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  • common symptoms of anemia- what are yours?

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    Old 08-15-2003, 09:28 PM   #16
    amwood
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    Hi Dorri - I had a quick question for you...you mentioned diet helping w/anemia. I know it doesn't always help, and from what I've read on some your posts, you still needed the iron infusions in addition to your diet. I've also had the iron infusions and not much has really helped - at least not for very long. I've talked with my primary and my hematologist about what's best to eat for helping raise iron levels. I was wondering what you've found has worked best, if anything. Doctors seem to always give "standard" answers and I'd like to actually hear from someone who can say if something has actually helped them or not I figure at this point it sure can't hurt to try anything (except liver!) Thanks and good luck to you!

     
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    Old 08-15-2003, 09:30 PM   #17
    amwood
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    Oh, and one more thing....in your description of common symptoms of anemia listed above, do you have any idea why the nailbeds get vertical lines as you become more anemic? I had noticed this awhile ago and just figured I needed to take better care of my nails, or the lines had always been there and I just never noticed

     
    Old 08-16-2003, 09:08 AM   #18
    PaNik5717
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    Hi Amwood,

    I asked my docs about improving my diet - although I probably eat a full RDA of iron with each meal already. They told me diet wouldn't help (my hgb was at 8 at the time and the goal where I live is 14-16).

    They did say that meat sources of iron absorb better than vegetable sources. I think they also said red meat sources absorb better - hence the liver. Does anyone eat that icky stuff? I think pork and beef are the best bets if you want to go strictly diet, but you have to remember that a huge portion of what you consume - even pills - isn't absorbed, and after it is absorbed, the cells still have to be made. I think the average is about 2 points increase in hemoglobin every 6 weeks. That can be really slow if you have 6 or 8 points to go.

    Someone else may correct me on all of that.

    Good luck, ladies. I put myself back on my iron pills this week and I really hope to be feeling stronger soon. I feel like such a baby when I can't take a short walk without breathing hard.

    Nik
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    Old 08-16-2003, 03:11 PM   #19
    dorri
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    Hi amwood, as I have mentioned in my replies before, if your iron is very low, it is very hard to build it up through diet. In most cases outside help is needed in the form of iron supplements of some kind.. However if you have a slight iron deficiency then eating iron rich foods may bring your levels up to normal.
    For me obtaining iron from my diet is near impossible as I have an absorption problem along with intolerence to iron pills. I guess that is why they chose intervenous iron for me.
    Why do anemics sometimes form vertical ridges on their nails? To be honest with you, I don't know. I looked up several sites which mention that this may occur as a result of anemia, yet no one explains why this happpens. In my opinion it could have something to do with less oxygen to the scalp and nails. Maybe someone else knows. While anemia may cause these ridges to form, hormone imbalances, age, stress and even protien deficiency may also cause vertical lines to form. Anemic nails are almost always on the pale side and often thin, sometimes forming into a spoon-shape with a depression in the center. When I was very anemic before, my nails were very close to a white, yet my moons looked purplish red. Probably a sign of insufficient oxygen to the nails.
    Amwood I do hope you feel better soon. Everyone should be blessed with ample energy to get through the day. Let me know how it goes? Take care

     
    Old 08-16-2003, 04:21 PM   #20
    sheisherself
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    Hello everybody,

    I just learned this in my biology of nutrition class:


    Taking iron with vitamin C helps the absorption of iron

    When you cook in a iron pan you get more iron.

    Meat, fish and poultry contain a MFP factor that promotes the absorption of nonheme iron from other foods eaten at the same time.

    Things that hinder iron absorption are:

    tea, coffee, calcium and phosphorus, phytates, tannins, and fiber

    hope this helps someone.
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    Old 08-16-2003, 10:09 PM   #21
    dorri
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    sheisherself is right, so why not try cooking spagetti meat sauce in a iron pot and you'll get everything you need to build up iron (red meat, a good source of heme iron, vitamin C and acidity from the tomato sauce, and iron from the pot itself).

     
    Old 08-18-2003, 09:02 PM   #22
    survivingspirit
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    Isn't it unbeleivable that something as small as cooking in an iron pan can increase your iron intake!

    To add to that list
    Shellfish is also a very good source of iron. Here's how they break down.....

    clams (3oz) 25.2mg of iron
    CHICKEN LIVERS(3oz.) 7.2 mg.
    mussels, steamed (3oz) 5.7 mg.
    oysters (6 medium) 5.0 mg.
    BEEF (3oz.) 2.9mg.
    tuna (light meat water packed 3 oz.) 2.7mg.
    shrimp, steamed (3oz.) 2.6mg.
    TURKEY, dark meat (3oz.) 2.0 mg.

    some of the nonheme foods high in iron are; cream of wheat cereal, quick cooking (7.7mg.) which is just as much as chicken livers, tofu, dried pumpkin seeds, lentils, potato baked with the skin (the skin contains most of the iron content), beans, canned pumpkin, split peas

    also you can still have the ice-cream, glass of milk etc. you should just wait at least 3 hours between them, so that the iron gets the opportunity to absorb before the calcium products block the absorption.

    mixing heme foods with nonheme foods (meat with veg.) will increase the absorption of the nonheme iron by 10-15% while oj (or another source of vitamin c) will DOUBLE the absorption of nonheme iron.

    In my case....I alternated days with the supplements (one day off, next day on) while keeping track of what I ate and paying close attention to what worked best for me. It did take a while but, it was worth it to me, in order not to take the pills. I work for a seafood restaurant though, so once I found out what was "good" to eat, it wasn't too hard for me.

