So as some of you may know I have Anemia, nothing to serious but sometimes I have to look out for it. So Anemia occurs when you either have a low intake of iron due to the fact that you do not consume enough meat or high-protein foods in general. However, it may also be caused due to your body not being able to digest your food correctly, not absorbing the nutrients and the iron, which is my case - Iron deficiency Anemia.
I personally figured out I was Anemic randomly. I was in school during lunch and I was walking down the corridor holding a plate of food in my hands and suddenly I just dropped the plate, just like that, out of no where. I felt dizzy but then I remeber feeling okay again, I was taken to the hsopital where they discovered that my iron was a 7 out of something like 100. I began taking the supplements and they worked I went up to like a 50 iron, then I stopped for a while and I went back to 20, just like that, even though I was also following a specific diet to treat it.
It is actually rather common in girls especially in teenage years due to many factors including blood loss. One of them being health issues or simply just overworking yourself to the limit like I am doing and not eating that well - feeling dizzy, tired and cold. So here is the deal, due to this whole Anemia thing I must intake a certain amount of protein along with iron supplements. So don't freak out if you have low Iron or excessive blood loss (Anemia) it's not such a big deal, it just means you may want to look a little bit more after yourself.
1) Lowering caffeine intake (because it interferes with the absorption of iron) I know that Starbucks is hard to let go of and you don't have to, just lower your coffee intake - trust me I feel the struggle too. Next time instead of 3 espresso shots ask for one.
2) Meat is not a question - forget going vegeterian or vegan. Yes, beans and lentils have a lot of iron but meat is the number one source and this is your health you are talking about.
3) Juices, fruits and vegetables are a must! You have to make sure you stay healthy and vitamin C is essential. Plus, you will probably have to take the supplements with orange juice at least that's what I do.
4) It be nice if you did NOT forget your supplements ( I know how hard it is - I use to forget the first semester all the time)
5) Also take your supplements at the same time everyday always accompanied with some kind of juice that contains vitamin C (preferably freshly sqeezed)
6) Satisfy your cravings (once in a while) as a person with low iron levels most of the times you feel tired and unsteady. I never actually felt like that- I would have never found out that I had Anemia if I had not dropped my lunch that day. Anyways, so if you want chocolate just give yourself some chocolate as long as this isn't everday it's more like once in 2 weeks, do it. You are in necessity of satisfying yourself and making yourself feel better and chocolate does help, so just have some. Although some chocolates do have caffeine so watch out cause your comfort food craving may not leave you as satisfied afterall. try having some apple pie or peach cobbler or lemon tart instead (more iron friendly than chocolate)
7) Remain in a steady healthy weight measurement. SInce your iron levels are constantly changing your weight must remain steady or fluctuate slightly. According to my biology teacher, if you have a BMI if 19-25 you have a normal weight anything less is underweight and anything more overweight, so watch out. Also weight differs according to height so you must take that into account to.
8) Spinach, liver, spinach, liver : is probably the little pattern in my head right now. Can I just say how much I hate liver, my doctor and parents have been trying to make me eat for the past year now but I just despise it completely. Spinach is okay but at times I really need my salads to vary because I get bored. Don't get me wrong however, liver is essential and sometimes I consider it medicine and just tell myself this is means instant iron level rise.
9) Water, Water, Water, Water: Not only you feel dizzy but you are not intaking a lot of water meaning like 8 glasses at least a day, then my friend you won't last long before feeling exhausted again. Trust me, I am not a person who drinks a lot of water - so I know that you guys forget and that sometimes it's just not a priority, but It's got to become. I knew I had to do something about my water intake so I began supplying myself with water in the morning and then refilling my waterbottle throughout the day - at least 4 times. I think th e biggest scare was when I had gone about 6 hours without water, when I began catching a usual cold, however, that cold turned into a flu and I had to go to the hospital because of bad water intake. So a normal cold, turned into something scary because I was dehydrated and low on iron, so then I have to be provided with 2 IVs after passing out (fainting) two times. So trust me, I hate sharing negative- vibe stories but I had to warn you about the water intake in relation to iron.
10) Make sure you have a suffiecient amount of food according to your height and weight.
11) Yes hair takes a long time to grow and nails usually have white lines on them or small bumps - not in all cases. It's something subtle however and one must not feel insecure. Also you may see a lot of hair strings on the brush when you fix your hair and your nails may chip off but the supplements can protect you from that. (Brittle nails and hair loss)
12) You may also have frequent headaches, feel cold much more easily and often times wake up not feeling your leg - restless leg syndrome, it's really not as serious as it sounds it just your legs hurt when you are sleeping, but it only happens to certain cases. The most common symptoms are diziness and feeling cold and constant headaches.
Here are some foods with Iron:
I hope this helps! Please feel free to email or message me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org or on facebook or leave a comment below if you need to ask anything