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Women's health

Very low iron, been prescribed tablets, how long until I feel better?

21 replies

gemloving · 04/03/2022 19:55

I've been feeling fatigue, hair loss, dizzy, tingling in hands. Doctor had bloods taken and I have very low iron (7, normal range is 13-150 apparently).

I started taking them yesterday. I am not expecting an overnight cure but has anyone had this and knows when I might start feeling better.

I'm actually almost relieved as I have health anxiety and thought I might be dying.

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Midlifemusings · 04/03/2022 19:58

It took me 3 months of 2 tablets a day (5 days a week) to get my level to 50 from 16. One tablet a day for me did nothing - my level went up to 30 after 6 months and I still had all the effects of low iron.

If I don't take the tablets, my levels drop again and the symptoms are back within a week.

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RandomMess · 04/03/2022 19:59

I would go out and get some floradix from Holland & Barrett and start taking that as well, it is absorbed by your body much faster and I always started feeling better after a couple of weeks.

Make sure you take your iron tablets on an empty stomach with orange juice or something else high in vitamin C. Avoid caffeine around the same time as you take them too.

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gemloving · 04/03/2022 20:03

@Midlifemusings @RandomMess do you have heavy periods?

I only started having them after my second child and they are extremely heavy, now contemplating contraception that stops me from having them after having lived contraception free for 8 years.

I am worried about having issues taking them on an empty stomach as my stomach is quite sensitive.

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Midlifemusings · 04/03/2022 20:14

I do not have particularly heavy periods. My low iron is related to thyroid problems. I take them at night right before I fall asleep - that is the only way they don't bother my stomach as I sleep through the effects! I also take two days off of taking tablets each week to give my gut a break.

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RandomMess · 04/03/2022 20:16

I had very heavy and long periods and eventually had womb ablation once my family was complete.

Floradix is very gentle on the stomach and it doesn't taste too bad swigged straight out the bottle from the fridge.

Have you tried tranexamic acid to help with your periods or anything else?

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gemloving · 04/03/2022 20:23

@Midlifemusings ok thank you. The thing is that I have two young kids (3 years and 10 months) and both still wake in the night here and there so I rarely sleep through.

@RandomMess I never heard of this. & no, I have not. This is only my third period after my DS2 and as far as I'm aware, never had low iron. I had the call from the doctor on Wednesday afternoon, following my blood test on Tuesday.

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Blackopal · 04/03/2022 20:24

Sorry to hear this, will they be investigating the cause of heavy bleeding?
Have you been checked for fibroids etc?

I would suggest you ask for this or alternatively , if possible, having a scan done privately. You need to know why the bleeding is so heavy.

I had similar issues and ended up having blood transfusions as was so low.
Turned out cause was fibroids and endometriosis.

I note you have heath anxiety and probably all will be sorted with the tablets but don't be afraid to push for more investigation. Too many women are left to deal with awful bleeding. Flowers

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gemloving · 04/03/2022 20:27

@Blackopal I actually have an ultrasound booked for 20/03. I have a really good GP, I trust her. The scan is on the NHS but can go private if treatment is needed (Bupa through work).

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ClaudiusTheGod · 04/03/2022 20:29

7 is very low, no wonder you feel awful. You need an iron infusion. I had one of these with similar levels and because my stomach could not tolerate the oral iron which is known for being extremely hard on the stomach You need to go back to your GP and say you cannot do daily activities feeling like this. There’s no way any GP would leave a man feeling like this.

You also need to address the root cause, whatever it is. You shouldn’t have to put up with any of this, it’s not necessary.

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Blackopal · 04/03/2022 20:30

That's great, glad to hear you are being looked after properly.

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ClaudiusTheGod · 04/03/2022 20:30

Also, I don’t think Floradix has anything like the dosage of iron you need at the moment.

