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Thread: Bad bloodwork results... looking for ways to help my iron page

  1. #1
    finngirl71's Avatar
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    Bad bloodwork results... looking for ways to help my iron

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    I had blood done last week, cholesterol is fan-frickin-tastic (159, 87 HDL, 42 Trig; 1.8 ratio - thanks, Primal!) but my red blood is pretty bad. Low red blood cell count, hematocrit, hemoglobin; and upper range on mean corpuscular volume, mean corpuscular hgb.

    I'm looking for suggestions on what type of supplement to take to fix these numbers. I eat a lot of red meat and chicken, salmon and shrimp weekly, tons of green vegetables, so I'm kind of surprised it's so low. I absolutely cannot eat liver or any other organ, so that's not an option.

    When I was pregnant 10 yrs ago I had to take iron and OMG, it was a killer on my poor stomach. Is this just the rule with iron or is there a version that's more friendly? I'm looking at a chelated ferrochel (Swanson) that claims it's not so brutal, but I'm interested in what others have done.

    BTW, I currently take a super B complex with C, magnesium, D, calcium, turmeric and iodine.

    Thanks for any suggestions!

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    JKC's Avatar
    JKC
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    I take ferrous gluconate, which, as I understand, is less potent than some iron pills. I am currently taking 2 300g pills at supper time, and my stomach handles them fine. I am building up my iron less quickly than the other pills, but it is slowly getting there.

    Another thing to watch is not to drink tea with any iron rich meal but instead to have some vitamin c with it. Tannins in tea impair iron absorption and vitamin c enhances it. They both make pretty dramatic differences to how well you absorb. Tea blocked 60% of iron, and vitamin c increased absorption by 250% or so. Well worth looking at.
    Last edited by JKC; 08-04-2011 at 08:14 AM. Reason: added second paragraph
    Karin

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    Dang, I was going to suggest liver :-). Also, you might want to figure out why your iron is low. When mine was low from too-frequent blood donation a couple years ago, my doc ordered a stool sample, just to be safe.

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    JKC's Avatar
    JKC
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    If you have heavy periods, that is more than enough to cause low iron. It is far more common in women than men.
    Karin

    A joyful heart is good medicine

    He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. - Jim Elliot

    Mmmmm. Real food is good.

    My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread29685.html

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    Cook with a cast iron skillet?

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    Thanks for the input!

    Karin, I constantly drink iced green tea - I wonder if that's affecting my overall iron absorption from food. Very interesting. Re: periods - they are light and last only 2-3 days, so I doubt that is a factor. I'm going to investigate your supplement.

    Yodie, I'll try supplementation and if it isn't improved in a year, I'll ask for more tests. My insurance is a total POS, so I'm hesitant to dig deeper before trying to remedy on my own.

    Edit: Slim, I use cast iron for everything, so God only knows what it would be without that!

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    JKC
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    Yeah - the tea could be it. I love tea - but I am limiting it to between meals now.
    Karin

    A joyful heart is good medicine

    He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. - Jim Elliot

    Mmmmm. Real food is good.

    My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread29685.html

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    Do you eat spinach as one of your main carb sources? I've read that spinach provides adequate levels of iron in your nutrition. You could also step up your red meat consumption. Try incorperating more food based iron sources before you take supplements. Its a lot safer to retrieve your iron levels from food instead of supplements, as you risk over consuming iron in supplement form, which will result in more problems.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SlimIcy View Post
    Cook with a cast iron skillet?
    +1. My wife gave away her cast iron skillet to a friend that suddenly no longer has iron deficiencies. (Said friend couldn't abide the taste of spinach, or something).

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    Can you take things like liver pills rather then eat organs??

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