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Iron levels in later pregnancy.

(25 Posts)
Angeliz Thu 13-Jan-05 09:39:29

Hello all

Well the midwife told me yesterday that my iron count is too low at 100 and i'll need to take 3 iron tablets a day!!

(Pretty ironic as i'm feeling better now than i have for months! The blood test was taken before Christmas though when i felt awful so i do wonder if they'd be higher now anyway as she seemed surprized that i wasn't tired and grotty!)

Anyway, just been trying to look it up a bit (on archives here too) but it seems to be talk about 10 or 11 or 12 ect rather than her saying mine's 100 so can any wise person explain it to me. (and isn't 3 alot???)

Angeliz Thu 13-Jan-05 10:04:56

Anyone???
I'm a little worried now as am reading for and against on the net and 3 seems an awful lot!

MrsBigD Thu 13-Jan-05 10:05:24

hi Angeliz,

not sure about the values but 100 deffo sounds wrong... I had 7 after my c-section which was low and 10 a few weeks ago which is fine.

3 tablets sounds way too much though!

hope somebody has an answer for u

MrsBigD Thu 13-Jan-05 10:05:59

if in doubt talk to your GP. Who did the blood test?

nailpolish Thu 13-Jan-05 10:07:08

angeliz, some talk about levels being 10, 11, 12.

just add a 0 to the end, ie 100, 110, 120. the buggers just do it to confuse you.

noraml levels for a woman should be about 120

what dose are the iron tabs?

Pamina3 Thu 13-Jan-05 10:08:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Angeliz Thu 13-Jan-05 10:13:31

Thanks all.
O.K so i'm 10 and just been reading thats about the lowest they'd want you to go.
I don't know about the dose yet nailpolish as i pick them up this afternoon but i was on some a few weeks ago and they were 100mg so 3 DEFINATELY sounds too much by what i've just been reading!!

Oh why do we worry so.......

Angeliz Thu 13-Jan-05 10:14:21

Pamina3, i might try that as i do get bunged up!
It is ironic though that this test was taken weeks ago and i feel fine now!!

nailpolish Thu 13-Jan-05 10:19:14

if you just take 2 then im sure that would be fine. i had to take iron too, when pg and i thought 3 was too much, just took 2 (when i remembered)

ask the chemist if he can recommend anything to prevent you getting bunged up while taking them (better to prevent than cure). i think senokot is ok, but dont quote me

Angeliz Thu 13-Jan-05 10:51:02

I'll see what the dose is this afternoon.
The more i read i think she can't have told me to take 3 tablets of the same ones i was on as they sem way too high.

mears Thu 13-Jan-05 10:55:51

3 tablets are often recommended but you could start with 2. One at breakfast, one at teatime. Your body can only absorb so much iron at a time so don't worry too much. Spatone is easier to absorb than tablets. The tablets we sometimes give ar 200mg so don't worry about the dose.

pupuce Thu 13-Jan-05 10:57:54

Hi Angeliz - how many weeks are you ? This is more info..

In many countries, the amount of red blood cells pigment (hemoglobin concentration) is routinely measured in pregnancy. There is a widespread belief that this test can effectively detect anaemia and iron deficiency. In fact, this test cannot diagnose iron deficiency because the blood volume of pregnant women is supposed to increase dramatically, so the hemoglobin concentration indicates first the degree of blood dilution, an effect of placental activity. A large British study, involving 153,602 pregnancies (17), found that the highest average birth weight was in the group of women who had a hemoglobin concentration between 8.5 and 9.5. Furthermore, when the hemoglobin concentration fails to fall below 10.5 there is an increased risk of low birthweight, preterm birth and pre-eclampsia. The regrettable consequence of routine evaluation of hemoglobin concentration is that, all over the world, millions of pregnant women are wrongly told that they are anaemic and are given iron supplements. There is a tendency both to overlook the side effects of iron (constipation, diarrhea, heartburn, etc.) and to forget that iron inhibits the absorption of such an important growth factor as zinc (18). Furthermore, iron is an oxidative substance that can exacerbate lipid peroxidation (free radicals) and might even increase the risk of pre-eclampsia (19).

-17 - Steer P, Alam MA,Wadsworth J, Welch A. Relation between maternal haemoglobin concentration and birth weight in different ethnic groups. BMJ 1995; 310:489-91.
-18 - Valberg LS. Effects of iron, tin, and copper on zinc absorption in humans. Am J Clin Nutr 1984;40:536-41.
19 – Rayman MP, Barlis J, et al. Abnormal iron parameters in the pregnancy syndrome preeclampsia. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2002; 187 (2): 412-8.

Angeliz Thu 13-Jan-05 11:13:57

Thanks Mears and Pupuce.
Food for thought there. I just read those articles and found them fascinating!!
(I'm 34 weeks now BTW )

Angeliz Thu 13-Jan-05 14:24:44

O.K just picked them up, they are 200mg so to me 600mg per day seems alot but i always woryy when i differ with the midwife!!
It's just i read that too much iron is not good!

I WISH i didn't worry so much, think i may have an anxiety problem!!!

