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Old 06-04-2005, 04:19 AM   #1
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continue to take iron supplements once hemoglobin is normaL?

I had lab work done this week. My hemoglobin is normal...13.3 and hematocrit is 38.2. Up from 10.1 and 32. My ferritin was a 6, but my doctor said since the hemoglobin was normal, she won't request a ferritin test be done. She said I don't have to take the iron pills anymore, but will have some followup bloodwork done in 8-12 weeks to see if hemoglobin is holding. She strongly recommended not to give blood anymore until I no longer have periods( I am 51). I was put on low dose birth control to control heavy bleeding from periods. I thought people had to take iron supplements for a period of time after hemoglobin was normal just to help build iron stores in body. Any thoughts?

 
Old 06-04-2005, 11:04 AM   #2
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Re: continue to take iron supplements once hemoglobin is normaL?

If your hemoglobin is normal then you shouldn't take the iron supplements anymore. What you could take is a good daily vitamin that includes iron (which would give you supplemental iron vs the full-strength iron tablet alone). You'll have a better idea on what to do after that 8-10 week follow up draw.

 
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Old 06-04-2005, 02:10 PM   #3
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Re: continue to take iron supplements once hemoglobin is normaL?

Quote:
Originally Posted by smithn
If your hemoglobin is normal then you shouldn't take the iron supplements anymore. What you could take is a good daily vitamin that includes iron (which would give you supplemental iron vs the full-strength iron tablet alone). You'll have a better idea on what to do after that 8-10 week follow up draw.
I do not agree with the statment above.
Your hemoglobin may be normal but your ferritin level is VERY low. Ferritin level shows how much iron is stored in your body. 6 is very-very low number. You need to see your regular doctor or your OBGyn and talk to them again. If your have not started to lose your hair yet you will start pretty soon. To have healthy hair and nails your ferritin level has to be at least between 70-100. I would recommend you to start taking iron supplements (325mg 2 times a day with vitamin C or a glass of orange juice on empty stomach), eliminate caffeine, start eating lots of food that contains iron.

 
Old 06-04-2005, 05:14 PM   #4
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Re: continue to take iron supplements once hemoglobin is normaL?

I haven't noticed a lot of hair loss....it is thinner than it used to be on the top of my head. My fingernails do have ridges in them....horizontal.

I have been eating iron rich foods, both plant types and red meat and other meats..was eating them before I found out I was anemic. I cut way back on coffee...even cut it out for 3 weeks. I was taking my iron supplements with orange juice and would try not to have milk or calcium for two hours before or after. I still feel tired though. I did have a nasty cold/upper respiratory infection mid April to just after Mother's day....two separate courses of antibiotics. Would that be the reason? I'm trying to eat 2 ounces of red meat at least 5 times a week in addition to my normal protein consumption....yogurt, chicken and some salmon. I was eating red meat before....even had liver. Oysters are supposed to have highest iron....

I haven't really exercised for the last couple of weeks....was working out at least 3 times a week before that. I read on a sports medicine sight that women who work out at least 3 hours a week and consume 2500 calories or less might be prone to iron deficiency anemia. I have a goat dairy....lots of exercise daily there...lifting 50 pounds of feed at least twice a day; hay bales as well as doing a lot of walking and other lifting.

My multivitamin that I take daily has all the vitamin B's in it ....iron is separate. I thought I would feel more energy at this point when hemoglobin is good.
The doctor I saw yesterday is my primary caregiver...she is in internal medicine and preventative care is a specialty. I did ask about maybe taking iron a bit longer, but she said as long as hemoglobin was normal, there was no need at this time, but will do bloodwork followup to see how I do over the next 8-12 weeks without supplements. She was pretty adamant about me not giving blood for awhile, but left the choice up to me. I gave in Nov and again in Jan. Had carpal tunnel release two weeks after last blood donation. Went to give blood at the end of March and they wouldn't take it because hematocrit was too low. I was experiencing breathlessness on exertion at that point and had started taking naps. Restless legs too when resting. I guess I will think about taking a supplement every other day for a week or two...maybe longer? I want my ferritin to get higher. I think I've been somewhat anemic off an on for the last couple of years just because of restless legs and breathlessness at times.

 
Old 06-04-2005, 09:34 PM   #5
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Re: continue to take iron supplements once hemoglobin is normaL?

Oops...I meant to say that I have vertical ridges in my fingernails.

 
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