ANSWER: IRON DEFICIENCY!
You knew the answer. How can you tell if you are part of the 51% of bariatric post ops who are deficient in iron? IF you chew ice, you need wake up and understand that its not funny, its a warning. The longer I am removed from my own 2001 surgery, the less post ops appear to know or care about. People seem to think that ice chewing is a habit or that they 'like ice'. WRONG! It's the almost sure sign of a very serious deficiency that needs medical intervention to avoid permanent heart damage.
Be On the Lookout for these 9 Warning Signs of an Iron Deficiency
Do not ignore your 'love' for chewing ice. It's NOT a harmless habit or something you do when you are hungry - it is a recurrent sign of a common bariatric deficiency. Pagophagia, a form of the disorder pica involving the compulsive consumption of ice, is very strongly associated with iron deficiency anemia.
The body uses iron to make hemoglobin, the substance in red blood cells that carries Oxygen. When you don't have enough healthy blood cells, you feel exhausted because you lack oxygen.
Neurotransmitter synthesis may be altered in people with an iron deficiency, leading to lower-than-normal functionality we call Brain Fog.
Another byproduct of that altered neurotransmitter synthesis is a feeling of indifference; towards friends, family, work, even the latest episode of Vanderpump Rules.
This can happen whether you're chasing your 7 year old, on the elliptical moving to Aerosmith, or simply walking to your car; because without enough iron in the blood, the body becomes starved for oxygen and the lungs gasp for more.
Unusually Pale Skin
Do you look like The Walking Dead? That's not a good sign. A washed-out appearance can be caused by reduced blood flow and decreased number of red blood cells.
Iron deficiency is a common causes of dark under eye circles. The thin under eye skin may take on a bluish cast because the poorly oxygenated blood is more visible in this area.
Slower Bounce Back
If you do drag yourself to the gym, you'll feel the burn for longer than normal afterward because not having enough iron deprives your muscles of their ability to recover properly, leading to achy muscles.
Even the cutest mani or pedi can't hide thin, frail fingernails and toenails. Especially watch for a concave depression in your nail bed - another tip off to an iron deficiency.
More than HALF of all bariatric post ops know they have an iron deficiency but do not take iron because they are afraid of the SIDE EFFECTS. We have all nervously laughed upon hearing the words 'manual extraction', but honestly, it isn't funny or happy.
Why We Let This Happen
A bariatric iron deficiency can often be avoided and in many cases easily handled but we take our chances because we are more worried about the side effects of taking large amounts of iron: constipation, stomach burning and nausea. It is important to treat the deficiency, as a serious iron deficit can damage your heart.
I ALMOST DIED!
"In October I was rushed by ambulance to the Emergency Room. The ER doc said with my hemoglobin level at a 4, I should have been dead. For the next ten days I was in ICU getting blood and iron transfusions. In the hospital I ordered Journey 3+3 Multicaps and I started taking them after I was released. My blood was drawn by my hematologist six months later and thanks to the Journey Vitamins I was taking, my level is at a 15. She was very impressed. I can finally say I'm alive and not afraid of dying in my sleep or fainting." - CrisAnn McGuiness
WHAT TO DO?
We felt that it was critical for us to tackle Iron Deficiency with common sense, empathy and science instead of using cheap iron and making believe side effects don't happen. The iron you are told to take is not the best form, but the people telling you to take it, have never taken it themselves and felt the side effects. We understand and have approached it differently.
Journey Gentle Iron uses highly specialized chelated iron from Albion® that does not create the dreaded side effects of common iron forms - you can 'Take Your Iron' as you have been told and work to avoid the deficiency instead of spending years digging out of one. If you have had an IV Iron Infusion or even a blood transfusion, our specialized Journey Gentle Iron is the form most recommended by hematologists. Our formulas offer better and more efficient nutritional support for post op health - a benefit of Bariatric Vitamins developed by those who take them!
A Big 5 Reasons to Use Albion Ferrochel® 'Gentle Iron'
Your body absorbs ONLY what it needs. Ferrochel’s chelate structure allows your body’s iron stores to control how much iron is absorbed, so that you don’t absorb too much. A body suffering from iron deficiency may uptake 90% of the iron from Ferrochel, while a body not deficient may uptake only a small amount. This product was developed to be added to the milk supply and given to pregnant women in countries where babies had developmental problems because of widespread anemia. It is highly specialized and works for the unique bariatric condition.
2. Less Nausea and Constipation
Studies have found fewer instances of gastrointestinal upset with Albion's specialized iron. This is a huge advantage for bariatric post ops, who can take Journey products without worrying about burning, nausea and super scary constipation. Worry about constipation is a daily topic in the Bariatric Eating Support Group on Facebook.
3. Taste Free! We Promise
A study of iron supplementation in women found that 30% of women stopped taking a typical iron supplement because of the metallic taste—compared to NONE of the women taking Ferrochel® iron as it is completely taste free. Journey Grape Melt tablets are so good that taste is a NON ISSUE. They are a natural grape, not a kids purple tongue Goofy Grape.
4. More Effective
Even with a lower dose, Albion's specialized and patented chelated form significantly increases absorption through the intestinal wall compared to typical iron supplements. Less is More and Efficiency is always a good thing.
5. No 2 Hour Rule...buh bye!
Typical iron supplements block absorption of other nutrients such as calcium, vitamin E, and vitamin C, which is where 'THE 2 HOUR RULE' comes from. Albion® Iron is ionically neutral (carrying no electrical charge) and it does NOT attach itself to and therefore block absorption of other nutrients, so you may take your iron when it is convenient. We have added it to our multi formula, so no more separate iron unless already deficient.