My girlfriend's iron issues... NEED HELP!
My girlfriend has had problems all her life with her iron levels. She's 32. The past five years she's had a lot of health issues, a lot of them common with iron deficiency. Doctors were never able to pin her troubles down to one thing, but she was on a thyroid medication until recently. She is Vegan, and has been gluten free, sugar free for the past few years. One thing that helped her off the thyroid medication is various detoxes and herbs from famous herb doc, Dr. Schulze. She has done numerous detoxes from his site, including a 40 day juicing program (consuming nothing but veggie & fruit juices). She's starting another one for lent. She still exhibits symptoms of fatigue (often she'll sleep 10 hours a night and still get run down easy), she has trouble keeping warm - often sleeps with shirts, sweaters long pants, 2 pairs of socks, 2 blankets (in 79 degree weather) and she has experienced loss of hair and trouble with moods & weakness. She's been on an iron supplement than turns her teeth orange, so she's stopping that. She tried black molasses, but that gives her trouble with her sugar craving issues. Nothing seems to be able to get her energy levels back to normal. She swears by this Dr. Schulze and he suggest drinking 12 oz of carrot juice/2 oz of beets/2oz of beet greens a day. That's what we're opting to try now. Although I've heard the iron from veggies doesn't always absorb well, and you should take it with Vitamin C.
I really want to help her get better, is there anyone that has suggestions for her type of diet and strict adherance to natural medicine? I hate seeing her like this.
Re: My girlfriend's iron issues...NEED HELP!
I think the best thing for her to do is get some labs done to have her iron serum, ferritin, iron saturation and maybe even b12 checked. Assuming that she is anemic and it is caused by her vegan lifestyle there are some things she can do. Being low on iron isn't a good thing, fixable yes but something you might want to consult with a Dr. about so that he can keep track of things. It can get to a point where blood transfusions are required when it goes untreated and your hemoglobin/crit become effected. There are many different types of iron out there and worth taking a look into. Take this serious and take her to the Dr. in the meantime:
Lentils, soybeans, tofu, tempeh, lima beans, guinoa, fortified cereals, brown rice, oatmeal, pumpkin seeds, squash, pine, pistachio, sunflower, cashews, unhulled sesame, tomato sauce, swiss chard, collard greens, unsulphured blackstrap molasses, and prune juice.
When you cook use a cast iron pan. :)
Eat your iron with vitamin C. Avoid coffee and tea they will also decrease absorption. There is only a certain amount of iron that is going to be absorbed when consuming larger amounts of iron anyways, our body only takes so much and gets rid of the rest so I guess in theory she will absorb more in littler amounts. Our bodies can only take so much iron at once.
Re: My girlfriend's iron issues...NEED HELP!
I agree -- get some labs done, maybe a full anemia panel as well as thyroid labs. I was diagnosed with anemia back in the Fall and was diagnosed with hypothyroid just a month or so later, so it seems the two might sometimes go hand-in-hand. It may be that the detoxes she has been doing are no longer working for her thyroid. When I was first diagnosed with anemia, my levels were so low that not only did they put me on 3 iron tablets a day, but when it was found that my B-12 was low as well, I had to get a B-12 shot every day for a week, then once a week for a month, and now I go once a month. The needles my doctor uses for them are so small that I barely feel the stick. What's a bit more problematic for me is that with my Synthroid, I can't take my iron tablets any sooner than 4 hours either before or after the Synthroid, so I sometimes forget to get in all 3 tablets, but I do get in at least 2.
Fatigue, feeling cold, hair loss, moodiness, weakness, and body aches can be symptomatic of both conditions. I'm getting better, myself, but I still have times when I have body aches and fatigue after a long day of teaching school. I just take a pain reliever and go to bed early. My hair seems to be getting better, and I don't feel as weak as I have in the past. I did have a colonoscopy and an endocscopy back in December to rule out internal bleeding, and nothing was found.
If she is Vegan, the best things for her to eat will probably be dark, leafy greens like spinach and turnip/collard greens.
Re: My girlfriend's iron issues... NEED HELP!
I hope she is seeing a doctor on a regular basis. Seem to me that she needs blood workup done to find out if how much iron deficiency she has and got on a program to build it up. When she has her monthy, she looses iron through that also. She needs to know what to do to get the iron built back up in her system. It is not healthy to be freezing all the time and feeling weak and tired all the time. She much too young to have this much trouble. I hope she gets the bloodwork up done soon. Being annemic is hard on the body. Hugs for the two of you today.
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