Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 18 years ago, I lost the life I once knew, but in the process re-created a better me. I am alive and functional today because of my dog, my treatment team, my sobriety, and my willingness to re-create myself within the confines of this illness. I hate the illness, but I'm grateful for the person I've become and the opportunities I've seized because of it. I hope writing a depression blog will reduce stigma and improve the understanding and treatment of people with mental illness. All original content copyright to me: etta. Enjoy your visit!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Some relieving news

I just returned from seeing my psychiatrist. She had the results of my recent blood tests, which were all normal, as I expected they would be, except for my Ferritin level. Serum ferritin level is a measure of the iron stores in your blood. Ferritin is the body's major iron storage protein. My ferritin level was LOW. According to one of many online sources, Dr. David Martin, PhD, Department of Cardiopulmonary Science at Georgia State University, and Physiology Chair in charge of testing elite distance runners for USA Track and Field, "believes that ferritin reflects the iron stores that can be utilized to make enzymes for oxidative energy production, and therefore has a direct impact on (running) performance." That makes perfect sense to me, and it certainly reflects my performance over the past month.

I'm relieved. I have a fixable explanation for my month-long bout with fatigue, lethargy, and terrible running. My doctor ordered an iron supplement, which I will begin taking today. It looks like it may take awhile to get my iron levels restored, however. Most of my research indicates it can take anywhere from 3 to 12 months to fully recover. But many runners also report symptom improvement in as little as one month. I hope I'm one of those runners. If not, I may have to rethink running Grandma's Marathon in June. Right now my plan is to keep all of my options open and wait and see what happens. In the meantime, I'll attempt to continue training, take time off when needed, and be kinder and gentler to myself when things don't go as I wish they would.


Tina Fariss Barbour said...

I'm sorry that you've got the low levels of Ferritin, but I'm glad that you do have an answer for why you've felt so low energy. Now you've got something concrete to address. I hope you're one of those who gets early symptom improvement!

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you found a solution to your issues and it seems to be an easy fix. Hope you feel better very soon.