So I said to the pharmacist, “Got a question for ya.”
“Last week I found out I’m so anemic its a surprise I can talk. I just started taking iron supplements. Is there a loading dose to get my iron level up where it belongs?”
I’m guessing this isn’t a conversation you’ve had with your local pharmacist, or anyone else for that matter, and I’m wondering if there was a way I should have known, when I went veggie, that I REALLY needed to be taking supplements.
I mentioned in a previous blog post that I just KNEW I was short on B12, and it turns out I was. (I figured it out myself by researching online.) Also Folate. But I had no idea I’d be so low on iron I could hardly string a sentence together.
Its amazing to me that during numerous doctor visits over the years, where I plainly said I was a vegetarian, no one ever asked if I was taking supplements or suggested blood tests, even after my complaining of exhaustion…. over and over.
I’m still shaking my head to myself. I just don’t get it.
At least I’m heading in the direction of feeling better, now. But, thank goodness I told the doc I wanted a slew of blood tests! In the meantime, I haven’t been doing a lot of cooking, but a new food review should be posted soon, and I’ll be posting a couple of easy peasy recipes I’ve made a number of times in the last few weeks. Nothing fancy, but really good!
So, how do we do Veggie 101? I decided that I love animals too much to eat them, so I stopped. For others who come to the same conclusion, how are they supposed to know what I had to find out because I was inquisitive enough, after a long period of feeling awful, to figure it out myself?
“Pretty Veggie” Mindy
Thanks for the information. I take sublingual B-12 as well as B complex, but not daily. I like spinach, but my weapon of choice for iron is swiss chard, mostly because some sources claim it has fewer oxalates than spinach. (and it’s ridiculously easy to grow) I prefer it steamed, lightly dredged with vinegar, some butter flavoring, and a dash of parmesan.
Iron tabs can be a pain. I occasionally take a slow-release iron capsule, washed down with an orange juice & Citrucel cocktail. The OJ is supposed to enhance absorption, and the soluble fiber eliminates any undesirable gastrointestinal effects.
I have a really delicious Kale and White Bean Soup recipe on the website. You might like to try that, too.
I’d be interested in reading a followup account detailing how you dealt with your deficiencies and how your system responded to the supplements. Specific things I’m curious about are what type of iron supplement you took, (ferrous sulfate & gluconate seem to be the most popular) and what sort of B-12 therapy you used – sublingual, injections, or ?
Briefly, I brought my B12 and Folate back up to normal levels with liquid and sublingual supplements, and am now taking a daily B Complex capsule. Re Iron, I didn’t get along with pills very well, so I’ve been “supplementing” with more iron rich foods. Thank goodness I love spinach!
It still amazes me that the doctors never put two and two together, and I had to figure this out myself. A yearly check-up is good, but a typical blood test does not include the elements that ultimately told me what I needed to supplement. I think, as a first step, doctors need to be more aware of situations concerning vegetarians, especially since vegetarianism is on the rise. And, it would be helpful if docs actually listened to their patients! lol
An annual blood screen to look for imbalances/anomalies is a good idea for all of us regardless of our diet. There are, as I’m sure you’re finding out, plenty of natural supplements avaiable. Glad you’re beginning to feel better and have a handle on the cause.