It’s a catch-22.
Consuming it is supposedly good for iron in the body, but bad for the potentially high levels of cholesterol…or so, tis’ my understanding.
I’ve been in the hospital once, for having a low-blood count. I don’t remember ever officially having anemia (just a history of having cold hands & feet) but one day, I just felt dizzy, and that dizziness would not go away. It was there when I stood up, when I sat down…when I closed my eyes, when I opened them.
It wasn’t good.
Many women I know, who suffer similarly, told me they’ve felt tired in addition to the feelings of dizzy. Oddly enough, I never really felt tired. In fact, I felt hopeful. Hopeful & excited for the room to stop spinning enough for me to get back to life & the enjoyment of doing what I do.
When I asked the doctor, what could have brought it on…this “low blood count”, he replied:
- Having irregular periods (loosing more blood than normal)
- Loss of blood where it shouldn’t be loss (in the stomach via ulcer, or in the stool)
When I asked how could either one of those have occurred, he replied:
…and then, “It is not certain.”
When I, slightly annoyed by his “It is not certain.” reply, replied:
He replied, “Yes…and not eating properly, not getting enough sleep, not drinking enough water, not taking care of the body…exercise…”
Before he said that, I vaguely remember him mentioning something about hormones, worry &/or anxiety, and me trying very hard not to burst into tears.
“Hormones”, “worry”, “stress”…sounded like words I heard before in my dermatologist’s office…sounded like things that were just beyond my control.
After leaving the hospital on my 29th birthday, the doctor, oddly enough, didn’t diagnose me with having anemia, but put me on iron pills. Over the following months, my blood count returned to “normal”.
Those things are, as they say, “the devil”…just pure evil how they can upset your stomach, make you feel nauseated, and then have the nerve to turn your stool into something even more unsightly…that’s if you can even experience the movement at all.
So, here’s what I learned & how I deal daily:
When on iron pills, I upped my H2O & fiber intake. Raisin bran in the A.M. was great, as I love that cereal. I carried a water bottle everywhere, and kept filling it up. I read somewhere that Vitamin C helped better the absorbing of iron in the body, so I drank a lot of O.J.
It didn’t take long for the awful side effects to disappear.
I tried & failed at going to bed early, so I slept in, when I could. I ate “square meals”, and tried hard not to worry about the things I cared so much about at the time.
Since then, (with the permission of my doctor) I’ve stopped taking the iron supplements, and have been doing fine until recently. The dizzy feeling returned, and I took over-the-counter iron supplements for a day, but then decided to just rest up & get my iron from food. The feeling soon disappeared.
I hate taking pills!
To avoid having to take them regularly, and as not to experience my dreadful tell-tale dizzy spells of not having enough iron in my blood, I just try to take good/constant care of myself, with Priority #1 being “trying not to take on TOO much”.
The regular consumption of red meat: steaks, pot roasts, burgers, etc., has also been working for me. With them, I pair green veggies that are loaded with Vitamin C (i.e., kale, spinach, and broccoli).
So far, so good.
I also try to keep the red meats as lean as possible, as an annual, regular doctor’s checkup suggested so, because my lab results indicated my cholesterol was “a little high”.
If it’s not one thing, it’s the other.
If you have an iron deficiency, how do you deal?
If you have the “healing band-aid” for crazy hormones & worry, I’m listening with attentive ears 🙂
* This post is not intended to solicit any medical advice, just sharing my experience. Please seek professional counsel from your doctor.