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  • Iron deficiency diet

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    Old 07-21-2008, 08:25 AM   #1
    flowergirl2day
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    Iron deficiency diet

    Hi,

    Which foods have helped you build up your iron stores? Are some better than others? Is there anything other than RED MEAT or LIVER !!! that we can eat to increase our iron levels? Which foods can be detrimental to iron absorption and storage, and should therefore be avoided?

    thank you,
    flowergirl

     
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    Old 07-21-2008, 01:30 PM   #2
    FLFLOWERGIRL
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    Re: Iron deficiency diet

    flowergirl--When taking iron supplements you should try taking them on an empty stomach. If combined with food absorption is decreased by 50-66%. For me this made a great difference in iron absorption. Iron should be taken 1 hr before or 2 hrs after a meal.

    AVOID! As you know some foods do inhibit the absorption of iron, such as phytates in fiber, tannins in tea/coffee and calcium (iron should be take 3 hrs apart from calcium supplement and 2 hrs apart from PPI's) impair absorption. They should not be eaten in combination or near.

    Others foods can increase the absorption as in Vit-C, white wine.

    FOODS THAT BUILD IRON! When combining certain foods you can increase absorption i.e., a salad with tuna, tomatoes, garbonzo beans and sunflowerseeds. So you have heme iron and non-heme forms with an enhancer. You get iron from almost everything!!!

    Things that help me are sunflowerseeds, cashews, almonds, dried apricots. And....when cooking I added wheatgerm to many things. Iron is also in cinnamon which can be added to oatmeal with raisins= IRON RICH.

    Non-Heme--This form is less absorbable although they remain a good source. Beans, lentils, pumpkin seeds, canned beans, baked potato with skins, enriched pasta and canned asparagus. When eated alone this iron is 1-7% absorbed.

    BETTER FOOD SOURCES, NOT RED MEAT OR LIVER--Heme--Is easily absorbed such as; Clams, Oysters, shrimp, pork, turkey, tuna and salmon. It doesn't have to be liver or red meat. Although red meat ~Heme iron~ is the qiuckest way to build stores. It is not as affected by diet and highly absorbed.

    You can look up the foods on the net there are many lists, just pick out what you like and make a list. A ~well balanced~ diet with iron supplements and you should be fine. FLFLOWERGIRL

     
    Old 07-21-2008, 10:50 PM   #3
    flowergirl2day
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    Re: Iron deficiency diet

    Hello!

    Thank you so much for taking the time to list all the iron-rich foods I can take, and those I should stay away from. You've been very helpful!

    I wonder if I should start the iron supplements on my own and without my doctor's knowledge. Frankly, I am afraid to do that. Had he wanted me on iron supplements, he would have said so. If I leave things be, it may be weeks or months before I am started on the iron supplements. The plan is to first find out why things are the way they are. This could take quite some time.

    Can my ferritin drop even lower without the supplementation? I wonder if eating iron-rich foods would make enough of a difference to matter. I know we all tend to look for quick and easy solutions, and the supplements sound GOOD!!! I guess I will continue to have no energy. Oh well. I've been like this for a while, so, hopefully can manage a bit longer.

    flowergirl

     
    Old 07-21-2008, 11:01 PM   #4
    ChickieLou
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    Re: Iron deficiency diet

    I would also add fortified cereals to FLflowergirl's excellent list. I know you don't like breakfast, FGtoday, but sometimes I like cereal at other times of day. Alot of people hate Cream of Wheat, but I love it. It's loaded with iron. If you like cereal, both hot and cold, start reading cereal boxes.

    My particular iron supplement says to take it with food, but I know most others say to take it on an empty stomach if you can. On the best days, my stomach is usually too sensitive to take any supplement on an empty stomach. Either I get heartburn or rumbles. Chelated iron is not as effected by phytates so I take it at dinner with a glass of white wine and I don't worry if I am having phytates. Tannins is a different story. I try to avoid having them anytime near my supplement.

    I have forgotten now if you are taking iron and if so, which one. Are you tolerating it okay?

    Last edited by ChickieLou; 07-21-2008 at 11:02 PM.

