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Old 09-05-2008, 10:36 AM   #1
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how low is too low for iron

how low is too low for iron

 
Old 09-05-2008, 05:01 PM   #2
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Re: how low is too low for iron

I would say that too low would be when your body begins to reflect this by a lowered Hemoglobin, Hct or RBC. OR, when you begin to slip below range on lab vlaues related to iron stats. What is normal for iron? This is what I have read. Technically speaking, Iron serum; fasting serum should be 75-150. TIBC and iron are used to calculate the % of saturation and Sat % should be somewhere 25-35%. While the ferritin norm is 25-75 ng/ml containment, iron stores. This is based on age an gender (I have not found this calculation yet, but I am still looking), as a rule 25-75. The low end for ferritin is a joke though. You should be 70-100 to be healthy. Many doctors will say that if you are in range that you are okay, this is not really true a good rule to follow with ferritin. FLFLOWERGIRL

 
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Old 09-05-2008, 09:57 PM   #3
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Re: how low is too low for iron

This is what confuses me: I went in to the doctor in May and my count was 11 so they put me on iron for 3 months. When I had my check up a few days ago it was down to 5! So what is the deal with the super low numbers and high numbers you are talking about? Is it like Fahrenheit and Celsius or pounds and kilograms? Are they interchangeable? What do they mean? ( A little background on me: I was first diagnosed at 13 after going to the doctor several times with strep throat and other illnesses and the doctor brought me into his "real" office and said I was going to die if I didn't get enough iron. Naturally that scared me, so I did research --before internet times and I tried to eat iron rich foods and take the supplements. I also had heavy periods for years and have been anemic off and on almost all my life but I don't think it was ever this low. I've also given birth to 6 babies and lost 2 in addition to that. Now, I am overweight---not usual for me and tired, stressed and depressed etc. etc.. Hair falls out, skin is dry and I don't have thyroid issues. I have low blood pressure, low levels of bad cholesterol, high levels of good cholesterol and good blood sugar levels so I am relatively healthy except for the weight and the anemia.) Sorry for the long-winded post. I hope someone can shed some light on this or I'll just have to call that doctor of mine

 
Old 09-06-2008, 04:41 AM   #4
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Re: how low is too low for iron

For whatever reason, you have an issue with your iron stores. Since it is lifelong for you--I doubt that it is due to any sinister causes like bleeding tumors. However, the cause should always be thoroughly investigated.

Were you anemic in childhood prior to starting your periods? It really could be heavy periods all of your life that has caused this. Also, being pregnant and childbirth are *notorious* causes of anemia and you have done this at least 6 times!!!!! Couple that with your heavy periods and it is no wonder that you have such problems.

You never stated how much iron you have taken in the past (what was your dose per tablet, how many times a day, how long did you take it for?).

Someone in your situation should be on high dose iron all the time until you can get to the source of the bleeding. You may have to use birth control, Mirena IUD, or endometrial ablation to get the bleeding under control. Otherwise, you've got a life of heavy duty iron ahead of you--at least until menopause. For someone like you, iron rich foods will NEVER be enough.

 
Old 09-06-2008, 09:43 AM   #5
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Re: how low is too low for iron

I do wear an i.u.d. (as we are beyond done having children) but it hasn't helped much. I got my period at 13.5 and was diagnosed with anemia soon after. I was, at one time, years ago taking iron 3x each day but I'm not sure of the amount. Today, I take one each day and it is 27 mg. I will probably just keep taking it for the rest of my life but it is scary because I keep hearing about iron-poisoning so I don't want to over do it but of course I don't want to under do it either.(The last time I was pregnant and gave birth--2 years ago, my iron levels were fine so it's weird to be so low now. Thanks.

 
Old 09-06-2008, 10:56 AM   #6
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Re: how low is too low for iron

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Originally Posted by 6babies1honey View Post
I do wear an i.u.d. (as we are beyond done having children) but it hasn't helped much. I got my period at 13.5 and was diagnosed with anemia soon after. I was, at one time, years ago taking iron 3x each day but I'm not sure of the amount. Today, I take one each day and it is 27 mg. I will probably just keep taking it for the rest of my life but it is scary because I keep hearing about iron-poisoning so I don't want to over do it but of course I don't want to under do it either.(The last time I was pregnant and gave birth--2 years ago, my iron levels were fine so it's weird to be so low now. Thanks.

