Hi all...Need some advice. Just went to donate blood, something I have done successfully multiple times in the past. This is the THIRD time since September I've been turned away for having low iron. Each time I am tested, my numbers go down. I have been a strict vegan since summer (July/August), most of the time I am about 80% superhero 20% reg vegan. I eat nonstop dark leafy greens (kale, cabbage, collards, romaine, etc) in addition to whole grains, legumes, and other veggies with occasional nuts and fruits. I do not currently take a multi vitamin (I never have, even before I was a vegan). I am a healthy weight, excercise 5-6 times a week (training for a marathon) and am otherwise in normal health--no meds, allergiers, etc. The only thing I am thinking this could be related to is ammenorrhea--I have not gotten my period in over a year. I saw my GYN for this--they put me on a medication to bring back my period, which was unsuccessful. I currently have an appt scheduled to see them at the end of Dec. Has anyone had anything similar happen? Any advice? Thanks guys!
If at all possible go see an acupuncturist in your area. There is a possibility they may not be super supportive of a vegan lifestyle but you should be able to find one that is. I am an acupuncturist and am a vegan myself but it is not always supported with Chinese Medicine. When I was in school my teachers convinced me to eat meat for awhile but I stayed just as anemic as when I am vegan. It sounds like you are blood deficient (chinese diagnosis) so herbs could be really helpful. Also eat things that are red like beets and cranberries. I have had way better results with chinese herbs than I had with Western Meds. Good luck!
Hi. You said you were a healthly weight. What do you consider a healthy weight and how tall are you? If you are a marathoner (my good friend has been one for years), your iron count is low and you haven't had your period in over a year, you might actually be underweight. Women need to carry a certain amount of fat - unfair, but true! Are you consuming enough calories given the amount of exercise you do? Marathoning can be really taxing on the body. Are you having some vitamin C along with your iron? Remember that iron from plant sources may be tougher for your body to use and we need vitamin C to help us. I would search out a vegan nutritionist or macrobiotic counseller than specializes in athletes. checkout www.brendanbrazier.com a vegan triathlete for more ideas! Alicia mentions him in her book. Good luck - be well.
Long distance running can cause you to have a higher iron requirement because your body needs more red blood cells to deliver enough oxygen to your muscles during a long run. I run, but not anywhere near a marathon distance. I agree you should talk to a nutritionist who can better assess what your nutritional rquirements are and how to meet them. Good luck!
I was very Anemic after my daughter was born 2 years ago, I got my counts up by eating lots of dried fruits (raisins, appricots, peaches) and a bowl of oatmeal every morning. Those could help until you get in to see a professional.
Heather--I am 23, 5'8" and fluxuate between 135-138lbs. I've only been training for a little over a month, so I'm nowhere near marathon distance either...I'd say I'm running about 15-20 miles a week at most right now. I haven't really been combining my vitamin C and iron in meals, but I will try to do that from now on. Brendan Brazier's Thrive Diet is on my Christmas gift wishlist! Hopefully Santa will deliver :) Teenie--thanks for the advice, I will start tossing some dried fruits into the mix as well.
Any suggestions for a vegan multi vitamin that I should/could be taking?
I was just reading that a B12 and folate deficiency might be linked to iron deficiency. Since you cannot get B12 from plants, maybe that's something else to try. You don't need much B12 (exactly how much seems to depend on who you ask...but its something like 2-3 micrograms). Something else to ponder....keep searching and good luck with Santa.
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