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Had a ferritin test. came back as .8 (point 8) besides iron supplements, anything else to do?

Male runner.  Last few months have not been feeling well when running.  Very heavy feeling and not to run paces I could easily do 6 months a go.  Knowing how important iron is for carry red blood cells, i had my ferritin checked.  Test came back with a .8 (yes decimal is in right place) lab said it was the lowest ever seen.  I am a light eater and while not a pure vegetarian I do not eat much meat, just a little chicken and fish.

Anything else I need to do beside taking ferrus sulfate?

Related Topics: Iron, Fish, Meat, Running

Answers From Experts & Organizations (1)

345 Answers
6,235 Helpful Votes

The best thing to do is work with your healthcare provider about how to get your iron levels back up right now.  In addition to supplementation, increasing dietary iron is important in the long run to keep this problem from recurring  Here are ways to increase iron and iron absorption in your diet:

  • Iron from animal foods are better absorbed than plant sources so make a point to include those items you like such as chicken and fish.
  • Add plant sources of iron to your diet including cereals fortified with iron, beans/legumes, soy beans, tofu, pumpkin/squash seeds, spinach, raisins, broccoli and bread.  To increase their absorption, add vitamin C sources such as orange juice, tomatoes, broccoli and strawberries. Examples include vitamin-C rich fruit topped on your cereal or beans cooked in a tomato-based sauce.  
  • Include animal sources of iron with vegetable sources also increases the amount of iron absorbed (e.g., meat chili or beans as a side dish with chicken).

For more ideas on iron-rich food sources read this article

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