Hurray, after more than a month since I got my lab results back showing that my iron saturation had dropped to a 4 (the low end of normal is 15), I finally have an appointment with the hematologist. I wish that I could say that I was looking forward to getting an iron infusion. But while I appreciate the temporary increase in physical and mental energy an iron infusion brings, I am not a fan of having to spend 6-8 hours getting an infusion, and the uncertainty of how I will react. To make matters more difficult, this will be the first time that I have to get an infusion without the companionship and protecting watch of my father.
But even though I do not like getting an iron infusion, my stomach cannot tolerate taking iron pills for more than a few days at a time. After a few days it makes my chronic nausea so strong that I dread meal time to the point that I at times I am delaying and even skipping meals. To alleviate the nausea I have to stop taking the nausea causing my iron levels to sea saw up and down, and slowly causing my iron stores and iron saturation to drop to a point that I can barely lift my head off the sofa and where some days even a few steps leaves me gasping for air.
Fortunately, while I have been waiting for my referral to reach the the hematologist, I found a couple of natural ways to help me get enough iron to help me do one or two task and breath a bit more comfortably. One natural remedy is to drink a bit of beet juice mixed with another juice like grape or apple juice. Mixing it with another juice is important as on its own, probably due in part to its strong flavor, it can be hard to keep down. But mixed and diluted by another juice like apple or grape it become more tolerable.
An even better method, that has proven very helpful to one of my uncles who was recently diagnosed with anemia, is a drink made of a mixture of iron improving fruits. It can be made two ways, by either soaking the fruit in a juice for a few hours or blending the fruit and once again adding another fruit to dilute the mixture. The fruits used for this drink are dates, figs, raisins, and prunes. But as you can imagine, while on the one hand it is has been beneficial in helping me to maintain my current iron levels, it has not helped my battle with chronic nausea.
So even though I am not a fan of getting an iron infusion, I know how much I need one. And I am so glad to be one step closer to getting an iron infusion and at least for a few weeks getting relief from the fatigue, mental fog, increased headaches, shortness of breath, need for ice, and other miserable symptoms of chronic iron deficiency anemia.