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to feel unable to face anything with very low iron?

(52 Posts)
oinkyoink Fri 16-Jan-15 16:02:03

I've recently been diagnosed as anaemic and vitamin D was extremely low too. It took four trips to the gp to finally get a doctor to say I needed a blood test. So two months of feeling low and tired. Now I know what is wrong, I have the iron tablets to take for three months. I've been feeling exhausted for two months now and three days into the iron tablets, I'm feeling no different.
I have two children and I work outside the home. It's all proving so hard for me. I took time off before Xmas and again last week with feeling shaky, weak and low (before blood results were returned). My boss called me into his office yesterday in a kind of what is going on here kind of manner. I was fuming as I'm genuinely ill.
Does anyone know what else I could do to feel stronger? Are iron transfusions any good? I need to function but just feel like shutting myself away for a week....

Schoolaroundthecorner Fri 16-Jan-15 16:04:17

It took more than a week for me to feel better when my iron levels were dry low (almost transfusion situation). I think you might need to give it some more time but obviously if you continue to feel terrible get back to the doctor. Hope you feel better soon.

fieldfare Fri 16-Jan-15 16:04:41

Can't they give you an injection?
My Mum has low iron levels and has an injection about once a year to give her a boost.

As for work, be honest about the problem and ask for their understanding. You're doing as much as possible.

sarkymare Fri 16-Jan-15 16:05:34

Give the tablets time to work. 3 days is no time at all really. Have you tried eating iron rich foods?

Red meat and leafy green veggies like spinach are high in iron.

Schoolaroundthecorner Fri 16-Jan-15 16:05:41

Take something with vit c when taking the iron (helps absorption) like some juice and avoid caffeine too close to taking it.

KeepSmiling83 Fri 16-Jan-15 16:06:46

I think you need to give the tablets longer than 3 days to work. I am anaemic, pregnant, work outside the home and have a 3 year old so I understand how you feel. I have been on iron tablets for a couple of months now and it took a couple of weeks before I started to notice a difference. I still feel tired but not as bad as I did before I started taking them. How many are you taking a day? I hope you improve soon!

wigglesrock Fri 16-Jan-15 16:15:51

What about trying something like Floradix, it's a liquid/tonic drink. I had shocking low levels of iron at the end of my third pregnancy. The midwife recommended it. Iron tablets were far too hard on my tummy and made me feel sick and caused havoc with constipation which generally lead to me feeling like shite (no pun intended). It took about five days to see a marked improvement.

I know some people that swear by Spatone as well.

skylark2 Fri 16-Jan-15 16:20:26

Like others have said, it'll take longer than 3 days (even if you do all the right things with vit C).

I hope your boss wasn't horrible sad I would just tell him about the low iron making you really tired and that it's being treated now.

oinkyoink Fri 16-Jan-15 16:23:01

My Mum also had iron injections when she was younger. I wonder what I need to do to qualify for one.
I'm quite annoyed that it took so long for them to do a boos test. One gp gave me antidepressants- I took one and threw them straight in the bin... The next gp told me twice I was fine and needed to relax over the Xmas.... Jesus!!!
Work wise it's hard as I don't look anything like I feel. Praying the tablets kick in over the next couple of days.
I'm not having any problems with the tablets - it's three a day of 220mg. Not sure I could do floradix on top of them?
I've been eating cashew nuts, dried apricots, kale, broccoli.

MrsCosmopilite Fri 16-Jan-15 16:24:18

I can't take iron tablets - it's too much iron for my body to try to absorb. Unlike Wiggles it doesn't make me constipated - it makes me very 'loose'. I had an argument with a doctor at the hospital shortly after having DD - I had to have a transfusion and she wanted to put me on tablets. I told her that there was no way post-EMCS that I could be running to the toilet every ten minutes.

I can take Floridax, and I can also take SpaTone (you can buy it in chemists)

I'd say that you need to give the tablets more than three days to work though. It is worth checking out what you eat and how you eat it as the different combinations of things can affect iron absorption. For example, if you drink tea with your evening meal (which may contain green leafy veg) then the tea inhibits iron intake. If you drink orange juice or something else citrussy, then the vitamin C helps you to 'soak up' the iron.

oinkyoink Fri 16-Jan-15 16:27:36

I'm only drinking decaf tea!

