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    Old 10-08-2012, 08:43 AM   #1
    Smeenie's Avatar
    Join Date: Oct 2012
    Location: Accra, Ghana
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    Smeenie HB User
    Pregnant and Anaemic

    Hello all!
    I'm new to this forum. I am 4 and half months pregnant and severely anaemic (Haemoglobin - 8.2). My doctor gave me some Ferralet 90 pills (to be taken 3 x daily) but I'm also taking a pregnancy multivitamin (Nature Made MULTI Prenatal) which contains 27mg of Iron, and Ferroglobin syrup. I'm wondering if this isn't too much iron in a day? I'm scared of overdosing on the iron.

    Also, It was just written that I take the tabs 3 times daily without specific information so I went online and read somewhere that it's best taken 2hours after meals? Another source said it would help to take the first tablet on an empty stomach in the morning. I'm getting pretty confused. I'm switching doctors next week as I'm not so comfortable with the lack of detailed information he has been giving me. He's a popular doc here in Ghana and seems to hurry through appointments thanks to his extremely long waiting list.

    I'm worried about the safety of my baby and will do anything to correct this problem as soon as possible. I'm trying to eat a rich balanced diet including leafy greens, almonds, oranges everyday, and went back to eating red meat which I had previously eliminated from my diet. I also just started eating beets which I heard are good for this condition. Beets are not available here but I get them at the supermarket in jars, mostly shredded in salad form.
    Thanks in advance for any help/suggestions!

    Last edited by Smeenie; 10-08-2012 at 08:51 AM. Reason: left something out

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    Old 11-04-2012, 12:35 PM   #2
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    Location: Los Angeles, California
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    pinaay HB User
    Re: Pregnant and Anaemic

    Sorry...I'm fairly young and have never had any children, so I hope this doesn't make my suggestions any less credible... I am also anemic, myself, and although I'm not having children, I'm familiar with doses of iron that are considered too much and too little.
    I also noticed that no one's answered you yet, and I felt compelled to offer what knowledge I have.

    most pregnant women should be consuming about 27 mg of iron a day, compared to the 18 mg of iron that non-pregnant women should be consuming, daily. That being said, don't panic about the amount of iron you are currently taking. I think that you should let your doctor know about which vitamins and supplements you are taking- basically tell him/her all of the information you have provided here.

    As I am not a professional, I can't tell you whether or not you are overdosing, considering the severity of your anemia, but I suspect you may be taking too much. Should modifications be needed, you might want to drop the ferroglobin syrup. The multivitamin is important because it contains things such as folate that your child needs to develop properly. Ask your doctor whether you should continue with the prescribed iron medication. Again, don't panic about taking too much right now- I don't think any damage will have been done and anemia during pregnancy can be more harmful to both you and your child than a short-term overdose of iron.

    Maybe you should get your iron levels checked again. If they have gone up to the normal range, then it should be sufficient to consume the multivitamin alone, perhaps with occasional supplementation.

    You are doing many things right with your diet. You've probably already included these in your "rich balanced diet", but I strongly recommend increasing your intake of complex carbohydrates, as well. These include whole grain breads and brown rice. These foods tend to be higher in iron, although the iron found in red meats is more readily absorbed by the body.

    As you advance in your pregnancy, you may become more susceptible to acid reflux. This will go away once you have your child, but it can be awfully unpleasant to experience, for any length of time. For this reason, make sure you're consuming red meats that are as lean as possible (ie: trim the visible fat) and complex carbohydrates become even more valuable to include in your diet, as they absorb stomach acid. Also, try eating several small meals throughout the day rather than three or four big meals, if you haven't already been doing this.

    Acid reflux won't have adverse effects on you or your child, but you might find it uncomfortable.

    Back to your anemia...
    Try taking your iron supplements with something rich in vitamin C, as well, such as a glass of orange juice. Vitamin C helps the body absorb iron more effectively. I have taken iron supplements in the past and was instructed to take them on an empty stomach in the morning. This, I found, was not a good idea. Doing this really hurt my stomach and I don't think it helped me absorb iron any better. In fact, if you take strong iron pills on an empty stomach for too long, it might cause stomach ulcers in the future.

    I have heard and read that it is best to take an iron supplement with a balanced meal.

    For example, at breakfast you might have:

    A glass of orange juice or an orange (Vitamin C helps absorb iron; really, any fruit would do)
    A bowl of whole grain porridge or a couple slices of whole grain toast
    A handful of nuts or an egg/egg whites (a source of lean protein)

    If you take an iron pill with this meal, you won't hurt your stomach and the vitamin C will help your body absorb the iron.

    One thing to be aware of is that calcium interferes with your body's ability to absorb iron. Pregnant or not, everyone needs calcium, but if you're going to have a dairy product, make sure you don't have it at the same time as one of your iron supplements.

    For example, you could have a serving of yogurt, or a glass of milk at a time at which you are not taking a supplement.
    To clarify...
    Let's say you take your 3/day pills with breakfast, lunch and supper. Somewhere in between lunch and supper, or breakfast and lunch, you could have a serving of dairy as a snack, maybe with a piece of fruit. If acid reflux becomes an issue for you, try not to eat 2-3 hours before going to bed or lying down- for this reason, I haven't recommended having a dairy product after supper, but it depends on how you normally schedule your day.

    I definitely think you should find another doctor. If you know any women who have recently been pregnant and have had good doctors, you could ask them to recommend their doctor to you.
    Another thing you could do is, on your next doctor's appointment, prepare a list of questions that you want to have answer. Make them specific- this way, it might "force" your doctor to take your concerns seriously and take some time to answer your questions.

    Some questions you could ask are:

    Will I have to take Ferralet for the duration of my pregnancy, or only the first few months?

    Can I have another blood test to check my iron levels?
    (If your iron levels reach normal levels): Should I continue taking supplements or is the multivitamin enough?

    What should I do if I experience anemia again later on in my pregnancy?

    I hope this helps a little and if you need some clarification, please ask. I realize that some of my phrasing may be a little unclear...

    Best of luck!

    Last edited by moderator2; 11-04-2012 at 02:35 PM. Reason: posted disallowed website

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