Sports Anaemia and Iron Deficiency
My experience with developing anaemia through training, lifting, cardio, and genetic disease
2021 was the 3rd time I have become anaemic through iron loss leading to deficiency in red blood cells. I never want to go through this again. I spent days involuntarily pinned to the sofa - willpower or stimulants do not help - I would rather have been in prison in solitary confinement. I rate my QoL (Quality Of Life) score to be a fat ZERO whilst that badly anaemic. If this helps one person, I'll be happy with that.
It is torture - sure, you could do a 9 to 5 office job with low iron, ferritin and screwed up RBCs, but training on top? No chance. So, I'm documenting here for myself what not to do in the future.
This article summarises how bad I felt while anaemic
- Genetic: It turns out, a few months after writing this that my father has a form of genetic anaemia, and so do other members of his family. I do not yet have a DX, but presumably this is my issue
- Hypothyroidism / hypothyroid episodes may deplete iron
- Celiac disease - gluten damages stomach lining causing inability to absorb iron (typically present with other autoimmune disease)
- Foot striking from cardio - if you have malapsorption problems with iron, you may need a LOT of supplementation to counter the loss
- Blood in stools - particularly from powerlifting squats/deads. This may or may NOT be visibile. A colonoscopy may be required.
- Iron supplementation OTC — good to maintain levels, takes months to replenish
- Iron supplementation prescription (Ferrous fumarate) - I have restored iron quickly by megadosing this but do not recommend it
- Iron infusion — intravenous. Harley street — if your time is valuable.
- Keep thyroid levels (FT3) within range. Or adjust by TSH.
Even though I do not have a DX for the cause of my anaemia, I am self treating with: ferrous sulfate 325mg (elemental iron 65mg iron) 3x / day to try to re-establish normal levels and normal haemoglobin.
About Kishore Naib (Kit Naib)
Kishore founded the e-commerce company Watch Shop in 2007 and exited in 2014 after an acquisition by Watches of Switzerland at the age of 34. Watch Shop was a medium sized enterprise (£44 million sales) and was one of the UK's fasted growing companies, doubling turnover every year.
After leaving Watch Shop Kishore did a few coding projects but decided to follow his true and first passion: Lifting and bodybuilding.