I've been sick, and my energy levels have plummeted the past couple weeks. Finally it was distressing enough to actually go to the doctor... after a few tests, we found out I'm "almost" anemic. My hemoglobin (I didn't know what that was either until after this diagnosis) was just barely over the threshold for official anemia, but my ferritin (yay, another new term to learn!) levels were extremely low.
You probably already know that being anemic makes you unearthly tired. Another problem (of several) with this condition is an awful brain fog. It has been SO difficult to concentrate and just make it through my normal daily responsibilities. So I haven't posted in a few days; I've just been too tired and unable to THINK.
This really really sucks, but I'm getting better. Believe me, there are lots of things I want to write about when I'm myself again.
Meanwhile, I've done some research, and here's what I'm doing to heal myself:
- According to what I read, the body can only absorb a certain amount of iron per day, because of the limitations of certain enzymes that make it possible to absorb iron. That's why they say it will take me two months to get my iron up to normal. But I don't have two months! I am putting my hands on my abdomen and consciously asking my body to produce more of the enzymes that can absorb iron, so I can absorb more, faster. (Wikipedia says these enzymes are "Dcytb, DMT1, and ferroportin." Got that, body? With extra pickles, please.)
- Heme iron is the easiest for the body to absorb and the presence of heme iron also makes it easier to absorb non-heme iron. So I'm taking dessicated liver tablets (heme iron) along with my ferrous sulfate (non-heme) prescription.
- I'm taking it 3 times a day instead of 2 times.
- Of course, I'm following the prescription's advice to take the iron pills with vitamin C (I love orange juice anyway!) and to avoid dairy/high calcium before or after taking the pills.
- I'm increasing my fiber (e.g. drinking OJ with pulp, etc.) to avoid constipation. But that hasn't been a problem so far, thankfully.
Today I didn't have a headache or brain fog until evening, even though I was still tired. So that's already an improvement, considering I just started on the prescription 5 days ago.
Anyway, just wanted to let you know that I'll be back in action soon. Like I said, I have several things buzzing around in my head that I want to write about.
Meanwhile, please enjoy this picture of the lovely comfrey growing in my front yard. Aren't the flowers beautiful!?