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Thread: Iron

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2013


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    Hi everyone,
    I have some questions for the forum. Here is some background. In January of 2014, I started noting a few odd symptoms:
    A. I would pretty regularly hear a rubbing sound when I was outdoors
    B. My finger nails were very prone to tearing
    C. I felt really cold at all time no matter how much I bundled up and even if I was indoors.

    I attributed all of the symptoms to lack of sleep, a very cold winter, poor circulation (I have secondary Raynaudís), etc., and saw them as unrelated. In the spring of 2014, I saw an episode of Dr. Oz where he discussed iron deficiency. The symptoms seemed to fit and I checked my diet. My iron intake was about 30% of the US RDA.

    I started eating a lot of beef and the symptoms mostly went away. This time period also coincided with warming weather. After eating lots of beef for a month, I asked a functional medicine doctor to test my iron levels. He said they were fine, but added that the US RDA for iron may not be enough for some individuals.

    Due to cost and body weight gain, I cut back on the beef intake, and the rubbing sound and tearing fingernails returned. (Full disclosure Ė I tend to overeat when I have beef).

    Currently, I am relying on iron supplementation to minimize symptoms. I take 137% of the US RDA of iron daily from supplements. The iron is from a vegetable source, which may mean it is not as potent as meat sourced. I get an additional 30% of the US RDA from eating pumpkin daily (it is iron rich).* At this level of iron intake, I still get some torn fingernails and hear some rubbing sounds. I note that I have some minor chronic bleeding as well. I take 90 mg daily of Nifiedipne for the Raynaudís.
    1. Is this all from iron deficiency?
    2. If yes, how much iron can I take daily without causing problems?
    3. Are these symptoms from something else, like the Nifedipine?

    *I have food allergies/ sensitivities and get IBS from FODMAPs. Thus, a number of traditional real food iron sources such as beans, kale, and spinach are poor options for me.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    I don't support the use of iron supplements. Excess iron can be harmful. We've done many trials in which we give groups iron supplements and it often increases mortality rates.

    If eating beef cures your symptoms, then perhaps you should continue to eat beef. But beef contains more than just iron, so you can't assume the iron is responsible.

    Also, feeling cold can indicate hypothyroidism.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    Hi Eliot,
    Thanks for responding. Are there paleo friendly, low FODMAP foods other than beef that are high in iron?
    Last edited by NewlyPrimed; 07-24-2014 at 06:28 PM.

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