Posts Tagged ‘Asthma’
Today I got the results from the team blood test we had on Wednesday.
Drum roll please…..Ferritin is 16!*
Because low iron is so prevalent in distance runners, (why? see my post entitled Running Into the Ground) we screen our athletes twice a year with blood work from the health center. The woman who stuck me with the needle asked me what year I was when I got on the table. She was embarrassed when I told her my age and that I’m a coach. At least she complemented my veins.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t wait that long to get tested. At the end of June I began a pretty steep decline. I went from feeling somewhat decent on runs, to starting to get tired, to having an allergy induced asthma attack while running on Wildwood. That hasn’t happened to me in a few years- and it has only happened 4 or 5 times in my life. I do know from experience (and the allergist) that it is brought on by exposure to the allergen AND severe fatigue. Since the allergy tests revealed that I am basically allergic to Oregon, or at least all of its trees and grasses, I knew that fatigue was the main culprit.
The heat over the fourth of July in Ashland only made me feel worse, so I emailed my Endo in Houston to ask for some blood work. I was overdue in checking my thyroid’s status anyways. The only red flag from the results was, of course, my iron. Ferritin was 6. Again. Again! I thought the gluten-free diet was supposed to be helping, but apparently my intestines are still not in shape.
So it has been 5 or 6 weeks of stomachaches now. 5 or 6 weeks of reading gluten-free forums and message boards in search of some kind of help from the celiac community about how to overcome the chronic anemia. I have known about my iron issues since college. I was even sidelined my sophomore track season with chronic anemia. At least now the malabsorption problems have been somewhat explained. (i.e. in people with celiac, gluten destroys the microvilli which line the intestine to aid in capturing nutrients).
I’m trying to figure out how to go about getting a drip or even injections, but I am without insurance…. so who knows. I am just anxious to get rid of the stomach pain and GI problems again. I can only liken it to eating a steaming bowel of hot buckwheat**….EVERYDAY!!!
* The level of ferritin in your blood is a measure of your body’s iron stores. Ferritin is a protein containing iron stored in your bone marrow and liver. My highest recorded ferritin has been 18, the lowest was 5. Under 30 is a red flag. Ideally, much higher is better for performance.
**I actually did this by accident 3 weeks into my gf life- thought it was the cream o’rice cereal. Paid for dearly for it for three days afterwards.