BrieAndChilli Fri 16-Jan-15 16:27:52

I'm nearing the end of a 3 month of 3x daily iron tablets and I didn't realise how well they were working until I forgot to take them for a couple days over xmas and felt so terrible I couldn't believe that was how I had been feeling for so many months!!!

oinkyoink Fri 16-Jan-15 16:29:26

Gosh Brie that's amazing to hear. I can't wait to feel normal again!!!

LadyIsabellaWrotham Fri 16-Jan-15 16:31:21

Definitely drink a glass of orange juice with the tablets - it makes a huge difference.

Fabulous46 Fri 16-Jan-15 16:35:26

I take Feroglobin Plus. You can buy it from most large supermarkets or online. I was also B12 and folate deficient I got injections for the b12 and tablets. I supplement them with the Feroglobin. Also buy a light therapy lamp, that should help to get your Vit D levels up. I love my light lamp in winter, it makes me feel so much better.

cozietoesie Fri 16-Jan-15 16:48:03

A little story.

For years, I've slept badly and last year I also started getting Restless Leg Syndrome - which for those of you who've never had it is not some silly little niggle but the very devil to live with.

I read that RLS can be due to low iron levels so I started taking additional iron to see if that would help. I found it almost impossible to judge the amount of iron correctly however - my body was clearly flinging most of it out and I was also conscious that too much iron can be toxic - and, moreover, I started to wonder just why I needed so much iron when I had no obvious adverse health factors, was already taking multi-minerals and was eating a very nutritious (or so I thought) diet.

So I did some more research and discovered that the ability of the body to absorb iron and other nutrients (those little cilii in the gut or something) can be seriously adversely affected by being battered by unacceptable levels of gluten. In effect, I would be throwing extra iron at the body and it wouldn't be going anywhere but down the toilet.

Nothing ventured, I decided to switch to a low-gluten diet. Not a coeliac diet (I seem to be able to accept at least some gluten) but just substituting gluten free foods for some of the more obvious candidates. (Bread, pasta etc.) The RLS stopped and I started sleeping like a log - and every time I over indulged in non gluten free food, which happened occasionally at Xmas, the symptoms came back.......

Anyway - just a thought because eating a low gluten diet would do you no harm at all (do you eat much bread and pasta for example?) and it strikes me that at least some of your symptoms generally could be explained by a gluten intolerance.

Maybe ask on this board?

Dancingqueen17 Fri 16-Jan-15 20:09:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ArabellaRockerfella Fri 16-Jan-15 20:19:42

I was diagnosed as anaemic and Vit D deficient as like you I was feeling shattered all the time and couldn't get through a day without one or two naps! I'm 42 and felt like I was 82! Three months of prescribed iron tablets didn't touch it and just gave me terrible cramps and diarrhoea. This week I started taking Feroglobin Plus and have started to feel a bit more human and able to function. I'm hoping this will continue so I can get back to normal. I will watch this post and see if anyone else comes up with any more good ideas that might help.

mindalina Fri 16-Jan-15 20:27:21

the tannins in tea inhibit iron absorption as well, so make sure you haven't/don't have a cup of even decaf for a little bit before and after taking your supplement. I'm another one who takes feroglobin and like pp says I do think it makes a difference quickly, but I've never taken iron tablets so can't compare.

ghostyslovesheep Fri 16-Jan-15 20:30:49

I would highly recommend spartone liquid iron supplements - as another anaemic person with low blood pressure

FightOrFlight Fri 16-Jan-15 20:43:01

I'd say that it will take around 2 weeks to get your iron levels back up if you have a severe deficiency.

When do you need to go back to the GP for a further blood test?

AuntieMaggie Fri 16-Jan-15 20:43:40

As well as taking the tablets with oj or something similar avoid dairy around the time you take them as it can hinder absorption according to my mw. I had to have 4 transfusions after having ds and didn't experience a sudden feeling of being better - I still felt crap for months and took iron tablets several times a day and one day I suddenly thought to myself I'd been feeling better so it kind of crept up on me rather than a big noticeable change. Make sure you eat well and plenty of iron rich foods and drink plenty of water and hopefully you'll start to feel better soon.

maddening Fri 16-Jan-15 20:50:01

cut out caffiene and make sure you drink a drink with vitamin c which apparently aids absorption.

ask dr to check ferratin levels too - my mum's body has a hard time absorbing iron and this had something to do with it.

maddening Fri 16-Jan-15 20:51:42

I think my mum is on ferraglobin as per pp

RandomMess Fri 16-Jan-15 20:55:22

I would take some floradix/spatone now for a week or so as well as changing your diet to ensure the tablets get absorbed.

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