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San Diego Track Coach
RE: Iron Levels
Steve Scott told us to have the Dr. test her ferritin not her hemoglobin.

The key here is most doctors will not, and frankly are quite stubborn about including the ferritin(spelling?) levels in the blood test. Additionally, many pediatricians are completely unfamiliar with what to look at for an elite adolescent teen that is running 35-70 miles a week, much less female athlete that hasn't had a menstrual cycle in 18 months. 50-60 is ideal, but is mostly assuming that the female body is going to run that number down as the level of training increases.

The symptoms of low iron levels with girls is not so much physical injury, as it is a debilitating chronic fatigue type of issue, especially when exerting the effort high level training necessitates. We encourage all of our female athletes to have their iron levels checked(detailed blood panel). In the last 2 years 100% have been under 30 in their ferritin levels, with most of those being under 20.

As far as treatment is concerned....rather than red meat alone, LIQUID IRON(can be found at health stores), is the best treatment we have found. DO NOT let your doctor simply prescribe prenatal vitamins, they simply don't work fast enough.

Hope this helps

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