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Anemia Update: 18 Months Later

This post is sponsored by #CVSHealthySolutions.

A little over 18 months ago I shared a post about my experience with anemia. After a lifetime of physicals where I was always told that I was perfectly healthy and normal blood panels, I was really surprised to receive news at my annual physical in 2013 that I was severely anemic.

Since sharing my experience with anemia on my blog, I have received countless emails, comments and questions about it. I think what’s surprised me more than anything is how many of us think feeling tired and run down is normal. And it’s not!

For months leading up to my diagnosis there were so many signs that something wasn’t right. I went from running marathons to not being able to run for 5 minutes without stopping. I couldn’t watch TV at night without falling asleep because I was so exhausted. Even after a good nights sleep, I’d find myself dragging all day. I went from being one of the first to finish CrossFit workouts to dead last. I actually started to dread working out because I felt so terrible when I was doing it.

I wrote it all off and blamed turning 30, early morning wake-ups, a busy work schedule, etc. I made up excuses to validate feeling like crap. And from what I’ve heard…many of you fall victim to the same trap! I’m here today to tell you that you aren’t supposed to feel run down all the time, even if you work hard or have long days.

If you’re not feeling like yourself or are fatigued all the time, make an appointment to see your doctor! It’s so important that we learn to listen to our bodies and what they are telling us. This is something that I talk about all the time as a yoga teacher and I this was an instance where I wasn’t practicing it in my own life. There is nothing wrong with waving the white flag and seeking help (and this applies to MANY areas of life!). It is not a sign weakness.

One major change for me in treating anemia was starting to take supplements again. For the last 18+ months I have been taking a variety of supplements.

8.26vitamins

Iron

I take 18mg of iron 3-4 days per week. I recently switched to this Radiance Platinum organic, plant-based iron from CVS. When I first received my diagnosis, I was instructed to take 45mg per day but I’ve been able to cut back to 18mg a few times a week as a boost to what’s in my multi and I’m feeling good!

B-12

It’s also from the Radiance Platinum line at CVS. Although my anemia was diagnosed as iron-deficient anemia, it’s also common for a B12 deficiency to lead to anemia. When your body doesn’t have enough B12, it’s unable to fully produce healthy red blood cells and anemia is defined as a deficiency of red blood cells. It’s also used for memory loss, boosting mood, energy, concentration, heart disease, immune system, etc. So it just seems like a good thing to incorporate in my routine right now.

Prenatal Multivitamin

My doctor is firmly in the camp of all women of child-bearing age taking prenatals for their multi so I have been for the last 5 years or so. Bonus, they include folic acid which aids the body in iron absorption.

All three of these supplements can be found at CVS and the best part is that they come with a money-back guarantee. If they don’t work for you simply return them for a full refund. I am taking a few other supplements as well that I will share with you in another post.

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So, how am I feeling now? AMAZING! After starting treatment for my anemia, I made 2014 my best year ever as a runner. I surprised myself with how strong and happy I felt running and set a new 5K PR, ran my first half marathon in four years and set a huge PR doing it. And so far 2015 has been great too! I’ve been energetically keeping up with all the workouts that I love from lifting to running to CrossFit to yoga.

Have you ever struggled with anemia? If so, how did you treat it?

Are you good about listening to your body or do you get stuck in “power through” mode?

This post is sponsored by #CVSHealthySolutions but the experience and opinions are all my own. Thank you so much for supporting my blog. It means so much to me to connect and share with you. 

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