C0004P0073 (Photo credit: Nottingham Vet School)

May is recognized as Mental Health Awareness month.  For the past few months, rhachellenicol.com has dedicated Wellness Wednesday to increasing the awareness of mental health, the importance of maintaining one’s physical health and the impact that both have on each other.  So far we have covered stress, depression, grieving and more.

Today, I had my mental health scare to kick off Mental Health Awareness month.  I took the day off from work and spent the morning running errand.  After eating lunch, I was relaxing on my couch watching some court television.  Out of nowhere, my heart started racing.  I had already planned to schedule a regular check-up with my primary doctor but while I was on the phone, I noticed that my heart was still racing.  I let them know my concerns, my appointment was schedule and I was immediately transferred to the advice nurse.  The advice nurse suggested that I go to urgent care immediately.  I think in both of our minds, I was having an anxiety attack.

I immediately drove myself to urgent care and got checked-in.  Because of the concerns, the wait was not long at all.  The initial doctor that I saw, immediately wanted to prescribed anxiety medication even before any blood was drawn for labs.  Fortunately, at the time of shift change, I was seen by a different doctor.  I had to have an EKG and also blood drawn.  The results of my blood work showed that my iron and potassium levels were low.  Here is the kicker, both of these low results are related to heart palpitations.  I have dealt with anemia my entire life and never knew this.  The doctor started off by telling me that I would not need a blood transfusion (I have had one before due to anemia) but I would have to start taking iron supplements three times per day.   I have also been referred to a cardiologist.  I will have to wear a heart monitor for 24 hours for the final diagnosis to be made.  I say all this to say, make sure that you are full aware of your physical health.  If you notice something out of the ordinary, contact you primary care doctor, make an appointment and ask questions.

I have always considered myself  healthy eater but even now it is necessary that I step things up a bit.  Being thin doesn’t mean I’m healthy any more than walking to my car means that I am exercising.  So I will be going back over my diet and making sure that I am eating iron rich foods as well as taking in the proper amount of folic acid for absorption.

Some of my favorite Iron rich foods:








What are some of your favorites that made the list?

Wellness Wednesdays:  is a weekly addition.  Wellness Wednesdays will focus on various mental health issues, healthy ways to deal with stress, change and transitions and also where to seek help or advice if you suffer from a mental illness.  If you would be interested in contributing, email rn @ rhachellenicol (dot) com with your topic of interest.