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Thread: Hemoglobin too low, couldn't donate blood page

  1. #1
    Sharonll's Avatar
    Sharonll is offline Senior Member
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    I feel like a total reject! I've been donating blood every two months since I was 18 years old, and today my hemoglobin level was beneath the required 12.5. The first test was 12.2, the second test was 11.7. Two months ago, I was 14.5.


    Of course, the nurse asked if I'd changed my diet, and I told her that I no longer eat grains or sugar. She seemed mystified, as am I.


    After doing a little research, the primal foods that are on the American Red Cross iron-rich list are: shrimp, beef, spinach, tomatoes, and broccoli. I eat all those foods regularly, even more than I did before I started eating primally 3 months ago. Anyone have any additional advice for me?


  2. #2
    lbd's Avatar
    lbd
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    I am not a doctor, but I do teach Anatomy, so I play one in my classroom Low hemoglobin can be due to anemia, excess hydration, hemorrhage, or pregnancy. I am assuming you would be aware of the last two, so maybe excessive hydration if you have no symptoms of anemia?


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    Sharonll's Avatar
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    Thank you for putting on your doctor hat, lbd. My daughters are always chiding me for not drinking enough water, so this morning it was unusual for me to drink about 10 oz. of water before heading off to the Bloodmobile. But I always do that before donating, so excessive hydration seems unlikely.


    Definitely not pregnant, and I'm unaware of any hemorrhages, my energy levels are fine, so this is mysterious. I found a chart, and I'm just on the low side for my gender and age (F, 54) so I don't think I'm anemic.


    From http://www.medicinenet.com/hemoglobin/page2.htm

    The normal ranges for hemoglobin depend on the age and, beginning in adolescence, the gender of the person. The normal ranges are:


    Newborns: 17-22 gm/dl


    One (1) week of age: 15-20 gm/dl


    One (1) month of age: 11-15gm/dl


    Children: 11-13 gm/dl


    Adult males: 14-18 gm/dl


    Adult women: 12-16 gm/dl


    Men after middle age: 12.4-14.9 gm/dl


    Women after middle age: 11.7-13.8 gm/dl


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    Katt's Avatar
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    I have been having similar difficulties. When I go to give blood... I /just/ pass. I fail the drop test, but the machine says I'm just good enough. Which is wierd, because I eat lots of iron rich meat. I suppose I should count myself into the middle aged and heading towards 'after'. So maybe that's normal.


    On the other hand, they also give you your overall cholesterol score. Mine was 127.

    Start weight: 250 - 06/2009
    Current weight: 199
    Goal: 145

  5. #5
    Marie's Avatar
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    I'm always anemic... but then again, I'm only just starting to eat meat. If it persists, your doctor will probably want to check you for internal bleeding (perhaps endoscopy and colonoscopy)... slow leaks add up, it doesn't need be a major hemorrhage. I will never donate blood again as the last time I did, when I was at the minimum level allowed, I ended up needing iron transfusions.


  6. #6
    FlyNavyWife's Avatar
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    I can't give blood either... my veins are just way too small and my blood flow is slow.

    I had to fill several vials for tests at the hospital and it took forever... and when I had to get an IV placed for my surgery in June, it took 3 different people and 3 different veins before they finally got one in....


    So my question - somewhat related to the topic - is what's a person to do if they can't donate blood, to get rid of excess iron and whatnot that is "solved" by regularly giving blood?


    It also just sucks that I can't help people in that way, but ... oh well.

    Eating lots but still hungry? Eat more fat. Mid-day sluggishness? Eat more fat. Feeling depressed or irritable? Eat more fat. People think you've developed an eating disorder? Eat more fat... in front of them.

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    You help people in so many other ways, FNW <3


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    FlyNavyWife's Avatar
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    aw thanks teri.

    but what about a different way to reduce excess iron in the blood?


    leeches? hehehhe. grossssssss. those suckers are nasty and they HURT too.

    Eating lots but still hungry? Eat more fat. Mid-day sluggishness? Eat more fat. Feeling depressed or irritable? Eat more fat. People think you've developed an eating disorder? Eat more fat... in front of them.

  9. #9
    Katt's Avatar
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    I didn&#39;t know there was such a thing as too much iron in the blood.

    Start weight: 250 - 06/2009
    Current weight: 199
    Goal: 145

  10. #10
    Pikaia's Avatar
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    Yep, if blood levels of iron get too high, your body dumps it in the liver, where doesn&#39;t usually do too much harm. But if the liver gets filled up, that&#39;s no good. Iron starts getting sent elsewhere, to the heart muscle, the pancreas, etc. At that point it can wreak true havoc, causing cirrhosis, liver cancer, diabetes, cardiomyopathy, and a whole bunch of other unpleasantness.


    Iron overload is most often the result of genetic mutations in a handful of genes involved in iron metabolism. These mutations cause you to absorb/retain more iron than you need from your diet. The pattern of inheritance is most often recessive, meaning that you need to have inherited mutated genes from both parents. (A single mutated gene may actually confer an advantage, as it protects against anemia.)


    HH can start to affect men in their 40s-50s, but women are spared a little longer because menses naturally keeps iron levels a little lower. Phlebotomy (removal of blood) is the main treatment. Unfortunately, once diagnosed with HH, blood banks won&#39;t accept your blood for donation. For that reason some people with a family history of HH choose to donate regularly beginning in early adulthood, which will prevent them from ever developing HH.


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