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Anemia and Running (Read 1033 times)

    I've had a really tough time with running over the past 3 months and found out a couple of weeks ago that I'm anemic.  Anyone else out there dealt / dealing with this?

     

    For anyone interested, I looked into the matter and posted some info on my blog about what I've found. 

     

    http://ultracassie.blogspot.com/2012/07/ode-to-fe.html

    Live the Adventure. Enjoy the Journey. Be Kind. Have Faith!

      That stinks Cassie. Seems like you're on your way to overcoming it though.

      Good luck.

       

       


      Fat butt on couch

        Several times over the years.  My hemoglobin has never gotten below the low end of normal but when my ferretin is <20, my running goes to crap.  What were your levels at diagnosis?  I saw several docs who missed it, because to them anemia is not being able to stand on your own to walk in the door.  They had no concern for or experience with the level that would affect athletic performance.  This included the team doc for a Division I team.

        "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

         

          Thanks, Joe :-)

           

          Spaniel,

           

          Here is a portion of the results from my CBC:

           

          RBC     4.2     4.00-5.00     10\S\6/uL	
          HGB 8.4 12.0-16.0 g/dL Low
          HCT 27.6 38.0-45.0 % Low
          MCV 65.8 82.0-97.0 fL Low
          MCH 20 28.0-34.0 pg Low
          MCHC 30.4 32.0-36.0 g/dL Low
          RDW 20.2 11.5-14.5 % High

           

           

          My hemoglobin was way low so it was pretty impossible to miss.  I've read a lot about people saying the exact same thing you are saying about lack of ferritin hurting performance.

          Live the Adventure. Enjoy the Journey. Be Kind. Have Faith!


          Fat butt on couch

             My hemoglobin was way low so it was pretty impossible to miss.  I've read a lot about people saying the exact same thing you are saying about lack of ferritin hurting performance.

             

            Wow, yeah, that's pretty obvious.  My HGB number was actually just below low range of normal when I was first "diagnosed".  I use that term loosely because when my lab work came back every single iron-related number was right at the low end and ferretin was 18, and the doc was adamant that I was not anemic because "I would not be able to walk in the door if I was anemic".  Errrr.

             

            My running had been rough for 2 years, but 2 months on iron I was running PRs again.  The difference was amazing.

             

            I don't know what you're using, but I found the liquid iron sulfate (special ordered from CVS) to work more quickly than the pills...just need to be careful not to stain your teeth.

            "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

             

              Sounds like maybe you need a new doc Wink

               

              Thanks for the advice on what to take.  I may have to check that out. You are the second person to suggest it.

              Live the Adventure. Enjoy the Journey. Be Kind. Have Faith!


              A Dance with Monkeys

                My hemoglobin was way low so it was pretty impossible to miss. 

                 

                As odd as this is, a low hemoglobin does not make the diagnosis of iron deficiency anemia. Anytime your red blood cell count is low, which is the definition of anemia, you will have fewer cells to cary hemoglobin and, by corollary, less hemoglobin. This is true in nearly all cases of anemia, across all causes. More diagnostic was the fact that your mean corpuscular volume, mean corpuscular hemoglobin and mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentrations were also low (MCV, MCH, MCHC). These all indicate that the red blood cells you have are small and hemoglobin-deficient as well. You also have a high red cell distribution width, which means your body is producing as many immature red cells (which are larger, and skew the average width across all your red cells), so your body is trying to compensate.

                 

                If you really want to demonstrate iron deficiency, it is helpful to get blood iron levels. There are a number of different tests that look at this, and the patterns across those tests can indicate other things that look like iron deficiency (such as anemia of chronic disease). If you really really want to demonstrate iron deficiency, you need to get a bone marrow biopsy. Yeouch!

                 

                Here is the thing. It is not enough to get a diagnosis of iron deficiency anemia. You need to find out WHY you have it. You need to make sure you have not had some sort of chronic blood loss from somewhere. Chronic blood loss can sap iron stores, even if you don't notice it. Common sources of chronic blood loss include urine (from bladder or kidney cancers), colon (from colon or rectal cancers) and the uterus (in women, of course, from any number of causes). If you have a diagnosis of new iron deficiency anemia, it is important to have your urine and stool tested for occult bleeding, and (among women) consider having your uterus evaluated by ultrasound.

