When I was a kid, one of my favorite television programs was Ted Mack's Original Amateur Hour. I loved to watch the singers and I guess that may be why I love American Idol (not so much these days) and The Voice. One thing I remember from Amateur Hour is the Geritol commercials. All I knew at the time was it was for "iron poor blood" which was something old people had.
I had to have some blood work done last week and I learned a few things that I didn't know. Now maybe I am just not as smart as I think I am and you all know this stuff...but, one nice thing about having a blog is sharing information that might help or inform someone else.
It seems that I am anemic. It probably isn't a big deal (praying) and can be taken care of with a few changes on my own. So, while it happened to me once a couple of years ago with good reason, the reason didn't seem obvious as to what is causing it now...until I started my own investigation.
I don't eat a lot of red meat. It just isn't my preference. I cook a roast now and then, or have an occasional steak, but if I have a choice of fish, chicken or pork, I take it. Since the first of the year, I have been eating very healthy. I love fruits and veggies anyway and I have been eating tons of them as well as "normal" portions of chicken, fish etc. with dinner. The good news is that my migraine headaches are a rare thing since I started eating less and moving more. The bad news is that when I actually looked at my iron intake on the website that my daughter and I are using to keep track of what we are eating (myfitnesspal.com), I found out that my iron intake is between 25-30 percent of the daily recommended doses. Am I the only person that assumed that all those veggies and greens were full of iron?
It gets worse. I found out that coffee, tea and dairy products work against iron absorption. Who knew? I've been eating yogurt for breakfast as long as I can remember. I have my cup or 2 of coffee a day and I sip a cup of tea all day long. I love hot tea. As for taking vitamins, I had some here...I would grab one once or twice a week and have it with my tea or my yogurt. Duh. Everything I read said that an iron supplement needs to be taken a few hours after dairy, tea or coffee (green tea and decaf coffee still count). They also should be taken with added Vitamin C in some form to help the iron stick. I learned that many vegetarians have low iron levels, not that I'm a vegetarian. It was just a surprise to me. So, my day now has a multi-vitamin with iron taken in the late afternoon along with a vitamin C supplement. It also means that I now don't get to have coffee or tea in the afternoons and I am not happy about that, but I won't give it up in the mornings and I love my after dinner tea!
Anyway, since bloggers tend to be tea and coffee drinkers, many are women, many are vegetarians or restrict the meat intake...I thought this might surprise some of you the way it did me. It appears I have done just about everything I could to give myself low iron levels...iron poor blood, what old people have! Maybe I should find some Geritol instead, it used to be 12% alcohol. That would have been more fun!