and other nutrients ( no matter how well you are eating).
For us it was dairy and gluten sensitivity.
It is quite a common one...but there can be many different food intolerances that can trigger such a response.
A food diary and dietitian can assist with these if needed.

3. Increase foods high in iron and ensure that when you eat them, you eat a Vit C source and minimise calcium.
This is easy enough to do.

This combo saw my daughter go from 23 to 120 for her ferritin levels in 12months....without infusions.
We are aiming for 150.
Her Vit D tested a bit low recently and so I now have her on D3 +K2 in the morning with Magnesium Glycinate of an evening.
This combo is essential for Vit D to get absorbed, transported and store calcium in the bones/ teeth etc and not deposit it in tissues and organs ( kidneys, arteries).

Don't want to overload you with too much info at once. But hope this helps as a starting point.
Please ask questions if you need to clarify.. xxx
Praying for an improvement in your health.:pray
 
Last edited:

Forgiven1

Watching and waiting
Hi dear....
Yes that is very low and most certainly will cause significant hair loss.
It may also he helpful to get your Vit D levels checked.
This can also produce similar symptoms.
I have both low ferritin and Vit D deficiency.
This is despite working outside for decades!

Thyroid function and hormone levels as well as Vit B12 also might give a better picture of what is going on.

We have found that besides iron infusions( which often cannot be accessed until your levels drop dangerously low and you end up in ER) to be a combination approach of the following.
1. High doses of supplements daily.
Everyone is different...some have gastrointestinal issues with certain forms of iron supplements.
Both my daughter and I tolerate a high dose tablet. The one we buy over the counter ( no prescription needed in Aus) is called: Ferro-grad. It is ferrous sulfate 325mg.
The closer to 100mg or higher that you can tolerate daily, the better.
If your supplement is 60mg or less - it will take a long time......many years.
Along with this tablet, you need to use a high dose Vit C. To assist in absorption.
I prefer mine in the morning. My daughter prefers hers at night.
Trial and error will show you what works best for you.
It is important to avoid calcium and caffeine 2hrs either side of this tablet.
Both will also reduce it's effectiveness to be absorbed by your body.

2. Consider if your gut may be inflamed due to food sensitivity.

This is important....because if your gut is inflamed - it can reduce your body's ability to absorb iron and other nutrients ( no matter how well you are eating).
For us it was dairy and gluten sensitivity.
It is quite a common one...but there can be many different food intolerances that can trigger such a response.
A food diary and dietitian can assist with these if needed.

3. Increase foods high in iron and ensure that when you eat them, you eat a Vit C source and minimise calcium.
This is easy enough to do.

This combo saw my daughter go from 23 to 120 for her ferritin levels in 12months....without infusions.
We are aiming for 150.
Her Vit D tested a bit low recently and so I now have her on D3 +K2 in the morning with Magnesium Glycinate of an evening.
This combo is essential for Vit D to get absorbed, transported and store calcium in the bones/ teeth etc and not deposit it in tissues and organs ( kidneys, arteries).

Don't want to overload you with too much info at once. But hope this helps as a starting point.
Please ask questions if you need to clarify.. xxx
Praying for an improvement in your health.:pray
Thanks so much for your detailed reply! I have some ferrous sulfate tablets. The bottle says they are 190 mg (60 mg elemental). I will start taking those.

Is it ok to take iron supplements on an empty stomach, say before bed, or do they have to be taken with food?

My vitamin D & B12 and thyroid levels are good. Perhaps inflammation could be an issue, like you suggested. I'm glad to hear your daughter's levels have increased so much. She must be feeling so much better now!

:thankyou
 

hopefilled

Well-Known Member
Thanks so much for your detailed reply! I have some ferrous sulfate tablets. The bottle says they are 190 mg (60 mg elemental). I will start taking those.

Is it ok to take iron supplements on an empty stomach, say before bed, or do they have to be taken with food?

My vitamin D & B12 and thyroid levels are good. Perhaps inflammation could be an issue, like you suggested. I'm glad to hear your daughter's levels have increased so much. She must be feeling so much better now!

:thankyou
You are welcome.
Glad to hear your Vit D and B12 are good!!

It doesn't really matter re the timing of the tablet.
Some find it easier on the stomach to have food in it.
See how you go I suppose.
My daughter has hers with her evening meal and it has worked sufficiently.

The side effects can be nausea or bowel movement changes ( to either extreme).
Expect colour changes in bowel movements ( dark/ black) this is normal.
We have had minimal side effects.
Some people do struggle with these.

My daughter has been slowly improving...but as an athlete it is still needing to get to 150 or greater as it affects her ability to breathe and run at a fast pace over longer distance events (1.5 to 2km is her current max before she hits an oxygen wall).
I'm expecting another 3 months of treatment for both Vit D and Iron and she hopefully will be able to " feel" much improved.
Her sleep definitely improving and less anxious thoughts along with less hair loss.
So hang in there....it does pay off.
Sounds like investigating some dietary issues that could be contributing.

