Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Health News


Back in May I was diagnosed with anemia and low vitamin D count.  My iron level was 22 when the normal range was 45-160.  It was affecting my breathing while running (something about not being able to get oxygen to the lungs) and I could sometimes only run 1/2 mile at a time before having to stop and walk.  It was extremely frustrating for me as a runner!  In fact, I ran the Soldier Field 10 miler right after I found out I had anemia and it was a struggle.  Read about it here.

I was also extremely tired and most days got to work and wondered how I would make it through the day.  I was irritable and no fun to be around or talk to.  The low vitamin D levels also affect your mood and makes you tired.  I was prescribed 3 iron supplements (65 mg each) daily and 2000 IU of vitamin D.  With a multivitamin, I was taking over 1100% of my daily value of iron through supplements alone.

I did notice a difference within the first month.  But it takes at least 3 months for my levels to really start improving.  Within the first month of taking it, I was able to run 4 miles straight again and I was thrilled with that.  My pace started improving a little as well.

Last Friday was around the 3 month mark from the first round of tests and I was anxious to see what my levels were now!  I figured, taking all that iron, my levels should be through the roof, right??  I mean 1100% not including food!  And with my vitamin D?  Well, taking 2000 IU every day PLUS running in the hot sun ALL summer!

Yesterday I got the results...drum roll please!!......

My iron and vitamin D did improve.  BUT I'm still on the low end, although now in the healthy range.  That's good I guess.  My iron levels were not through the roof like I thought.  My number went from 22 to 65.  People tell me that's great!  But I keep looking at the normal range which is 45-160.  I just don't understand it.  I mean, what do I have to do to get my iron at like 100!  I read all about how to absorb it better...take it with Vitamin C, don't take it with caffeine, don't take it with dairy.   The Vitamin D I should be taking with dairy.    I try to do all these things.  I do need, however, to work on getting the foods that contain more iron. My daily value from food is usually only between 50-65% when I track it.

I still need to take the 2000 IU of vitamin D and I'm down from 3 supplements to 2 supplements of iron. I guess it's better than nothing.

But I'm thinking towards the marathon.  I'm sure my iron level was around the 22 number for my IL Marathon in the spring (and probably low for the first Chicago Marathon as well).  And I managed to run it.  My friend who is a nurse honestly doesn't know how I managed to do that AT ALL!  In fact, when I first told her what my iron level was... she said "I don't know how you are able to run at all!!"  So I'm thinking (fingers crossed no more injuries) that I will make it through the Chicago Marathon with flying colors!  Only about 1.5 months left for that!  Bring it on!  (even though I cried on the last mile of my 16 mile run last week).  Haha!  We all need to let it out sometimes I think!


I've been to a physical therapist 5 times for my shoulder.  That was more than I anticipated going but since I'm considered an "athlete" ... (which makes me chuckle because I consider myself far from it), I don't like to be limited by an injury.  I wanted to get my shoulder as healthy and strong as possible.  Actually partly so that I can do a few triathlons next year!

My physical therapist told me yesterday that my shoulder and shoulder blade are doing great!  He said whatever I'm doing...keep doing it.  My shoulder blade was "winging out" when I was moving my arm.  The best way I can describe what it looked like to the therapist was the gills on a fish.  He said my shoulder blade is not doing that anymore and is remaining flat against my back!  Yay!!  The problems I am still having it the pain but he said that is the last thing to go away.  He said the first to improve would be range of motion, the second thing would be strength and the last thing would be the pain.  But I'm happy it was improving.  I'm cleared to do any type of strength training I want with a couple exceptions.  No pull ups and no wall climbing.  So no one ask me to go wall climbing this year!!  And I'm done seeing my physical therapist after this week...such good news!  He hurts me...often!

NEPHEW poor nephew can't catch a break.  For those that don't know about him...he's 17 years old.  He recently had minor surgery on his knee for a torn meniscus but found it was unrepairable so more major surgery wasn't needed.  Well, now the poor kid needs another surgery!  As I know he won't mind me posting this on my blog (he posts things on his facebook), he has a testicular hernia.  He's had symptoms for a few months but hasn't said anything to us.  My brother said... "Anything that has to do with that area, tell me right away!  Don't want trouble for those guys!"  Haha!  My brother...

Not sure when this surgery will be but I'm estimating sooner rather than later.  He lives in Columbus though and I hate being far away from him when he needs surgery!!  Maybe I'll make a trip out there since I was thinking about it anyway.  I'll have to see when his surgery will be first.

1 comment:

  1. I have no idea what my iron or Vitamin D levels are - I'll have to ask my diabetes doctor the next time I am there - they draw blood every three months for me - is that all it is?

    Sorry for your nephew - if you could swing it, I know he'd appreciate you being there! :D