Friday, March 4
by, March 4th, 2011 at 06:39 PM (1594 Views)
RC work, 20 minutes
Stretching, 30 minutes
hottub, 20 minutes
Just taking it easy for the meet this weekend.
Iron in Athletes:
I started stressing about my thyroid levels earlier today. According to my recent labs, my levels of free T 3 and free T4 are worse in the last 6 weeks even though my thyroid medication was slightly increased. The only change has been adding iron to my regimen. Every doctor I've consulted seems to feel fairly strongly that my ferritin levels are simply too low. But I'm starting to wonder if the iron is preventing absorption of the thyroid hormones (a known side effect) while not helping much. Perhaps borderline anemia is my own norm? I've been that way all my life. Dr. Jimslie tends to dismiss diagnoses of anemia, saying that athletes suffer from pseudo-anemia. This is caused by a dilutional effect -- greater blood plasma volumes from training.
I decided to do some quick googling and found this article:
One relevant excerpt:
"However, the most common cause of a low hematocrit (a ratio of red blood cells to whole blood) in athletes is pseudo-anemia, which is a dilution of the blood caused by plasma expansion. This is not true anemia, as the actual number of red blood cells is not decreased. (Portal 2003) Another study showed that endurance athletes were less likely than the general population to have iron deficiency. Out of 52 controls, 50% were iron deficient, and out of 126 atheletes, 26% were iron deficient. (Malczewska 2000)"
Another article and excerpt:
"But sports anemia is a misnomer because in most such athletes—especially men—the low hemoglobin level is a false anemia. The total volume of red cells in the body is normal, not low. Hemoglobin level is decreased because aerobic exercise expands the baseline plasma volume; this reduces the concentration of red cells, which contain the hemoglobin. In other words, the naturally lower hemoglobin level of an endurance athlete is a dilutional pseudoanemia."
Maybe my doctors just don't think I'm an athlete?