Iron Man No Longer

A while ago, I wrote about my experiences with IV iron for iron deficiency anemia.

In short: I got an IV about 4 months ago. My ferritin went from 14 to 179!

I haven’t been feeling so good (ears ringing, dizzy, tired), so even though my training has been fine, I went for a ferritin test.

It came back a 10. I’m devastated. It cost so much to do the IV and I feel so much better not destroying my gut with supplements. It’s lower than every test I’ve ever had, except when I was truly anemic. (It was a 2 and I was literally passing out.)

I think I’m going to try to get another IV before XC season starts. I’m really tempted to start back on the supplements, but I’m worried that my ferritin will go up enough that the docs won’t want to give me an IV, but still low enough that I feel like shit. For a distance runner, it should be above 60.

I am thinking of the causes of the drop, and I think altitude is a huge factor. I haven’t been taking supplements because the docs told me not to, and going up in altitude (home for the summer) and training well would make my body produce more red blood cells, depleting my iron store.

I also haven’t been taking my B complex or D vitamins.

I guess it’s a call to the doctor to see what I should do. The iron battle saga continues..



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10 responses to “Iron Man No Longer

  1. Good luck with the iron issues! That’s definitely something important for distance runners.

    • Thanks, crossing my fingers for a doc appointment soon. Do you ever have trouble with your iron?

      • That’s good! Hopefully they can help you out. No, I don’t have trouble with my iron even though I’m a vegetarian. However, I know plenty of my runner friends that have had problems with it. It’s surprising how common it is – especially for runners.

        • You lucky duck you! How long have you been vegetarian? Yeah, most of my team is on supplements.

          • Yeah, not sure how I’ve missed that bullet (knock on wood)! I’ve been officially since I was like in 4th grade, but my parents kind of were before that so I rarely ate meat as a child.

            • Woah, you must have some good genes or a really good diet. Awesome. I was a vegetarian starting 4th grade for 4-5 years, but I got severely anemic and passed out a couple times.

            • Oh, wow! I don’t know many other people that started being a vegetarian so young. Maybe good genes – but my sister has been anemic before while being vegetarian. I do love legumes (tofu and beans) which have a good amount of iron, so maybe that’s it. Are you currently a vegetarian?

            • Nope, I stopped in high school when I was anemic. But when I go on hormone replacement therapy after my college running is done I’ll probably try to go back to it to be healthier. Tofu is pretty good! I definitely don’t mind it.

            • Gotcha. Yeah, not worth risking your health for it. I agree, tofu can be pretty good – just depends how it’s prepared.

  2. Last time you posted about iron, I commented that I wasn’t anaemic. I got a phone call from my doctor either the next day or the day after to say my blood test results came back and I was. I’ve been taking iron, B complex, and D ever since. No idea if it’s made any difference though, although I haven’t been dizzy lately (fingers crossed). Definitely call your doctor and hopefully the IV will be a huge help again.

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