The Iron Protocol
is shared research supported by scientific articles, studies, and analytics of thousands of testimonies with very specific circumstances. We follow the American Society of Hematology’s guidelines targeting the effective treatment of iron deficiency with or without anemia.
Causes of Iron Deficiency
Finding the cause can be like putting together a difficult puzzle. There are many causes of Iron Deficiency and one, or many, may relate to you.
- Being Female (including heavy periods, fibroids, pregnancy, loss of pregnancy, breastfeeding)
- Absorption Issues(Celiac, Crohn’s, low stomach acid)
- Diet low in Iron
- Blood loss/Loss of Iron (caused by surgery, injury, internal bleeding, etc)
Symptoms of Iron Deficiency
Iron deficiency can cause many symptoms, some being debilitating. Symptoms can vary from person to person. Some common symptoms of ID include:
- Chronic Fatigue
- Hair Loss
- Anxiety/Panic Attacks
- Cold hands and feet
- Exercise intolerance
- Air Hunger
- Heart palpitations
- Brain fog/Trouble concentrating
- Derealization/Feeling “spacey” or “out of it”
- Burning feet
This is not a complete list of the effects of low iron. You may have low iron without any of these symptoms, or you may experience all of them.
Why Iron Deficiency is often misdiagnosed or unnoticed
Though millions of doctors understand that Iron deficiency is a real thing, they do not understand how to determine ID or what to test. If you go to the doctor complaining of fatigue, they may have every good intention of running labs to find an answer to your ailments. What they don’t necessarily do is test you for the RIGHT things. An iron panel may show you active iron in the body, but if your ferritin isn’t tested, there is no way to know how much iron your body has in storage. Your “active iron” could look completely normal, but you could be absolutely iron deficient. It’s also common to get a full blood panel, or CBC, to check for anemia. The problem is, you can have normal hemoglobin, but still be iron deficient. You can also have low hemoglobin, but it could be caused by something other than low iron. Anemia does not equal iron deficiency. These terms are not interchangeable. It’s great to look at the big picture, but keep in mind a normal hemoglobin level does NOT rule out iron deficiency.
So what can you do about it
You’ve already made the first step! You are here and ready to learn. It’s important to become knowledgeable about Iron Deficiency so you can best advocate for yourself.
1. Find a doctor you are comfortable with and where you feel safe and heard. Remember your doctor works for YOU! If there is something you don’t like or dont agree on, you can find a doctor who will be on your side.
2. Write down your symptoms and how long you’ve been experiencing them. Did anything significant happen to you when you noticed the symptoms began? Take this list to your doctor.
3. Know what tests to ask for. Doctors do not always know how to test for deficiencies, illnesses, or diseases. A ferritin test is a very good start. If you test nothing else, TEST YOUR FERRITIN.
4. Make sure to get copies of your labs. Many times a doctor will call with “your labs are normal” and the patient wont set eyes on the labs once. Normal results are not optimal results. You need to set eyes on those labs!
Iron Supplementation is a great way to increase iron stores
Since our bodies can only absorb so much iron from our foods, it’s important to supplement while in iron deficiency. The Iron Protocol uses calculations from the American Society of Hematology for individuals with iron deficiency. The range is what most people will most likely need to replete. Use the calculator below to determine your likely daily range.