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Very low iron count

(47 Posts)
ItCameFromOuterSpace Sun 23-Jun-13 11:51:59

I had a very low iron count at 16 weeks, so MWs put me on iron tablets X 3 a day, then at 28 weeks my iron count was even lower.

The MWs ar scaring me saying I could lose a lot of blood in labour and haemorrhage etc, so need to improv my diet as they can't give me more iron tablets.

I have thallessmia minor so they have said that's why it's made my iron count even lower, but I already eat a lot of red meat and leafy greens.

What else can I do? Am getting upset and worried. Am currently 32 weeks.

ItCameFromOuterSpace Wed 26-Jun-13 20:05:02

finally that's okay I didn't take offence, I know that I should've taken my tablets more religiously to start with, but certainly last couple of months I have.

MW suggested taking them with orange juice and also if my blood test results come back even lower to,or row, then she said the doc will probably give me a liquid iron supplement which should help.

VivaLeBeaver Wed 26-Jun-13 11:04:44

Def possibly to have low ferritin and normal Hb. My ferritin is 4 and my Hb is 12 . something.

GP keeps prescribing me iron which I don't take as it bungs me up. I got some floradix months ago and took one tablet and then forgot anymore. I feel great.

Finallygotaroundtoit Wed 26-Jun-13 10:53:31

Sorry op - didn't mean it come across as nasty blush

- what I meant was, if medical staff think you are taking the full amount but iron levels are still falling they need to do more investigating

They need the full picture to know what to do next.

I didn't think it's your fault
Hope they come up with something that works.

ItCameFromOuterSpace Tue 25-Jun-13 22:56:51

* finally* I do forget to take tablets sometime....but have to say in the last 2 months or so I take them properly.

Still, I guess it's largely my fault.

notspringchicken Tue 25-Jun-13 20:30:40

GrasshopperChipmunk it is entirely possible to have normal Hb level and low ferritin. I had the same issue before I got pregnant. As I understand it (and anyone feel free to correct me if I'm wrong) Ferritin is the stored level of iron in your cells and can sometimes deplete for quite a while before you notice changes in your hb levels. The palpitations you are experiencing could easily be linked to low ferritin. When I had ferritin issues my levels dropped to 23 and I had horrendous palpitations - literally every day, it was exhausting and my hair started falling out. But it is reversable. I took Ferrograd C tablets (although check with your midwife / GP that these are safe during pregnancy - as I've no idea.) After 3 months my ferritin shot up to 86 and I felt 100 times better. Worth getting it checked out because you'll need your energy for the little baba when he/she comes....

Thinking of you and sending positive thoughts...

LunaticFringe Tue 25-Jun-13 19:42:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

weakestlink Tue 25-Jun-13 19:35:08

I took the tablets for months - they went straight through me and apparently were not absorbed. Midwife and consultant said this was not unheard of so perfectly possible to have falling levels despite taking the tablets religiously!!!!

xigris Tue 25-Jun-13 19:15:00

Agree with Lunatic. Why bother saying something so unpleasant?

LunaticFringe Tue 25-Jun-13 18:47:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

xigris Tue 25-Jun-13 18:45:20

vocalista I think it might be ferrous fumerate that you're thinking of? I do think it might be a good option to ask about a haematology referral. Good luck!

Finallygotaroundtoit Tue 25-Jun-13 18:34:51

Be honest about forgetting your tablets - less of a mystery as to why your levels arent rising

ItCameFromOuterSpace Tue 25-Jun-13 18:26:16

Hi everyone, thank you so much for the advice. I am currently on ferrous sulphate. Seeing MW tomorrow and had a blood test today to retest iron. If its dropped again I will definitely push for answers as to what can be done about this.

Vocalista86 Tue 25-Jun-13 11:36:33


Spatone doesn't contain as much iron as the tablets, are you taking Ferrous Sulphate? If so there is a better but more expensive liquid iron tablet your GP can get for you (but they don't like to do this too much as it's more costly) - can't remember the name, it's in my notes at home.

