On the periodic table, iron is the symbol Fe, and in our bodies, it’s an essential mineral that helps blood carry oxygen and perform other critical functions.
At 70 I started feeling extremely tired and sluggish — yet I didn’t have any aches or pains. I had chucked it up to aging, but after discussing my symptoms with my doctor, he checked my blood and discovered that I was suffering from iron deficiency anemia.
After undergoing treatment for breast cancer, my iron levels became dangerously low. The fatigue I experienced was just as bad as when I was recovering from major surgery related to my cancer.
Iron deficiency anemia no longer slows me down. I just went fishing for the first time in a year. I’m mending fences, chopping firewood for local campers, working on my tractors and four-wheelers – all activities I had despaired of doing again just last year.
If you can’t get through your everyday routines because of fatigue or muscle aches, talk to your doctor. Have all of your levels checked, not just hemoglobin, to determine whether you might have an iron deficiency. Had I not discovered my ferritin level was low, I might still be struggling to get through the day.
Once I began my treatment plan for IDA, I had more energy. I was able to get on my stationary bike again, and walking was no longer a chore. With the right diagnosis and treatment plan, you can feel better. I wish I hadn’t waited so long.