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Akire · 04/03/2022 20:32

Mine been low as 4 nobody ever offered iron transfusion but within 3 days started feel much less dizzy. When it’s that low even tiny increase is a massive %. Keep drinking lots of fluids and get some constipation meds if it’s an issue.

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givememarmite · 04/03/2022 20:35

@ClaudiusTheGod

7 is very low, no wonder you feel awful. You need an iron infusion. I had one of these with similar levels and because my stomach could not tolerate the oral iron which is known for being extremely hard on the stomach You need to go back to your GP and say you cannot do daily activities feeling like this. There’s no way any GP would leave a man feeling like this.

You also need to address the root cause, whatever it is. You shouldn’t have to put up with any of this, it’s not necessary.

I agree with this. I had an infusion while pregnant as I had low iron and could not tolerate the tablets. It made a huge difference very quickly. Good luck, I hope you start to feel better very soon, it's so draining.
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endofthelinefinally · 04/03/2022 20:35

Make sure you take the tablets with a vitamin c tablet and food. No tea or coffee within 2 hours either side of tablets or food. You will absorb 4 times as much iron this way.
Google iron rich foods and really work on your diet.
I am allergic to iron and my Hb was 8 during pregnancy. I got it to 10 in 8 weeks by diet alone. If your stomach gets irritated go back to gp and ask for a different formula.

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Charliesgotachocolatefactory · 04/03/2022 20:41

I was on prescription-strength tablets 3 times a day (I think my level was 6ish?). I couldn’t get up the stairs without being out of breath, was tired all the time etc. I could only manage one or two tablets a day as they made me very nauseous - be sure to take them with some orange juice or other vitC drink, with no caffeine or dairy about 30 mins either side for maximum absorbency.

The good news is, I felt noticeably better within a week and then by about 5 or six weeks later I genuinely felt like a new woman. Utterly transformational! I now can’t believe I got into such a state without realising!

Turned out I had a giant undiagnosed fibroid, and because I’d finished my family I got a hysterectomy. After years and years of heavy periods life is now great. I hope your scan goes well and you get to the bottom of it.

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RandomMess · 04/03/2022 20:43

Take the floradix as well as the tablets is what I meant!

I too am not surprised you feel dreadful Thanks

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AnneLovesGilbert · 04/03/2022 20:43

Massive vote for tranexamic from me. My periods are only about 4 days long now after having DD but day 2 was so heavy I was struggling to leave the house. It’s a total game changer.

I had very very low ferritin and felt better within a couple of weeks or twice daily ferrous sulphate. You have to take it carefully avoiding things which inhibit absorption, there’s info on the NHS site.

Have they checked your b12?

Really hope you’re feeling better soon.

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gemloving · 04/03/2022 20:43

I'm so thankful for all the answers

@ClaudiusTheGod none was offered. I will speak to my GP on Monday to get the pill to stop the bleeding for a bit until I have had my scan to understand what is going on.

@Akire I am taking ferrous Sulfate 200mg 3x a day. I only managed 2 today but took my old pregnancy vitamins.

@endofthelinefinally I will get some clementines / oranges. I need to cut down on the coffee, the fatigue / tied ness doesn't help as I have a 10 months old and 3 year old. I thought I was going mad but tried to convince myself it's normal when you have such young children.

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RaoulDufysCat · 04/03/2022 20:44

I have had actual or borderline anaemia most of my life. I would highly recommend Spatone or Floradix rather than the pills. Spatone mixed with orange juice is what used to work best for me.

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cantbeforeal · 04/03/2022 20:50

Take a look at 'The Iron Protocol' on Facebook there's so much good information on their I understand iron deficiency and treating it so much better since reading the information on that group. I saw it recommended on another thread on here a few weeks ago and it's helped me so much.

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gemloving · 04/03/2022 20:50

@Charliesgotachocolatefactory thank you, I might get borroca (not sure on spelling) to have with it.

It's good to read a positive story. I hope they find what's causing it and it's not going to kill me. People like me who have health anxiety always assume the worst.

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