Tuesday, 5 October 2010

First Blood Results In

Yesterday I started back at work. I had my bloods taken in the morning before going in; celiac screen, thyroid function, iron studies, B12 and folate, full blood count.
The first day was fine, although I was tired in the evening. Luckily I wasn't horrendously busy, my work was kept on top of by my colleagues. I made myself the pumpkin cornbread I saw on HEAB and Lil Runner as a convenient lunch.

Yesterday I had it heated up with a big heap of romaine, grated carrot and beetroot, yellow pepper and pumpkin seeds with a hemp oil and apple cider vinegar dressing. Today I had with with a big gob of PB and fruit spread (ie no sugar jam).

Breakfasts have been berry yogurt combos, with either puffed brown rice or some cooked oats. The last few night's dinners:

Sauteed black kale, yellow pepper and homegrown yellow summer squash. I rounded it out with my last lump of bread before my blood test.

Kale, runner bean and coconut curry with brown rice noodles

Steamed cabbage and soba noodles with roasted summer squash and onion (and lots of thyme)

Speaking of which, I got a call from the surgery today to pick up a prescription. When I got there I found out my ferritin (iron stores) result was back already, and it's low, so the prescription was for iron tablets- I'm anaemic. This is interesting news for me, because in my 12 years of vegetarianism, I have always had excellent iron levels. As dairy isn't a great iron source, cutting it from my diet can't be responsible for my iron issues. Training could have done it, although I was eating more to compensate. Another thing could be coffee drinking, yes, I have been drinking more, but I have gone through periods of drinking a lot of coffee before. Given my periods have stopped, and they used to be heavy when I had them and my iron was ok, it all remains a bit of a mystery, although of course it could be malabsorption because my gut isn't happy.

Anyway, I am really not keen on taking the iron tablets (side effect is constipation), but I'm equally concerned about being anaemic. I'm going to speak to my dad until I get to see my GP and at least take a good dose of vitamin C with the iron tablets to both increase the absorption and counteract the constipation. The good news is my full blood count came back normal, so there's no infection or anything nasty.

I'm digging into some lovely iron rich orangey dark chocolate right now:)


  1. Sorry to hear about your iron levels. Mine are always borderline/ok. Could the pancreatitis have caused low iron from malabsorption? It'll be interesting to see what your b12 is like too.

    Hope you don't get constipated and that work's ok. xxx

  2. It's not likely to be the pancreatitis- it causes poor digestion of fats, proteins and carbohydrates but has no role to play in mineral or vitamin absorption. Problems in the small intestine itself cause issues with absorption of everything. I'm pretty sure my coffee drinking has done me no favours- I'm going to cut it completely.
    My Dad told me not to take the iron tablets (he said they were too strong and would probably give me a lot of grief), and wait to see what the gastroenterologist says.

  3. Sorry to hear about your low iron levels. I hope it all gets worked out for you. Constipation is not a fun thing ;)

    Pure2raw Twins

  4. Also sorry to hear about iron. While I've never tested as low, and never tested at all, I definitely feel different went I eat something heavy in iron. Tahini gives me such a jolt! There are so many sources of iron... maybe you could find some?

    What's up with the celiac test? I'm dying to know! :)