The deeper we get into the fiery furnace of summer, it seems that we start to take our health and fitness for granted. Not sure why that is, but I noticed that my own stress factors have kicked in, medical issues starting to arise, and I chalk them up to plain, ordinary stress. But, I know better. The symptoms are there ... increased caffeine intake, mouth ulcers, menstrual spotting (TMI, I know), and the incessant need to chew ice and nibble on anything nutritional or otherwise. I realized last night that my iron levels are plunging. Today, I am making an appointment for next week to have them checked, although I am already being proactive and increased my iron supplements.
How quickly things happen ... and many times we are our own worst enemy when it comes to our health. We find excuses for the changes in our health ... not willing to accept that it is failing in some manner or fashion. Yet, the signs are there.
So, the Duck is going to challenge each and everyone one of you who reads this blog to take a good hard look at your own health. Are the signs there? And if they are, what are you going to do about them? It is time, my friends, to take back control of your health! And, you are the only person who can.
P.S. As many know I have been struggling with an iron deficiency for some time, the lowest my hemoglobin has been is 7.5 where normally it should be 15.5 or so. The highest I was able to get it was back up to an 11.0 ... check out the attached link if you think you may be anemic or just aren't sure:
Functions Iron is an essential part of hemoglobin, which transports oxygen to the cells and makes use of the oxygen when it arrives. Iron is widely distributed in the body. It is found in the blood, liver, spleen and bone marrow.
Deficiencies An iron deficiency can lead to anemia, along with fatigue, weakness, and increased risk for infections.
Excesses Iron can build up to dangerously high levels in the body, especially in people with the genetic problem called hemochromatosis. Over supplementation of iron can also occur. This is especially dangerous in children who may take adult vitamin/mineral supplements. Immediate medical attention should be obtained. The Tolerable Upper Intake Level is 45 milligrams daily for both adult males and females.
Amount Needed The recommended intake for adult males is 8 milligrams daily. Adult females age 19-50 need 18 milligrams, while females age 51 and older need only 8 milligrams daily.
Food Sources Iron is available from foods of both animal (heme iron) and plant (non-heme iron) origin. It is better absorbed from heme iron sources. Absorption of iron is enhanced when vitamin C foods are eaten with iron rich foods. Iron cookware also adds to the iron content of cooked foods. The best sources of iron include liver and other organ meats, oysters, and black strap molasses. Good food sources include spinach, beans, and peas. Fair sources include lean meats, other shellfish, egg yolks, nuts, dried fruit, other green leafy vegetables, whole grains, poultry, and fish.