                 

                Of course, among runners, there is a running-related anemia that looks just like iron deficiency. They cause is unclear, and treatment with iron replacement is the way to go.  A buddy of mine had this last year. He was diagnosed after having trouble running up a deadly hill during a 50 miler in his 15th ultra of the year (which included several 100 milers and one 500k). His HGB turned out to be ~7. He is fine now.

                  Cassie your CBC looks identical to mine a few years ago and your blog entry described me to a T.  It was a terrible feeling!  Glad you got it figured out and are on the path to feeling better. 

                    I was hoping you would chime in, Trent. :-)

                     

                    My doc is now on the search to figure out why I'm anemic.  At first I was thinking maybe parasites as I was just in Peru. I also can't seem to gain weight. (I've lost about 7 pounds since Peru.) Not sure if that could be anemia related as well or if I picked up some hook worms or something?  Waiting for the parasite and ova test to come back.

                     

                    After reading about how altitude affects iron levels, I started thinking that might have something to do with it.  When I was in Peru hiking the Inca Trail, I got altitude anorexia and never felt like eating despite hiking 6 to 10 hours a day for 4 days.  I'm sure that didn't help my iron situation.

                     

                    I was fine before Peru. I was running stronger than ever, actually.  Once I got back, I had stomach problems for about 11 days which is the first time I saw the doc.  I went back because my energy level just wasn't coming back.

                    Live the Adventure. Enjoy the Journey. Be Kind. Have Faith!

                       Good to know, Knifey! You managed to get it all fixed up? Did you figure out what caused the anemia?

                       

                       

                      Cassie your CBC looks identical to mine a few years ago and your blog entry described me to a T.  It was a terrible feeling!  Glad you got it figured out and are on the path to feeling better. 

                      Live the Adventure. Enjoy the Journey. Be Kind. Have Faith!


                      Over Analyzer of My Log

                        http://www.floradix.net/

                         

                        here is another product that might help.  My wife had a gastic bypass which leaves her unable to properly absorb iron.  She has been so anemic that she had to receive several months of IV iron treatments.  She finally stabilized and has been using this product which seems to allow her to absorb proper amounts of iron.  The only place we have found it in Atlanta is at the natural food stores or vitamin stores.  Doesn't seem to be available from big chain drug or grocery stores.  I personally don't need to use this but it has helped my wife who says it isn't the most pleasant tasting thing but as with everything you eventually get used  to it and you only need it once a day. 

                        Rodgers Running

                        2012 Goals

                        Run a 10K 15K Half Marathon


                        Fat butt on couch

                          Here is the thing. It is not enough to get a diagnosis of iron deficiency anemia. You need to find out WHY you have it. You need to make sure you have not had some sort of chronic blood loss from somewhere. Chronic blood loss can sap iron stores, even if you don't notice it. Common sources of chronic blood loss include urine (from bladder or kidney cancers), colon (from colon or rectal cancers) and the uterus (in women, of course, from any number of causes). If you have a diagnosis of new iron deficiency anemia, it is important to have your urine and stool tested for occult bleeding, and (among women) consider having your uterus evaluated by ultrasound.

                           

                          Of course, among runners, there is a running-related anemia that looks just like iron deficiency. They cause is unclear, and treatment with iron replacement is the way to go.  A buddy of mine had this last year. He was diagnosed after having trouble running up a deadly hill during a 50 miler in his 15th ultra of the year (which included several 100 milers and one 500k). His HGB turned out to be ~7. He is fine now.

                           

                          Yup, went through those tests twice.  No cause found.  Anemia only sets in when I run a lot, so I now take a maintenance iron dose and if I am not training much I stop taking it.  I used to avoid even multivitamins with iron in them for fear of getting too much but since even "well" checks have shown not even average ferretin levels I don't worry much about it anymore. 

                          "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                           


                          Fat butt on couch

                             My doc is now on the search to figure out why I'm anemic.  At first I was thinking maybe parasites as I was just in Peru. I also can't seem to gain weight.  Not sure if that could be anemia related as well or if I picked up some hook worms or something?  Waiting for the parasite and ova test to come back.

                             

                            Yuck..tapeworm?  I really hope it turns out to be something rather more mundane...good luck!

                            "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                             

                              Yuck..tapeworm?  I really hope it turns out to be something rather more mundane...good luck!

                               

                              Thanks!  You and me both...

                              Live the Adventure. Enjoy the Journey. Be Kind. Have Faith!

                                 Thanks!  I'll check into it.

                                 

                                http://www.floradix.net/

                                 

                                Live the Adventure. Enjoy the Journey. Be Kind. Have Faith!

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