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Hi all... new here, could really really use some helpful insight and advice.

I recently went to the doctor with the complaint that my hair is falling out at an abnormal rate. Everytime I shower and am washing my hair, the amount of hair that is left in my hand is frightening. So she sent me for a blood test to test my thyroid and iron.

When the results came back, I was called in and told that I was severely iron deficient. My ferritin level is 4. Up until a couple of days ago, I didn't even know what ferritin was. I was BEYOND shocked when I was told that I was anemic because I am also a frequent blood donor and donate about every 2 months (56 days to be exact), as that is what they say is safe. Ironically, they take blood from your finger before donation and check your levels and my hemoglobin levels have always come up high (inaccurate) and I've never been rejected from donating. Since November, I have donated a pint of blood 3 times. When I visited a 2nd doctor for another opinion, he pulled up an old blood test of mine from a year ago and confirmed that I've been deficient for about at least a year. My doctor sat me down and told me I cannot donate for at least a year and explained that each and every donation is severely depleting me of iron stores that can't replenish fast enough before I donate again.... worst part is, I NEVER expected my iron to be a problem because I am a frequent donor, so I donated blood 2 days after the blood test (before I had the results), which means my levels are probably even worse now.

Now, I've reached the point that I never really feel "good". I am ALWAYS tired, I have a hard time focusing at work and when I'm sitting down, Ive noticed that even though I work out 4-5 times a week, I've seen no progress AT ALL (very unusual for me), I'm injuring myself at the gym easier, muscles don't recover properly, I have random dizziness and like I mentioned, my hair is thinning out.

Has anyone experienced this from too frequent donation? Can anyone provide some more insight on how long I might be feeling like this?
I'm a 26 year old female and am now taking about 60mg of naturally absorbable iron daily. When can I hope to feel better by?

I'd really appreciate any and all responses!

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