Fat Friday – Low Iron

I would like to introduce all of you to a new Friday series I am starting called “Fat Fridays”. On Fridays I will post about many things concerning being or feeling, or trying to be the opposite of fat. Because let’s be honest, everyone has “fat” issues. I will try my hardest to site all material and will also try to make theory’s and concepts super easy to understand so they are applicable to life. So let’s start!!!!!

For most of my life I have had iron “issues”. My issues have ranged from taking a pill once a day to get my iron up, taking that yucky pill 3 times a day, ignoring the problem that was annoying me, to last summer having to go 12 (2 weeks on, 1 week off) times to a doctor to get iron drips which is pretty much just a bag of iron put into your body through an IV. Non of those experiences were fun. But I’ve learned that my iron “issue” will always be with me in one way or another so I better deal with it!

For anyone not really familiar with iron, let me tell you about it. Iron is a metal that is found naturally in the world. It is also found naturally in our body – well sort of. You see we are born with iron in our body but that’s because our wonderful landlord at the time (our mom), ate enough iron. Once we are born and not hooked up to our mom, we must replenish that iron so that it will continue to it’s wonderful work in our bodies. The iron within our body has a few roles which include: metabolic processes, neurotransmitter processes, and connective tissue production. However one of the most important roles of iron is it’s ability to produce a protein called hemoglobin so that oxygen can be bound to the heme and then be transported throughout our body for delivery to vital organs (cite).

Sounds pretty important doesn’t it!!!

When someone is low in iron, which by the way many women are, they experience symptoms such as: fatigue, weakness, headaches, dizziness, shortness of breathe, cold hands and feet, irritability. One of the reasons that women are low in iron is due to the fact that we menstruate every month which causes us to lose blood. If the iron that was in that blood is not replaced via supplementation or food intake regulation, we become iron deficient. Now the reason that I think that low iron correlates with weight loss or maintenance is because of personal experience.

A little over a year ago I found out that I was severally anemic and iron deficient. Just to give you an idea, doctors use a scale to evaluate iron and they suggest that for a women, our iron should fall between an 80 and 150. My iron was a 3. Not 30, just 3. Between the months of February and August I went to 4 different doctors and was told that I have thyroid disease (false diagnoses), Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (also false), that nothing at all was wrong with me (I could have killed him), and finally that my food allergies that were not being taken care of resulted in my iron deficiency. It was by the last doctor that I was given my iron drips and have felt amazing since.

Those months though, they were terrible. For every different diagnoses, I was given a new pill to take everyday. When I was told I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome I was put on a birth control pill and my menstrual cycle was stopped for 6 months. The idea behind this was to “conserve blood” – my iron deficiency actually got worse. During those 6 months I also gained 25 pounds which I am still trying to get off, and cried at the drop of the hat. Besides all of that, I was so tired that I couldn’t exercise. And on the days I felt like I could, I wasn’t allowed because my heart rate would shoot up to over 220 beats per minute because well, since my body didn’t have iron, it wasn’t making hemoglobin so oxygen could not be transported to my organs.

I bet you didn’t think Iron was so important did you.

Since the iron drip and a stern talk I got about my food allergies from my doctor, life has been good and that time in my life is exactly that… a time in my life. But let me tell you, I pay much closer attention to my health now. I read up on the newest supplements, and make sure I’m watching my iron intake. In fact, the week of and after my period I use a supplement to make sure I’m giving my body what it needs.

Iron Supplement

No one from pur-Absorb asked me to write about their product, this is just my opinion and my experience.

Currently, I have been using this bad boy! It’s iron enriched water and I was given a box by my wonderful aunt! You either open this pack up and drink it, place it in water or do like myself and dilute it with orange juice. My reasoning for putting it in orange juice is because the Vitamin C in the juice helps with iron absorption.

For me, my iron levels correspond directly with my weight and health in general. So today I leave you with this, next time you are in your doctors office… get your iron checked! If you are in the “good” range, congrats! If not, take it seriously and fix the issue.

As far as how I came back from those horrid months described above, I’ll write another post later to tell what I ate, when I ate and how I felt throughout it.

 

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One thought on “Fat Friday – Low Iron

  1. Pingback: I’m Seeing Green | THE KITCHEN REVOLUTION

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