Why not blame my hair colour?

It gets me every time.

People assume that fat leads to health problems, with no facts to back that up. The sheer willful stupidity of that boggles me. And when I point out the many exceptions I’m told “Oh, but that’s just a few people you happen to know; but *everyone* knows that fat people get X.” 

So, to those who’ve given me grief recently: my low iron, extremely low B12 and heart murmur are not caused by, or influenced by, my fat. I eat a good amount of animal products, and I like red meat. I don’t know why my iron is low, perhaps the pregnancy has something to do it. The B12 may well be inherited; apparently my Grandmother can’t store the vitamin and needs constant shots (I didn’t know this before). Certainly I’ve had the symptoms of both for a long time now and it’s been ignored by my Doctors despite my constant complaints that I didn’t feel ‘right’. Did they ignore it because I was fat and they assumed that was why I was always so drained? Who knows. It’s certainly not unlikely.

And as for the heart murmur – that is caused by the extra blood, etc, my body needs to handle during a twin pregnancy. It happens to twin mothers sometimes. 

And you know what, people: I am not an exception.

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5 Responses

  1. Fat is to health as left Handedness is to clumsiness.Every time I’ve injured my self in any way there’s always one person
    who will say ” that’s because you’re kack handed.

  2. I have a B12 absorption deficiency too. Fortunately I switched from Dr “It’s not hypothyroid, let’s increase your Wellbutrin and you could always have weight loss surgery” to another healthcare provider who noticed my anemia and determined my B12 was absurdly low.

    Currently I’m controlling the B12 by taking vitamins — I don’t absorb it all but some of a lot is enough.

  3. I have pernicious anemia (B12 deficiency – I can’t absorb it from food or swallowed supplements as I have antibodies to intrinsic factor, and that means I can’t store it very well either). Low iron is a common problem that goes along with B12 deficiencies, and I had that as well. Usually a B12 and/or folate deficiency will cause enlarged red blood cells (macrocytes, the anemia is called megaloblastic anemia) and low iron will cause microcytes. When these occur together, the effects can cancel each other out and your red blood cells will look normal when examined! Which is why doctors need to test for more than blood count and size when looking for deficiencies.

    I now take a B12 shot once a week, though many people feel fine with one shot every 1-3 months – it is very individual; hopefully you can find a doctor who understands that. Luckily injectable B12 is not on prescription here and neither are syringes so I can give myself a shot whenever I want. (B12 is not toxic in any way, you can have literally a million times the RDA and nothing bad will happen to you.) I also take a folate and multi-B supplement as all the Bs like to work together. And for the iron, the best iron pills I found were ones by Jarrow, called “IronSorb”. They are cheap from online supplement stores, and don’t make you constipated! I took 3 a day until my iron levels were back up, and now one a day.

    Anyway, I recommend checking out the Pernicious Anaemia Society website and forums – lots and lots of good info there on how to deal with B12 deficiency and its companion deficiencies and conditions!

  4. I don’t know a lot about pernicious anemia so I encourage you to research that, but a really great way to raise your iron in pregnancy is an herbal preparation called “Floradix.”

    I don’t know if it’s available in your area but check with your local pharmacy and natural food stores. Chances are they probably carry it or can get it.

    I’ve used it in several pregnancies to raise my iron levels and it’s worked well for improving my hemoglobin and hematocrit.

    If your actual ferritin levels are low, you may need an additional supplement as well, as ferritin levels don’t seem to be as affected by the Floradix, at least for me. But the Floradix is a good start and is gentler on your system than regular ferrous sulfate etc.

    Keep us updated on the B12 stuff too.

    • Thanks for the suggestion. I have a really good organic/natural food shop near me, I’ll go ask. If they don’t have it they will definately know where I can get it!

      My GP gave me iron tablets and B12 shots, and I really am feeling better for them (even my partner has noticed; his exact words were “You don’t have that ‘defeated’ look anymore”).

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