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Iron levels anyone????

(28 Posts)
jessicasmummy Thu 13-Jan-05 19:28:14

Anyone know much about iron levels??? Following a blood test last week, it has revealed I have an iron count of 6. Have now been put on iron tablets 3 x a day but wanted to know whats normal and when i can expect to come off these massive hard to swallow pills!

MrsBigD Thu 13-Jan-05 19:41:04

Hi jessicasmummy... 6 is low there's another thread on iron going on atm... other thread

normal is above 10 I think as i could come off my iron tabs when I reached 10

And a bit of warning... iron tabs 'blocked' me up (sorry for the graphics) so make sure to drink plenty and eat lots of 'roughage'

collision Thu 13-Jan-05 19:43:54

Also take them with orange juice as the Vit c helps to absorb the iron AND helps with constipation.

Piffle Thu 13-Jan-05 19:50:11

try spatone from holland and barrett or a good chemist, its mineral water, more easily absorbed and it will not give you the constipation which you get with tablets.
it was recommended to me by midwife when I was preg and I still take it now.

jessicasmummy Thu 13-Jan-05 22:12:44

thanks for the tips guys.... was a bit concerned as doc said something about my iron level should be in the 70's! will give orange juice a go and if no results will try the water!

Avalon Thu 13-Jan-05 22:42:46

Do you drink a lot of tea? I'm sure I read somewhere that tea drinking stops or impairs iron absorption in the body.

Anyone know for sure?

pupuce Thu 13-Jan-05 22:47:51

Are you pregnant?

ChicPea Thu 13-Jan-05 22:58:01

Jessica'sMummy, normal is 12+ (sorry to contradict you MrsaBigD!) so you must be feeling really tired. I was 9 just before my C-Section and was told to double my iron tablets which were called Fefol. I did up them but they gave me stomach aches. I take one daily and they are slow release and don't cause constipation. I have been taking them for years (I didn't use to eat meat) and have never had a problem with them.

MrsBigD Fri 14-Jan-05 06:55:49

ChicPea - no worries The docs must think I'll be fine on 10 then

jessicasmummy Fri 14-Jan-05 07:02:10

im not pregnant, got a 6 mo dd so better not be! I just wondered - does anyone know how long it will take for me to get back up to normal? on tablets 3 x a day

suzywong Fri 14-Jan-05 07:40:37

don't know about the doctor who said they should be in the 70s

FWIW I've been on 24mcg of elemental iron for 3 months and have just got mine up to 21 from 8 and the doctor is pleased, she says anything over 15 is good for an adult woman who's had kids.

nailpolish Fri 14-Jan-05 07:48:31

normal levels should be 10-12, jessicasmummy. or 100-120 as sometimes called. 6 is very low, even when pg (are you pg? just assuming)

iron tabs can make you very constipated, try and have lots of fibre and fruit and veg to keep you 'regular!'. or if it becomes a prob, ask for some gentle laxatives (speak to chemist or gp)

your poo will be black when you are taking iron tabs (lovely)

nailpolish Fri 14-Jan-05 07:49:41

sorry read earlier post. if not pg should be 12-14 (lower if on period)

you will probably have to take them for a wee while, have you got an appt to go back to have levels checked?

Mimsie Fri 14-Jan-05 11:40:35

try and eat red meat as well, from what I remember from my studies (was a while back now) heme iron (ie hemoglobyn/blood iron from red meat) is the most readily absorbed by the body

jessicasmummy Fri 14-Jan-05 15:20:38

gp has asked me to go back in 3 weeks but said it would be more like 3 months before a repeat blood test??? Oh well, lets just accept i will have black poo and be on tablets for ages!!!!

suzywong Fri 14-Jan-05 23:40:44

I got my levels wrong, it wasn't an increase to 21 at all, it went up to 15 from 7 in 3 months

jessicasmummy Sat 15-Jan-05 11:09:24

just read the other thread about this... im not pregnant, but the doc has given me a dose of 300mg 3 times a day - thats 900mg of iron a day! Surely that is a lot - but is that because my iron level is soooo low?

noddyholder Sat 15-Jan-05 18:31:18

that is v low you must feel terrible.I had a level of 7 when i was on dialysis and I could barely function I think 11-15 is normal for a woman.At this level the doctor should investigate it

Twiglett Sat 15-Jan-05 18:39:50

take iron tablets with orange juice .. vitamin C helps absorption

there's a great alternative called flouradix (from health food stores) that doesn't make you constipated

it takes a month at least to get your iron levels up so you have to keep taking it

6 does sound v. low .. do you have very heavy periods?

Twiglett Sat 15-Jan-05 18:42:01

and improve your diet too

Liver and other meats
Dried fruits like apricots, prunes and raisins
Beans, especially lima beans
Green leafy vegetables, such as spinach and broccoli
Blackstrap molasses
Whole grains
Iron-fortified breads and cereals (check the label)

jessicasmummy Sat 15-Jan-05 22:53:11

i have started to change my diet, but unfortunately dont like orange juice! Periods arent heavy at all - probably too light if anything... im on the pill. doc mentioned something about amybe losing too much blood after having dd 6 months ago and no one picking up on it. who knows!

noddy - yeah i feel terrible, starting to pick up now im on tablets, just worried about the dose!

Twiglett Sun 16-Jan-05 10:30:42

how about cranberry juice then?

really anything with vitamin C .. it really helps the iron absorption (which is a difficult process for the body to accomplish it seems)

try the flouradix .. that has the vit c in it already

Potty1 Sun 16-Jan-05 11:10:06

Jessicasmummy - I was on 200mg 3xdaily when hb was 8 so your dose isn't unreasonable. Mine too was due to heavy periods over a period of time and it just sort of crept up on me.

I took mine with orange as the others have said as it helps to absorb the iron. Also do you drink tea? Something in tea (tannin? I think) prevents iron being absorbed so try to avoid it at mealtimes and when you take your iron. I just take one tablet daily now and maybe two if my period is particularly heavy.

singsong Tue 18-Jan-05 17:19:55

Can I ask what were the initial reasons for the blood test?
Iron count of 6 is very low (normal is about 12-16 for adult female). To be honest I’m a bit that the Dr has just bunged you on iron tablets and told you to come back for next blood test in 3 months at this level. I think really you should be having another test a lot sooner than that. Yes it is unlikely that the iron tablets will make a huge amount of difference in only a short space of time but I think the main purpose of the test being sooner rather than later is that they should be checking that your level is not continuing to drop. Do you know if you lost a lot of blood at the birth? I think you would have needed to lose a fair amount to drop to this level and I’m sure if you had then a midwife would have made some record of it and hopefully mentioned it to you at the time. Did you have a blood test a few days after the birth? If so were you told anything about that? I really think that if you were bleeding heavily during/post delivery then someone should have picked up on this before now. How do you feel in yourself? Do you have any other medical problems/symptoms?

jessicasmummy Wed 19-Jan-05 08:15:45

It started with just being really tired all the time with devere headaches. Went to Dr's who said she would do a bit of an MOT on me to check everything was ok (including a preg test - negative!) When the results came back, all it showed was an iron level of 6... i ddint really know what it meant, so just accepted what she told me. She wants to see me in 3 weeks just to see how im feeling but said i wouldnt get bloods again for 3 months. The tablets are all fine and well, its the horrendous diet of red meat beetroot and spinach i cant stand!!! I just really dont feel myself and looking after a 6 month old baby is driving me mad... on top of that DH's back has "gone" again and he is laid up and cant lift a finger to help!

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