As the CEO of Ironology Health Solutions, many people ask about my story and what led me to help create Ironology. I could talk for days about what I have been through since I was a teenager, but in a nutshell, I have been iron deficient and/or anemic most of my adult life. It wasn't until my 40s that I realized the true impact of the disorder and finally snapped out of it and did something. Unfortunately, awareness was only the beginning. My treatment and management journey went on for many years as well. It's a struggle that many women (and even men) share, so I want to tell you about my search for the best iron supplement and give you some background on how Ironology came to be and what it means to me.
About 10 years ago, I was slowly and silently dying but did not have a clue that I was within an inch of losing my life. Heart failure was just a click away. I was feeling run-down and exhausted, frightened because of heart palpitations, shortness of breath, foggy thinking and at night I was suffering with Restless Leg Syndrome. I had the constant urge to "eat" ice despite the fact that I was always freezing and couldn't get warm. I had nearly every single one of the 25 Red Flags of Iron Deficiency but never made the connection...I thought all of my symptoms were random and unrelated.
Eventually I concluded that my symptoms were caused by drinking too much iced tea – up to six glasses a day. I wondered if it could be the caffeine causing my symptoms and so I decided to kick the habit. But as soon as I stopped consuming caffeine it was like hitting a brick wall. I totally crashed. Caffeine had been the only thing keeping me going! (Later, I would learn that although the caffeine was combating my fatigue, the tannin in the tea -- also found in coffee -- was totally blocking my absorption of iron. The tea had been creating a vicious cycle!) After four days on the sofa, nearly lifeless, lacking the energy to even brush my hair or care for my two sons, my husband took action. He carried me to the doctor. My hemoglobin was 6...less than half the normal range of 12-14. My blood cells, which should have been plump and full of oxygen, were shriveled like deflated life preservers and there were a lot less of them than there should have been. My ferritin level was at 2, and normal is 50-100. I was severely iron deficient and severely anemic. That’s what is called Iron Deficiency Anemia or IDA.
My doctor prescribed an immediate series of IV iron infusions. I was grateful to have health insurance, but even then, I had to pay nearly $8000 out of pocket. I gradually improved and eventually my ferritin levels increased, but not nearly enough. At my next follow up appointment 6 months later, they were already slipping. I went through numerous frightening and costly IV iron infusions over the next few years and touted their results, but they never lasted. I was never really "fixed." My iron always decreased and I ended up with the same old symptoms. The IV iron was not working for me and quite honestly, I was concerned about pumping any more iron directly into my bloodstream.
I tried to learn more about my condition and find other solutions to my problem. I started researching and talking about anemia with anyone who would listen. I was shocked to learn that I wasn't the only woman in the dark about this deadly disorder. With help from the Iron Disorders Institute (IDI), and their executive director at the time, Cheryl Garrison, I learned that with simple changes in my diet and occasional iron supplementation with the right oral iron supplement, I could take control and do a better job of maintaining my iron health. Cheryl became my mentor and truly saved my life. She made me realize how serious my condition was and how I needed to address it. I began volunteering with the Iron Disorders Institute and soaked up every bit of iron knowledge I could.
At that point, I began testing iron supplements and tried nearly every product on the market. I simply could not tolerate them. They made me feel sick and quite frankly horrible. I had severe stomach pain, cramping and constipation. So what would I do? I would stop taking them and just continue to get worse. That is the same thing that happens to so many women. I call it the "Vicious Cycle of Anemia." I also tried to boost my iron through an iron rich diet, but I now know how extremely difficult that is to do. I was really at a loss and knew that there HAD to be a better way. I decided to figure it out and do it myself, with the help of my mentor and her son David, who lives with the opposite problem, too much iron, or hemochromatosis iron overload.
So we gathered the iron experts and formulated the very best iron supplement, Ferritin Boost, based on the true science of iron and the research of the Iron Disorders Institute. We knew what does and doesn't work when it comes to the bioavailability of iron and how it is absorbed (or not absorbed) and used by the body. We knew that the product had to be gentle or just like me, people would stop taking it. We knew what ingredients to include and which ones to leave out. We knew that with iron, less is most definitely more. We knew how to bring all of that together, and in January of 2018, we launched Ironology Health Solutions. It may have been one of the proudest moments of my life! We were finally able to offer a solution to those with iron deficiency, as well as those who struggle with too much iron or hemochromatosis, with the simultaneous launch of our Iron Block product.
Somewhere along the way, I created a little website called Get Your Iron Up to help other women who were suffering like me. I have heard from thousands and thousands of women over the years, and the most commonly asked question has been, “Which oral iron supplement should I take to combat my IDA?” I just came across a blog post from 2013 where I tried to address that and I wrote: "I wish that I had a simple answer for that but I am still searching for the perfect one."
I am so thrilled that my search is over. With Ferritin Boost, I can finally answer that question and give hope to the millions of women who do not need to suffer any more. Ferritin Boost iron supplement has allowed me to get my life back, get rid of all of the "Red Flags," or symptoms of iron deficiency anemia, and feel like myself again. It has been the perfect iron supplement for me and for so many other women and men across the world. Because it is effective, smart and gentle, it has been a lifesaver and that is no small accomplishment. It is without a doubt the best iron supplement I have ever tried...and that's the same thing our happy customers are telling us here at Ironology.
Thanks for taking time to learn more about me and my story. I hope that you'll give Boost a try and I pray that your search and your story have happy endings too. Feel better and stay well. I wish you all the best.