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Iron & B12 supplements
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   If you've read any of my previous posts you might remember that I am attempting to re-gain my menstrual cycle. I had some blood work done at the request of my Dr. They called me today and recommended that I begin taking a B12 supplement (1200mg/day) and palafer (which I understand to be an iron supplement) once a day for 3 months and then have my blood work re-tested. Now I didn't get any of the readings from my blood work so I can't provide exact details. It might be relevant to also know that I am hoping to get pregnant in 2008.

Now all that being said, and yes I recognize I am providing limited information, am I safe to continue training at 8-12 hrs/week? Some people are telling me that I need to cut back on my training and that I workout too much and therefore I have low iron. I don't feel like I'm overtraining...but am I hurting myself and my ability to get pregnant?

What exactly is the cause of needing a B12 and iron supplement? Now that I am taking them can I continue to train or do I cut back?
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Re: Iron & B12 supplements [Rika] [ In reply to ]
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"What exactly is the cause of needing a B12 and iron supplement?"

"Exactly" is a pretty tough standard, but I can pretty much narrow it down to: You are not getting enough Iron and B12 in your diet, or you are not able to absorb/utilize what you ARE getting, or you are losing it somewhere (or some combination of the three).


"Sometimes you need to think INSIDE the box!" -- ME
"Why squirrel hate me?"
Last edited by: Haim: Feb 26, 08 18:59
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Re: Iron & B12 supplements [Rika] [ In reply to ]
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i went to a naturopathic doc recently, because i was not getting my period.

she told me that stress, the ironman training (which i still feel as though i have not recovered from to be honest), extreme caffeine, and some deficiences were the problem. so we put together a plan to address those things. bingo, i got my period within 2 weeks.

is it possible for you to see a naturopathic doc? you are looking for answers, why don't you get yourself to someone who can give them to you?

i was able to sit down with this doc for 2.5 hours and talk through these health problems; i have never experienced anything like that before, it was terrific, and enabled her to get an entire picture of the situation. also i was able to get information, and i am a participant in the treatment, which is the approach that i like. perhaps something like this could help you too.

(FYO, i paid for my naturopathic visit, 300.00usd. i find that insurance doesn't always cover necessary things; in fact, it doesn't cover most things given it is catastrophic. but this is our choice, and it's not a bad plan in all actuality. but i prefer alternative medicine when possible, and since it's my health, i will pay for the treatment--like the naturo doc--and know it's been worth every penny!).
Last edited by: kittycat: Feb 26, 08 19:29
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Re: Iron & B12 supplements [kittycat] [ In reply to ]
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I've actually spoken with a ND and I have a plan from her as well.

She has warned me that it could take up to 3 months for my cycle to return but this is her prescription thus far:

For the first two weeks: consume 2 tablespoons of ground flax/day
Next two weeks: consume 2 tablespoons of sunflower seeds/day

Cut down/out eating - anything that contains hormones - meat, dairy, bottled water (I already eat minimal dairy, I never drink bottled water but I do eat meat once or twice a day and now with the iron issue I can't see myself cutting it out)

If my cycle hasn't returned she has suggested Vitex, but we will re-evaluate.

I've also cut down my caffeine in take to one coffee/week max and one cup of green tea/day max.

I'm so impressed that your cycle returned after two weeks....I recall that you cut out caffiene, but did you change anything else, or take any other supplements?

In all honesty I eat very healthy...I never consume fast food and maybe out for dinner once a week.

Perhaps I should add more Guiness to my diet to get my iron up!
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Re: Iron & B12 supplements [Rika] [ In reply to ]
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no, alcohol isn't going to do anything for you except mess with your blood sugar and adrenal gland.

here is the deal:
-magnesium, complex B, flax oil, primrose oil, fish oil, vitamin e, and excersie (not excessive).
-i cut the caffeine to just 2-3 cups of green tea a day, 1/2-1 cup of coffee on some days (not everyday). i had been drinking 2X16 ounce espressos (literally, a giant mug chock full of espresso times 2), several green teas, 2-3 tablespoons of honey, and a black tea, per day. so the reduction is significant (but i'm not perfect everyday, this past Sat for example i drank more coffee than i should have).
-reduce honey to just 1/2-1 tablespoon a day. eat as little sugar as possible to avoid insuling surges.

i've been studying what happens with the cycle, and in my case i believe my adrenal gland to be underfunctioning, as well as hormones out of balance. most of the foods i eat are whole foods--i have lost a couple of pounds since doing all of this, & the horrid breast pain is gone.

i'm glad you were able to get some information for yourself, it makes all the difference. in addition to all of this i researched foods high in the nutrients i was low in, and have been working them into my diet--i think this helped to expedite the improvement.
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Re: Iron & B12 supplements [kittycat] [ In reply to ]
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KC, I've been doing similar:

-reduce caffeine and sugar
-added flax

Only thing different that Rika may consider: take a prenatal vitamin. I used to have bouts of anemia and since I started taking a prenatal my energy level is up and no more anemia. Taking a prenatal is recommended for women who want to get pregnant and I think they generally have all the recommended nutrients women need.

I suggest reading "Taking Charge of Your Fertility" by Toni Wescheler. It helps women look at their cycle and see where the problem lies. You will have to take responsibility for this process because you will be hard pressed to find a Dr. that cares as much as you do about yourself. After reading this book I realized I was ovulating too late in my cycle (luteal phase defect). My progesterone levels were too low which was causing crazy cycles, from 33 to 46+ days. I really think there is something to the sugar and caffeine thing, at least for me. I completely quit sugar at one point and lost 5 pounds within two weeks and I don't lose 5 pounds like that even when I was racing hard and starving myself.

Keep talking to other women, check out fertility forums (they are huge and even most obsessed than triathletes) and read as many books as you can about your cycle. Also, try not to obsess over it, I had my obsession tipping point and now I'm over it. Buying a Clear Blue Easy fertility monitor also helped me tremendously, you test your urine about 10 days a month and it tells you when you are becoming fertile and when your peak fertility is. This helped me track my cycle better and worked better that temp testing for me personally.


I wish you the best in this journey!

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