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borderline iron levels

(12 Posts)
crazyhead Tue 20-Sep-11 10:48:51

I'm 32 + 3 and my bloods have come back at 10.5 for iron levels - eg borderline - midwife says that I could start supplements but don't have to.

Anyone else been in this position? What did you do? I am really squeamish about supplements (I took Pregnacare pre-preg/first 14 week and it made me feel like vomiting) and I really don't fancy constipation from iron tablets as the icing on the cake of late pregnancy.

The OH was going to get me some Floradix at lunch, anyone else squeamish found this any good? I understand it is minging, but hey, has to be worth a go!

I genuinely eat a healthy diet, but I do have a coffee a day, and whereas I eat meat, I am more of a vegetables and wholegrains fan - and I love a nice cup of milk - probably all crap for iron. I will attempt to build a sirloin into my weekly intake from now on.

I haven't had any breathlessness at all (and I walk miles every day) but I have had a couple of dizzy spells when I'm very tired. I am also a random bleeder - had to go to hospital with a slight bleed, which is when I found out my levels, obviously by taking yet more of my blood.

Sorry to sound self pitying (I really HATE stuff to do with blood - I'll be great at labour ha ha) any thoughts much appreciated

planetpotty Tue 20-Sep-11 10:55:24

I had low iron in both pregnancies first time used diet to get the levels up and this worked. Second time used the tablets, and it went up quicker, it did make my poo black - like really black! and they did make me a bit constipated but if I made sure I kept hydrated it was better. Also did they tell you to take the tablets with orange juice as the iron is better absorbed that way?

Brocolli is a good iron source, I munched on it with every meal - Google what veggies have high iron content it doesnt have to be all meat, meat, meat.

Good luck smile

dreamingbohemian Tue 20-Sep-11 10:56:15

I had borderline iron levels once during pregnancy and, er, I didn't do anything about it blush

I also hated the idea of taking supplements as I was already dealing with nausea and other things throughout the entire pregnancy. I think I just tried to eat a bit more red meat.

A week after I got the borderline result, I had bloods taken again and they were normal.

I'd try to address it with your diet, obviously reconsider if another test shows you're definitely anemic.

worldgonecrazy Tue 20-Sep-11 11:05:29

Don't bother with tablets, take spatone instead as it doesn't give the same constipation problems. It got my levels up very quickly.

You are already getting lots of folic acid in your diet but a bit more may help. Folic acid is essential for your body to absorb the iron.

I'm hazy on the details, but there are two things that your MW should be looking at - the platelet levels and the ferritin levels.

This may help

worldgonecrazy Tue 20-Sep-11 11:07:52

Found it! This is a quote from the midwife I was thinking about. You need to ask about your MCV levels. If it's above 80 you're fine. I was told I was anaemic but asked them to look again and my MCV was above 90.

^"Firstly, 'anaemia' in pregnancy is physiological, i.e. normal. The apparent anaemia is caused by an increase in circulating blood plasma, which means that there are less red blood cells per ml of plasma than in 'unpregnant' blood. That is, the blood is more diluted. As Hb specifically measures the amount of red blood cells in relation to the circulating volume, it shows that there is less, which until recently has been taken to mean that the woman is anaemic. A more accurate measure of whether a woman is anaemic or not is the MCV (Mean Corpuscular Volume).

In my own practice, if a woman has an Hb of < 8 g/dl, I look at the MCV, if this is less than 80 then I consider haemoglobinopathies (such as thalassaemia) if these are not present, then I get the doctor to prescribe Ferrous Sulphate 200mg tds. So, really Hb below 10 g/dl in an otherwise healthy woman should not preclude home birth."^

dribbleface Tue 20-Sep-11 11:08:55

my levels were similar to your's, was put on iron tablets and to be honest other than dark poo had no other symptoms. but feel so much better in myself. been on the tablets about a month.

dribbleface Tue 20-Sep-11 11:10:49

having just read that i have very low platelets so maybe that's why the made me start the tablets.

saoirse86 Tue 20-Sep-11 11:13:54

I'm always anaemic, usually around 7-9 but it actually went up during pregnancy. It was usually around 10 and I was given iron tablets but I hate them because of the constipation so I was terrible at taking them. I usually had one every day or two just to keep on top of things (although I'm not sure if that actually works).

I took them more towards the end as my mw told me you have to be careful in case you bleed a lot and end up needing a transfusion after the birth.

I got my levels up to over 11 by 39 weeks. I bled a lot during labour and didn't faint afterwards when I was dragged out of bed an hour after giving birth and just wasn't ready. But I was fine the next day.

crazyhead Tue 20-Sep-11 11:21:49

Thank you all, that is really helpful. I will definitely ask about the platelets/ferritin levels.

I will also give Floradix or Spatone a go just to see how I get on as there doesn't seem to be much of a downside with this liquid stuff (apart from the yuck factor). I mean if it makes me feel completely amazing for an extra month that has to be a bonus....

I am glad to see I'm not the only slightly avoidant one about taking things. I kind of hoped that eating my greens and a hearty walk a day would be all I needed for a healthy pregnancy, yeah right ;)

Halgirl Tue 20-Sep-11 12:32:38

I haven't had low iron levels in pregnancy, after the horrendous birth of my first and loosing over 1.5 litres of blood my iron levels were dangerously low. I should have had a blood transfusion i was told at the beginning of this pregnancy but was just sent home with 2 iron tablets a day. My doctor increased these to 3 a day and my health visitor said take floradix too. Yes it's disgusting but she told me it would get into my system quicker and it def helped me to get better quicker. x

pruney1977 Tue 20-Sep-11 13:26:18

They lost my poor SIL's blood results when she was pregnant, she never chased them as they always say if you don't hear anything they're fine, she ended up having a blood transfusion after birth. My other SIL has just been told her paletetes are too high so she might have to go on aspirin or possibly warfarin.
LOL at eating my greens and hearty walk smile

ZuleikaJambiere Tue 20-Sep-11 13:31:19

I've also been told my iron levels are borderline (from my first set of bloods) but the MW suggested I do what I can to manage on my own. So I'm taking a pregnancy multi vit, plus cereal that is fortified with iron for breakfast and having googled iron rich foods I'm trying to eat each of the following at least once a week - steak/beef, lots of green veg, pulses and beans, oily fish, eggs, pumpkin seeds, dried apricots - I was pleased to find out what a variety of foods have iron in them. As someone said earlier, vitamin c helps absorb iron, and I also learnt that dairy can prevent it being absorbed - so I'm trying to have one 'iron-y' meal a day with fruit for pudding and one where I have cheese sarnies/sauce or a yogurt afterwards, as I think calcium is still pretty important. This is just my made up diet, so not medically approved, but fewer people have told me I look 'peaky and knackered' recently (always so great to hear hmm) so hopefully it's working, the proof will be in the next set of bloods.
I hope you find something that works for you, and all the best with the rest of your pregnancy, and of course with your little one when it arrives

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