Looking for Iron

I suppose you can guess by my post that I’m dealing with one of the common side effects of being in an ulcerative colitis flare… Low iron and anemia. Not good. Particularly not good for an athlete. I have been struggling this season with my cyclo-cross racing. Feeling wiped out before even getting to the start line. Not riding as well as I have and feeling completely exhausted during and after every race. Couple this with sleeping about 12 hours a night and feeling like napping in the afternoon. I should have seen the signs.

But I didn’t. Instead I thought I was simply not recovering properly. But thanks to a colonoscopy, endoscopy and the associated bloodwork, the low iron and anemia were found. I don’t know my numbers but my iron is so low right now that I’ve had three iron infusions. Kind of crazy since I eat a lot of meat and do take an iron supplement (Proferrin) daily. Luckily I have an excellent GI doctor who is very proactive and is helping me to get better.

The fascinating thing about all of this is that I’m in a remission…. Since I’ve had the colonoscopy I haven’t had any ulcerative colitis symptoms (odd stomach cramp – but no more 30 trips to the bathroom and all the blood and diarrhea). Very interesting. My doctor wonders if this is a result of the “emptying” procedure required before a colonoscopy. All I know is that is a nice change to be able to eat raw vegetables, fruit, and whole grains again. Of course everyday I wonder if the symptoms will come back, but I’m being careful not to push things too hard in the digestion front.

I’m curious to know if anyone else has experienced such a remission after a colonoscopy? Also, anyone out there have any good iron-fortifying recipes (sorry can’t do the liver – ate too much of it as a kid….)?

I’m off to Belgium on Monday for the next three months. Hoping my health stays on track and that soon I’ll feel the full effects of these infusions. Be sure to check out my cyclo-cross blog (http://ottawa.cx) to stay up-to-date with my racing and training life. I also write about life away from the bike over at my other site (http://victoriasisland.typepad.com).

2 thoughts on “Looking for Iron”

  1. Hey Vicki,
    Great to hear from you, I sure hope you had a good time in the home of Budweiser out therein Plzen, CZ.

    Also, wow, you are a SUPER lucky one, I think the first person I’ve ever heard of who has had such good post colonoscopy symptoms(non-symptoms)!!!!!! I think that’s an omen that you will win every race coming up in Belgium, assuming you don’t sample all the high alcohol content beers over there.
    Wow, can’t get over it, that’s fantastic. I hope that with the inflammation going down, you will be able to retain more of the iron and get past a whole bunch of this stuff you have been going through for some time now.
    I hope that some others have some good iron fortifying recipes for you, I eat a ton of meats, but sounds like you do the same, so nothing new there.

    Best of luck in Belgium!

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