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Anemia. Bloody knew it!

(23 Posts)
ChineapplePunk Mon 10-Oct-11 13:52:58

I've just received a letter from my surgery along with a prescription for Ferrous Fumarate (210mg x 3 per day). I had a feeling this would happen, because on the few times I have received blood tests in the past, my ferritin count has always been low. Anyhoo, I know for a fact that the tablets are going to make me constipated, and that's why I stopped taking them in the past. Obviously, considering I'm 12 weeks pregnant, ignoring this prescription on this occasion is NOT an option.

Bottom line is that I already have a very sluggish digestive system, even when I eat all the right things (which I try to do every day, along with plenty of fluids). It's hereditary. Most of my family have issues with constipation. Now that I'm pregnant, my bouts of constipation have increased, and if I add iron tablets on to that I'll be lucky if I ever have a movement again (sorry to be so graphic).

Does anyone have any tips? Am thinking of asking the doc if I can take Lactulose, but don't really want to become too dependent on laxatives. sad

Franchini Mon 10-Oct-11 14:30:04

I have exactly the same problem as you and have been put on iron tablets - admitedly only 1 in the morning each day but it is enough to make me constipated. I have found that eating more vegies and having a glass of prune juice with breakfast and before bed is keeping things moving!
Prune juice is absolutly disgusting but you can mix it with orange juice and is tastes much better (and it is one of your 5 a day!)

ChineapplePunk Mon 10-Oct-11 14:37:14

Agree with you on the prune juice front. It makes me gag, but looks like I'll just have to accept it as another form of medication. smile

LydiaTheTattoedLady Mon 10-Oct-11 15:24:34

Can you talk to your doctor about alternatives?

I find the tablets impossible to digest (constipation a go go) and did better on liquid iron formulas that I got from Holland and Barrett which lifted my iron levels without all the problem (though you can get them in pharmacies so maybe you can get prescription ones).
Mind you, this was not when I was pregnant so I don't know the ins and outs of liquid iron and pregnancy. And I don't know what doctors say about these brands. They helped me but the doctor might be dismissive.

ChineapplePunk Mon 10-Oct-11 15:27:02

I'll give it a go, Lydia. Got appointment with doc on Wednesday, so I'll ask about any viable alternatives. I am feeling so sluggish at the moment that the thought of iron tabs is quite depressing.

fannybaws Mon 10-Oct-11 15:33:23

Have a look at spatone you can get it in boots but not on prescription as yet.

cravingcake Mon 10-Oct-11 15:40:09

You could also ask about taking a lower dose if you increase your steak & leafy greens intake. Probably wont help much with the constipation if you still have the tablets but at least you will be getting iron naturally from your diet.

ChineapplePunk Mon 10-Oct-11 15:57:23

I'll find out how low my count actually is to see if lower doses is an option. Also, I am vegetarian, but am considering eating meat again. I always make sure I get plenty of leafy greens, but I know vegetable sources are nowhere near as readily absorbed as meat sources of iron. Looks like my cheese and spinach sandwiches washed down with a Vit C rich drink hasn't done the trick. sad
Will check out the spatone, ta.

isabelladeste Mon 10-Oct-11 16:00:43

I can't recommend Floradix enough. I didn't even try the tablets as I knew they'd make me more miserable with constipation than ever. I justmake sure I drink some orange juice with it. My midwife was impressed that I'd managed to get from 10 to 10.6 on Floradix alone so it must be working!!

corkythecat Mon 10-Oct-11 16:01:56

You can get spatone on prescription, I've boxes of the stuff in my kitchen (am rubbish at remembering to take it). According to my midwife they prefer to prescribe tablets because they are cheaper. Ask at your next appointment.

ChineapplePunk Mon 10-Oct-11 16:03:39

Great stuff! I'm noting all this down. smile

banana87 Mon 10-Oct-11 17:12:41

I'm on 300mg x 4/day ferrous gluconate and take Lactulose daily sad

ChineapplePunk Mon 10-Oct-11 17:27:59

And does that keep you regular, banana?

NotJustKangaskhan Mon 10-Oct-11 17:52:49

I would ask for something else pronto - being a chronic anaemic, I've found Ferrous Fumarate to be the worst of the supplements (I take most just fine, that mix made me so incredible ill - not much help if I can't keep it down!). It's cheap which is why it's a first go to, but it's very rough on the system.

frutilla Mon 10-Oct-11 18:01:16

Probs with iron all my life, even had to have injections during pregnancy due to being intolerant of tablets. However for 2 months now have been taking kids haliborange multivitamins "calcium and iron" and am ok on it. The doc said it is raising my blood values despite being a kiddy one. I take 1 or 2 tabs a day depoending on my digestion.

MrsSSB Mon 10-Oct-11 18:39:44

Hello ladies - I've always been a touch low on t iron and since being pregnant, weirdly it's been better until now getting s touch low again - I'm 36 weeks tmrw. I've always hated taking tablets too for same reasons but ferrous fumarate syrup is much better on t tummy, maybe you could try that?

pruney1977 Mon 10-Oct-11 19:01:22

I have a sluggish digestion if I don't eat branflakes every morning but have you considered aloe vera juice for constipation? I haven't used it myself but have heard it is good.

ElbowFan Mon 10-Oct-11 19:23:14

I suffered with iron tablets, but Slow Fe Folic was fine - don't know enough about the difference though

madmomma Mon 10-Oct-11 20:01:05

I highly recommend getting yourself some Biocare iron tablets (google the site - can't link it - sorry). Or solgar gentle iron if they still make it. You do not want to get constipated. Those two brands are the only ones which don't affect my bowels. Even spatone and floradix constipate me. Good luck!

Ireneiswaiting Mon 10-Oct-11 20:07:57

I got diagnosed with anaemia too this pg. I went to boots to get Spatone but was advised the iron levels were too low for me compared to my prescription. I get constipated with Ferrous Fumerate tablets but I complained and got the syrup which didn't give that problem.

BedHog Mon 10-Oct-11 20:41:50

Iron tablets have the opposite effect on me - stomach cramps and diarrhoea!!

Now I'm taking 2 sachets of Spatone in orange juice each night. I've got a blood test tomorrow so we'll see if they've done the trick!

ChineapplePunk Tue 11-Oct-11 16:51:33

Thanks for all the good advice everyone. I shall go the docs tomorrow armed with lots of info. smile
Just been out shopping. Got my prescription and have stocked up on prune juice (bleeeuugh!). Looks like the tabs are best taken on an empty stomach and along with some fruit juice for optimum absorption. So my morning and nightly medicinal will consist of an iron tablet washed down with some sunsweet prune juice. Yummers.....sad

ChineapplePunk Tue 11-Oct-11 16:53:44

Oh, and one in the middle of the day. :/

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