Also consider oils....minimise canola, sunflower and vegetable oils where possible and replace with coconut oil and olive oil.
This can also assist with reducing inflammation in many people.
Another biggie can be the nightshade family ( tomatoes, potatoes etc).

A food diary of what you eat and how you feel and what you bowel reacts to can assist in identifying.
There are medical tests that can also short track those investigations.

May the Lord guide you as you search out such matters and lead you to solutions.:pray
 

MapleLeaf

Well-Known Member
Interesting. Is the iron stores low or are you talking about full-blown anemia? I had long struggled with low iron stores but the doctor said my hemoglobin levels were perfect. But since the birth of my youngest I have developed full-blown anemia. Iron supplements don't seem to touch it but I certainly do have cycle issues. I was recently diagnosed with something similar to endometriosis but it involves scare tissue inside the womb. I had a D&C from a miscarriage just 3 months before I became pregnant with my daughter. I also had undiagnosed anemia during the pregnancy. Only found out when I bled out at her birth. The doctor wants me on the mirena coil but I hate birth control for many reasons (it does weird hormonal things to me) and the coil is like the morning-after pill. Not ok with that. Not sure I could give up dairy and gluten though.

I need to lose weight and finding an exercise that challenges me without killing me is tough. Hiking is a great balance but the nearest trails are an hour away. I am doing 8 min workouts with my kids but I lose endurance over time.
 

hopefilled

Well-Known Member
WS - again apologies for delayed reply!

Iron can be found it 2 forms in the food we eat: Heme ( from animal sources) and Non- Heme ( plant based).
Most of our iron is absorbed by Heme sources.
If you do not consume meat or animal products...you will need to eat lots more Non- Heme sources to make up the shortfall.

Heme sources: meats, seafood etc

Non- Heme sources: broccoli, sweet potatoes and white potatoes ( with skin on), dried apricots, dates, nuts, seeds, lentils, peas and other legumes, pumpkin and flaxseeds, rasins, watermelon, spinnach, kale, mushrooms, olives etc.

Timing of food is important.

2hrs before meal rich in iron - avoid caffeine ( coffee, tea etc) and calcium sources such as dairy.
Both caffeine and calcium will inhibit iron absorption.

Eat meal rich in iron with a Vit C source.
Vit C helps aid in the absorption of iron. ( see list below for suggestions).
Have your iron supplement with this meal.

2hrs after meal avoid both caffeine and calcium.

Vit C rich foods: green/red capsicum ( peppers), sweet potatoes/ white, tomatoes, strawberries, kiwi fruit, fortified orange juices, citrus fruits, papaya, cantaloupe, kale, snow pea, cauliflower etc..

There are many different types of Anaemia and causes thereof.

Good to get a full blood count done including full iron studies ( esp Ferritin)as well as Vit D.
Vit D deficiency is very common and can give similar symptoms.
Being indoors due to Covid will exacerbate this...living away from the equator also heightens risk...being outdoors, but using sunscreen also..

1. Find out your status.
2. Get diagnosed correctly.
3. Explore root cause.
4. Modify diet and timing of iron, Vit C, calcium.
5. Supplement with high doses.

Hope that info is of assistance! Xx
 

MapleLeaf

Well-Known Member
Most North Americans are vitamin D deficient. I have a hard time remembering to take supplements but I have been very intentional on going outside with the kids this year. The winters get down to minus 20 Celcius so that is tougher but that is what windows are for!

I need to pick up more spinach. It is easy to add to any meal and the kids don't notice if I don't smother the dish in it.

I also use an Iron Fish. It is meant just for low iron stores so I use it alongside supplements. You can use it in soups, curries or any water-based meal (not the type you drain the water away). I often boil it in a pot of water for my coffee or tea. I mainly use it during my cycle when I need all the iron I can get.

My doctor is reluctant to do anything surgical but I would love to fix the source of my anemia and my cycles get in the way of life. I am a literal invalid due to blood loss for at least 2 days. It reminds me of my miscarriages and it is kind of scary, to be honest. We are done having kids so there wouldn't be any reason not to. The scarring is treated by ablation, I believe.
 

Everlasting Life

Through Faith in Jesus
As far as inflammation sugar is a big culprit as well! My husband cut out all sugar in his diet and his aches and pains went away. Any time he eats sugar he's in pain for a couple of days after.

Thanks for starting this thread hopefilled. :)
 

hopefilled

Well-Known Member
As far as inflammation sugar is a big culprit as well! My husband cut out all sugar in his diet and his aches and pains went away. Any time he eats sugar he's in pain for a couple of days after.

Thanks for starting this thread hopefilled. :)
Very true re sugar!
And you are welcome.
 
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