Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you have any medical concerns we suggest you consult your GP.

A question about iron absorption

(26 Posts)
nomorekisses Wed 26-Jun-13 06:22:00

I've got very low ferritin - have had since Xmas. I have been taking Ferrous Fumerate 2 or 3 x a day (210mg pills). I try to remember to take with a Vit C juice, like grapefruit, but doesn't always happen.

I'm taking it because I have lots of hair shedding.

I am seeing some difference in hair shedding loss (i.e. slowing down a little) but not a huge amount.

Today it was suggested to me that I take Florisene which is a Lamberts product containing 24mg Ferrous Fumerate, Lysine, Vit C all which helps with absorption. I would take it 3 x a day. It says not in conjunction with any other iron on the packet.

The person I spoke to said that iron amount should be enough.

Is that right? Or should I top up with a Ferrous Fumerate? Or is switching silly?

I'm just wondering whether having the right grounds for absorption is just as important as the levels themselves.

Any advice welcome.


It depedsn on how bioavailable the iron in the new supplement is really, but swapping something with 210mg for 24mg, on the face of it, will mean you are taking much less I suspect!

steppemum Wed 26-Jun-13 07:16:01

you may not be able to absorb it in tablet form, some people can't. In that case there is a liquid form that is much better, and boost dietary iron too.

nomorekisses Wed 26-Jun-13 07:16:49

What's the liquid form called Steppemum

dottyaboutstripes Wed 26-Jun-13 12:55:06

Nomorekisses, sorry I don't know the answer but wanted to be nosy. Have they found a reason for the low ferritin? And has it risen much since being on the Ferrous Fumarate? I ask because my ferritin level is 2...

nomorekisses Wed 26-Jun-13 13:50:17

Hi dotty, no reason was given...between december and May, my ferritin levels rose from 4 - 30. I've not been tested yet. Yours is v low too, you should definitely be on some iron

dottyaboutstripes Wed 26-Jun-13 13:59:36

My gp put me straight on iron tabs but is wanting to find out why my levels are so low so is sending me for colonoscopy and gastroscopy. Maybe he's just overly thorough?!

No, your GP is right. Anaemia is usually a symptom rather than an illness in itself - they are right to look for the cause of the anaemia rather than just treat it. GI problems or heavy periods are common causes.

steppemum Wed 26-Jun-13 21:41:00

really sorry, no idea, I only know because my granny needed it, as couldn't absorb it in tablet form

lazydog Thu 27-Jun-13 02:00:20

I certainly wouldn't switch (I'm on similar dose of ferrous fumerate to you - 300mg tablets, twice a day.) The amount in the alternative product is tiny in comparison to what your Dr has advised. Personally, I think that you'd be better off just being more rigid about taking the existing tablets with a vit-c rich juice and if you're not already doing so, avoiding eating/drinking dairy anywhere around the time that you take them (it inhibits the iron absorption - think it's the calcium content?) Ditto avoiding tea & coffee too close either side of your iron tablets...

jasperc163 Thu 27-Jun-13 09:24:36

Interested to read this as I am on ferrous fumarate too to correct low ish ferritn and v low iron serum and saturation levels. I am struggling (not becuase of gastro problems) but it seems to be makiny my (preexisting headaches worse) and now I have a load of muscle pain and aches. Has anyone experienced this (been on it 2 weeks, originally at 3 but dropped down to 2 because of the headaches)?

Trying to work out what the alternative could be as I am not sure spatone or floradix much use in this situation? Anyone used iron bisglycinate?

dottyaboutstripes Thu 27-Jun-13 10:17:40

I was told a few years ago by a pharmacist that if you've been prescribed iron, nothing you can buy over the counter contains anything like as much as you will need.
Regarding headaches, I've noticed that I've been having headaches over the last few days (been taking the FF for 2 weeks now) but I don't know that it's linked.....I just feel so generally dire that it's hard to tell

nomorekisses Thu 27-Jun-13 21:48:30

Good advice Lazy dog. I have also ordered Vit C and Lysine to take with the iron.

But - how long between taking the tablets should I avoid diary?


Ironically Dotty, you can actually buy Ferrous Fumerate from the pharmacist without a prescription - it's cheaper this way.

mercibucket Thu 27-Jun-13 21:52:26

jasper, did you get your thyroid and vit d tested too?

LunaticFringe Thu 27-Jun-13 21:59:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Praying4Beatrice Thu 27-Jun-13 22:08:30

Dd is on iron supps as she is anaemic after cancer treatment. They told me also to avoid serving iron-rich foods with wheat as the wheat can inhibit iron uptake too.

I believe you're also supposed to give iron supps on an empty stomach to encourage absorption (but I've also seen advice to take with food -- arrrgh!)

nomorekisses Thu 27-Jun-13 22:09:18

Lunatic -
Did you have to avoid dairy? How did u take the iron to get the most out of it? Thinking my 'process' is letting me down

lazydog Thu 27-Jun-13 22:54:09

Hi nomorekisses. I take my first 300mg tablet first thing in the morning with orange juice. I'm fortunate enough to work from home so I can delay breakfast until an hour later, without having to get up at the crack of dawn! If I'm gagging for a cuppa as soon as I wake, as is often the case, I swap the order around and have the tablet an hour after breakfast.

I take my second tablet in the evening. I try to remember to take it about an hour before dinner, with juice or red wine grin , but if I forget, I'd then wait until an hour had passed after eating.

I'm lucky that I'm ok taking them on an empty stomach as that's what my Dr said was most effective, if you can tolerate it...

WildThongsHeartString Thu 27-Jun-13 23:03:10

I was told to take mine with fruit juice as vit c aids absorption. Also don't take iron within 2 hours of caffeine.

dottyaboutstripes Fri 28-Jun-13 08:33:48

What?! You can buy them over the counter?! Feck.

Apparently eggs are also to be avoided as well as dairy/tea/wheat as they interfere with absorption.

LunaticFringe Fri 28-Jun-13 09:19:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lazydog Mon 01-Jul-13 07:29:47

Yup dotty - My 300mg ferrous fumerate tablets are OTC and each one contains 100mg elemental iron. They're massively higher dosage than the amount of iron you buy in off the shelf "multivitamin + iron" tablets or the likes of Spatone, but they are the exact same ones that I first got on prescription when I was initially diagnosed, before the pharmacist told me that it was cheaper to just buy them!

mercibucket Mon 01-Jul-13 16:50:40

spatone are more easily absorbed tho, according to their website, so 100mg ferrous sulphate is the equivalent of 1.5 sachets of spatone. i dont know about other types of iron tho

lazydog Mon 01-Jul-13 20:29:45

Yes, I read that too Merci, but I take 600mg of ferrous fumerate (which are more easily absorbed and contain more elemental iron per 100mg than ferrous sulphate tablets) so to get the same quantity of iron, I'd be spending an absolute fortune on ~10(!!) sachets of spatone per day grin. It's fine if you have mild iron deficiency and probably much better than avoiding taking iron at all if you can't stomach the tablets - makes far less sense if you need to take large quantities because of severe anaemia and have no digestive issues with taking the cheaper/stronger tablet form.

nomorekisses Mon 01-Jul-13 21:53:48

Yes, I agree. I think Spatone is fab but it wouldn't really touch the sides unless you took a truck load and it's not cheap.

I've never had a problem with Ferrous Fumerate - no stomach issues etc.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now