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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Atlanta
    Posts
    5

    Anemia/Iron Deficiency - How Long 'til Back to Normal?

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    Hi ladies -

    Long time lurker, 1st time poster here. Hope that you'll share some wisdom with me.

    I've recently been diagnosed with anemia. My iron reserves are significantly low (6% iron saturation against a range of 20% - 55%). Thus, I feel miserable most of the time (headaches, unable to concentrate, mentally fuzzy, fatigued); and, of course, I'm off the bike until I begin to feel better. I suppose I could take an easy ride, but I experience some dizziness/light-headedness occasionally too, so I don't want to take any chances.

    I'm doing the remedies commonly prescribed and seen throughout this message board: iron supplements (doubled-up, under Dr's orders), increased consumption of meat & iron-rich foods, Vitamin C with meals, no caffeine with meals....got to remember to break out the cast iron skillet......

    My question is this: How long before I feel like myself again? I've heard 180 days to replenish red blood cells and I found another post on this site where it took a fellow rider 3 months to get back to feeling normal. Is that really how much time I have ahead? Anything one can do to speed this up?

    Thanks in advance for any wisdom/guidance/experience y'all can share. I really appreciate it!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Reporting from Moonshine Mountain
    Posts
    1,328
    Hi Jacki, welcome to TE!

    One year ago I was in your shoes and it was not fun! I had been anemic for some time and did not realize it until I almost passed out riding my bike - trying to climb a hill that was usually very easy for me. I began my recovery (following surgery to eliminate the cause of the bleeding & subsequent anemia) at the end of April and it was the end of September before my iron was back up within normal limits. I rode my bike throughout - in fact, was back on the bike 7 days post-surgery (there is a thread buried somewhere here about it). However, I was very weak & had no endurance until sometime in the fall. I am afraid it is a long, slow process but it will come back eventually!

    -jane
    "When I'm on my bike I forget about things like age. I just have fun." Kathy Sessler

    2006 Independent Fabrication Custom Ti Crown Jewel (Road, though she has been known to go just about anywhere)/Specialized Jett

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    vancouver, bc / calgary, ab
    Posts
    6,446
    What has your doctor recommended?

    None of us on the forums know if you have other health related issues outside of anaemia.

    I have had the occasional diagnosis from physicians at different times in my life, that I had a somewhat low red blood cell count. But my level, wasn't low enough on anything for physician (nor myself) to recommend beyond an iron pill nor to ramp up alot on iron-rich foods.

    I know I've had lightheadness.....but that was only in different times in life, where I had low blood pressure..low enough that a doctor informed me not to get up from a lying down/prone position too quickly or I will get dizzy /faint...which did nearly happen to me.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Atlanta
    Posts
    5
    Quote Originally Posted by shootingstar View Post
    What has your doctor recommended?

    None of us on the forums know if you have other health related issues outside of anaemia.
    My doc has only recommended the iron supplement (OTC, 2x per day rather than 1 as the box instructions suggest) and a loosely defined "walking program." I wish my doc had at least given me the counsel not to get up too quickly, as yours did. I couldn't even get my doc to go through the results with me without a second, formal, follow up appointment - seems HIPPA regs prohibit the free-flow exchange of health information with our physicians that many of us enjoyed in years past. But I digress.....

    No health problems other than anemia. Outside of that, I'm healthy as can be. Of course, if my iron level isn't improved in 2 months when the blood count is taken again, we'll be looking for another root of the problem such as internal bleeding that IFjane alluded to earlier.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Lubbock, TX
    Posts
    89
    I seem to have had a much quicker come back than most, but I was only on the low side of normal on my iron count, but I had a deficit in ferritin, which is pre-anemia... and I felt absolutely horrible until I got blood work done and started a high iron vitamin regimen.

    I started feeling 'better' within a week (meaning I at least had the energy to do a daily load of laundry again!), but it took months for all my symptoms to go away, and I still feel like I'm not where I should be yet.

    It takes a very long time to build up iron, and with a deficiency your body will pretty much consume most of what you intake until things start balancing out...only then will your body start storing reserves.

    I strongly suggest identifying the definite root cause of your deficiency (diet, digestion problems, internal bleeding), because even with supplements you may still just be masking another issue even when you feel well again!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Reporting from Moonshine Mountain
    Posts
    1,328
    "When I'm on my bike I forget about things like age. I just have fun." Kathy Sessler

    2006 Independent Fabrication Custom Ti Crown Jewel (Road, though she has been known to go just about anywhere)/Specialized Jett

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    291
    I don't think requiring a formal appointment is a HIPAA thing; I think it's a money thing. Physicians don't get paid for phone calls (usually, unless they have some special deal with you). But if they get you in for a 15 minute visit, they get paid. If your blood pressure and pulse get taken, and a couple questions and such, they get paid MORE! (It counts as a more complex visit if they check different systems or something.) And as most of us would probably say, why work for free (phone call) when you can get paid for your work?

 

 

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