     
    Old 07-21-2008, 11:09 PM   #5
    ChickieLou
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    Re: Iron deficiency diet

    As to whether or not you should supplement on your own, you might put in a call and ask your doctor if you should supplement and he may tell you it's fine or give you his thinking as to why he would like you to wait (further tests perhaps). I call my doctor or her nurse all the time with my pesty questions. He could have even forgotten or thought he told you to supplement.

     
    Old 07-22-2008, 08:22 AM   #6
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    Re: Iron deficiency diet

    ChickieLou,

    Mom used to make cream of wheat for us kids and I love it to this day, though almost never make it. I would not mind eating it again. I have eaten cereal at different times of day, so eating the cream of wheat later in the day would not be a problem. Since there is nowhere to cook it at work, (all we have is a microwave and a toaster oven) I'd have to bring it with me already made and eat it cold with some fruit. I ate oatmeal daily while on a sick leave last year, before returning to work. It sure helped with digestion, weight maintenance and cholesterol issues. The pre-packaged stuff one mixes with boiling water contains too much sugar and chemicals.

    Instead of trying to call my doctor's office, I'll just wait a week or so and go see him in person. I have some issues with an upcoming consultation with another doctor, whose qualifications to perform a test and analyze the results seem somewhat unclear. Calling the doctor's office with questions is not encouraged. They just tell you to come in if there's a problem! I left a message for the doctor only once or twice and no one called back. Never mind that "coming in" it could mean a week-long (or even longer) wait. For a prescription refill, one needs to make an appointment. They are not done over the phone.
    I can find many things to eat from Flflowergirl's list - I sure appreciated seeing tuna, chicken and seafood on it!
    I have yet to try the iron supplements. My husband had tried them a while ago at his doctor's request. They made him sick - so he stopped taking them and threw the bottle out.

    flowergirl

     
    Old 07-22-2008, 09:51 AM   #7
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    Re: Iron deficiency diet

    flowergirl--You should never begin iron supplementation without the type of anemia being diagnosed. They should have been able to tell this already from your pervious labs.
    You don't want to begin iron and skew results, but you do want to begin ASAP! Yes, your ferritin can drop but not quickly, it takes a few months I would say. If there is internal bleeding that would be a different story depending on the amount of blood loss.

    Chickie is right about the cereals, but when adding milk (calcium), I'm not sure what happens to the absorption. Some people have been known to add OJ, yuck! I put milk on mine anyway and did throughout my anemia and hoped for the best. A well balanced diet with all the right foods and you should get an ample amount of iron in your regular diet. I was told by two of my doctors to just get the iron through my diet, little did they know that wouldn't be enough for me at that time. LOL, I hate creme of wheat, it makes me ill every time I try it. FLFLOWERGIRL

     
    Old 07-22-2008, 09:52 PM   #8
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    Re: Iron deficiency diet

    Thank you, Flflowergirl. I will do nothing for now until instructed to by my doctor. This is really annoying.
    Would you know if some people experience an increase in nausea when their iron stores get low? Is the digestion affected? I am so tired I feel as if my arms and legs are going to fall off. I can't see myself getting up for work tomorrow and staying alert and awake all day. This is why I'd like to get started on restoring the iron stores as soon as possible.

    flowergirl

     
    Old 07-22-2008, 10:41 PM   #9
    ChickieLou
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    Re: Iron deficiency diet

    Gosh, yup! I forgot about the milk. Usually I don't use milk in my Cream of Wheat, just lots of sugar. But regular cereals with milk would be a conflict. I don't drink cows milk anyway, I prefer rice milk.

    Orange juice in cereal sounds positively awful but it's probably ideal if you can swallow it. Talk about the cure being worse than the disease.

    FLFG, most people can't stand Cream of Wheat. I think you're normal and people like me who like it (the lumpier the better) are the odd balls.


     
    Old 07-23-2008, 07:18 AM   #10
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    Re: Iron deficiency diet

    What is WRONG with drinking milk?

