Thursday, October 6, 2011

Wow, I'm Tired! Am I Anemic?

Some days I just can't seem to get with the program, mentally or physically, and my body feels like it wants to shut down.  I could say this was all an adverse effect of the chemo, but in my case that isn't entirely true.  I have always been border line anemic.  My mother and sister both suffer from Iron Deficieny Anemia, so I guess it's partly bad genes.

It is very common for women who have went through treatments for breast cancer to feel tired, sometimes more to the point of true fatigue.  For women with breast cancer, having blood tests is pretty routine, and our oncologists check these levels regularly.  In my case, my iron levels just wouldn't come up, actually they decreased (but that has to do with the chemo making the red blood cells slightly larger during treatment).  My oncologist decided to run a variety of extra tests trying to determine what was going on.  Finally we decided that I have an iron deficiency. 

This is pretty common in women, cancer or not. The only difference is that most women just think they are over worked, over stressed, or simply tired and don't pursue it any further.

I take an iron supplement, but vitamins and I don't mix well.  They tend to bother my stomach.  So I try really hard to eat food that is high in iron.  I also found it interesting that it is important to take vitamin C to help our bodies better absorb the iron.  Here are a few links that better explain Iron Deficiency Anemia as well as give a list of foods high in iron.

Be sure to check out the different tabs at the top of the article.

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