Iron deficient (not anemic)

For the longest time it felt like I was always tired.  Just pooped.  Not much energy.  I couldn’t even wash all the dishes because standing for that long ended with me resting on the couch.

This lack of energy was so persistent that I had to will myself to get up and keep going in order to live a normal life.  Walking for an hour just exhausted me.  And let alone, running.  With running, I slogged through it, moving as if through quicksand.  And all this time I thought the problem was me.

Turns out I’m iron deficient.  My ferritin level is 14.  And it should be over 45 (for me at least).

What’s crazy is that I’ve been trying to figure out why I seemed to have little to no energy for years now.  After I saw my new doctor (who came along with new health insurance plan), she ran a serum ferritin blood test.  This particular test is not usually part of the CBC (complete blood count) they usually run.  Serum ferritin measures the level of your iron stores, which I interpreted as your endurance.  It explains why I couldn’t make it through the day without taking a nap or bullying myself into “getting out there” and running.

I want other women who are feeling constantly tired to ask their doctors for this serum ferritin test.  The usually requested tests won’t measure your serum ferritin, only hemoglobin and hematocrit.  My understanding is that hemoglobin and hematocrit measure the amount of iron that exists in your blood.  And even those levels can be normal while your iron stores get depleted.  Menstruation, blood donation and being a runner can take a toll on your iron stores.  And even though I eat meat and love a good steak, my ferritin level was low.

The doctor put me on iron supplements, 65 mg twice a day.  It’s only been two weeks, but I’m hoping to see improvement at three weeks.

Good luck out there!  And remember to persist about that awful fatigue!


Cooped up on the couch lately…

Started running again after a long hiatus.  And I TRIED to ease into it by running 13 miles per week and then WHAM!  I’m taken out by a blubbering, brutal cold this week. So. I’ve been out of commission AGAIN.  But I am focused and COMMITTED to posting twice weekly.

So in between sleepless nights and medicated. dreams I discovered three great finds this week:

1.  Loni Love is a great comedian who I discovered on Ellen ( Loni Learns to be a Fairy). Her twitter handle is @lonilove. I want to see her LIVE!

2. This Spitfire iPhone app has designed a multitude of varying workouts for women and is inspiring already. Spitfire app. (You will need to create a username/password to use).

3. Being unable to sleep due to sudafed and nasal congestion, I was able to finish reading The Goldfinch. What a great read! Would live to see how it’s adapted into a movie. Especially the Boris character who was so richly developed and fascinating!

So those were my top three finds for the week. Never mind not updating my resume, planning for my next trip, or cleaning the house. Those three listed items are what I’d like the world to know that I accomplished ALL week long.

Unicorn with attitude
Photo from

Have a good weekend and stay healthy! Eat some fruit will ya?!  Don’t make me send this unicorn after you!