    I eat a lot of yogurt and some cheese. Are these foods banned? We need them to meet our bodies' calcium requirements. If the body is starved for calcium, it extracts it from the bones....NOT a good thing!!! I have nothing against orange juice- isn't it better to eat an orange instead (and get some much needed fiber)? As I mentioned earlier, I am starting to get even more confused about what I should and should not be eating, in spite of occassional consults with a dietitian/nutritionist. It just gets more and more confusing.

    The one thing she told me to eliminate was my yogurt and dairy products. I did, and am experiencing OA issues. I take two different types of calcium supplements, but maybe it's not enough. So I am back to eating yogurt and cheese, but my previously good cholesterol levels are out of range.
    Perhaps following the very basic diet of our ancestors - meat, grains and roots - would be best? With a diet like that, I wonder why their life-spans were so SHORT?

    flowergirl

     
    Old 07-23-2008, 07:55 AM   #11
    FLFLOWERGIRL
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    Re: Iron deficiency diet

    flowergirl--It's when you combine calcium with iron that it inhibits iron absorption. That's was what you were asking about. OJ increases the absorption, if added to cereal. As I said before, a well balanced diet and you should get enough iron along with your supplement. I wouldn't worry so much. Stick to what is good for your kidneys. FLFLOWERGIRL

    ChickieLou--The only time I like milk is when it is with cookies! I do however pour a little on my oatmeal in the morning. I never ate breakfast in my life until anemia.

    My mom loves (cream of wheat) that stuff! I meant that it really does makes me ill, sick to my stomach. Maybe I'm allergic to the wheat. I was tested before and found to be allergic. Maybe it is too concentrated for me? My s^*^*d GI doc never tested me for Celiac (because I asked for it) he said, "I'm not guessing at this point, then never did it." FLFLOWERGIRL

     
    Old 07-23-2008, 11:57 PM   #12
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    Re: Iron deficiency diet

    hello everyone... I'm jumping in on this thread because I think my 5 year old daughter might be anemic, and I was searching the boards for how to get more iron in her diet. The posts in this thread are interesting! The reason I suspect she may be anemic is because she's been having nosebleeds, consumes a lot of calcium, and refuses to eat beef (she loves cows). I am anemic, but I haven't had nosebleeds recently - is anemia genetic?

    Since she's 5, she doesn't drink caffeinated bevs. She loves foods with calcium - pizza, pastas, soymilk, tofu... When I was pregnant, I was told to double my iron supplements, and take them either one hour before consuming calcium-rich foods, or wait til 6 hours after. My daughter starts the day with cereal and milk, typically has something with cheese in it for lunch, and at dinner I try to make sure there is no calcium. She has juice (vitamin C helps iron absorbtion), but I'm not sure what foods would be best here. I certainly don't expect her to eat beans every night, and there's only so much dark meat chicken I can feed her.

    Can anyone suggest some kid-friendly foods that are iron rich? She's not a very picky eater, aside from her "let's not eat cows" campaign.
    Thanks!

     
    Old 07-24-2008, 11:30 AM   #13
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    Re: Iron deficiency diet

    candycandy--She needs to have a simple CBC blood test and if anemic you need to know what type it is. Some types of anemia there CAN be a hereditary factor so you really need this test and go from there. FLFLOWERGIRL

    Last edited by FLFLOWERGIRL; 07-24-2008 at 11:31 AM.

     
    Old 07-24-2008, 03:50 PM   #14
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    Re: Iron deficiency diet

    oh wow, a blood test....
    she just got her immunizations, 4 shots in all, and she screamed like a maniac!
    I didn't know she had it in her - the Tina Turner came out.
    But we gotta do what we gotta do...
    I'm gonna research the different types of anemia.
    Thanks for the info!

     
    Old 07-24-2008, 06:22 PM   #15
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    Re: Iron deficiency diet

    candycandy, I agree with FLFLOWERGIRL. A blood test is the best way to know and other than a balanced diet (as much as you can force without violating her ban on cows), nothing drastic like supplementation should commence without a blood test to confirm. Too much iron can be toxic to children. A children's daily multi vitamin in the meantime probably won't hurt.

    Last edited by ChickieLou; 07-24-2008 at 06:26 PM.

     
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