How Anemia Affects Lifestyle & Tips on Managing Low Iron

I have been anemic since my early teenage years. Likely due to having been a vegetarian for 15 years, but the iron test is the one test that I have never passed in my life. My anemia is not serious enough to be on prescription iron, or at least I refuse to go down that road if I don’t have to. Anemia does affect the body in subtle ways that aren’t always immediately obvious or attributed to low iron.

Recently, I had to have a couple stitches in my finger (run in with a butcher knife trying to cut and de-pit an avocado at work which is a different story for a different day), the laceration did bleed a lot but I was in and out of the urgent care in a short time. I returned to work with a numb hand and feeling ok. After work, I slept for about 12 hours and tried to get up for work the next day but it was a struggle. I was so beyond exhausted, fatigued, drained, barely even dragged my body out of bed. I had many theories as to why this was- the excitement from the previous day, antibiotics, tetanus shot, etc. However, my brain was too foggy to really think through anything. After going home and sleeping more, I realized the issue. What had happened was because I lost a good amount of blood, I was just being anemic. That loss was a shock to my system. How I realized this was by remembering how I feel after having a blood test done. This was similar but much worse of an exhaustion. Obviously this usually resolves itself in a few days when my body makes more blood and the vitamins and healthy diet do their work, but there are ways to boost energy amidst a time of low iron or blood loss.

  • liquid B12 drops: I like the Carlyle Vitamin B12 Sublingual, they have a nice berry taste and are easy to take.
  • Eat healthy, organic lean meat and chicken, dark, leafy vegetables, and beans.
  • Snack on walnuts, almonds, brazil nuts, or dried fruits like prunes, apricots, and figs.
  • Molasses, oatmeal, and tofu are great sources of iron.
  • Eat and drink foods that help your body absorb iron such as: orange juice, strawberries, broccoli, or other fruits and vegetables with vitamin C.
  • Hydrate- drink lots of water. I like to put Waterdrops in my water which have vitamins and other nutrients (waterdrop® Microdrink – Drink More Water | waterdrop®). Drinks with Vitamin C can assist with better absorption of iron too.
  • Reduce or eliminate sugar and alcohol as much as possible.
  • Quality sleep, but don’t overdo it. Too much sleep can actually be detrimental to anemia. Naps 30 minutes or less are recommended.
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Recipes for Anemia

Check out my Pinterest for yummy recipe ideas!

*Disclaimer: I eat a primarily vegetarian diet only chicken, turkey, and seafood.(no beef, pork, lamb, red meats, etc.)

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