Sponsored post by Sonia Verma
My self-professed vampire friend and I stared in silence as she delicately decanted a drop of my blood into a tiny vial of fluid.
Would it sink or float? Would it just linger indecisively in the middle? Or would last night's red-meat dinner and this morning's cream of wheat do the trick?
Fortunately, it sank like an iron-rich stone, and I was cleared to give blood. Other times, I've been turned away (they do usually offer me a pity cookie) and asked to wait eight weeks before showing my lousy iron-deficient veins again.
Iron deficiency is actually a surprisingly common condition among women, especially pregnant women. Our iron levels dip especially low at certain times of life, such as during pregnancy, puberty, menstruation, and growth spurts as babies, toddlers and children.
There are degrees of iron depletion, the most serious being iron-deficient anemia. The earlier you catch the symptoms — chronic fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and irritability are known as the "triad" — the easier it is to treat, through diet, or possibly by taking iron supplements such as FeraMAX. (If you have a child with low iron levels, you'll understand the value of a supplement that is tailored to their young bodies, and which can be mixed in with their favourite foods.)
Too often, symptoms are brushed off until iron levels fall dangerously low. Left unaddressed, iron depletion can worsen to anemia, which brings more dangerous symptoms, like dizziness and fainting.
But back to the "triad" for a second: Even with all the iron in the world, parenting babies and young kids can often leave you tired, grouchy and unfocused, right? So is the problem my blood or my lifestyle? (And by lifestyle, I mean kids.)
Cue Leona Dove, a nurse and blood specialist who runs The Iron Maiden blog, a resource that focuses on information and treatment options for iron deficiency in adults and kids. She covers a range of subjects, from diet and lifestyle to tips and tricks. Dove does a good job delivering factual information and flagging the warning signs of iron deficiency without striking a note of fear.
The most important thing that comes across from all this is that if you are concerned about your energy levels or iron intake, check with a physician to identify and treat a deficiency with iron-rich food, supplements and avoiding iron inhibitors.
As for me, I have eight weeks to beef up my iron stores ahead of my next visit with the Vial of Judgment.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored. All products mentioned and reviewed on this page are compliments of FeraMAX®. All opinions of the products are my own.