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Stupid iron question alert

(10 Posts)
nunnie Thu 16-Jun-11 10:19:01

I was prescribed ferrous sulphate after being admitted to hospital for something unrelated but my bloods showed anemia.

I have been taking them but they have been giving me really bad stomach cramps which are causing more worry than needed really.

My stupid question blush can I just stop these and start using supermarket or boots own Iron tablets, or are they not strong enough?

whostolemyname Thu 16-Jun-11 10:21:51

It depends really just how anaemic you are and how many weeks pregnant you are. FS will raise your iron levels quicker than other types of iron tablet/ liquid. If it is constipation (which is very common on FS) you could ask your doctor for some lactulose (or you can get this over the counter).

nunnie Thu 16-Jun-11 10:25:43

I am 26 weeks and was told it was only slight. It was a while ago and I have managed for this long, but am due to get more tablets and wondered if I could just swap.

Not given me constipation just cramps.

AllTheYoungDoods Thu 16-Jun-11 10:32:02

Talk to your midwife. My doc prescribed a massive dose of ferrous sulphate without even waiting for my blood test results as a precaution (am carrying multiples), but they made me feel utterly crap. I know now my iron levels are fine, so I still take them but vary the amount of tablets I take depending on how good my diet has been, how tired I feel etc.

My understanding is that ferrous sulphate is a much higher dose and much more easily absorbed than conventional multi vits/normal iron tablets, so I wouldn't swop, but you might be able to reduce the dose.

Also make sure you're taking them with the right things so you can absorb them properly - on a full stomach, NOT after/with a meal heavy in dairy or eggs, NOT with tea or coffee. Ideally with a Vitamin C-heavy drink (OJ or similar - this also helps with the constipation issue).

nunnie Thu 16-Jun-11 10:36:49

When my blood was taken I had been vomitting and for 2 days and not bee eating, so I am presuming that is why they came back the way they did. Am eating more than normal now blush.

Do you think I could ask for another blood test to confirm where my levels are now, and continue as prescribed until results in?

I take them as per instructions but am having to take paracetamol at least twice a day as the cramps are quite nasty.

I don't do google as I poop, can someone explain what the risks are of anemia in pregnancy?

Never had it before sorry.

AllTheYoungDoods Thu 16-Jun-11 10:43:19

I would say if you're medicating to cope with them then definitely get onto your midwife, sooner rather than later. I can see no reason not to have your bloods done again.

nunnie Thu 16-Jun-11 10:44:26

Will do thank you.

WaspsAnkles Thu 16-Jun-11 16:10:31

Am on iron supplement as well and got cramps and tummy aches from the first type I was given too. Mentioned it to midwife and GP and they prescribed herby syrupy meds which seem to be agreeing with me a lot better.

Maybe just talk to your MW/doc again and see if there isn't an alternative.

But would def also suggest to avoid coffee/tea/dairy with it as that seemed to make things worse for me. Have now given up on tea and coffee altogether, which was quite hard but am not missing it any more and feel better for it.

eurochick Thu 16-Jun-11 16:20:26

I think tea and coffee also impede iron absorption so it's best not to have them with your iron tablets.

Tangle Thu 16-Jun-11 16:29:28

If it were me then, at 26 weeks with "slight" anaemia and getting nasty side effects I have to confess I'd probably chuck the FS tablets in the bin and get either Spatone or Floradix. Both will get iron into you but shouldn't give you cramps - poor them into a glass of orange juice and off you go.

However, its probably better advice to talk to your MW or Dr first.

It might be worth asking for details of your full blood count and asking what numbers they were looking at to say that you were anaemic. Sometimes they use the HB levels alone - but HB dilution during pregnancy is normal, as your blood volume expands significantly, and this results in a low HB reading. Factoring in other values such as your mean corpuscular volume (MCV - roughly, how much iron is there in each individual red blood cell) and your serum ferritin (how much iron is stored elsewhere in your body) is giving a much fuller picture. There's a whole load more info and masses of links to other sites here

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