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Old 01-10-2009, 11:32 PM   #1
Scott Kane
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Default Anemic on Red Meat and Green Leafy Vegetables?

I am a 29yo white male 5'9" 180lbs@8-9%BF. I strength train 3-5 days a week following a program designed from Coach Sommers new book. I don't currently do any met-con workouts. My basic diet consists of eggs/bacon for breakfast with mostly red meat and green leafy vegetables for my other meals. My daily caloric intake is usually 1800-2200 with cheat meals on the weekends. I supplement with a daily vitamin, 1tsp Carlson fish oil twice a day, creatine, and some Utrition Liquid Glucosamine/Chondroitin Sulfates. My FitDay journal can be seen here http://fitday.com/fitness/PublicJour...wner=scottkane.

I donated blood yesterday and found out that my hemoglobin was pretty low. The first reading on the Hemacue was 12.7 and the second time was 13.3. Normal for males is supposedly 14-17 from what I understand. My body temp was 97.1 also. My fingers/toes get cold, I never really feel refreshed after sleeping (even 10-12hrs), I get tired in the middle of training, and have other "anemic" symptoms. I have also noticed (even when on straight 18-20 block Zone parameters) that my legs often feel "heavy" and "slow" if that makes sense. Basically they were always sore and seemed to lack explosiveness.

I understand that Vit C and B12 help the body to absorb iron. My Vit C is 260% RDA and B12 is a whopping 1126%. My Calcium is only 72%, Magnesium 97%, Manganese 80%, and Potassium 62%. Three days ago began ZMA supplementation in the evenings. Also, I drink quite a bit of tea, which supposedly can interfere with iron absorption, but I'm not sure to what extent.

I hope that you can make sense of some of the information I have provided. Please let me know if I have any ambiguities.

Do you think my calories are too low? Should I reset back to maintenance? My goals are to drop down to 5-7% BF to help with my strength to weight ratio.
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Old 01-11-2009, 08:39 AM   #2
Garrett Smith
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Two things I would look into first would be 1) donating blood too often, as I personally got anemic this way, or 2) lead toxicity.

I have had one patient with an iron-deficiency anemia who wouldn't ever listen to me about testing for toxic metals and her anemia got steadily worse (her MD said that he didn't think it could be lead toxicity but he had no other ideas as to what to do).

I'd have to see the blood test results to really figure out what kind of anemia it is.

I usually do things like this over phone and fax.

This doesn't sound like it is diet-related in the sense of Zone blocks or lack of supplementation.
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Old 01-11-2009, 08:40 AM   #3
Mike ODonnell
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Quick look...calories seem very low.
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Old 01-11-2009, 08:52 AM   #4
Greg Davis
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as dr. g mentions it happened to me on a pretty solid diet- was very surprised to hear doctor say my iron was low but was giving blood regularly and think that was the problem. not crazy often but every 3-4 months did it.. gave it 6 months took some vit c with red meat dinners and shot back up.
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Old 01-11-2009, 10:33 AM   #5
Troy Archie
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Wow, I'm in the same boat with you. I had some blood work done and my hemoglobin count was 13.0. I need to get some further testing to see what the deal is. This has come as an extreme surprise and made me re-evaluate my diet. Vitamin B12 shouldn't be the problem, lots of eggs. Folic acid? I'm eating tonnes of veggies. Iron? Maybe. I haven't eaten much red meat the last could of months, in fact barely any. I have been eating my usual obscene amounts of green leafy veggies though. I've been lifting pretty heavy too, could this be depleting also? A large amount of cell division? This is all very concerning and I'm eager to find out more what I can do and what might be the cause of it.

And of course I read the symptoms and manage to match a majority of them to me. The one that concerns me the most is shortness of breath and palpitations. By no means is my cardiovascular capacity very high as of now (strength goals) but heavy squatting and hard rowing is by far more demanding than what 95% of the population is doing. I'm not gasping for air but I wonder if I should be puffing like I am after power-walking up 5 flights of stairs and the fact I can feel and notice my heartbeating makes me wonder. Regardless, I've upped the red meat intake and am trying to get into for more blood work asap.
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Old 01-11-2009, 03:26 PM   #6
Craig Brown
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Is spinach your green veggie of choice? I recall it can inhibit absorption.

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Old 01-11-2009, 06:59 PM   #7
Emily Mattes
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I have similar trouble with my iron levels. I take a supplement--the name's Hemaplex, and it's a goddamn wonder vitamin in my opinion. When I was a vegetarian after a few weeks of taking it my iron levels were up to 18 or something after being down at 11. If I don't take it for a while I can tell the effects on my energy levels, though it's not as bad now that I eat meat.
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Old 01-11-2009, 10:11 PM   #8
Yael Grauer
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There are a lot of other reasons for anemia. Insufficient hydrochloric acid, for one.
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Old 01-11-2009, 11:46 PM   #9
Scott Kane
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To clear things up a bit, I have not donated blood in probably two years. I also checked my multivitamin, and it does NOT contain iron, so my only sources of iron are strictly dietary (red meat and greens).

Additionally, I have noticed some dry, scaly skin around my nose/cheek area and scalp. This could be a Riboflavin/B2 deficiency, but according to fitday my intake is at 290% of RDA. My multivitamin provides 1.3mg which is 100%RDA while my diet supplies and additional 2.5mg.

My blood was tested after working a full day. The two days prior, I hadn't averaged much sleep (maybe 10hrs between the two days). This is not the norm though, I usually get plenty of sleep though I don't wake up feeling refreshed.

Maybe it was just an off day?
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Old 01-12-2009, 12:29 AM   #10
Scott Kane
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