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Seriously need to increase my iron levels .... please come and give me some diet advice

(21 Posts)
mosschops30 Tue 14-Jul-09 10:41:56

Am 23 weeks pg. I normally take spa tone once daily as I have chronically low hb, which normally rests at about 10.5.

At my booking bloods it was 10.7, and I increased my spa tone to twice daily but was admitted to a&e two weeks ago from midwife when they found that my exhaustion/breathlessness and palpatations were due to my hb levels dropping to 9.4.

I was started on ferrous fumerate twice a day but midwife told me to take just one and continue with 2 spa tone as was already constipated.

I ended up back at the doctors yesterday, totally exhausted, had not dressed all weekend, slept 9-10 hours a night and still tired. Hb levels after 2 weeks of tablets and spa tone are now 9.3! hmm

So have increased iron tablets, given up the spa tone, but really want to try and improve dietary wise also. BTW I dont eat red meat, but anything else is good TIA smile

ComeOVeneer Tue 14-Jul-09 10:43:09

What is your vit C intake like, as that helps with iron absorption?

Streetlight Tue 14-Jul-09 10:44:38

How odd - usually Spatone is great, it upped my Hb in a week or two when I needed a homebirth level.

I wonder if they are investigating everything it might be - perhaps there is an underlying reason why you are so anaemic?

Hope not to worry you, but this sounds really odd.

Streetlight Tue 14-Jul-09 10:45:14

Or steak with cabbage is v good smile

ComeOVeneer Tue 14-Jul-09 10:46:01

Also tea and coffee reduce iron absorption.

Streetlight Tue 14-Jul-09 10:46:12

btw 9. anything is no reason to panic. Mine reached 7.9 in my first pg, I was fine, just a little woozy. smile
You are doing ok.

Lizzylou Tue 14-Jul-09 10:47:19

Dark green cabbage and dark (70% cocoa solids+) chocolate (well, that was my excuse during pg), lentils and wholegrain cereals.

Cosmosis Tue 14-Jul-09 10:53:18

make sure you are drinking plenty of orange juice or taking a vit c supplement with your iron, as it helps absorbtion. don't drink tea/coffee while you eat as that reduces absorbtion.

Plenty of green veg (brocolli, cabbage etc), wholemeal bread & chocolate are good

potplant Tue 14-Jul-09 10:54:31

Also had low iron count when pg, but nowhere near as poorly as you. I don't eat meat but I think you can still improve your iron levels through diet. Iron rich foods include the usual leafy green veg as well as Cereals fortified with iron, dried apricots,

Also Vit C encourages iron absorption into your body so drink fresh orange with meals and I ate loads of high Vit C fruit.

I think that this helped in the early days but towards the end my doctor put me on iron tablets.

potplant Tue 14-Jul-09 10:55:17

Nobody told me about chocolate!!

Can't do links but try this:

mosschops30 Tue 14-Jul-09 10:58:10

Streelight, tis always low, always has been ever since the age of about 14.
The spatone clearly isnt working in pregnancy for me, although usually keeps me ticking over quite nicely.
I have been taking the spa tone and the iron tablets with OJ.
What high vit c fruit can I have, Im not fussed on oranges or satsuma type things.
I can do cabbage and brocolli as I love both.
Any decent cabbage/brocolli food ideas though?

Streetlight Tue 14-Jul-09 11:03:33

Kiwi fruit is good I think. Do you like those?

Streetlight Tue 14-Jul-09 11:03:55

Oh and blackcurrants. They have much vit c.

Lizzylou Tue 14-Jul-09 11:10:06

Brocolli is high in both Vit C and Iron as is cabbage.
Red peppers and tomatoes are also high in vit c
Strawberries too.

You could have a vegetable pasta bake, with tomatoey sauce shredded cabbage, spinach and brocolli.
Roasted red pepper and lentil soup, with wholegrain bread

Then dark chocolate dipped kiwi and strawberries


mosschops30 Tue 14-Jul-09 11:10:28

Yes love both of those, have got a good list of foods now so after sleep will trot off to sainsbury to buy new iron week of food grin

hannahsaunt Tue 14-Jul-09 11:11:13

I am quite like you; I had to maintain my iron levels up around 10/11 in my last pg because of high PPH risk. I took max dose iron tablets daily and managed not to miss any - did the trick but it was a mega loads. I did all the right eating things too (would you consider red meat for the duration?) and ate even more fruit/veg than usual to counteract the constipation issue with success. I don't store iron so makes the whole thing a bit tricky.

mosschops30 Tue 14-Jul-09 11:13:30

I dont eat red meat because I dont like the smell, or taste or texture of it, its not a veggie thing, I just dont like it. I do eat chicken and turkey and pork though. Just beef and lamb I cant stomach in any shape or form (steak/mince/chops etc bleurgh)

Cosmosis Tue 14-Jul-09 11:17:56

another tip is that I put chopped or frozen spinach in to pretty much every sauce I make. Particularly the frozen stuff is chopped so tiny that you don't really notice it.

Spinach is particularly lovely in curry. It's also good raw in salads - I often use it in sarnies instead of salad - ham & spinach with mustard is delish.

dittany Tue 14-Jul-09 13:33:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mosschops30 Tue 14-Jul-09 15:33:10

Well I have bought a good selection inclusing dark choc, dried apricots, some cereals with extra iron, sardines, black pudding, grapefruit juice, cabbage and brocolli.

If I make bubble and squeak with the cabbage is it still as good for me even though it will be fried? Its the only thing I know what to put cabbage in blush

hannahsaunt Tue 14-Jul-09 15:44:16

Lightly steamed savoy cabbage is lovely just as it is. I would second the raw baby spinach as salad - I do that a lot.

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