Fatigue, feeling absolutely shattered after the smallest of tasks like climbing the stairs, sticking the washer on. I can’t go a day without having an afternoon nap, usually after work. Sound familiar?
That gnawing sensation that your body has been pushed to it’s limit and just wants a little rest even when you haven’t done that much?
IRON. And no I don’t mean the kind that takes the wrinkles out of your clothes, not that I could manage it anyway I’m too bloody knackered.
I’ve just had some recent blood test, a regular occurrence at the moment every 3 months probably for life who knows. A week later my IBD nurse is calling me to advise that my iron levels are low and I need tablets from the doctors.
No wonder I’ve been feeling poop lately! I’ve been irritable, sad and tired and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it even though I knew something wasn’t quite right. So much so that I made my first phone call to Samaritans in my whole 32 years of life. Now its not that I don’t have support because I do, I’m just bloody stubborn and find it very difficult to ask for help or say I’m not OK.
It is OK to cry, even to a stranger, I felt so much better chatting to Wayne from the Samaritans, he didn’t know much about IBD but was willing to listen and even have a laugh.
But that’s by the by, if you are feeling low and weak and fatigued get your iron levels checked – you never know.
Haemoglobin is really important and helps carry the oxygen in your blood around your body: the NHS website is really helpful for symptoms and ways to improve Iron intake and how to absorb it. – check it out here NHS – Iron Deficiency
Good sources of iron include:
- dark-green leafy vegetables, such as watercress and curly kale
- iron-fortified cereals or bread
- brown rice
- pulses and beans
- nuts and seeds
- meat, fish and tofu
- dried fruit, such as dried apricots, prunes and raisins
But many IBD’ers cant tolerate certain things as we don’t absorb iron as well or certain foods, so tablets can be a must or even Iron Infusions (this maybe what I might have to have)
I didn’t realise that in IBD 60-80% of people experience Iron deficiency or Anaemia so it is important to be aware of how you feel if something feels a little off.
And please remember you are not alone, there are many support groups like the Crohns & Colitis Facebook page or the Samaritans if you need to talk, they also do a text service if you can’t quite face talking on the phone.
I’m glad I made the call when I was feeling down, and always keep your health professionals informed of new symptoms & how you feel.