At the start of the year (2019) my depression had relapsed and I felt like shit. I couldn’t get motivated, I was agitated by the most simplest of things, I know I wasn’t fun to be around, but I was determined to change.
It took me some time to learn that a doctor’s office is not a place to be avoided and that a great deal of health-related issues won’t cure themselves without the aid of a doc.
As guys, we tend to avoid these uncomfortable moments, preferring to let things fester to the point of unavoidable hospitalisation, but my doctor was keen to know why my depression had appeared to flare up.
Now, please don’t roll your eyes, but I’m a vegetarian. My doctor revealed that research has suggested a link between being iron deficient and depression.
He noted his concern as I admitted that I hadn’t really been supplementing iron whatsoever, rather just throwing it in the hands of fate and hoping my body would intrinsically know to produce more when needed.
Handy hint: it doesn’t.
Following a blood test that revealed dangerously low levels of iron, the doc immediately put me on some over the counter iron tablets and suggested we track my progress over the next 3-6 months.
I can tell you that, aside from ongoing therapy with a psychologist, the only other significant change I’ve made is a daily iron tab. And I have never had more energy!
Sure, I could build an extension out of the brick-like stools that have occurred ever since, but my level of wellbeing has increased enormously.
According to a report from Parlsey Health, “Iron helps your red blood cells carry oxygen to your tissues, so when you have low levels of iron, less oxygen gets to your cells, resulting in fatigue and weakness… Aside from fatigue, iron deficiency may also make you more at risk for depression. Research has shown that average ferritin level (a marker of stored iron) was significantly lower in depressed people.”
So, go and see your doctor and ask for a blood test (it’s free in Australia) and have your iron levels tested and let’s build a Stool City together!