Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Vegetarianism and Anemia

Well....I'm back again.   My computer issues weren't really solved at all so I had to wait another week before I was back up and running fully. 

During that time a lot has happened.    I had my yearly appointment with the duck, or at least that's what I call it.   I also found out that now that I'm old and my results have always been normal, I only need to see the duck once every 3 years.   That's amazing in its own.   One thing I made sure to do though is have blood drawn to check my levels since I live by a loose vegetarian diet.   By loose I mean that I do get a nibble of meat here and there and also do still eat fish.   Because of this, I really shouldn't even mention the word vegetarianism because those that truly are vegetarian apparently become overcome with rage when they hear this.   Lesson not learned.

ANYWAY.   I thought I was doing a fantastic job of eating healthy.   I juice nearly every morning with leafy greens, I eat lots of legumes, I eat whole grains.    Honestly I feel like I am doing about as good as I can do without feeling deprived.    Then I got this:

I thought....Ooohhh....not good.   Then I opened up the next results and found this:

If you've ever wondered what Ferritin is:

Serum ferritin levels are measured in medical laboratories as part of the iron studies workup for anemia and for restless legs syndrome. The ferritin levels measured usually have a direct correlation with the total amount of iron stored in the body. However, ferritin levels may be artificially high in cases of anemia of chronic disease where ferritin is elevated in its capacity as an acute phase protein and not as a marker for iron overload.


So I sort of thought " wonder you're so cranky and tired all the time!"   Yet the results weren't done.    Here is the last:

Yeaaahh.   This sucks.   So after I saw all these results my doctors office called me and put me on slowFE twice a day (Hello Constipation!) and 5000 IU of D3 each day.   In 3 months they will recheck my levels to see if this is helping.    They also were nice enough to send me some information on vegetarianism and Iron and this included some foods that will help bring up Iron levels.   These included things like Black Strap Molasses, Bok Choy, Fortified Cereal, Instant Oatmeal...all things I don't ever eat and honestly probably never will.   I kid you not when those were the suggestions.   I read it to my mom laughing.  

So where am I now with all this?

I have eaten a little bit of meat since finding out this information.   Please understand that I didn't give up meat for the moral reason.   Only for the icky reason.   I never have loved meat.   Sure bacon, steak, and grilled chicken is pretty amazing but then I read some studies on cancer and meat and I sort of just said enough is enough and gave it up.   I still am not a huge fan.   Meat just simply grosses me out but if it will help me feel somewhat normal again, I am willing to give it a shot.   At least a little bit of a shot.  

After looking into anemia, I realized how much something like this can affect you.   I'm hoping that once I can get my levels back up, I will become the calmest more amazingly reasonable and alert person around.  

In other news, just because I want to brag, Mike had this on my car seat this morning.

If you just yawned and said "My husband got me 12 of those yesterday...big deal" then check this out.

Nothing says true love like a full gas tank when you left it below E just the day before.   xoxo Mike.   You know the way to my heart. 


  1. Did they suggest cooking with cast iron cookware? I just learned this recently, but it's apparently a great way to get more iron in your diet...easier than say, eating effin Black Strap Molasses!

  2. I have always struggled with anemia! I ended up being put on the iron enhanced birth control, and it made a huge difference. Then my insurance no longer covered it, and i am back to running on E...

  3. Oh man filling the gas tank is even better than clearing the snow off your car which is usually the ultimate way to my heart - go Mike! I love molasses, seriously, just guzzle that every night, problem solved :)

  4. Good luck getting your levels back up and becoming the "calmest more amazingly reasonable and alert person around." LOL.

    You scored pretty big with Mike. :)

  5. Haha - Rachel and I are on the same wavelength... damn electric stove! Isn't it a little bit good to know it's a medical thing, and you're not just a tired grumpy person? :)

  6. Just saw your blog linked on Rachel's 5 mile recap. Love your blog! You're so funny! I think a full tank is awesome!

    I will be intersted to follow what you do to get your ferritin levels back up! I am vegan, and I wonder if I should get these things checked! P.S. This cracked me up "Because of this, I really shouldn't even mention the word vegetarianism because those that truly are vegetarian apparently become overcome with rage when they hear this. Lesson not learned." And I am not ragey since you acknowledge it! It's the people who think vegetarians eat meat!

  7. After being vegetarian for a while I developed severe anemia. I could barely get out of bed it was awful. I take iron and now eat red meat and fish. I'm slowly feeling better but I have to wait for results to come back as to why I was anemic. I'm pretty sure that it will come back due to heavy periods. I don't think everyone is cut out of vegetarian or vegan diets especially those with heavy periods or other strains on the body. So I'm settling for eating meat for now. At the moment I'm not eating very healthy at all since I cannot cook and rely on ready meals. But once I'm better I plan to be as health conscious as before and if I have to continue to eat meat for the rest of my life I will choose the healthiest and stay away from processed meat. I can still eat healthy as an omnivore - I'm just disappointed I couldn't stay vegetarian. :(