I’ve been back to work for a couple of days now… and after being off for over 2 weeks I am trying to look into the consequences of the blood test results.
I had been off with a viral infection.
Although my doctor initially wasn’t sure why I was so run down and achy. She initially thought it could have been glandular fever.
She hadn’t seen me since I went in to get my consultation for my anti-baby prescription several weeks previously.
This is my way of saying am going on the pill so I don’t have any unfortunate baby surprises being in a monogamous relationship with my boyfriend.
Anyways I had been feeling so awful, gaunt and stressed out. I had lost significant weight that my family and Jack were worried.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I only notice how stressed out I am when I loose weight. Unhealthily. Everybody reacts to stress differently.
When I went into the room my doctor looked surprised at the state of me… I suppose I did look a bit gaunt with big circles around me eyes and I was so achy so I was walking a bit hunched.
You know you look different when you see a surprise expression from your doctor -in fact any expression apart from polite interest is an indicator of how different your appearance is.
She gave me a 2 week sick line and told me that I had to spend that time resting and recovering. Which is hard… and boring… and annoying. I don’t like doing nothing.
What is a viral infection?
When I was telling mum how ill I was feeling and run down. She kept mentioning how it could be a virus and emphasised how much I needed to rest.
She was making me quite anxious – because she is a nurse – she understands whats going on with my body better than I do. So even when she does her usual mother worry, I get more worried.
So when she was repeating her advice for me – that I needed to rest. I need to slow down. I need to get better.
I decided to look into what ACTUALLY IS a viral infection?
Basically they are teeny tiny germs that live in normal cells and use that to multiply and produce more teeny virus cells that make you sick.
Different types of viruses attack certain cells in your body; for example they can go for your liver, respiratory system, or blood.
Sometimes when you get a virus you may have a strong immune system which could fight it off so you won’t show any sick symptoms. Like I mentioned previously everybody reacts differently – to stress, to viruses, to anything really.
As a general rule antibiotics don’t work for viral infections. Your own immune system needs to fight off the virus on its own.
If you want to read more into it then check out the rest of the post check it out here.
What were the actual blood test results?
Thankfully it wasn’t glandular fever…
I didn’t even want to look into that… with some situations I like to look into so much that I feel like a mini expert on it – I am not definitely not – just feel like it with myself.
And other times I just go with the whole ‘ignorance is bliss’ route. Which thankfully with glandular fever it worked – because I didn’t have it and therefore I didn’t need to know anything about it.
Well I could look into out of curiosities sake. But I haven’t for this post.
Instead what I have is a lower than average iron intake. I have an iron deficiency.
GET THE LOOK
What does that mean?
For me this meant that I was tired, I lacked energy, paler skin and noticeable heartbeats…
does this sound like a medical list?
Thats because it is… its from the NHS site. (If you want to see the full article then check out the site here.) I didn’t want to list them all as the above list were the only ones I had.
This is potentially more common in women as the iron in your blood gets dramatically less when your on your period – the ramifications of bleeding from 4-7 days!
But also, iron deficiency can also occur in men. This could be a sign of bleeding in the stomach and intestines cause by taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and aspirin.
Which I have been taken significantly more of since I’ve started my job.
I am staring at a screen all day, on the phone to nearly 100 different people per day. I don’t have time to go away and stop my headache by taking a nap or giving my eyes a break from the screen.
I have to take ibuprofen to help with the thumping headaches.
There are other symptoms – some more common than others – but I only wanted to reference the ones I experienced. Checking out the link above can show you the other symptoms/causes.
What the website also shows the cures or aids that can help – the most common one is to take iron tablets. The ones prescribed by your GP will be significantly higher than ones in the shops.
I was recommended to change my diet – take in more iron to help with the tiredness and lack of energy.
This means that not only to I need to maintain a very slight calorie deficit, I need to incorporate foods that not only have a high protein count but also have as much iron as I can.
This means that I need more broccoli, dark-green leafy vegetables like watercress (water whaaaaa?) and curly kale (tried this once… and yeah wasn’t nice – think I need check out some receipts for this)? So let the research for meal ideas commence!!
In conclusion …
I need to dramatically change my diet and start paying attention to my iron levels otherwise I run the risk of being more prone to illness and infection – a lack of iron affects the immune system. Which could explain why I am tend to get ill during the winter months… my poor Peruvian bio-chemistry is punishing me for being in such a cold climate ahaha.
So I’ll need to get creative with my meal recipes – incorporating all the foods that are rich in iron. Attempt to reduce my dairy and coffee intake. Anyone know any good recipes?
I need to get back into my meal prepping seriously – especially if its affecting my energy levels! There are so many projects I want to start but I want to get my health back up to where it used to be.
I also need to go back in a few months to get my blood tested again to see if I’ve successfully managed to up my iron intake.
I think I’ll leave it though… I hate needles so the less blood I get taken the better!
Thanks for reading as always!