Thursday, June 30, 2011

Low ferritin levels, iron & B-12.....

So, I'm learning a lot more every day! Making a long story short, I'm in for some routine blood work, I find out my ferritin levels are low! I didn't even know I had a ferritin! Come to find out your ferritin  numbers are a gauge of your body's ability to store iron. My regular iron levels have always been on the edge of just-okay so I occasionally get deferred from donating platelets & whole blood.

Considering the things I eat that are incredibly healthy (especially compared to the Standard American Diet) and the great vitamins & supplements I take, you'd think I'd be all set. Well, my Primary Care Physician puts me on prescription iron to take daily--in addition to the raw/vegan iron supplements I take--I checked with him it's okay, I brought in the bottles of supplements and everything. Then we will closely monitor my iron/ferritin levels for the next few months to make sure the levels are behaving. And to rule out any internal hidden bleeding somewhere my doctor recommends I experience an upper endoscopy & a colonoscopy (at the same time, thanks, get it over with!). I am curious now to see what's going on inside. To tell you the truth, I'm nearing that age when they encourage a colonoscopy so the doctor suggested we'll just do it a couple years ahead of schedule.

I also learned online that when taking iron supplements you should not consume dairy products, coffee, tea, or chocolate for 1 hour prior and 2 hours following. Well, since I don't do coffee/tea or a lot of dairy that wasn't an issue. However the raw/vegan organic chocolate that I have fallen in love with  may have been a factor. The other thing I read somewhere that dark greens can inhibit absorption of iron. I sip my green smoothie all day long! I guess I have room for improvement! I do know to vary your greens to prevent oxalic acid buildup which can inhibit calcium absorption but the iron too? Anybody have any ideas/input on the entire situation?

I learned yesterday from my chiropractor (the walking encyclopedia/medical dictionary) that it takes a minimum of 5 months to restore your ferritin levels back to normal. Wow! They didn't even tell me that online or in my PCP's office! Love my chiropractor! I'm learning good stuff constantly!

I lean towards high raw/vegan diets (probably 85-90% of the time) I have added in cooked eggs & the occasional piece of cheese for the vitamin B-12 & the other day I had a bun-less burger for the iron. And this morning I had some steamed chicken livers for the iron content. So I'm not sure what to say when people ask me about my raw/vegan diet. Certainly I am into 100% health & I am listening to my  body's intuition. Anybody have any suggestions on the title of the blog now? I'm open to ideas! There is another person of prominence I have followed over the years who is also raw/vegan and she needed to add in cooked fish & eggs into her diet because of the B-12 issue because the B-12 shots her body started requiring were not enough for her needs.

I'm interested to know if anyone else has any information/answers/suggestions/testimonials on this subject of iron/ferritin levels & other vitamins in their healthy eating travels. I appreciate your interest & support as we're all in this thing together! Feel free to post comments below, I'd love to hear from you! Thanks!

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