Craving red meat many times simply means that you are craving the iron in the meat. You may be craving other nutrients in the red meat such as the B12, folic acid, and magnesium. But iron is the most common for this craving. Consider having your physician run a CBC with differential blood test and a separate Ferritin test, which will measure your stored iron. Ferritin levels should be between 55 and 150 to be considered truly “normal”, though many labs and physicians think that Ferritin levels in the teens are okay. But they’re concerned with pathology, and although that’s important, you’re also concerned about feeling your best. You will almost always exhibit symptoms of low iron with ferritin levels below 35. Between 35 and 55 you may notice your symptoms to get worse during stress, or for women, during your period. If your lab comes back out of range, going out to buy iron pills is not necessarily advised for two reasons. First, even if your blood hemoglobin and/or hemocratic are low (hemoglobin <12 women, <14 men) (hemocratic <37 women, <42 men), it could be another nutrient problem, such as vitamin B6, copper (excess or deficiency), or the mineral molybdenum. A low ferritin could be an iron absorption problem, and many “cheap” store bought or even the pharmaceutical grade iron supplements are hard to absorb and assimilate. The ferritin issue is many times a protein/amino acid utilization issue also, since ferritin is a protein itself.
Chiropractic Nutrition Clinic can run full blood tests to determine if you have an iron deficiency. We want you to feel your best, not just to get by!
copyright © 2000-2008 by Dr. Stephen Gangemi