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Iron levels - and what's classed as low?

(12 Posts)
Fruitandnutqueen Thu 01-Jun-17 11:32:43

I've been to the gp today as I've been feeling tired, week and shaky and have tinnitus. I'd had blood tests because they wanted to check my iron levels as I have really heavy periods. Gp said my levels (ferritin?) were 9.2 and my iron stores were almost zero he said that was a level usually enough to warrant a blood transfusion shock. He has given me iron tabs but I've never taken many in the past as they make my Ibs worse. I was trying Spatone then Ferraglobin but he said they are pretty useless at my level and if the tablets cause me problems I can have injections at the hospital.
Has anyone had low iron and what was your experience with treatment?

Pleasemrstweedie Thu 01-Jun-17 11:53:22

'usually enough to merit a blood transfusion', or possibly an iron infusion? Why only 'usually'? An infusion will raise your levels there and then. Oral iron preparations are notoriously badly tolerated and it can take years to raise a level like yours to the 70-100 (if not a bit higher) that it should be. My advice would be to press for a referral to a haematologist with a view to an infusion.

If you’re going to try the tablets, ferrous fumarate is sometimes better tolerated than ferrous sulphate, but either one should be taken well away from other medication and with orange juice for vitamin C to help absorption.

mummytime Thu 01-Jun-17 11:54:08

I have had low iron at various times. I tend to take Ferrous Fumarate which upsets my stomach less. I take it with/after meals and try to take it with Vitamin C.

Last summer my levels were low enough they considered a transfusion, but the tablets did get my levels up.
The other thing to do is try to eat foods which are a good source of Iron e.g. red meat especially liver. And combine this is vitamin C.

PookieDo Thu 01-Jun-17 11:56:58

My ferritin levels are extremely low (5) due to pretty serious blood loss during my fibroid/mirena extravaganza. Waiting for surgery. I also have IBS which is out of control and iron is going to make it all a lot worse. I am trying Spatone dissolved in vit C tablet but I don't know how much this will help me.
In the past when mine was about 8 I struggled, this time round I am just zombie tired with no other symptoms (like severe anxiety) and I have had no palpitations. I'm seeing my Gp on 8th June so will see what they say then but they haven't said they want to transfuse or anything

mayhew Thu 01-Jun-17 12:04:39

Iron injections or a total iron infusion (a complete dose in one appointment) can be used to top up people who can't tolerate oral treatment. We sometimes use them for pregnant women

Fruitandnutqueen Thu 01-Jun-17 12:45:31

I'm going to have to try the tabs as I've just forked out for the prescription but if not will ask about the ferrous fumarate. Don't really want the injections unless I really have to, does anyone know if they have side effects?

Fruitandnutqueen Thu 01-Jun-17 16:24:53

Any good liver recipes which will disguise the awful taste of the stuff??!! confused

picklemepopcorn Thu 01-Jun-17 16:38:27

Have you cut out caffeine and dairy? At least around meals?

You need Vit C, seeds, nuts, dark green veg, eggs, aapricots... What about having the liver as a pâté? People often like that...

picklemepopcorn Thu 01-Jun-17 16:39:31

I'm low on iron, vitamin D and folates, apparently. So need another blood test in a month. Pah. I eat well, too. Hey ho.

Fruitandnutqueen Thu 01-Jun-17 17:36:12

I don't drink tea or coffee but do eat chocolate! I don't mind liver pate is it high in iron?

The only way I finally managed to get my iron levels up was to get my heavy periods sorted. Has the doctor suggested anything to help with that? Otherwise all that happens is that levels rise a bit on the tablets, then go down again after a period, so you can't really get the levels up properly.

In the meantime, dried apricots are a good, easy source of iron. And I chopped up spinach and put it in just about everything I thought I could get away with it in!

picklemepopcorn Thu 01-Jun-17 18:09:47

Well, it's high in liver... grin

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