I would question what will happen next with the hospital/doctors but I'm sure they have your best interests at heart and won't be putting you at risk - just talk to them about your concerns.

Hope it gets sorted.

weakestlink Sun 23-Jun-13 22:10:24

Your midwife should refer you to a consultant who can order iron infusions as clearly the tablets are not working for you! If you are lucky and no contraindications you can have a one off Monofer infusion which is pretty quick - the cannula being the most painful bit!
If your hospital doesn't offer Monofer or not suitable for you then you will need several infusions of Venofer (or another brand name) depending on your levels. Again the only painful bit being the cannula! And wasting a lot of time at the hospital....
I have recently had 3 infusions (am now 36 weeks) as have been on tables 3 x day for months). I did start spatone but my consultant said there was no more time to mess about due to being so far gone and having suffered a previous (serious) haemorrhage.
I don't actually feel much benefit yet but can take a couple of weeks apparently.... But at least safe to give birth!

GrasshopperNchipmunk Sun 23-Jun-13 20:44:26

Thanks for the info/ advice.

Ill have to discuss with the midwife at next appointment.

I only saw her last week to go through blood results, I asked about iron specifically as I wondered if I was abit anaemic (this is my third pregnancy all close together aswell), but she just said I had great iron levels!

LunaticFringe Sun 23-Jun-13 20:23:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Jollyb Sun 23-Jun-13 20:22:49

Essentially that means that you are not anaemic but do have slight iron deficiency.

I've just had a look at the British Haematology Society Guidelines and they would recommend taking oral
Iron supplements and rechecking in 6-8 weeks -bit obviously worth discussing with your midwife or doctor.

Whether this level of iron deficiency is causing your symptoms It's difficult to say - could be but could all be simply due to your pregnancy.

LunaticFringe Sun 23-Jun-13 20:22:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

GrasshopperNchipmunk Sun 23-Jun-13 20:09:53

I don't understand the iron counts and ferritin levels at all, it's so confusing confused

My Hb level is 13.9, which the midwife said is high (but good), but ferritin level is 11.0, which is low?!

Does anyone know what that means?

All I know is that I feel like shite, breathlessness and palpitations - but this could be severe sickness related I guess.

Jollyb Sun 23-Jun-13 19:56:48

I second the poster above who said that your obstetric team should be liaising with the haematology team. I expect your low Hb levels are partly due to your thalassaemia trait and so iron tablets may not make a huge amount of difference.

Having a low iron or Hb level does make you more at risk of bleeding per se. It means that you have less in reserve and so should you lose blood during childbirth you are more likely to become unwell with it and need a transfusion.

TheFalconsmistress Sun 23-Jun-13 18:51:53

Iron tabs dont work for me. I am receiving tranfusions yet to see if they are working!

LunaticFringe Sun 23-Jun-13 18:24:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SwanseaMum Sun 23-Jun-13 18:16:23

I suffer really bad anaemia with all my preg. I have to have Iv iron every time with my 1st dc it didn't matter what I took I couldn't get my iron up and they give me iv too late to make any realdifference. I had 2 units of blood but that really wasn't that big a deal.
My advice is avoid dairy at least an hour b4 taking any iron supplement and drink oj or other fruit juice high in vitamin c as it naturally helps it absorb.
Don't panic over what the mw has said its scare mongering and although there may be a higher risk of blood loss hospitals are prepared for that eventually that's one of the reasons they find out your blood group. Rest as much as possible because u will get tired quicker. Take care xx

DaveMccave Sun 23-Jun-13 17:45:01

Iron tablets are crap! Feroglobin is great. It's a high strength liquid iron syrup with vitamin b and c too. Can get it from any health food store or chemists.

Theselittlelightsofmine Sun 23-Jun-13 17:30:08

Floradex I think it is spelt is wonderful stuff for low iron and has no side affects smile

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