    The info. above is from my "food bible". It's called The doctor's book of food remedies and is put out by the editors of Prevention magazine. I couldn't remember the specific mg. so I looked it up for you all. NOTICE that chicken livers are not the highest source of iron!?!? Also I have heard that you should reduce your fat intake as well. I don't know if this is true or not, but I hear that a diet full of fatty foods can block iron absorption as well.

    Hope this was helpful to anyone interested in trying to increase iron absorption through diet. It helped me.

    blessed be, crb


    [This message has been edited by survivingspirit (edited 08-19-2003).]

     
    Old 08-18-2003, 09:12 PM   #23
    survivingspirit
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    Panik and Dorrie,
    Thank you so much for responding to my earlier post. I was definitely feeling kinda down in spirits when the dr.'s told me there was no relationship other than chemo. I started to feel like I was becoming a hypochondriac. I realize now, that we all feel that way at some point.

    thanks again, crb

     
    Old 08-18-2003, 09:40 PM   #24
    dorri
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    crb, thanks for the list of iron foods. I'm looking at beef and I'm surprised, it's a lot lower than I thought it would be. I thought it had a lot more iron in it, since they say that you should eat red meats to bring your iron up. The clams are packed with it, but darn I'm allergic to them. crb, how are your iron levels now?

     
    Old 08-28-2003, 09:51 PM   #25
    survivingspirit
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    Unhappy

    sorry it took so long to reply....
    we've been pretty busy at work lately, we have a good promotion going on so things have been hectic lately....
    Which is probably why I am not doing so good. My area is 10-12 and I am at an 8. I can feel what I call a "crash and burn" coming on. Sometimes, working in a restaurant is not so good. We aren't regulated with breaks and so forth. Which means we eat when we aren't busy. We've been busy, and I haven't been eating right. Doc says I will have to take supplements again, if I don't get it under control soon. In fact he recommended I start it now. I am so tired, I think that I am going to have to. I think work will slow down again soon. The promotion is about to end, and the kids are back in school. If I can just make it through 3 more weeks....

     
    Old 08-28-2003, 09:58 PM   #26
    survivingspirit
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    I am returning to school in 3 weeks....(sorry I didn't mention that earlier)
    How is everyone else doing? Dorrie? PaNik? Is the light peeking through the clouds yet? I feel like time is flying by, and I am watching it go. Anyone keeping up with it?

    blessed be, crb

     
    Old 08-29-2003, 01:33 PM   #27
    amy86
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    I am 16 years old and think it's possible i am anemic. I am always cold (in the summer i wear long sleeves or sweatshirts). I am very pale. I get dizzy or get headaches whenever i stand up. When i walk sometimes, my vision goes black and i just have to pause a minute. Jokingly, my family has ssid before that i was anemic, but i think it might be true. As i was reading some of your posts and came across the fingernail lines thing, i noticed that i have vertical lines on my nails. I didn't think anything of it before, but there are definitely lines there. Also, my nails haven't been growing as fast as they used to. Whenever they get even a little longer, they break so easily. I am tired all the time. Even if i go to bed at 8 pm, when my alarm goes off at 6, i don't feel rested at all. I yawn like every two minutes during school, and i find myself dosing off in church. I've always just blown these things off by making excuses. I tell myself "i'm just naturally pale" "i didn't sleep well last night" I also had the idea that the only people who were anemic were itty bitty people who weigh 83 pounds. although i'm 133 pounds, i find it hard to believe i should be cold all the time. I would appreciate any advice and anything that would make me less tired. I've noticed some of your diet suggestions, but i'm not a big meat eater. Please send me an e-mail or let me know if you respond. (i don't know how often i will get to check the bulletin board)

     
    Old 08-30-2003, 08:50 AM   #28
    PaNik5717
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    Hi CRB,

    Thanks for checking in. The world seems to be passing me by, too, as I sit at home watching the Food channel. Every time I try to exercise - which is already difficult enough since my body has trouble transporting O2 - I start to bleed. And, I had a LEEP in May and my follow-up pap is still abnormal.

    But, things are looking brighter, I found a new doctor yesterday. I can't see her until 9/22, but she is committed to stopping my bleeding and doing more thorough blood studies instead of just finger pricks. She already gave me new meds to stop the bleeding by Tuesday! I also got called for a job interview yesterday. Not sure if my body will stand up to the kind of work I want to do, but I can't wait to try!
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    Old 08-30-2003, 09:40 PM   #29
    dorri
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    Hi crb and thanks for the reply. Where did the time go? I'm not even watching and I turn around and it's gone. I'm getting more energy now although still somewhat on the pale side, but not nearly as bad as before.
    Crb if you feel like you're going to crash and burn as you put it, then it's time to S-L-O-W D O W N. Proper rest is essential in building blood. Working and going to school can be quite a load, so take it easy and make sure you get some siesta's inbetween with enough time to sit down to eat proper meals. Got that! I know, easier said then done. Do let me know how you're doing. Take good care of yourself.

     
    Old 08-30-2003, 10:11 PM   #30
    dorri
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    Amy at 16, you should be full of energy. While vertical lines may appear as a symptom of anemia, they may also be caused by stress, hormones imbalances, lack of protein or other medical conditions etc.. Many of your symptoms sound like anemia, but a thyroid condition can also cause some of the symptoms you describe. Even stress and lack of sleep can cause dizziness, so it's best to have your doctor run a simple blood test for anemia and thyroid, to see if any of these are causing your problem. If they turn out to be normal then your system may just be under par from being tired, not eating properly and perhaps going through stress. When in doubt, check it out! Hope you feel better soon.

     
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