27 mg of iron is definitely not enough to get your levels back up. This is considered a "maintenance" dose for someone who has gotten their levels back into normal range and is trying to maintain. You probably need to be on a prescription dose of iron you taking something like Feosol (65 mg) 2-3 times per day. You need a LOT more iron. No wonder you don't get better.

 
Old 09-06-2008, 11:44 AM   #7
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Re: how low is too low for iron

Thank you for the information. May I ask, how do you know this information? My iron supplement is also mixed with things that help with absorption. I would have to take around 7 a day to get the benefits you are talking about. I am willing to do whatever I need to do to heal myself

 
Old 09-06-2008, 01:07 PM   #8
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Re: how low is too low for iron

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Originally Posted by 6babies1honey View Post
Thank you for the information. May I ask, how do you know this information? My iron supplement is also mixed with things that help with absorption. I would have to take around 7 a day to get the benefits you are talking about. I am willing to do whatever I need to do to heal myself

I have been dealing with this for over 2 years, I've done TONS of my own research, and I've witnessed (on this board) how doctors are treating patients with Iron Deficiency Anemia. My own doctor prescribed 2-3 doses of Feosol per day (and that was on the low side of what some prescribe). Many doctors will tell a patient to take 2-3 doses of ferrous sulfate (325 mg each dose) per day until levels stabilize. That is a LOT of iron. I would never be able to tolerate it.

As far as iron poisoning, that is only an issue if you don't have a true iron deficiency. You should be monitored every few months while trying to get your levels up.

 
Old 09-06-2008, 02:06 PM   #9
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Re: how low is too low for iron

Now I remember, that was the dose I was put on last time--325mg. Thank you so much for the helpful information. It sounds like you looked in all the right places

 
Old 09-06-2008, 04:06 PM   #10
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Re: how low is too low for iron

Ferris Sulfate comes in 325mg which gives you 65mgs of elemental iron in each dose, 195mgs of iron daily if taken 3X. To correct iron deficiency I have read that you need at least 200mgs daily, if it is tolerable for you. Ferris Sulfate is harsh and hard to tolerate for many. I took Poly Iron 150 X2 which gave me 300mgs of elemental iron daily. I took this for a year, I am now on 150mgs for the rest of my life, married to iron, as my doctor puts it! So you can see that you were not getting near enough iron, Christine is right.

You say that your iron levels were fine 2 yrs ago, but do you remember or know what your ferritin was back then. It takes years to deplete the ferritin stores before you become anemic. Maybe this is what happened to you over time, that's how it works. You will be feeling better after your iron intake increases and your labs will show it!FLFLOWERGIRL

 
Old 09-06-2008, 11:01 PM   #11
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Re: how low is too low for iron

I've pretty much been anemic all my life. Two years ago, when I had my last baby, of course they tested me as is routine after giving birth (knowing that I had a history of anemia) and they did not show concern or tell me to take supplements again. I was however taking the prenatal vitamins well past the birth and into the year of nursing and I guess I was fine then. For a person like me who has been anemic longer than not, things probably don't take as long as for some to develop. My iron bottle says 27 mg 150% of daily value and (as 158 mg Ferrochel Iron Bisglycinate) So what does that mean? Thanks for your help girls

 
Old 09-07-2008, 07:24 AM   #12
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Re: how low is too low for iron

Your right but I bet they didn't check your ferritin levels at that time. You should try to check your records just to see.

Regarding your iron content, usually it is the other way around (i.e., 158 mgs on the bottle, with 27mgs from Ferrochel Iron Bisglycinate @ 150&#37 something like this anyway. You have a lot of other ingredients in your supplement. It looks pretty good as far as supplements go but not a lot of iron. Does yours have calcium in it too? I find having calcium in it strange though (if you do), usually calcium inhibits the absorption of iron BUT it must be due to the TYPE of iron that it is. Now all iron is created equal, this is for sure. That is new to me.

If you are going to increase your iron, I think that you should talk to your doctor because this iron that you are taking has too much other stuff to be taking more of it. I get 150mgs from each dose of the type that I take. FLFLOWERGIRL

Last edited by FLFLOWERGIRL; 09-07-2008 at 07:25 AM.

 
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