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-   -   Do iron pills work? How long before improvement? (https://www.healthboards.com/boards/anemia/185564-do-iron-pills-work-how-long-before-improvement.html)

Meagan312 06-25-2004 09:51 PM

Do iron pills work? How long before improvement?
 
I posted in other threads before, so I won't repeat all my symptoms and problems. I'd just like to know if any of you with iron deficient anemia have improved significantly after taking iron supplements -- and if so, how long did it take before you felt better? I've been taking the iron for almost a month, and so far nothing. Would injections help? Thanks in advance for your feedback.

Marimac 06-26-2004 06:35 AM

Re: Do iron pills work? How long before improvement?
 
[QUOTE=Meagan312]I posted in other threads before, so I won't repeat all my symptoms and problems. I'd just like to know if any of you with iron deficient anemia have improved significantly after taking iron supplements -- and if so, how long did it take before you felt better? I've been taking the iron for almost a month, and so far nothing. Would injections help? Thanks in advance for your feedback.[/QUOTE]
At the beginning iron pills may make you feel worse, or more sluggish. It takes 120 days for your body to utilize existing red blood cells and for them to break down and be recycled by the spleen, Thymus and liver. The bone marrow is kicking out new stem cells that will make new blood cells. Those are called reticulocytes. The reticulocytes will hopefully be able to utilize the iron to become stronger and more efficient in carrying oxygen to the tissues of your body. In 120 days the symptoms of your anemia should be lessening. If everything is going right that is the plan. If for any reason the body is not able to use the iron that you are taking in, it will flush it out of your body in urine and feces. The only sure way to know how the body is using the iron is the tests for serum iron, ferritin(storage iron), the iron saturation level(per centage of iron that is going to the cells, and the total binding capacity( how capable the blood cells are at receiving the iron and using it. Iron injections or the IV iron still work the same way and at the same rate of speed, it is just an expensive alternative to oral iron if you are unable to process the iron from the stomach. The reasons this might be true are if your stomach has a disease, Cancer, ulcer, or is surgically altered. There are many feedback loops on the way to the utilization of iron that could foul up and not work properly but these are the things hematologists are paid to know and treat. The simple answer is that unless you had a major hemorrhage, you did not get anemic to the point of symptoms,in one month and the symptoms are not going to be entirely alleviated in one month.

avuntika 07-02-2004 08:47 AM

Re: Do iron pills work? How long before improvement?
 
hi,
my haemoglobin is always in the range of 9-10 inspite of continously taking iron pills daily. i get constipated and my faeces turn black. does this indicate that i am not able to absorb iron as well as i should be? i have always been told that my reports suggest iron deficiency anemia. but all that iron i take doesnt seem to help much. this has been the case since the last 15 years or so. any ideas?
by the way i have always had heavy periods. my doctors attribute the anemia to the periods. could that be the reason i am always anemic inspite of taking iron pills?
thnx.

euglena 07-10-2004 12:06 PM

Re: Do iron pills work? How long before improvement?
 
What kind of iron pills do you take?

I had a very low hemoglobin range of 7-8, but after taking Slow releasing Fe with Folic Acid (very important in iron absorption) for three months my Hg level went back to the normal range.

euglena 07-10-2004 12:07 PM

Re: Do iron pills work? How long before improvement?
 
I hsould also mention that I never had any constipation and my feces was never any darker than the usual chocolatey colour ;-)


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