ZoeC Thu 13-Jan-05 14:39:08

I'm on iron supplements as I was 9.6 last test - only on 100mg a day though so your dose seems very high. Last pg I was 8.something and was on a much higher dose, but it wasn't detected until 37 weeks as they lost the previous test results.

Can't really comment on whether it is right or wrong to take them - I tend to take them but it's a personal choice I agree.

mears Thu 13-Jan-05 22:54:32

See how you go on them Angeliz. I have taken iron a few times and not had a problem with it. If it makes you constipated your midwife will probably advise you to reduce them. Remember that you can get iron in your food as well. Drink orange juice with your meals. Try and avoid tea/coffee at meal times because it inhibits the absorption of iron. Vit C helps absorption.

I agree with Pupuce about iron levels - when Hb falls it can be a sign of a healthy placenta. Only thing is, doctors don't agree and still like HB over 10. Depends if you can be bothered with the hassle.

ChicPea Thu 13-Jan-05 23:11:11

Hi Angeliz, I take Fefol x1 per day and they are slow release so are better absorbed and they don't cause constipation. Have taken them since my teens. (Am now old).

fufmum Fri 14-Jan-05 17:42:16

Angeliz i had blood tests last week and i am due in 2 days time. My results were iron-10 and i was advised to take 2 tablets a day, my tablets are 200mg each so i wouldn't worry about how much you are taking.

Glad to hear that it can be a sign of a healthy placenta, thanks for that Mears! Nice to have a bit of positive for a change!

singsong Sat 15-Jan-05 14:33:17

3 times 200mg tablets per day is correct dose for treatment of anaemia, so although this may give you side effects (e.g. constipation) it would not do you any serious harm to take this amount. One 200mg tablet per day is used to prevent anaemia in people with normal iron levels who may be at risk of becoming anaemic. One reason for them wanting to get your iron levels up would be to help with any symptoms of anaemia such a tiredness. Another reason is that if your iron levels go too low it can put you at increased risk of bleeding during labour. Iron levels are one of the criteria used to decide if you can give birth at home/in a midwife unit or whether you need to go to hospital where there are obstetricians. The midwifery unit where I gave birth would only take you if your iron level was above 10. Everyone’s iron levels do fall in pregnancy, due to your blood being diluted with a lot of extra fluid and also the baby is taking its iron from you, so it is normal but you still don’t want the drop to be too much. I can understand why you don’t want to take so much iron because the side effects can be grotty. If you are feeling well and it’s been a while since the last iron count blood test why don’t you ask your midwife if she can repeat the test now? There would be no harm in that and it might even bring you good news. If your iron count is going very low though then personally I would take the 3 doses per day. My thoughts would be to start taking the 3 doses and see how you find it. Take some fibogel to prevent constipation, drink plenty and eat some fruit. If after a trial you find it’s all too much with the side effects then drop down to 2 doses (after all even though that’s not as good as managing 3 doses it is better than none). It is just my opinion but if I was in your situation I would want a) to have my levels rechecked to make sure the reading is correct and then (assuming it was correct) to get my level up a bit.

zebra Sat 15-Jan-05 14:38:51

One thing you can do to increase your iron levels is stop drinking ordinary black (China) tea; the tannins in it inhibit the absorption of something like 90% of the iron in your food -- so if you drink a cup of tea with your iron-fortified breakfast cereal, there's no point -- you barely absorb any of the iron.
Decaf. tea is no help. Switch to oneof the pregnancy safe herbal teas (rosehips, chamomile)... coffee may inhibit iron absorption too, but nowhere as bad as black tea. Red bush tea I think also decreases iron absorption, but not as bad as black or green tea.

MoNk3ii Wed 19-Oct-11 15:37:29

my iron count is 10.7 at 37 weeks pregnant
my midwife has said its low and im now on my 3rd type of iron suppliment as the tablets made me sicky
ive had 2 nose bleeds n never had nose bleeds before but i put them down to stress as my partner has just gone to prison is there anyone with any idea why my midwife has put me on iron as 10 is normal is it not?

nickelbabe Wed 19-Oct-11 15:40:27

yes, my midwife said I was 10.9, and that was the lowest she would want it.

It confused me too, because when you give blood, they do it 100s - ie mine would be 109.
it depends on whether they do it as g/dl or g/cl (dl = demi litre, ie 1/10 litres and cl is centilitre or 1/100 litres)

nickelbabe Wed 19-Oct-11 15:40:47

decilitre blush

nickelbabe Wed 19-Oct-11 15:42:03

"The normal amount - or concentration - of haemoglobin is:
* at least 13g/dl (13 grams of haemoglobin per decilitre of blood - a decilitre is 100ml) for men
* at least 11.5g/dl for women
* at least 11g/dl for pregnant women"

the other way would be g/l (litre) not g/cl.

nickelbabe Wed 19-Oct-11 15:44:17

blimey, good job I didn't read the whole thread!
It's really old! grin

MoNk3ii - your iron level is fine, but don't let it get any lower.
if you can't take iron, have you tried it within a multi-vitamin, or maybe just eat loads of food with added iron in (cereals etc)
eat lots of green veg, too, because that will help you absorb the iron, as will fruit juice with your meals.
and if you eat meat, then eat more red meat.

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