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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.



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!


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.


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. 

{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Dani @ Dani California Cooks August 26, 2015, 6:32 pm

    That’s awesome to hear! It’s amazing how small adjustments like taking a supplement can make such a big different. I recently met with a nutritionist and switching from have a large lunch to two smaller meals in the afternoon has done wonders on my energy.

  • Linda @ The Fitty August 26, 2015, 10:01 pm

    1. How long did it take for you to be taking these supplements to notice a difference? And what were your workouts meanwhile?

    2. Prenatal pills? I might be low on iron I don’t know I’ll get it checked but I’m not pregnant and kinda iffy on buying those. Also do you think b complex vitamin is a good sub for b12?

  • Cassie Tran August 26, 2015, 11:31 pm

    Anemia is a serious matter, and I’m so glad you found a remedy for it! Glad that you invested in your health and well-being!

  • maya August 27, 2015, 5:08 am

    Really glad to hear you’re better! I realised I was anaemic last year, similarly my exercise tolerance plummeted, and after I started taking 50mg of iron for a few months, now I’m back to 25 mg about five times per week. I also take 1g of Vit C throughout the year and Zinc, to boost immunity, Vit D and alternate days I take B12 and Q10 for energy. I find this combo really works for me. I’m not a fan of multivitamins because they have a few ingredients which interfere with my blood thinning medication. I couldn’t agree with you more, though, about not accepting exhaustion. I did that, but I had undiagnosed blood clotting disorder. I even went to the doctor multiple times, but it was always written off as exhaustion, as I as working really hard. Also, because I started to gain weight from not being able to do much, that seemed to be the answer for everything, of course, how do you exercise when your blood is like a sludge and not enough oxygen goes to your brain? Eventually I had lung clots and I’m still recovering from all that, five years later. In my 30s. So you are absolutely right, feeling chronically run down is a sign of something not being right.

  • tara August 27, 2015, 1:13 pm

    glad to hear you are better ! i totally suck at listening to my body. working on it every day ! i guess the problem is its obvious when i dont listen as i will see negative effects but its less obvious when i have done something right. almost like when i feel great i cant figure out why to do it all again !

  • Jennifer August 27, 2015, 3:51 pm

    I was anemic after giving birth to my first daughter, and I took Vitron-C for my iron supplement. It’s the BEST! It is a high-potency Iron supplement (65mg) and it also contains 125mg Vit C to further increase Iron absorption. And it’s not constipating like so many other Iron pills are. Anyway- I swear I don’t work for them but I just really love their product! I still take it during my period weeks since I’m a vegetarian so my iron stores tend to run on the low end of normal and I don’t want it dipping down.

  • Melissa August 27, 2015, 10:19 pm

    Your comments about feeling tired and fatigued, doing worse in your workouts, and blaming it on being extra busy at work describe exactly what happened to me as well! I also surprisingly had iron-deficiency anemia. It’s taken me about 9 months of taking iron supplements to get back to a normal iron and hemoglobin level, and that’s on the low side of normal. I was taking two Vitron-C iron supplements daily. Once I got back to a normal iron level, I decreased to one supplement daily (along with my multivitamin) – it seems like I need at least some supplementation to keep at a normal level. The most frustrating part is that no one can figure out WHY I’m low-iron. Not the normal suspects of monthly blood loss, and I even had an endoscopy and colonoscopy to check for problems – nothing! So apparently that’s my new normal. At least I feel so much better – more energy, and my fitness has gone back to normal.

  • Shayla August 30, 2015, 11:31 am

    Love hearing I’m not the only one feeling this way! And so glad to hear you’re feeling better. I have been diagnosed anemic during my first pregnancy and am again this second pregnancy. In between pregnancies I still felt I had anemic symptoms as I was always SO tired – but my blood levels were normal – it’s very frustrating. Did you ever have symptoms of feeling out of breath easily and always needing to take a deep breath? That is the worst symptom of all!

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