Chewing on Nails.

By that, I mean rusty nails…not fingernails.

Saw doctor yesterday.  Cholesterol is up, iron, red blood cell count and ferritin are down.  Not as bad as they were 6-8 months ago, but inexplicably down into anemic territory again.  Weight is also down.  As I’m scarfing gluten and dairy free food like it’s going out of style, and doing some sort of exercise (either riding or working out 5x/week) almost every day, the results don’t make a ton of sense.  Best guess is that there’s still some sort of ongoing absorption problem…but were that the case, one would think that my iron levels would have been sketchy at the last blood tests ~3 months ago (and they weren’t).

Going back onto iron supplements is the easy cure for the anemia…but doesn’t answer the underlying question of why it’s occurring.  I eat about as good of a diet as is humanly possible.  Given a family history of heart disease, the doc wants me to go on statins as well…but I think we’re going to try some herbal or non-Rx options first.

The only good news out of all of this is that the anemia hasn’t been seriously affecting me this time around.  When my levels were waaaaaay off several months ago, I was feeling like crap.  Lately, I’ve been feeling pretty darn ok.  Hopefully, getting things back in line will bring the status up to feeling good.  So short term, the goal is to utilize externalities (vitamins, etc.) to get the levels where they should be.  Intermediate term, the goal is to find out why things are imbalanced when I’m sporting a balanced diet.  Long term, I’m still planning on racing the Tour de France this summer.

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5 thoughts on “Chewing on Nails.

  1. All the TDF riders stave off anemia by using cast iron pans to make their crepes. Well, perhaps not, but I still use cast iron for a near daily veggie stir fry.

    • Cholesterol, like all things, is a balance. If your cholesterol is too low, your body can’t make enough hormones, like testosterone. So if you have super-low cholesterol, you probably also have low-T. I certainly don’t want “high” cholesterol, but I take a lot of fish oil to get mine into a healthy range, and that’s helped all over with a lot of other things.

      • What I meant to ask you was — is your cholesterol being up a good thing for you? It was for me because mine was too low when I had untreated celiac, but once I eliminated gluten my cholesterol came into the normal range (it went up). Do you take the fish oil to bring your cholesterol up or down? The reason I ask is that it is rare to meet someone else with too low of cholesterol like I had when I was eating gluten and undiagnosed. And I do have low testosterone by the way. It gets me in trouble at work– I’m a women in a male dominated field. I also suffer from lack of competiveness. I am super motivated, but have no desire to compete.
        Interesting discussion!

      • My cholesterol was at one point too high (before celiac’s), and then too low (early in my diagnosis). Fish oil brights my HDL up to a better level, which helps with many other blood levels.

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