“We are in a dive!”We’re CRASHING!
And like Denzel…We’re going down!
Iron deficiency anemia occurs when the body doesn’t have enough iron.
Iron helps to make hemoglobin in red blood cells. The hemoglobin then carries oxygen to all of the muscles, tissues and organs in your body. Essentially, without iron, body parts would suffocate (lack of oxygen) and die.
I’ve taken every iron supplement under the sun! They seem to work for a while, but then… we’re in a dive again! WHY?
My mother would say, “That’s easy. It’s because you don’t eat meat. I told you, you need to eat like regular people. You know you NEED a little meat. Everybody knows that’s where it comes from. I bet that’s why you’re always so tired. You ought to eat SOME meat. Come on over, I’ll fix you some liver and onions. “
Mom, you’re right. Eating red meat and organ meat are the most efficient ways to get iron, but I’m vegan so that’s not going to happen. I’ve learned it is possible for a vegan diet to meet the recommendations for iron as long as calorie intake is adequate (and mine is not). The key is to eat a varied diet (and I don’t).
I can’t leave out possible absorption issues. Even if I take enough in, my body might not be absorbing enough of it. To help with this, I should have vitamin C with my iron rich food. I’ll keep a bowl of sliced oranges in the refrigerator. Calcium also hinders the absorption of iron; avoid high-calcium foods for a half hour before or after eating iron-rich foods.
Another possible cause for women would be heavy menstrual bleeding. Not my issue! (insert Happy Dance here)
And last, but not least, is to have bleeding inside your body. This bleeding may be caused by problems such as ulcers, hemorrhoids, or cancer. This bleeding can also happen with regular aspirin use. Bleeding inside the body is the most common cause of iron deficiency anemia in men and in women after menopause. All I know is, I see no blood and I feel no pain.
To muddy the water; things are more complicated when you have MS. With ANY symptom, MS comes to mind as the first cause.
These are symptoms of iron deficiency that I thought were my MS and ignored:
*easy fatigue and loss of energy *shortness of breath *headache *difficulty concentrating
*dizziness *leg cramps *insomnia
These are the symptoms that didn’t seem like they could be my MS:
* craving for unusual food with no nutritional value (pica): in my case, the chewing of ice (pagophagia)
*cracks at the corner of the mouth (seriously?)
*a”wired” feeling in my legs at the end of the day: strong urge to move the legs, MUST stand, interferes with sleep (restless leg syndrome)
THIS is the symptom that took me to the doctor (eventually):
HEART PALPITATIONS, which I managed to ignored as long as I could. Give away was, falling asleep in my husband’s arms and him feeling what he thought was a cell phone vibrating in my shirt pocket. What shirt…what pocket?
If you don’t have enough hemoglobin-carrying red blood cells, your heart has to work harder to move oxygen-rich blood through your body. This can lead to irregular heartbeats called arrhythmias (ah-RITH-me-ahs), an enlarged heart, or even heart failure.
Read more on iron deficiency anemia: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/ida/signs.html
Plan of action: get more iron A.S.A.P. with iron infusions and then…
colonoscopy/endoscopy. We’re looking for blood.
WE’RE GOING IN!
“WE’RE IN A DIVE”
And I’d like to thank Denzel Washington for his cameo appearance in today’s post.
COMMENTS, tell me your thoughts:
Have you ever missed a problem because you “thought” it was something else?
If you are a vegan, how do YOU keep your iron up?
Have you ever been infused? How did that go?