grain & lentil burger (not a meat burger).
Soon after we moved to Vermont, I wasn’t feeling the greatest. I felt tired a lot of the time, even when I tried adding more or less fitness to my schedule to see how exercise affected things. Often when I stood up, and even sometimes while just standing, I felt dizzy. And at night, once or twice a week, I was having night sweats.
I wanted to get my lungs checked out anyway because I was getting over a cold with a bad cough, so I went to the doctor to sort out a bunch of things.
He recommended I get blood work done to get to the bottom of my symptoms, and go from there. Blood was drawn (yuck), lab tests were done, and I got a call back from the physician a week later that because the results were pretty inconclusive, he wanted me to have even more tests done.
Of course my mind thought of the worse possibilities, but back I went to get more blood drawn. The physician thought I probably had low iron, but wanted to be sure.
Lab results, round two came back – and confirmed low iron. Very low iron.
It’s funny. I’ve been a vegetarian for over fifteen years, and the only other time I’ve been diagnosed with low iron was before I even became a vegetarian, back in high school. Women and vegetarians are definitely more prone to low iron levels, so my new doctor’s news did not come as a surprise.
I was told to begin a three-month regimen right away: Vitamin C and iron supplements every day, as best as I could tolerate them. Iron supplements are known to be hard on the stomach, but luckily, I had no problem digesting them.
He also suggested that I add more iron-rich foods to my diet, like leafy greens, eggs, beans, molasses, and dried fruit, and even to try red meat. As you can imagine, I drew the line at the meat idea. After the three months are up I’ll get my blood work done again, and if there’s been no improvement, I’ll start from scratch and decide what to do. But for now, I’m eating lots of beans, eggs, oatmeal, and kale, and taking my supplements every night before I go to sleep.
Since taking the supplements, I do feel like my energy levels are up, and I am barely lightheaded. So I’m thinking that this stuff is kicking in.
I sure hope so.
Note: I am not a medical professional. I just wanted to share my story. If you have a medical concern, contact your physician.