Hey, guys. You know, it's really important for you to be in tune with your body. You may not immediately notice little changes here and there, but should be aware enough to pick up on signals your body is trying to send you - both the subtle and the loud. Sickness often presents itself in the hair and nails and when I noticed a huge change in the former, I grew very concerned. Over the past year, I noticed that my nails had become brittle and were breaking constantly, but chalked it up to me doing dishes bare-handed combined with the water being harsh, perhaps. Annoying, but no biggie. However, it was when my hair started falling out that I really started to become alarmed. I would comb my hair and the comb's teeth would be filled with an inordinate amount of hair. I would run my hands through my hair and multiple strands would fall to the floor. My hair had become wiry, wouldn't lay down after styling and, after months of shedding, THIN! I could actually see through my hair! That's when I really started to panic. What in the heck was going on?!
Well, my Google fingers went into overdrive and I soon had my answer. The painful leg cramps, chronic fatigue, pale complexion, constant hankering for ice, my hair thinning and falling out... dizzy spells. It was all adding up. And there it was - my answer in black and white. I had anemia: a fairly common condition that is not fatal, but it can be extremely disruptive and serious if not addressed.
Anemia is when your red blood cells do not have enough oxygen-carrying hemoglobin in it. A lack of hemoglobin or healthy red blood cells leads to a lack of oxygen being properly distributed throughout your body, including your organs. Hemoglobin needs iron to maintain a healthy status in your cells. Therefore, an insufficient amount of iron can cause iron-deficient anemia (which is the type I have). So I need to up the ante when it comes to my iron intake and have taken a double-fisted approach with regard to getting better.
I've slacked on my vitamin intake for the past couple of years, so I re-upped on my multi-vits and have now added iron pills to my regimen to keep a steady course towards recovery. These iron pills are small and I take them with orange juice as Vitamin C is recommended to help with iron's absorption.
I have also taken on the challenge of imbibing a hearty teaspoon of blackstrap molasses every night before I go to bed for good measure. Not only is it high in iron, but it also has potent amounts of potassium and other minerals that are super beneficial. Now, I'm not gonna lie. The taste of this dark, thick elixir is one that could be duly called "acquired", but I take this, too, with a swig of OJ to help get it down and I think my taste buds have now adjusted.
So there you have it. I've been on this iron-rich regimen for almost two months now and I am slowly seeing improvement. I no longer have muscle cramps or the other symptoms, and my hair shedding has significantly slowed down. But my feelings are still a little hurt. I don't know how long it's gonna take for my hair to rebound and get back to its full glory, but I'm doing my best to be patient... and am ever so thankful for it not being a more serious issue.