The Ferritin THEORY
Early on in life I learned never to put a plastic bag over my head. I'm not sure who taught me - probably my parents - but I grew up knowing it is dangerous to put a plastic bag over your face. Again, I'm not sure who told me what, but I was well aware a plastic bag can prevent me from getting the oxygen my body needs.
What I didn't know, and what the medical world doesn't seem to understand, is low ferritin levels - especially in women - can have a similar effect as placing a plastic bag over your head. An obstruction is present, blocking the way for you to receive the oxygen you need into your system.
What's tragic is many women are unknowingly starving their bodies of oxygen because the medical community decided some time ago ferritin levels aren't all that important (as long as your hemoglobin level is good) AND that women don't need blood work done as a part of their annual physical. As a result many child bearing age women have unexplained fatigue, headaches, misdiagnosed depression and anxiety disorders, and miscarriages - all because their ferritin levels (iron stores) are far too low for what their bodies need to function properly. Women are literally suffocating, but since the medical world insists they are okay, women can only assume the negative effects they are experiencing are simply a part of life.
Men, please keep reading. If your wife isn't getting the oxygen she needs, she will also be too exhausted to have sex with you. Really, this is important information for everyone. Low ferritin levels also impact men as well as children and unborn babies. But female athletes are most at risk.
Again, this is THEORY - one that I'm still researching. But my hypothesis is, the medical world is setting the normal range for ferritin levels far too low for women, and especially for athletes. Granted, I think HealthWise (quoted by web MD and Wikipedia), is on the right track with a base level of 18. But the medical world varies in their claim of what is healthy. For instance, my lab in New York says 10, while the University of Michigan sets the minimum at 6.
So why did I feel like I was dying when my ferritin level - a 12 - fell within my lab's normal range?
(Part IV: My Ferritin Story - then back to "normal" posts, I promise.)